What Will Seabourn Do Differently In Alaska?

For fans of ultra-luxury line Seabourn, it’s been a long time coming: In 2017, the line will return once again to sail the pristine waters of Alaska after an absence of 15 years from the region.

Seabourn is sending the sleek Seabourn Sojourn to Alaska in 2017; the company's first sailings to the region in 15 years. Photo courtesy of Seabourn
Seabourn is sending the sleek Seabourn Sojourn to Alaska in 2017; the company’s first sailings to the region in 15 years. Photo courtesy of Seabourn

Starting in June of 2017, Seabourn is sending the 450-guest Seabourn Sojourn on a series of 11, 12 and 14-day sailings that depart from the iconic Canadian city of Vancouver, British Columbia; or from Seward, the gateway to Anchorage, Alaska. For luxury cruise lovers and Seabourn’s loyal past passenger base, the return is a welcome one.

Vancouver, British Columbia will serve as the primary homeport for Seabourn Sojourn in 2017. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders
Vancouver, British Columbia will serve as the primary homeport for Seabourn Sojourn in 2017. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

So how is Seabourn going to differentiate its Alaskan offerings? As it turns out, the line is rolling out a whole host of new features, activities and incentives for cruisers to experience Alaska on Seabourn Sojourn.

Seabourn Alaska 2017: Off-The-Beaten-Path Itineraries

Leaving our bikes on the main road, we walked in to the last remains of the town of Dyea, Alaska. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders
Seabourn wants to show you a side of Alaska and British Columbia that is rarely explored by other cruise lines. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Make no mistake about it: Seabourn isn’t serving up your average Alaska itineraries. For example, few, if any, ships call on Alert Bay, British Columbia. Nearly half of 1,500 people in this tiny fishing village are First Nations peoples, and their centuries-long traditions are preserved in this working town nestled among British Columbia’s breathtaking natural scenery.

Other out-of-the-way ports of call on Seabourn’s Alaska cruise season include Klemtu, British Columbia; Prince Rupert, British Columbia; Rudyerd Bay, Alaska; and the Behm Narrows, the latter of which is used by the United States Navy to test the soundproofing capabilities of its latest submarines.

Seabourn Sojourn’s Expedition-Style Alaska Cruising

Seabourn Quest Zodiacs
Seabourn Quest guests exploring icebergs and glaciers on Zodiacs. These same nimble craft will be used on Seabourn Sojourn’s Alaskan itineraries © 2014 Ralph Grizzle

Seabourn has been making significant inroads into the luxury expedition cruise market in the past few years, and the line has made the decision to continue the expedition component on its Alaskan itineraries in 2017.

Seabourn Sojourn will use her fleet of new Zodiac rafts to ferry guests ashore in remote areas and to operate scenic cruising excursions in areas that would normally be off-limits even for a ship of modest size like Seabourn Sojourn.

By doing this, Seabourn has the flexibility to offer wildlife viewing opportunities in Alaska that just simply cannot be offered by many other cruise lines.

Ventures By Seabourn

Fancy a kayak excursion through the waters of Alaska? Seabourn's got you covered. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders
Fancy a kayak excursion through the waters of Alaska? Seabourn’s got you covered. Photo © 2014 Aaron Saunders

Another way that Seabourn is shaking things up in Alaska is by rolling out Ventures By Seabourn. Originally introduced aboard Seabourn Quest, Ventures by Seabourn is an innovative optional program of Zodiac and kayak excursions led by Seabourn Sojourn’s onboard expedition team of naturalists, science, wildlife and historical experts. The same expedition team will be on deck, pointing out, interpreting and enhancing the Alaska experience as the cruise progresses.

This is particularly convenient program to offer for spots like the hauntingly beautiful Tracy Arm Fjord, which can be fully explored as part of the Ventures by Seabourn program. Other cruise lines include Tracy Arm on their itineraries as a morning or afternoon of scenic cruising, but precious few will actually reach the real stars of Tracy Arm: the dual North and South Sawyer Glaciers.

To keep guests warm throughout these adventuresome excursions, Seabourn will provide guests with complimentary Seabourn Expedition parkas.

Caviar On The Ice

Just like this - but with more ice! Photo courtesy of Seabourn.
Picture this – but with more ice. Photo courtesy of Seabourn.

Everyone’s probably seen the classic photograph of a Seabourn butler, clad in a tuxedo and waist-deep in water off some tropical island in the Caribbean serving up a caviar and champagne. Caviar In the Surf is a Seabourn hallmark. Now, the line brings that same fun experience to Alaska, with Caviar on the Ice. It’s exactly what it sounds like, and it’s bound to be a real winner in Alaska.

The Beginning Of Something New

Soaring over Juneau on our dog sledding adventure by helicopter. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders
Seabourn will still call on Alaska’s capital city, Juneau. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Seabourn’s return to Alaska begins with the 11-Day Ultimate Alaskan Sojourn, departing Vancouver, British Columbia on June 1, 2017, bound for Anchorage, Alaska. Ports visited on this premier voyage include British Columbia’s Queen Charlotte Sound; Ketchikan, Misty Fjords, Behm Narrows, Wrangell, Decision Passage, Sitka, Tracy Arm, Endicott Arm, Haines, Juneau, and Icy Strait Point.

It’s no stretch of the imagination to say that these precious few sailings will likely go fast; early booking is the best policy, particularly for the chance to catch a glimpse of an Alaska and the Pacific Coast that are rarely seen.

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