Seabourn Venture

Seabourn

Ship information

Seabourn Venture

About Seabourn Venture

Launched in 2022, the 264-passenger Seabourn Venture marks the luxury cruise line’s first expedition ship, with a sister ship,

Seabourn Pursuit

, coming in 2023. But the line isn’t exactly a neophyte when it comes to expedition cruising. Seabourn has been running cruises to Antarctica for years on Seabourn Quest and the line developed its

Ventures by Seabourn

program that offers expedition options in various locales across its fleet in 2015.

With this experience to draw on, Seabourn Venture comes out the gate with an advantage over some lines that are new to polar adventure. That shows in Seabourn's excellent expedition staff, who are passionate about their specialties, be it birding, geology, biology or marine mammals. On Seabourn Venture, you’ll get to know these guides, as they mingle with guests around the ship, hanging out in the Bow Lounge or Seabourn Square’s outer deck with binoculars to spot wildlife, or hosting tables at dinner. Be prepared to meet people who go the extra mile; one guide, Dan, got up at 6 a.m. with us to help spot the Southern Cross.

The ship is also firmly Seabourn, with all the luxury touches required by its discerning clientele. Designed in luxe lodge style by noted designer Adam Tihany, Seabourn Venture is gorgeous, with faux fireplaces, fur pillows and green velveteen banquettes and chairs. The line’s signature caviar service is offered onboard Seabourn Venture, and the cruise is virtually all-inclusive, save some special excursions and events, as well as kayaking and submarine rides. Service is intuitive and fantastic.

That’s not to say the ship is perfect. We’re puzzled at Seabourn’s decision to store the Zodiacs on the ship's top deck, as opposed to water level, as it slows down deployment. On our cruise -- a repositioning sailing between Lima and Santiago -- the ship made some odd programming choices that left even long-time Seabourn loyalists feeling bored. And some expedition competitors include kayak use in their fares, which could leave people feeling nickel and dimed aboard Seabourn Venture (you do receive a Seabourn expedition jacket, and boot use is included).

Still, for people who want a true luxury cruise experience at the ends of the earth, Seabourn Venture will check all the boxes, and then some.

The Seabourn Venture Deck Plan Has Familiar Venues, Multiple Lounges

The Seabourn Venture deck plan has many familiar venues to those who have sailed the line before. With only nine decks, the ship is easy to figure out and navigate.

The heart of the ship remains Seabourn Square, at the back of the ship on Deck 6. This multi-use space has guest services, a library, a coffee and snack bar and an outdoor area – all with plenty of comfy seating. The Club has been reborn on Seabourn Venture as a chic lounge that serves sushi before and during the dinner hour.

New lounges that have a decided expedition focus include the underutilized (by guests; the expedition staff loved this area) Bow Lounge at the front of the ship on Deck 6. Here, navigation instruments that mimic the bridge give maritime geeks all kinds of stats about the ship's position and progress, and you can also find sodas and snacks. We also loved pre-dinner cocktails in the cozy Expedition Lounge on Deck 4, squarely between the Discovery Center (which has multiple uses as theater and briefing room) and the Restaurant.

There is no pool deck, per se aboard Seabourn Venture, at least in the traditional cruise ship sense. Instead, there’s an infinity pool and hot tubs at the back of the ship on Deck 5, outside the Patio/Colonnade. Hot tubs are also located on Deck 9 outside The Club.

Rooms on Seabourn are Luxe and Spacious; Don’t Miss the Panorama Verandas

All rooms on Seabourn Venture are attractive and spacious, all of which come with balconies. They range from the entry-level 355 square foot veranda cabins to the two-story Wintergarden Suites that top 1,000 square feet (you can also combine rooms to make a Grand Wintergarden Suite that comes in at nearly 1,400 square feet).

But the best rooms onboard are not those in highest category. For the money, the Panorama Veranda suites -- a category that is brand new to Seabourn -- is our favorite cabin that we’ve ever seen on an expedition ship, and well worth an upgrade. The star of these suites are full floor-to-ceiling windows that pop out from the ship, allowing wide-ranging views from not only the seating area, but your bed. These cabins are also the only ones that have a bathtub that abuts a full outside window, and they are the only ones with heated tile floors, as opposed to carpeting. These rooms are going to be amazing when Seabourn Venture is in the iceberg-rich waters of Antarctica or Greenland.

