Long before I started my own travel business and began enjoying cruising, my husband Rene came across a company called Yachts of Seabourn back in the 80’s. Interestingly, the ships they owned back then are now owned by Windstar Cruises. Today, after 37 years in business, each of Seabourn Cruises’ current small cruise ships offer all ‘ocean-front suites, luxuriously appointed accommodations, an open-bar policy serving premium wine, champagne and spirits, and a world-class dining experience, further enhanced through a culinary partnership with Chef Thomas Keller’. They have almost a 1:1 guest to staff ratio with amazing customer service, hence their tagline “The Seabourn Difference”. They even say that “tipping is neither required nor expected”.
Photo courtesy of Virtuoso - Seabourn Encore
Photo courtesy of Virtuoso - Seabourn Encore's Pool Deck
In January 2024, we have the opportunity to host a cruise that will be sailing in Southeast Asia from Singapore to Hong Kong. In each of the ports where we dock there will be optional shore excursions or you can decide to explore each place on your own, if you prefer. It’s really a wonderful itinerary that we’ve been wanting to take for a few years. Southeast Asia is such a special place and we both spent a lot of time there and particularly loved our time in Bangkok, Vietnam and Hong Kong when we were there for both business and pleasure.
Photo courtesy of Seabourn - map of our journey January 2024
The ship that we’ll be sailing on is the Encore, with just 300 beautifully appointed suites. Their opening veranda category includes inside space between 246 and 302 square feet and an added balcony that’s between 68 and 83 square feet in size. There’s a walk-in closet, double sinks, separate shower and tub in the bathroom, makeup vanity, dining table for 2, comfortable living area, and a fully stocked bar and refrigerator.
Photo courtesy of Seabourn - Veranda Suite
Seabourn’s focus on world class dining is not only enhanced by their partnership with Chef Thomas Keller but also their association with both Master Chef Anton Egger and their membership with Chaine des Rotisseurs. Chef Keller is the most decorated chef in the United States with his 7 Michelin stars. Both his French Laundry restaurant on the west coast and Per Se on the east coast each hold 3 Michelin stars, while Bouchon Bistro, across the street from French Laundry also holds a coveted star. Needless to say, food on Seabourn is exquisite!
Photo courtesy of Virtuoso - The Grill by Thomas Keller
Another successful partnership for Seabourn includes one with Dr. Andrew Weil with their Spa and Wellness program on board all their ships. Dr. Weil is a pioneer on integrative medicine, and he’s worked with Seabourn to create a Mindful Living Program on board with each ship’s Mindful Living Coach. They have beautiful spa facilities, a well-equipped gym, and various classes of yoga and other related activities.
Photo courtesy of Seabourn - Spa & Wellness
On select sailings, the other great feature that the Seabourn ships have is their onboard marina that enables guests to have access to an array of watersports including kayaks, pedal boats, paddleboards, waterskiing and more. Another very unique activity with Seabourn is their "Caviar in the Surf" experience that's very special. In cooler climates, the staff aren't expected to jump in the surf but rather they serve up the experience on the deck instead. LOL.
Photo courtesy of Virtuoso - Watersports platform on Deck 3
Photo courtesy of Seabourn - Signature "Caviar in the Surf" event
Seabourn has such great itineraries all over the world covering all 7 continents with their 7 lovely ships. Two of these ships are expedition including the both the Venture and Pursuit that have been specifically “designed and built for diverse environments to PC6 Polar standards and includes modern hardware and technology that will extend the ships’ global deployment and capabilities”. They’re not only equipped with 24 Zodiacs, kayaks, and 2 custom-built submarines but each has a 24-person expert expedition team.
Photo courtesy of Virtuoso - Seabourn's Expedition Ship "Venture"
Seabourn also has an incredible “Seabourn Conversations” program providing great visionary experts on their sailings who bring fascinating insights, provide expert opinions, and are overall very entertaining in their talks onboard the vessels. Conversation topics with experts include the Arts, Culinary, Culture & Destinations, Current Affairs & History, Science, UNESCO, and Wellness.
Photo courtesy of Seabourn - "Seabourn Conversations"
They also have great entertainment onboard all of Seabourn’s ships including one through their exclusive relationship with Sir Tim Rice, known for such great productions including Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, The Lion King, Aladdin, and many more similar award-winning shows.
Photo courtesy of Seabourn - "An Evening with Sir Tim Rice"
All in all, Seabourn is one of THE top luxury brands in the cruising arena. They have intimate ships that attract interesting people in a relaxed, elegant, but casual atmosphere with amazing food and wine experiences and exceptional, sincere customer service. If you haven’t been on one, you should give them a try!