Seabourn Sojourn is the closest thing that luxury cruising
has to a land-based stay at an exotic but comfortable boutique hotel. The 32,000-ton, 450-passenger vessel, a sister to Seabourn's Odyssey and Quest, debuted in 2010 and offers superbly comfortable cabins, the largest luxe spa at sea, an in-stern marina replete with kayaks and speed boats, and an onboard ambience that's cultured yet also blessedly informal.
While largely identical to Odyssey (the first in Seabourn's newly designed trio) and identical to Quest (launched in 2011), Sojourn is the cruise line's improvement on an already-outstanding concept. It achieved the feat simply by tweaking bits and pieces. The spa was the biggest beneficiary of the line's experience with the first ship, with an additional spa sun deck area replacing some of the pretentiously expensive private villa spaces. In The Restaurant, the ship's elegant main venue, an experiment with communal tables -- intended to foster sociability -- has not been replicated on either Sojourn or Quest. However, the group bar-height seating concept is available in its more casual Colonnade. Otherwise, Seabourn got almost everything right the first time.
Whether you're a longtime fan of Seabourn's older, more intimate 208-passenger ships or a newcomer to the cruise line (or to upscale cruising in its own right), it's hard not to find this ship utterly charming. We love the features -- such as the glorious Colonnade restaurant with its wraparound terrace and alfresco dining, the homey Seabourn Square, its coffee bar/Internet cafe/library and the fact that 90 percent of all cabins (oops, we mean suites) have balconies -- offered on this more contemporary series of Seabourn ships. In fact, the cabins themselves, starting at 300 square feet, are marvelously designed and a destination in their own right. Even standard accommodations have distinct living and sleeping areas, flat-screen televisions with a vast range of entertainment options, balconies with dining tables and marble bathrooms with separate showers and bathtubs.
Another plus? We can't think of another luxury cruise ship that has as much space dedicated to outdoor lounging, whether it's the convivial main pool area or the numerous more secluded nooks and crannies, many of which have their own pools (mini or otherwise). And Seabourn's reputation for providing superb cuisine and service lives on through Sojourn.