All rooms on Seabourn Venture have a full walk-in closet and also a small closet with a drying rack for wet clothes.

Seabourn Venture is a small ship and prone to motion in rough seas. If you tend toward seasickness, choose a cabin that is in the middle of the ship, as opposed to either end. All rooms are quiet in the evening. If you enjoy spa services, the Penthouse Spa Suites are in a special corridor outside the spa and fitness area for easy access.

Food on Seabourn Venture Includes Several Options; Expansive Room Service

The food on Seabourn Venture has all the trappings that you expect from the luxury line, with expert presentation and high-end ingredients. The Restaurant has a dress code and serves delicious three-course meals nightly, along with included wine (if you don’t like the wine on offer, you can order from the included list or buy from a well-curated selection).

Beyond the Restaurant, the Colonnade is the ship’s buffet for breakfast and lunch, switching to served meals at dinner. Several times per cruise, the Colonnade switches things up to serve Earth & Ocean, menus from the same restaurant on Seabourn’s larger ships.

Sushi lovers won’t want to miss the snacks served nightly in The Club, even though it’s a limited menu. And finally, Seabourn’s room service allows you to order anything from the Restaurant to your suite during the dining hours -- a boon if you’ve been out all day exploring and don’t want to get dressed up.

Seabourn Venture Has Two Submarines; Check Itinerary for Usage

Seabourn Venture has two submarines onboard -- 71.1 and 71.2, so named because the earth is 71 percent water. The subs each seat six passengers and go down 984 feet (300 meters). A few things to know before you book, however:

First, the subs can only be used in a handful of destinations. Antarctica is one, luckily, but Svalbard and many other countries where expedition ships go do not allow their use. Second, the conditions have to be perfect for them to be in use. If the wind gets over 15 knots, a sub will not go out. That’s mostly because you have to board the subs via Zodiac in the open water.

And finally, sub rides are not included in the Seabourn Venture fare -- and prices can be steep. The amount depends on the itinerary but expect to pay between $500 to $900 a person for a 45-minute dive.

Seabourn COVID-19 Rules

For the most up-to-date testing, masking, and vaccination requirements aboard Seabourn Venture, please refer to

Seabourn Cruises

. You can also

refer to Cruise Critic’s guide to masking requirements

on the world’s major cruise lines as we know them.

Cabins

Seabourn Venture has 16 cabin types available

Balcony Cabins

5 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

5 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

5 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

5 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

5 Balcony types to choose from

Suite Cabins

8 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

8 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

8 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

8 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

8 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

8 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

8 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

8 Suite types to choose from

Deck Plans

8 deck images available

Activities and Entertainment

Expedition Activities on Seabourn Venture

Seabourn Venture has a full expedition team onboard to help passengers make sense of the natural world around them. Expect to find geologists, biologists, naturalists, ornithologists and historians, as well as people who help with kayaks, zodiacs and the ship’s submarines. You’ll get to know the staff through activities, as well as lectures, wildlife sightings in the Bow Lounge and Seabourn Square, as well as meals since some expedition staff do sit with passengers.

If you’re on a polar sailing, you will be put in a color-coded group for landings; landings are determined by weather, but the ship will strive to have at least one, if not two, per day. Seabourn provides you with a polar jacket and boots, the latter of which are stored in an area called The Landing. (Your wet jacket, as well as wet snow pants, gloves, hats and neck gaiters, can be hung up to dry in the warming closet found in your cabin).

The Landing is a clever area developed specifically to help passengers transition between the warm and cozy ship and the expeditions outside. Boots are stored in open lockers that tilt down, so staff can spray them with disinfectant after each use (to prevent the spread of avian flu). It also provides easy stairs to the protected staging area where you embark the Zodiacs.

When you disembark the Zodiacs, there is a protected area above the stairs to rinse off your boots and clothing. Remember, penguins poop -- and clothes and boots can get quite smelly, especially at the height of the Antarctic season.

Submarines, Zodiacs and Kayaks on Seabourn Venture

The two submarines on Seabourn Venture seat six passengers and have the ability to go down 300 meters (984 feet). The subs can be used in Antarctica and Greenland, but keep in mind that the conditions for their use are very specific -- wind and weather have to be perfect for the staff to take them out. Sub rides are not included in the Seabourn Venture fare; you’ll pay between $500 to $900 per person for a 45-minute dive.

