Five First-Hand Gleanings From the New Seabourn Venture

Travel Agent is aboard the new, 264-passenger Seabourn Venture this week. This polar (PC6) class vessel, Seabourn's first such ship, is currently sailing from Bridgetown, Barbados to Callao (Lima), Peru. Here's a first look at some of the features and fun things to know about this new sleek, elegant beauty. 

1. Overall, it Feels Very Spacious

In the past we've sailed on many expedition ships—some quite crowded, many small and nearly all fun. But many were not upscale in the product delivery nor spacious in the spaces aboard. Well, this is different than those expedition ships from decades past.

Seabourn Venture delivers the ultra-luxury experience that the line's loyal past guests expect. That's important as we've observed that not all guests are heading out at every port of call for expedition activities; some are, some aren't. But, most notably, this new expedition ship delivers the space and amenities that create satisfaction for both die-hard expedition enthusiasts and more traditional luxury guests (just sailing because they love to).

There are 150 guests on this cruise, by the way, 130 of them past guests, and one gentleman with 770-plus days. These folks often gather within Deck 4's attractive Expedition Lounge. It's the spot for comfortable seating areas, faux fireplaces, a bar on one side and the ship's boutique on the other. 

Expedition Lounge on Seabourn Venture. This lounge has a bar on one side, a boutique on the other, and two faux fireplaces.
Seabourn Venture's Expedition Lounge has comfortable seating areas, two faux fireplaces, a bar on one side and a boutique on the other.  (Photo by Susan J. Young)

They also are spending much time relaxing in Seabourn Square (with several kinds of yummy gelatos plus other snacks and coffee), the Constellation Lounge, The Club (more about that below) and, of course, the fine dining Restaurant and the casual Colonnade eatery. These are all spacious spots. 

Bottom line? Guests have plenty of room to spread out on Seabourn Venture. This isn't your grandfather's expedition ship.  

2. Friendly Seabourn Service

If guests have sailed previously on Seabourn, it's likely they'll perceive service levels on board Seabourn Venture to be similar to what they've experienced in the past on the ultra-luxury line.

Penguin towel animal on the bed on Seabourn Venture; it's wearing the guest's sunglasses and holding a "time change notice."

First, all crew make an effort to recognize all guests right away. By the afternoon of the first day, most people we met were calling us by our names. And the service delivery climbed from there. 

Our two cabin stewards—a team—are pleasant, helpful and always doing nice touches and making me feel at home. One night we left for dinner to come back and find this cute towel animal penguin on our bed, wearing a pair of our sunglasses and with a "time change tonight" announcement.

Because we're not a fan of those soft but hefty duvets (that we know many folks love), we asked them to take it away and instead provide a sheet and blanket. It was handled without any fuss. Now, we're sleeping well aboard. 

At dinner, they've learned that we like ice with our water, so after the water is poured, someone automatically goes for a separate full glass of ice with a spoon and brings that to our table. We did not ask for this to be done. That says it all; it's proactive service.

We've observed that the guest services personnel at Seabourn Square always greet guests with a smile. They also have a "can do" attitude in assisting those guests, from what I've learned from other passengers.

Room service is also very good—friendly folks, good service and a nice set-up of the table with a tablecloth, cloth napkins, silverware and china. Trays are also removed about an hour later, after the guest receives a phone call from room service asking if that's okay. 

Maintenance/engineering crew members also converse well in English; they were helpful to us in tirelessly working to fix an AC issue we had earlier in the cruise. We're now cool as a cucumber. 

3. Sushi, Sushi, Sushi

Dining aboard is in the fine dining Restaurant with menus that are two types. The "Inspirations" options are often creative, fusion, a bit spicy or trendy. Plus, there are "Classics," the usual favorites of prime steaks, seafood, chicken, salmon and more. 

The more casual Colonnade offers indoor and outdoor tables. During the day, it's set up for buffet-style dining. Guests serve themselves (for the most part, except at carving stations). Certain items such as hot dogs, hamburgers and the specials of the day, though, also can be delivered directly to the table by servers. 

That eatery also offers the popular Earth & Ocean offering on some nights. 

But for many folks, there's nothing better dining-wise than The Club. But that's a lounge, right? Yes, it is, but it's also "sushi central."

