Review of Seabourn Venture, its first expedition ship

Seabourn Venture
By Harry Kemble
Home » Review of Seabourn Venture, its first expedition ship

Seabourn invited around 150 agents to a ‘Sleepover-on-Thames’ to experience its new expedition ship, Seabourn Venture.

Travel Gossip Senior Reporter Harry Kemble joined them to find out all about Seabourn’s latest ship.

The cabins

The all-suite ship has 10 grades of accommodation, including the Grand Wintergarden Suites, which sleep six people, and an Owners Suite, which accommodates three.

However, the room which many agents loved was the Panorama Suite. The are eight of these in adjacent pairs, found on decks five, six, seven and eight.  

Wraparound windows in the Panorama Suite

Each 415 square foot Panorama Suite has a small balcony. The agents I spoke to particularly liked the curved windows in the suites, which certainly gave them a unique appeal.

I stayed in a 355 square foot Veranda Suite with a walk-in wardrobe next to a bathroom that had both a bath and a shower.

I did find the shower rather small and weirdly positioned in the corner of the bathroom, on the opposite to the bath.The shower head couldn’t be moved so I had to position myself rather awkwardly underneath it.

The décor in the cabins was pretty muted. The carpet had a brick print on it that was a little uninspiring, but there was a leather bedhead and some jazzy pillows from Seabourn’s ‘glamour pillow selection’ to lift the mood.

Seabourn provides each passenger with soft, firm and extra firm pillows and let’s them make the final choice about which one to sleep on at night.

Walking around Seabourn Venture early on, it quickly became clear the ship was aimed more at your typical luxury cruiser rather than their expedition counterpart.

All of the state rooms are suites, which is certainly not the norm for an expedition ship. 

The food and drink

Seabourn Venture has four varied and suitably lavish dining options. The Restaurant has a dress code and serves three-course meals each night, The Colonnade is the ship’s buffet for breakfast and lunch and made-to-order sushi is available each evening in The Club.

The Club where passengers can order sushi in the evenings

Passengers, who don’t want to get dressed up for dinner in The Restaurant can order anything from the venue’s menu straight to their room. 

The great thing about the food offering was there was both quality and quantity.

In The Colonnade, I had a salad, lobster bisque, a cheeseburger and apple crumble cake. That was just for lunch.

The Colonnade

Aside from the lunch buffet, passengers can order hot dogs, burgers, chicken breast, minute steak, salmon fillet or penne pasta off the menu.

The evening meal in The Restaurant was a more formal affair. The menu was divided up into Inspirations and Classics options.

I had twice-baked goat cheese souffle and beef tenderloin – both were cooked to perfection. The souffle definitely lived up to its top billing from our waiter.

The pool

Although there is no pool deck on Seabourn Venture, there’s an eye-catching infinity pool and hot tubs at the back of the ship on deck five. Hot tubs are also located outside The Club on deck nine.

Sky Bar, the only venue where guests can smoke, is on the same deck.

Expedition features

Seabourn Venture has been fitted with a Gyro-Stablised System (GSS) camera on top of the Bow Lounge. This is a seriously effective piece of kit which can film up to five miles away.

The camera’s footage is added to the 25-minute video, edited by the onboard Videographer, which is sent to passengers after their cruise.

The camera feed also helps the onboard expedition leaders plan what will happen each day.

The ship has two submarines, which each seat six passengers and can dive down to 300 metres.

The prospect of diving that deep does scare me, but I was slightly reassured by the fact that the submarines’ tanks are filled with water to sink and with air to rise. The simplicity of the mechanics put me at ease.  

Submarine dives last up to an hour and are not included in the fare. The cost varies depending on where the ship is sailing.

The dives are priced from $599 in the Caribbean but in the polar regions the cost goes up sharply to $999.

Seabourn Venture is a truly magnificent ship and with its sister Seabourn Pursuit launching in August, Seabourn can now really build some momentum in the expedition market.  

Harry Kemble was a guest of Seabourn.

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