You’re far more likely to enjoy the inflatable, motorized Zodiac rafts on Seabourn Venture. These rugged stalwarts of expedition cruising are used to go out and view wildlife, make landings on shore and get you up close to icebergs and other glaciers. You’ll want to have some amount of mobility and coordination to maneuver in and out of the Zodiacs, but the staff are also adept at helping passengers who are a bit unsure.

Seabourn Venture has enough Zodiacs to bring all passengers out at once. It’s unlikely that will ever happen, though, I was told, as that requires an unusual amount of manpower to take place. It’s more likely that you’ll be going out in groups once or twice a day. Bundle up when you take a Zodiac ride, as the boats are exposed to the elements and it can get cold. You’ll also want to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun’s reflection off the ice, along with ample sunscreen for any exposed skin.

One complaint that we have about Seabourn Venture’s Zodiacs: they are stored on the top deck, as opposed to being placed in a garage below. This means that it can take some time for the crew to bring the Zodiacs to water level and that it can be more difficult to do in certain weather conditions.

Seabourn Venture has a fleet of kayaks for excursions; these cost extra, to the tune of about $199 per person. The kayaks are two person, but if only one person in your group wants to go, the expedition staff will put someone in with you so you don’t miss out.

Before you go out on the Zodiac, sub or kayaks, you’ll be asked to attend a safety briefing, where staff may talk to you honestly about your ability to take part in the activities. This is not to exclude anyone, but to make sure that accidents don’t take place. It’s best to be honest about what you can actually do, rather than risk something awful happening in remote corners of the world.

Theater and Lectures on Seabourn Venture

The Discovery Lounge is the main theater on Seabourn Venture, and it’s used for lectures, cultural shows, musical performances and special events like the Captain’s cocktail. It’s a handsome space, with a convenient ledge in front where you can put your drink.

Don’t expect elaborate shows on Seabourn Venture. Generally, your cruise director may put on a show or two, and there might be a cultural performance scheduled if you’re on a non-polar itinerary. Usually there’s a guest entertainer on your trip and on some nights, the staff might show a movie, complete with fresh popcorn.

Far more interesting are the enrichment lectures offered by the expedition staff. Attend as many as you can, even if the topic seems esoteric; our favorite on our trip involved the "Guano Wars" between Peru, Chile and Bolivia, something we had never heard about before. If you simply can’t make it, you can also watch the lectures on your in-room TV.

Daily Things to Do on Seabourn Venture

On a polar cruise, your time during the day will be maximizing your time outside. When your group is not scheduled for a Zodiac landing, you can spend time relaxing on the ship, viewing wildlife with the expedition staff onboard or going to seminars on iPhone and other photography.

Trivia is usually held once a day, and these can be great ways to meet other cruisers. Usually there’s a wine tasting with the ship’s sommelier held at least once per voyage for an extra fee.

Your Seabourn Source app has the daily program in it, and you can also request a paper version of the Seabourn Herald daily program in your room every night.

Nightlife on Seabourn Venture

Seabourn Venture can be a sleepy ship at night, particularly after busy days of excursions and getting in and out of expedition clothes. Live music is fairly limited to a piano player during Happy Hour in The Club and a two-person band in the Constellation Lounge.

A dance party was held twice during our 12-day voyage in the Constellation Lounge, with the cruise director serving as DJ. These were fairly sparsely attended by guests, although the youthful expedition crew made it seem a lot more lively.

There is no casino onboard Seabourn Venture.

Seabourn Venture Cruise Ship Bars and Lounges

Your Seabourn Venture cruise includes all alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, save premium wines. While there’s no specific craft cocktail program, we found the drink menu to have a nice mix of classics and more interesting concoctions

Our Picks

For a Chat with the Expedition Staff: The Bow Lounge is out of the way but it’s worth making your way there, not only to see the cool equipment that mimics the ship’s navigation, but to hang out with the expedition staff, who are stationed there for set hours. We found them fun, youthful and eager to share their knowledge, as well as help you look for whales, birds and other wildlife.

For a Latte: Seabourn Square is an excellent place to base yourself during the day, with a fantastic specialty coffee bar and comfy sofas and chairs. It’s not quiet, but it’s the place to go if you want to feel like you’re in the middle of the action.

