A LEGACY OF SMALL SHIP LUXURY
In 1986, a small cadre of luxury hospitality and cruising executives including Norwegian industrialist Atle Brynstad and veteran cruise line executive Warren S. Titus re-invented luxury cruising. Their model was the casual, relaxed elegance previously available only to owners of the world’s most fabulous private yachts. They commissioned the 10,000 GRT Seabourn Pride, an intimate ship nimble enough to visit both great cities and the picturesque harbors preferred by international yachtsmen. When Seabourn Pride was launched in 1988, the ship’s 208 guests enjoyed:
- Spacious all-suite accommodations with expansive views of the sea
- A variety of public spaces scaled intimately to encourage relaxed socializing
- A novel fold-out platform at the stern became a watersports Marina, turning the ship into a private beach resort.
But as unprecedented as these ideas were, the ship itself was not the most innovative part of their plan.
THE SERENE SENSATION OF MEMBERSHIP
Seabourn understood that guests came aboard not merely for transportation. Thus they were never considered passengers. Rather they were members of a select seagoing society, sharing travel together in a relaxed, club-like atmosphere. In that spirit of easy-going hospitality:
- Virtually everything required for guests’ enjoyment was included in the price of the fare
- Dining never incurred an extra charge in any onboard venue
- Beverages including fine wines and spirits were complimentary throughout the voyage
- A bar in each suite was stocked in advance with the guests’ beverage preferences
A PASSION FOR SERVICE
It is in the quality and style of service on board that Seabourn truly excelled.
- Onboard staff numbered nearly as many as guests on each ship
- They were recruited, trained and managed to focus on the delight of each guest
- Tipping was neither required, nor expected
- Regardless of suite category, all guests received the same skilled attention and sincere hospitality from the staff
THE LUXURY OF CHOICE
Seabourn’s guest-oriented philosophy is based on a belief that choice is fundamental to the experience of luxury. Everything Seabourn does, from the design of its ships to its itineraries, shipboard activities, dining options and even the entertainment on board, is crafted to offer a variety of appealing choices wherever and whenever possible.
Taken together, these aspects of a cruise vacation on the newly launched Seabourn Pride were revolutionary enough in 1988 to cause one journalist to pronounce the line “…quite simply in a class by itself.”