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Seabourn Venture

Onboard Seabourn Venture

An expert's view

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13 June 2023 by Meriel Lowe

Wexas cruise expert Meriel Lowe steps on board Seabourn’s newest expedition ship to find out what makes it stand out from the crowd.

With a maximum of just 260 guests, and a tonnage of 23,000 GRT, Seabourn Venture has one of the very highest guest-to-space ratios in the cruising world; this is a ship where every thought and consideration has gone into her design. The first of two purpose-built expedition ships, she is still in her first year of service. Her bars and lounges, such as The Club, are smaller, cosy spaces with comfortable seating, cushions, and even faux fireplaces. Very much home-from-home, ‘Seabourn Square’ is a very inviting lounge/library/Guest Relations/gelateria/coffee bar where specialty coffees, teas, snacks are available throughout the day, even ‘to go’. In keeping with this relaxed ambience, the evening dress code is casual or elegant casual.

The Club, Seabourn Venture

Accommodation on board is all in suites with private balcony, ranging from the roomy Veranda Suites at 33. sqm through to the Wintergarden, Signature and Owners Suites at over 95 sqm Bathrooms are beautifully appointed with walk-in showers, separate full bathtub and Molton Brown toiletries, you can have a dance in the walk-in wardrobes and there are many extra touches such as a personal heated wardrobe for expedition gear, and on-demand music, TV and movies. My favourite was the two midship two-storey Wintergarden Suites with a massive full height window permitting expansive views.

Aside from the ship itself, the focus is on the destinations, and activities and adventures ashore, led by an experienced Expedition Team of 26 with specialisms in, for example, ornithology, geology, marine biology, history and culture of the areas visited, and who give excellent presentations in the Discovery Center and accompany guests on shore. The ports of call are places generally completely off the beaten track, reached courtesy of the 24 sturdy zodiacs which whizz the guests back and forth; there is easy access directly from the ship’s side with plenty of attentive crew ready to assist. A comprehensive programme of included shoreside activities ranges from guided hikes and nature walks to more regular touring in coaches, and supplementary optional tours, including kayaking, are also available at an extra cost. These activities and tours can be reserved both ahead of the cruise and also on board.

During my voyage around Iceland, I saw an arctic fox, arctic tern, puffins, gannets, razorbills, and a pod of killer whales which swam alongside the ship for over half an hour as we cruised along one evening and which was a highlight. However, the pièce de résistance has to be the two, six-seater submarines, which offer dives (available at an additional cost) and can descend  up to 300 metres. I was lucky enough to experience a dive to the fjord floor – yes, we touched the bottom! At 77.5 metres deep, it was a truly magical experience I will never forget.

Seabourn Venture's submarine

When cruising in cold regions, all guests receive a complimentary Seabourn wind-cheater with attachable padded under-jacket, woolly hat and backpack, and boots to borrow which are stored in the ‘Landing Zones’ before going ashore. The ship has a PC6 ice-strengthened hull, so can access more remote areas in polar regions and crossing the Northwest Passage. In warmer and tropical cruising areas, snorkelling equipment and scuba diving is also offered.

Seabourn’s exquisite cuisine is served in The Restaurant, and the buffet-and-á la carte Colonnade, always accompanied by a selection of fine wines. Cocktails and other beverages are complimentary throughout, and gratuities are included. Sushi and sashimi are offered each evening in The Club, and afternoon tea and a gorgeous tapas selection in the Constellation Lounge, from where a panoramic view over the ship’s bows can be enjoyed. Would-be captains will be in their element in both the Bow Lounge, where two panels of navigational monitors are set up (as well as free flowing coffee, tea and cookies), and also in the ship’s wheelhouse which has an Open Bridge policy.

Dining on Seabourn Venture

For some between-excursion pampering, the Spa and Wellness Centre is well equipped with a gym, sauna, fitness studio, and skilled therapists for body treatments and massages. The infinity pool keeps watch over the ship’s wake as do four hot tubs, while an outdoor seating is positioned under ceiling heaters with plentiful blankets for chillier evenings.

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