After two years of buying things instead of experiences, people have never been more ready for expedition style travel. Which sets up the arrival of Seabourn Venture later this month very nicely, said Seabourn Cruise Line president Josh Leibowitz.
“It sets us up beautifully,” he told Travel Market Report in a brief phone conversation. “People feel like they had two less years of travel. They really want to see things.”
Contrast that with the last two years, he said. “I was amazed watching retail stores and watches and cars and everyone buying these things. Contrast that with getting out there and seeing and feeling thing.”
“You’ll see more natural wildlife on a Seabourn expedition than you would on a safari,” he added referring to the two submarines and 24 Zodiacs Venture carries, which give guests the chance to get close to nature.
“Our positioning is to be at the very top of the market,” he told TMR, adding Seabourn doesn’t compromise on quality. “Our people know there’s no compromises and there’s no excuses. We do everything we can to make things happen.”
That commitment to quality is why the line twice pushed back Seabourn Venture’s inaugural, to ensure everything is up to its clients exacting standards. The first push-back was from April to July 15, when the line cited global supply chain challenges and uncertainty in near-term travel as reasons for the delay.
“I don’t think there’s a business out there that’s not impacted by the disruptions in all sorts of supply whether it’s parts, machinery, equipment, food items, labor, we’re all seeing it everywhere,” Leibowitz said.
Most recently, the line made an adjustment to the first itinerary, pushing it to July 27, to allow enough time for additional commissioning and training. Leibowitz said he couldn’t really point to only one issue holding up the ship. “It’s never just one thing. This is bringing online a state-of-the-art billion-dollar piece of equipment.”
Ultimately, he said, the wait has been worth it.
“I have been on it and I can tell you, you have never seen anything as fabulous as this ship is.”
A first for the luxury line, the 264-passenger Seabourn Venture will feature two custom-built submarines, along with 24 Zodiac boats, a fleet of double sea kayaks, as well as mountain bikes and e-bikes. The ship will also feature the line’s first-ever duplex suites.
A sister ship, Seabourn Pursuit, is scheduled for delivery in February 2023.