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Founded in 1986 by Norwegian investors intent on creating the most luxurious yacht-like cruise ships ever built, Seabourn gave berth to twin sisters Seabourn Pride and Seabourn Spirit in 1988 and 1989. Seabourn immediately became synonymous with ultra-luxury. Yet within its relatively short history, Seabourn has weathered significant machinations, briefly expanding with bigger, older ships, only to regroup back to its yacht-like core – a move applauded by Seabourn devotees with a decided preference for the line’s original vision. For the record, Seabourn in 1996 acquired Seabourn Legend, a third identical sister, originally sailing as the Royal Viking Queen for the now defunct Royal Viking Line and subsequently as the Queen Odyssey for Royal Cruise Line, also history. Carnival Corporation acquired 25 percent of Seabourn in 1991 and now holds a majority stake. In 1998, Carnival also picked up Cunard Line for some $500 million and merged it with Seabourn, while separately marketing the brands. Some aging Cunard ships became Seabourn vessels after extensive revamps. Royal Viking Sun was renamed Seabourn Sun to become the line’s flagship and Cunard’s Sea Goddess I and Sea Goddess II were renamed Seabourn Goddess I and II. In 2001, Seabourn returned to focusing exclusively on the three identical yacht-like jewels without distraction of melding other tonnage into the ultra-luxury yacht-like framework. Seabourn’s 758-passenger Seabourn Sun (previously Royal Viking Sun) sailed on to Carnival’s Holland America Line to become the Prinsendam, HAL’s elegant explorer for world cruises. Seabourn Goddesses 1 and II, once the Sea Goddesses, were sold back to their original Norwegian owner, now operating them as SeaDream 1 and II for the cushy SeaDream Yacht Club. Growing affection for private verandas had left the relatively veranda-free Spirit, Pride and Legend (only six suites had them) at a marketing disadvantage. So Seabourn added French Balconies – sliding glass doors with small verandas – to 44 of the standard suites on all three ships to create the coveted Seabourn Balcony Suite category.
Built at Schichau Seebeckwerft, in Bremerhaven Germany and christened in 1989, Seabourn Spirit underwent a sweeping upgrade in 2003. The lightened, brightened Veranda Café alternative indoor-outdoor venue, for example, previously had closed on so-called formal nights. Now it’s open for dinner on those evenings as well, serving those who prefer an elegant casual alternative, with jackets, but no ties. A continuing series of enhancements aboard The Yachts of Seabourn include complimentary open bars, free Massage Moments on deck and Pure Pampering in-suite bathing experiences by Molton Brown add to the club-like atmosphere. From elegant Tumi document portfolios and baggage tags that assist guests in transit, to the Heidsieck French champagne that adds sparkle to special moments on board, to Exclusively Seabourn complimentary shoreside experiences — every detail of a Seabourn cruise reflects a privileged, exclusive style of travel.
Year entering service: 1989
The Yachts of Seabourn feature an array of Signature Delights providing exceptionally pampered, all-inclusive onboard experiences. Among newer touches are document portfolios and baggage tags made exclusively for Seabourn by prestige luggage and accessory maker Tumi, exquisite fresh bed linens and duvet covers from the 145-year old Italian firm Frette, and an expanded Seabourn golf program for play at more than a 100 of the world's most challenging courses in some 90 ports worldwide. With Seabourn’s Personal Valet Luggage Service, bags can be picked up at a guest’s home and delivered to the onboard suite. No more checking luggage at the airport, and no more baggage claim waits. Passengers are free to take pre- and post-cruise tours without luggage concerns, and bags later can be shipped back to the front door.
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