Seabourn Takes Delivery of Carnival’s First Expedition Cruise Ship
Seabourn Cruise Line took delivery of its first expedition cruise ship, Seabourn Venture, today during an official handover ceremony at the T. Mariotti shipyard in Genoa, Italy. Seabourn Venture is the first of the line's two purpose-built, ultra-luxury expedition ships and is the first dedicated expedition ship in the Carnival Corporation fleet. The world’s largest cruise company, Carnival looks to expand into the rapidly growing expedition segment with ships focusing on cruises in the polar regions.
"Today is so incredibly special and important as we take ownership of our first ultra-luxury expedition ship and welcome Seabourn Venture to the Seabourn family," said Josh Leibowitz President of Seabourn. "The Mariotti team has done a wonderful job in the building of the ship and bringing Adam Tihany's designs to life. Seabourn Venture will raise the bar in ultra-luxury expedition travel.”
The 23,000 gross ton cruise ship, and a sister ship still under construction in Italy, were designed and built to PC6 Polar Class standards with the ability to operate in diverse environments. According to the shipyard, the design features advanced maneuvering technology and stability to operate in the harsh polar regions. Each of the cruise ships is 558 feet long with accommodations for up to 260 passengers in 132 oceanfront veranda suites.
Following the trend in expedition travel, amenities aboard the cruise ships are being enhanced to provide luxury travel to a segment that traditional was more focused on the destinations versus luxuries aboard its ships. The Seabourn Venture and her sister ship Seabourn Pursuit due to enter service in 2023, feature amenities including two gourmet restaurants, a bow lounge with large windows, an infinity swimming pool, and a spa and fitness center.
The expedition programming will be led by a 26-person team of scientists, scholars, and naturalists, who will conduct educational programs on the ships’ Discovery Center and Expedition Lounge as well as to guide Zodiac cruises, hikes, nature walks, scuba diving, and snorkeling, among the ship’s shore programs. Passenger amenities supporting the expedition program include a ready room on the ships to prepare for shore excursions as well as a landing zone to board the two custom-built submarines, kayaks, and 24 zodiacs each ship carries.
Seabourn announced plans to enter the expedition market in 2018 and construction began in December 2019. The hull for both of the cruise ships was built at the CIMAR shipyard in San Giorgio di Nogaro, Italy, and each was later transferred to the T. Mariotti yard in Genoa for completion. The Seabourn Venture is a year behind schedule due to delays in construction in part due to the pandemic. The maiden voyage was rescheduled from April to July 2022 and just recently delayed a further two weeks to late July. The ship will cruise in Norway and Iceland before repositioning to South America and ultimately to Antarctica for the 2022-2023 season.
The ships will expand both the cruise line and its parent company, Carnival Corporation, participating in the growing expedition market. In the past, Seabourn operated cruises to destinations such as the Antarctic, but lacked the purpose-built hardware. Their two new ships are part of a wave of new ships designed for this market segment. By 2023, 40 new cruise ships, with nearly 8,000 berths, are expected to enter service offering expedition cruises to exotic destinations.