Up until February 2013, Seabourn's fleet consisted of two styles of ships: an older, smaller trio -- Pride, Legend and Spirit -- and a larger, newer trio -- Seabourn Odyssey, Sojourn and Quest. The three smaller siblings were bought by Windstar Cruises and entered their fleet in 2014.
Seabourn Odyssey, Sojourn and Quest, are identical siblings and began to be introduced to the Seabourn fleet from 2009. They are three of the most luxurious ships afloat, featuring numerous contemporary amenities, such as vast spas, open-deck sunning and pool areas, a variety of restaurants, and spacious 300 square-foot standard cabins (which are more like suites). Private balconies and expansive suites are plentiful. With a capacity of 450 passengers, the ships are by no means too big; they can still access many of the world's exotic ports, especially those that large ships cannot get into.
Hallmarks of Seabourn include superb, intuitive service; high-quality cuisine that includes innovative and traditional dishes; and a more inclusive experience, in which cocktails, coffees and spa classes are included in cruise fares.
Seabourn's next new ship, Encore, is scheduled to launch in December 2016, and Seabourn Ovation will follow in spring 2018. Both are part of the line's Odyssey class. The expansion will bring the total number of ships in the class to five.
The 40,350 ton, 604-passenger ships will be larger versions of their Odyssey-class sister ships and will have 12 decks, as compared with 11 on the other three ships. The extra deck will allow the ships to house more than 150 extra passengers in the ships' all-balcony suites. Other new additions include expanded public areas and updated design throughout the ship by noted hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany.
Seabourn Cruise Line was founded in 1987 to compete in the ultra-luxury cruise market. It was originally intended to be named "Signet Cruise Line," but a ferry company in Texas owned that name and refused to give it up.
Seabourn's first voyage was in November 1988 on the newly built Seabourn Pride. Another huge milestone for the company: Carnival Corp. purchased 25 percent of Seabourn in 1991 and an additional 25 percent in 1996. In 1998, a consortium, which included Carnival Corp., purchased Seabourn and merged its operations with Cunard Line. At that time the fleet included Seabourn Goddess I and II (which left in 2002 and are now SeaDream Yacht Club's SeaDream I and SeaDream II) and Seabourn Sun (which left in 2002 and is now Holland America's Prinsendam).
Carnival Corp. bought the company outright in 1999 and Seabourn became one of its "world's leading cruise lines." Carnival Corp's Cunard operations separated from Seabourn's in 2004 (the former moved to the corporation's newly purchased Princess Cruises, and Seabourn operated independently from other Carnival Corp. brands.
In April 2011 Seabourn underwent another major shift as Carnival Corp. moved its operations under the umbrella of Holland America Line, another of the cruise conglomerate's brands. Seabourn is based at Holland America corporate headquarters in Seattle.
In other major news for Seabourn, its six-strong fleet was halved in February 2013 when Windstar bought its three original vessels, and it now operates a series of three, nearly identical 32,000-ton, 450-passenger vessels. Seabourn Odyssey, Sojourn and Quest debuted in 2009, 2010 and 2011 respectively, and regularly top many best luxury ship lists (including Cruise Critic's own Editors Picks).
Seabourn is also building two new vessels for launch in 2016 and 2018. Seabourn Encore and Seabourn Ovation will be slightly larger sisters to the three existing Odyssey class ships, boasting an extra deck and carrying 150 more passengers.