The Club is an attractive lounge space on Seabourn Venture and "the hot spot" between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. for its sushi offerings.
An attractive lounge space, The Club is also the nightly "hot spot" for sushi and sashimi.  (Photo by Susan J. Young)

Why? Freshly prepared sushi and sashimi are offered there between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. nightly. The selections are absolutely amazing. Clients who enjoy sushi shouldn't miss it. 

Other light bites are offered around the ship in places like Seabourn Square during the day or the Bow Lounge, too. 

Most notably, don't miss Seabourn's "Caviar Sailaway" reception on the Deck 5 Patio on embarkation day. 

4. An Expeditionary Flair

Since this is an expedition ship, it has a 26-person expedition team aboard. Guests can expect expedition briefings, recaps and lectures in the Discovery Center—essentially a one-level, theater-style venue with a large elongated stage and multiple video screens. In addition, talks and lectures are also available on the guest's in-suite TV system. For example, one day, Baldur Thorvaldsson gave a talk about "The Secret Lives of Cetaceans" and details about their adaptations, behavior, breeding, evolution, food, foraging and taxonomy.

During one Discovery Center presentation, we listened as a birding expert talked about what bird life we might see within the Panama Canal region with photos appearing on the big screens.

Seabourn Venture's Discovery Center is the spot for expedition talks, such as this one about birds of the Panama Canal region.
Seabourn Venture's Discovery Center is the spot for expedition talks including this one about birds of the Panama Canal region.  (Photo by Susan J. Young)

One other neat thing is that guests also have visual access to outside sites and wildlife/marine life viewing via their entertainment system's offerings. That includes video views taken by the bridge cam, aft cam or drone cam, for example.  

Seabourn Venture also carries two six-passenger submarines, each operated by one pilot; however, on our cruise, the submarine "dive" I was scheduled to take was canceled due to lack of approval from local authorities. Zodiac rides, too, were impacted by sea or weather conditions at times. Top advice? "Go with the flow." For example, sea conditions today in Salaverry (Trujillo, Peru) prevented the line from staying safely at the dock. So, tours there were canceled and we departed early for the next port.

Zodiacs are stored on the top deck of Seabourn Venture; the ship carries enough for all guests to go out on an expedition at the same time.
A fleet of Zodiacs—enough to accommodate all guests on board—is seen on Seabourn Venture's outside deck.  (Photo by Susan J. Young)

But, in turn, the line is offering Zodiac cruises later today during an earlier-than-expected arrival at that port. Just think of an expedition cruise as a bit of a free-form journey. It may have moments of "wow," such as when some sea lions were spotted through binoculars (provided by the line) yesterday. But at other times, flexibility is needed. Just remember, it's an adventure. 

5. A Singing Cruise Director (and Onboard Activities)

The cruise director on our voyage is Luperci de Souza, an affable guy who hails from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Let's just say he's a talented cruise director, from what we've observed, but also an amazing singer. He wowed guests attending a recent Discovery Center reception for past cruise guests with an incredible solo performance of Mario Lanza's operatic hit, "Be My Love."  What a pleasant surprise to find such talent aboard! 

Luperci also performed as the "show" one night, offering a "Sueno Latino with Luperci" performance with fiery Spanish songs and Latino vibes.

A humorous "Crossing the Equator" ceremony is conducted by cruise director Luperci on the aft pool deck.

During our cruise, Luperci helped orchestrate a hoot of an "Equator Crossing" ceremony (see photo above) with "King Neptune." Willing "victims," (crew members) kissed a fish and were ceremoniously tossed into the pool. Our dining room server, Sitha, was one—a real sport. She also seemed to have a fun time doing it. 

Passengers loved it, and sipped on cool blue alcoholic drinks provided by servers. Well, we had to get in the "ocean spirit" of the moment. 

As for other onboard activities, throughout our cruise, these types of guest diversions were offered: "Team Trivia with Luperci," social bridge play, yoga, mah-jong, Parisian high tea with melodies, spa seminars, "Liars Club," a photo editing class, DJ Dance Party, wildlife watch times, popcorn movies in the Discovery Center and more,

Look for more next week on Seabourn Venture, including a look at our V4 category deluxe balcony suite and its amenities and features. 

Related Stories

Coral Expeditions' Circumnavigation of Australia Sets Sail

Hurtigruten Expeditions Launching High-Speed Internet on Fleet

Atlas Ocean Voyages Takes Delivery of Newest Expedition Ship

Swan Hellenic Names Patrizia Iantorno VP of Global Marketing