Chris Austin, senior vice president of global marketing and sales for Seabourn Cruise Line // © 2018 Seabourn
Feature Image (above): A Seabourn cruise offers a luxury experience in Alaska. // © 2018 Getty Images
When Seabourn Cruise Line added the Seabourn Encore to its fleet last year, it allowed the company to look at new itinerary options — and Alaska was a natural choice. We asked Chris Austin, senior vice president of global marketing and sales for Seabourn, what the luxury cruise line brings to the Great Land.
What makes Seabourn unique in Alaska?
Historically, if you wanted to sail in Alaska, you could do luxury or expedition-style travel, but not both at the same time. Our Alaska and British Columbia program is designed to marry the two experiences. Our guests travel in ultra-luxury accommodations on the Seabourn Sojourn, but they can get off the ship and into the environment with our Ventures by Seabourn program, which features Zodiac, kayak and hiking excursions. And we’re going to destinations such as Alert Bay and Klemtu, which are rarely visited by most ships.
What advice do you have for travel agents whose clients have a lot of choices in Alaska?
For the client who is looking for a vacation experience that truly goes to destinations that most other companies skip, Seabourn should be at the top of an agent’s list. Also, advisors should look to those clients who love Alaska but may be searching for a new way to enjoy it, because our 11- to 14-day itineraries deliver an immersive experience together with something fresh and unexpected. Plus, Seabourn Sojourn is a modern ship with a recent refit period. We also enhanced the ship's offerings by adding The Grill by Thomas Keller and Spa & Wellness with Dr. Andrew Weil.
What is a Seabourn experience in Alaska that stands out?
Our Klemtu excursion in British Columbia with First Nations people is a one-of-a-kind event where the native Kitasoo and Xaixais people welcome guests to a celebration of their culture, heritage and spirituality. During this visit, guests enter a traditional Big House, where storytelling, song and dance are performed by local members of this First Nations community. It’s an amazing experience.