(11:45 a.m. EST) -- Seabourn has confirmed today the construction of a new-build ship to join its fleet in 2016.
The 40,350-ton, all-suite ship will be based on the line's Odyssey-class of ships, but will have an extra deck and larger public areas. It will carry 604 passengers -- 154 more passengers than on Seabourn Odyssey, Sojourn or Quest.
The confirmation comes three months after the line signed a 'letter of intent' with Italian shipyard Fincantieri to construct a new vessel.
Seabourn hinted at the possibility of a new vessel when it sold its three oldest and smallest ships -- Seabourn Pride, Seabourn Legend and Seabourn Spirit -- to Windstar Cruises last February. The three ships will transfer gradually to Windstar -- in April 2014, April 2015 and May 2016, respectively. Last week, Windstar offered a sneak peek at what Star Pride will look like.
The new Seabourn ship will join the fleet just a month later, restoring the capacity lost from the sale of the three 208-passenger ships.
“The new ship will continue the evolution that began with Seabourn's fleet expansion, adding modern design elements and innovations consistent with Seabourn's reputation for understated elegance,” said Richard D. Meadows, Seabourn's president.
--By Adam Coulter, UK Editor