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During a press conference, Robin West, vice president of expedition operations and planning for Seabourn Cruise Line, shared what guests can expect from the luxury brand’s upcoming 264-guest Seabourn Venture. The expedition ship is scheduled to launch in December 2021, sailing in Norway though April 2022.
Renderings display a balance of refinery and rusticity that complements Venture’s rugged surroundings.
"At its heart, it is a Seabourn ship,” said West, who was involved during the design phase of the new vessel. Clients can expect all the hallmarks and inclusions of the rest of the Seabourn fleet to appear on Venture.
A focal point of the ship will be abundant floor-to-ceiling glass, extending to double-decker Wintergarden Suites that provide “a view to the world,” West said.
He also shared how Venture will have thousands of square meters of open deck space, and a dramatic, nearly vertical bow.
Delivering guests to polar destinations will be an ice-strengthened hull rated at polar class 6 standards and equipped with three bow thrusters and Azipod propulsion, which all help to navigate heavy ice fields.
When asked specifically about any stabilization features, West shared that Venture will sport large stabilizers, and called other features that the ship will not have — such as an X-bow — “a little bit more marketing.” West stressed that the hull will provide a very stable ride overall, but admitted that no expedition ship can deliver a perfectly smooth sailing through the Drake Passage on a rough day.
West also highlighted additional hardware such as a pair of in-house, six-passenger submarines, 24 Zodiacs and eight double kayaks. Pontoon boat rides, tropical snorkeling, biking and scuba diving will be included in the price of trips, but to ensure invested interest, kayaking, as well as the submarines, will cost extra. (Onboard helicopters, which appeared in earlier renderings of Venture, have been omitted.)
What’s more, every port of call will showcase a combination of included and optional shoreside activities. Specifically featured for the inaugural 10- to 14-day Norwegian itineraries — which are already on sale — will be remote destinations such as Honningsvag, where guests can freely visit North Cape and enjoy a king crab presentation. Available optional experiences include snorkeling with whales in Andenes, fjord and glacier sightseeing by helicopter in Bergen and Narvik, and an igloo hotel visit in Alta.
A highlighted Seabourn signature event will be a special Christmas carol concert in the Northern Lights Cathedral, also in Alta. First and foremost, though, is the opportunity to see the northern lights themselves, which is “almost a guarantee” on these voyages, West said.
According to West, Seabourn expeditions are perfect for “ticking off bucket list items,” and COVID-19 has not dampened customer interest. The pandemic did initially delay Seabourn Venture by six months, but the second sister ship is still on track for 2022, and demand remains strong among bookings from loyal Seabourn Club guests.
The DetailsSeabourn Cruise Linewww.seabourn.com