May 9, 2001
One of active cruise travelers’ biggest complaints – we’ve heard ‘em over and over again – concerns the quality of port visits, so Seabourn's new "Signature Series" seems intriguing. Under this new program, the line will offer excursions that offer access to major attractions – like the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel – when these famous places are closed to the general public. An expert guide who, presumably, speaks fluent English, is part of the deal. Other funky, fun shore tours include hot air balloon rides, private wine tastings and dining in celebrated restaurants, and adventure-oriented activities. Sure, Seabourn's smaller size – its Pride, Spirit and Legend hold just 204 passengers while the Sea Goddess duo carries even fewer – makes it easier for the line to offer up-close-and-personal travel experiences, but it's still an approach which even the mega-ships would do well to consider.