Seabourn Cruise Line

Overall Editor Rating

Fodor’s Expert Review

Cruise StyleLuxury
Ship SizeMidsize

A leader in small-ship, luxury cruising, Seabourn has an elegant fleet of ships that appeal to sophisticated, independent-minded passengers whose lifestyles demand the best. In addition to personalized service, Seabourn delivers all the expected extras—complimentary wines and spirits, a stocked minibar in all suites, and elegant amenities. Expect the unexpected as well—from exclusive travel-document portfolios and luggage tags to the pleasure of a complimentary mini-massage while lounging at the pool.Read More

Peace and tranquility reign on these ships, so the daily roster of events is somewhat thin. Wine tastings, lectures, and other quiet pursuits might be scheduled, but most passengers are satisfied to simply do what pleases them. One don’t-miss activity is the daily team trivia contest. Prizes are unimportant: it’s the bragging rights that most guests seek.

Although the trio of original Seabourn ships were sold, the line now has five larger, even more luxurious ships in service.

Top Reasons to Cruise

Service.Service is a premiere element of all Seabourn voyages.
Ever-changing Itineraries.Seabourn ships seldom repeat port calls from one voyage to the next, nor do ships sail from a single home port.
Formality.Seabourn cruises are a bit more formal than most other luxury lines, but never stuffy.
Older Clientele.Fellow passengers on Seabourn’s cruises are generally older and more well traveled than on most cruise lines.

Is This Line Right for You?

Choose this Line If
Don’t Choose this Line If
You consider fine dining the highlight of your vacation.
You own your own tuxedo. These ships are dressy, and most men wear them on formal evenings.
You feel it’s annoying to sign drink tabs; everything is included on these ships.
Dressing down is on your agenda.
You absolutely must smoke on your private balcony. It’s not allowed.
You need to be stimulated by constant activity.

What to Expect on Board

Fitness & Recreation

As expected from a member of Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, Seabourn offers exceptional cuisine prepared à la minute and served in open seating dining rooms.

Upscale menu offerings include foie gras, quail, fresh seafood, and jasmine crème brûlée. Dishes low in cholesterol, salt, and fat, as well as vegetarian selections, are prepared with the same artful presentation and attention to detail. Wines are chosen to complement each day’s luncheon and dinner menus, and caviar is always available. A background of classical music sets the tone for afternoon tea.

The Grill features steakhouse favorites and table-side preparations of Caesar salad and ice cream sundaes. The Colonnade, a more casual, indoor/outdoor alternative centered on an open kitchen, features lavish buffets or table service for breakfasts and lunch, and serves regionally themed, bistro-style dinners with table service nightly. Relaxed poolside dining at The Patio offers lunch buffets, salads, soups, grilled specialties, and pizza. Each evening The Patio features an array of fresh, inventive dishes for alfresco dining on deck. Alternative dining restaurants require reservations for dinner, but happily there is no additional charge.

Room service is always available. Dinner can even be served course by course in your suite during restaurant hours.


Dining and evening socializing are generally more stimulating to Seabourn passengers than splashy song-and-dance revues.

Still, proportionately scaled production shows and cabarets are presented in the main show room and smaller lounges. The library stocks not only books but also DVDs for those who prefer to watch movies in the privacy of their suites—popcorn will naturally be delivered with a call to room service.

The inspiring enrichment program features guest appearances by luminaries in the arts, literature, politics, and world affairs; during certain culinary-focused sailings you can learn the secrets of the world’s most innovative chefs. Due to the size of Seabourn ships, passengers have the opportunity to mingle with presenters and interact one-on-one.

Fitness & Recreation

A full array of exercise equipment, free weights, and basic fitness classes is available in the state-of-the-art gym, while some specialized fitness sessions are offered for a fee.

Many passengers are drawn to the pampering spa treatments, including a variety of massages, body wraps, and facials. Hair and nail services are offered in the salon. Both spa and salon are operated by Steiner Leisure.

Key cruising tips

Seabourn’s shore excursions often include privileged access to historic and cultural sites when they are not open to the general public.
Most warm-weather cruises include a beach picnic (albeit one with champagne and caviar); on itineraries where a beach isn’t available, a similar party is held on the ships’ water-sports marina.
A Vintage Seabourn pre-purchase wine option offers access to a varied selection of premium wines from the ships’ well-stocked cellars at advantageous prices.
Every passenger gets a complimentary canvas logo tote bag.
Ground transfers are included in air and sea packages purchased through Seabourn, but passengers traveling independently are responsible for their own transfer to the ship.

Your Shipmates

Seabourn’s yachtlike vessels appeal to well-traveled, affluent couples of all ages who enjoy destination-intense itineraries, a subdued atmosphere, and exclusive service. Passengers tend to be 50-plus and retired couples who are accustomed to evening formality.

Dress Code

At least one formal night is standard on seven-night cruises and three to four nights, depending on the itinerary, on two- to three-week cruises. Men are required to wear tuxedos or dark suits after 6 pm, and the majority prefers black tie. All other evenings are elegant casual, and slacks with a jacket over a sweater or shirt for men and a sundress or skirt or pants with a sweater or blouse for women are suggested.

Junior Cruisers

Seabourn Cruise Line is adult-oriented and does not accommodate children under six months (or under one year for transocean sailings and voyages of 15 days or longer). A limited number of suites are available for triple occupancy. No dedicated children’s facilities are present on these ships, so parents are responsible for the behavior and entertainment of their children.


Personal service and attention by the professional staff are the orders of the day. Your preferences are noted and fulfilled without the necessity of reminders. It’s a mystery how nearly every staff member knows your name within hours, if not minutes, after you board.


Tipping is neither required nor expected.

Past Passengers

Once you have completed your first Seabourn cruise, you are automatically enrolled in the Seabourn Club for past guests. Within Seabourn Club, there are six membership levels, determined by the number of Seabourn Club Points the member has earned: Club Member, Silver Member, Gold Member, Platinum Member, Diamond Member, and Diamond Elite Member. Each level has a unique set of benefits, which include discounts on selected cruises (not combinable with Early Booking Savings); the Seabourn Club newsletters and periodic mailings featuring destinations, special programs, and exclusive savings; and an exclusive online email contact point to the club desk through the membership page on the Seabourn website.

On the ships, club members receive a 5% discount on future bookings, special recognition for frequent cruising, and a club party hosted by the captain. As members reach Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, and Diamond Elite levels, the benefits increase. Milestone Awards offer a complimentary cruise of up to seven days when 140 days sailed have been completed, or a complimentary cruise of up to 14 days when 250 days sailed is reached.


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