Seabourn Cruise Line joins an increasingly crowded market of lines getting into expedition cruising.
Seabourn is joining a growing list of cruise lines entering the expedition-style cruise market, signing up for the construction of its first two expedition vessels. Each will have its own submarine.
The Seattle-based, Carnival Corp-owned luxury brand signed a letter of intent with a shipyard in Italy for the two ships on Monday, scheduled to debut in June 2021 and May 2022.
The shipbuilders T Mariotti and Damen will knock up the 264-passenger, 23,000-ton vessels, which will offer 132 veranda suites and meet PC6 Polar Class standards allowing them to explore regions such as Antarctica and the Arctic.
The yet-to-be-named ships will offer all-suite luxury accommodation and carry their own submarines as well as kayaks and motorised Zodiac boats for exploring.
“The combination of immersive experience, fine accommodations and sumptuous amenities offered by these new ships builds on the success of our current product and further demonstrates our leadership as innovators as we continue offering the finest ultra-luxury cruises available,” claimed Richard Meadows, president of Seabourn.
“This is a groundbreaking moment for Seabourn and for luxury travellers, who will now find a new standard of authentic yet luxurious expedition adventures in new and amazing destinations few people will ever see.”
Seabourn is joining an increasingly crowded field of upscale cruise companies offering expedition-style cruising, USA Today reports, competing in a market for a kind of cruising that usually involves small and often rugged ships with landing craft.
It is upping its game against its longtime rival Silversea, which is already is a major player in expeditions with four such ships and which recently won large-scale financial support from Royal Caribbean, as well as France-based Ponant, which operates five expedition vessels with six more on order.
Other players include Norway-based Hurtigruten, expedition pioneer Lindblad and recent entrants Crystal Cruises, which has a vessel on order for 2020, and Australia-based Scenic Cruises, which launches its first expedition ship later this year.