The idea of a luxury cruise typically brings to mind thoughts of sun-filled decks, butler service by the pool, and lavish staterooms as you sail to tropical destinations. Seabourn cruise line wants you to rethink that model, or at least the destination.
The luxury cruise line has just unveiled the first purpose-built ultra-luxury expedition ship. An expedition ship is a vessel that has been designed to reach remote destinations and has the hardware and technology necessary to operate in more extreme environments and travel farther than your standard cruise ship that travels the Caribbean or Mediterranean. The hull, for example, will be constructed to Polar Class Standards, making it capable for summer and fall trips to Antarctica, the Arctic, and other extreme climates. The ship’s propulsion system is advanced with Azipods (electric-podded azimuth thrusters), or in layman’s terms, the entire propeller and engine turn — not just a rudder at the stern of the boat. A complement of three bow thrusters gives these ships unmatched maneuverability for vessels their size.
A series of shell doors built into the hull along the waterline will provide entrance and egress from the zodiac boats used to move guests quickly to view wildlife and take them ashore to see breathtaking landscapes and have remarkable experiences. The 29,600 square feet of open deck space make for a great viewing platform for scenery and stretching your legs. We think one of the coolest parts is that two submarines carried onboard will be providing an unforgettable view of the world beneath the ocean’s surface. You won’t have to worry about roughing it on these rugged vessels, either.
“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.”
Seabourn claims it is the pinnacle of ultra-luxury travel with intimate ships offering key elements that set the line apart: spacious, thoughtfully appointed suites, many with verandas and all 100% ocean front; superb dining in a choice of venues; complimentary premium spirits and fine wines available on board at all times; award-winning service and a relaxed, sociable atmosphere that makes guests feel right at home on board.
The new ships will feature 132 luxurious oceanfront veranda suites, which will be home for up to 264 guests. The first ship is currently planned to sail in the Arctic in late summer 2021, with a full summer season in Antarctica to follow. The crew will include an outstanding and well-traveled 26-person expedition team comprised of experienced wilderness experts, scientists, historians, and naturalists.
We aren’t sure if this is what we had in mind when we first started dreaming about trips to the polar regions but we’d love to sign up for a trip someday.