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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 the elegant Seabourn Pride and Seabourn Spirit in 1988 and 1989. The Seabourn name immediately became synonymous with ultra-luxury. Despite relatively short history, Seabourn underwent significant machinations, briefly expanding with bigger, older ships, only to return to its yacht-like core - a move that has pleased passenger loyalists luxuriating in a preference for Seabourn’s original vision. 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 gone. For the historical record, Carnival Corporation acquired 25 percent of Seabourn in 1991 and now holds a majority stake. In 1998, Carnival picked up Cunard Line for some $500 million and merged it with Seabourn, while keeping the two brands separate. A trio of Cunard ships became Seabourn vessels after extensive revamps. Royal Viking Sun was renamed Seabourn Sun and Cunard’s Sea Goddess I and Sea Goddess II were renamed Seabourn Goddess I and II. In 2001, Seabourn opted to return to its seagoing roots, operating the three original yacht-like jewels without distraction of attempts to meld larger, older ships into the ultra-luxury product framework. The 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. Booming popularity of private verandas had left the relatively veranda-free Spirit, Pride and Legend (only six suites had them) at a competitive disadvantage. So Seabourn added French Balconies - sliding glass doors with small verandas - to 44 of the standard suites to create the Seabourn Balcony Suite category.
Year entering service: acquired in 1996
The Dress Circle enrichment program on every cruise features leading personalities from music, theater, film, television, journalism, literature, history, geography, politics, food and wine.
Seabourn has developed a new culinary branch of the Dress Circle enrichment program called the 'Chefs' Circle'. Guest chefs will give cooking demonstrations on board and escort "Shopping with the Chef" excursions to local markets in port. Signature dishes from their repertoires will be featured on a Restaurant dinner menu one night during their cruises. Another signature dish will be featured one night in the casual Veranda Café indoor/outdoor alternative dining venue on board. The chefs will also meet passengers as part of the sociable, club-like atmosphere aboard the Seabourn Yachts.
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