Lynn Narraway, Seabourn, Vice President UK, Europe, MEA talks to Jennie Carr about this ultra-luxurious cruise line.
Can you give me a brief history of Seabourn and where the cruise line is today.
Seabourn was founded in 1988 as a subsidiary of Carnival Corporation. It was born out of a belief that travellers would appreciate an experience that prioritised personalised service, a relaxed club-like atmosphere, and the opportunity for carefree sociability among like-minded guests.
As the brand celebrates its 35th anniversary this year, we remain firmly committed to raising the bar on ultra-luxury travel. The fleet’s ships boast an average age of just over seven years, positioning Seabourn as a leader in contemporary luxury travel. Our continual innovation is vital: take Starlink, the latest in Wi-Fi technology, for example, which will be available and complimentary across all Seabourn ships by the end of 2023. Likewise, culinary excellence remains a hallmark of the brand. Seabourn continuously evolves its menus, our chefs introduce fresh dining concepts through two new menus each week in the main restaurant.
In April of this year, Seabourn reached a new milestone with the launch of our second new expedition-style ship: Seabourn Pursuit. Along with Seabourn Venture, which was launched in June 2022, the ships offer cruises to remote destinations to both loyal guests who have been sailing with Seabourn for years and to newcomers who are seeking unique experiences. With an emphasis on destinations such as Antarctica, the Arctic, the Kimberley, and the Amazon, these purpose-built ships provide intimate voyages to the world’s most remote and hard-to-reach regions. We take 24 expedition leaders on each cruise and our guests love the expedition extras, such as kayaks and Zodiacs.
What is the ethos of company, its mission and values?
Seabourn is passionate about travel. And we believe that travelling for pleasure has redemptive, transformational power which enriches people’s lives. Plus we have a commitment to exceptional service that exceeds expectations.
We want to ensure that every guest has their very own Seabourn moment: that goose bump moment that is absolutely personal to you, a remarkable memory made for ever. Our crew are looking and listening for opportunities to create those moments, whether it is the result of an comment overheard in the bar or an express wish from a guest.
Our people are our brand. We can have ultra luxurious ships, the best food, the best pools, the best shore excursions but it is our people, who create the ambiance on board, who are the key to it all.
How would you describe a Seabourn ship? Are they unique in the cruising world?
A Seabourn cruise provides an inclusive ultra luxurious boutique hotel that just happens to be at sea. All suites have ocean front views, and on board there is award winning dining with complimentary premium spirits and wine. Our team dedicated to Seabourn moments.
When we ask guests why they travel with Seabourn, the majority say because it’s a family and they enjoy the interaction and forging friendships with our team members, who number 4,000 from 93 countries. Our guests also come from around the world.
We know the environmental issues and sustainability are growing in importance for all travellers. What is Seabourn’s approach to this?
Seabourn’s highest priorities remain compliance, environmental protection and protecting the health, safety and well-being of our crew, our guests and the people in the destinations we visit. We have no single use plastic, so, as an example, guests are given refillable water bottles. We support local economies and buy locally where we can. Our team members often participate in service projects in the communities we visit. All our ships have bio digesters, dehydrators, LED lighting, advanced water waste treatment systems and run on marine gas oil. The ships operate with dynamic positioning so they can stay in one space, never needing to drop the anchor which prevents destruction of the seabed and harm to marine life.
Seabourn is a member of the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators and also the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators, both of which have very stringent rules and regulations. They exist to provide safe and environmentally responsible private travel to the polar regions, limiting the number of guests who can travel there.
And in the future, does Seabourn have new ships and new destinations planned?
Seabourn is always looking for new destinations, especially smaller ports.
Seabourn Pursuit will also be in Antarctica over the winter and in the spring and autumn will be visiting the South Pacific, taking in remote Easter Island and the Pitcairn islands, then spending the summer offering 10-night Kimberley voyages between Darwin and Broome.
In 2024 there will be four ships in Europe, with a new addition of cruises to and from Dubrovnik, exploring the ports of Croatia, it’s a destination extremely popular with British guests.
And of course, innovation and moving forward are key elements of the Seabourn brand, so there will be yet more to come.
To find out more about Seabourn, visit Seabourn and call our Silver Travel Advisors on 0800 412 5678 to get a quote and book your cruise.