Seabourn To Elevate Expedition Travel To A Higher Level With Its New Expedition Ships
Expedition travel is on the bucket list of many travelers and Seabourn, the world’s finest ultra-luxury cruise line, is busy creating two new ultra-luxury purpose-built expedition ships sure to take adventurers and the industry to a higher level.
“Our primary goal in building these new ships is to give expedition travelers the best possible destination experience onboard and far afield, with an innovative design that enables us to get all guests out into the environment as quickly as possible to fulfill those travel wish lists,” said Robin West, vice president of Expedition Operations for Seabourn. “These ships are being designed from conception for expedition travel blended with ultra-luxury and personalized service by leading travel experts and seasoned professionals with great depth of experience in expedition, hospitality, and luxury cruising.”
The finest expedition ships are specifically constructed according to rigorous standards necessary to operate in a range of austere environments where they may operate. The hull for Seabourn’s expedition ships will be constructed to PC6 Polar Class standards, making them capable of summer & autumn operation in medium first-year ice in Antarctica, the Arctic, and other exotic destinations around the world. Propulsion will be delivered by Azipods, giving the ships greater maneuverability, complemented by three bow thrusters.
Other operational design considerations being incorporated include shell doors, which are used by guests to move on and off the ship, placed right at the waterline giving them convenient access to step right into the onboard complement of Zodiacs. This improved accessibility means guests can move quickly to view wildlife or go ashore to enjoy the remarkable landscape. Dynamic positioning systems will be incorporated providing the ship increased operational flexibility to maintain its position.
Taking in views of rugged mountains, ice-blue glaciers, and lush greenery is one of the most sought-after activities for expedition travelers and the design will include an abundance of open deck space from bow to stern. The 2,750 square meters of open decks create many opportunities for guests to have the most desirable viewing experiences complemented by high quality optics mounted in various areas on the decks when conditions permit.
The ships will be a brand new innovative design, created specifically for the ultra-luxury expedition traveler, and will include many features that have made Seabourn ships so successful.
The first delivery is scheduled June 2021 and the second ship in May 2022. A new and exciting offering will be two submarines carried onboard, providing an unforgettable view of the world beneath the ocean’s surface. The ships will also be designed to carry a complement of kayaks and 24 Zodiacs, which will allow guests a truly immersive experience, building on the brand’s highly successful Antarctica and Ventures by Seabourn programs. Each ship will feature 132 luxurious oceanfront veranda suites, which will be home for up to 264 guests.
Seabourn will continue to announce design and service details for the new ships in the coming months. Specific details about itineraries and booking availability will be released in Spring 2019. The first ship is currently planned to sail in the Arctic in late summer 2021, with a full summer season in Antarctica to follow.
Onboard crew will include an outstanding and well-traveled 26-person expedition team comprised of experienced wilderness experts, scientists, historians and naturalists. During each sailing, team members regularly interact with guests, providing keen insight to deliver a rich holistic travel experience. These fascinating, accomplished experts are also part of the Seabourn Conversations program, providing in-depth insights into the history, ecology and culture of the places they visit. Their valuable insights are offered both in formal presentations on a variety of topics and in more casual conversations over meals or at leisure.
The vessels will be built by Mariotti Damen at an estimated cost of $225 million each.