For a Cozy Cocktail: The Expedition Lounge is on the same floor as the Discovery Lounge and The Restaurant, making it a great place for a pre-dinner drink in front of the faux fireplaces.

For a Before Dinner Nosh: The Club is marine mod chic, with good cocktails and sushi bites.

Pools and Hot Tubs on Seabourn Venture

Seabourn Venture has an infinity pool, located at the back of the ship on Deck 5. There are also two hot tubs here. It’s a bit close to the Colonnade and Patio, where people are dining, but the loungers surrounding it make it feel like a separate area.

For those who want more seclusion, there are two hot tubs on Deck 9, outside The Club.

Sundecks on Seabourn Venture

You’re not going to get a ton of sunbathing days on Seabourn Venture’s polar itineraries. Still, if you’re on a repositioning cruise and want some sun, you can find it near the Infinity pool and also way up on Deck 10.

There are nice outdoor places to sit, both in the sun and under cover, outside Seabourn Square on Deck 6 and the Constellation Lounge on Deck 9.

Services and Wi-Fi on Seabourn Venture

Seabourn Venture’s main reception and concierge area is located within Seabourn Square on Deck 6. There is also an expedition desk, along with a scale for weighing passengers for sub trips, on Deck 5 outside the Expedition Lounge. This is only staffed during certain hours, however, and we found it much easier to simply take care of excursion requests and other issues at Seabourn Square.

Laundry facilities are free on Seabourn Venture, with detergent provided.

There’s a shop on Seabourn Venture, with Helly Hansen outdoor gear, Molton Brown products and other niceties.

Seabourn Venture has complimentary Wi-Fi that is strong enough to surf. We found it worth the money to upgrade to the streaming package, which allowed us to make Zoom and Teams calls, as well as stream workouts. Keep in mind that Wi-Fi is notoriously non-existent in polar regions.

Dining

The food on Seabourn Venture lives up to its larger ocean companions; you have to work hard to have a poor meal. Luxury ingredients abound in The Restaurant, and if you don’t want to dress up after a long day exploring, there’s always the more casual Colonnade, sushi in The Club or room service.

Tip: The Seabourn Source app has a nice feature where you can look at all the dinner menus at once, so you can pick exactly where and what you want to eat (this is also available on the TVs in your room).

Snacks in Seabourn Square and in The Bow Lounge, as well as daily high tea in the Constellation Lounge, are readily available for that weird time after 3 p.m. when you’re feeling puckish, but dinner seems too far away. Plus, you can always order caviar on demand.

Free Restaurants on Seabourn Venture

All restaurants on Seabourn Venture are included in the fare. Dining and serving hours for specific meals tend to be somewhat rigid, but you’ll always be able to find something that suits. (We were a bit distressed that the delicious chocolate banana muffins disappeared promptly from Seabourn Square at 10 a.m.)

Wine, beer, and alcoholic beverages are included in the fare so there’s no need for a drink package. Seabourn Venture carries guests with discriminating palates, but we found that the wine list adequate for most; if you want higher-end Champagne or wines, you can always order off a premium list. The onboard sommelier was interested, involved and active. We also found the servers ready, willing and able to get us an alternate wine from the included list when requested.

The Restaurant. The Restaurant on Seabourn Venture cuts no corners, just because it’s an expedition ship. You’ll find the same hallmarks of luxury dining here, starting with Seabourn’s famous (and addictive) breadsticks and ending with a souffle of the day.

Meals in The Restaurant are elegant, and the venue does have a daily dress code that passengers seemed to follow, including on Formal Night. Breakfast and dinner are served daily, and you can also have lunch here on sea days. Solo female passengers are escorted into the room by crew, and the line’s practice of hosted tables is in effect. You will also be asked if you want to eat at a shared table with others, or just with the person in your party.

We had a very consistent experience in The Restaurant during our 12 days onboard. Standouts included the various seafood dishes, soups and a very tasty cheeseburger at lunch, accompanied by just-right fries. The dinner menu comes with dishes created just for that day, as well as always available choices. Truffles come at the end of your meal.

The Colonnade. Seabourn’s version of a buffet does feel more condensed on Venture than on the line’s other ships and while we felt nothing lacking in service, we did miss the choice and flavors that we had experienced elsewhere. Just as on the other ships, the Colonnade has a traditional buffet service at breakfast and lunch, and a served option at dinner. The menu rotates around the world, although we sometimes wondered at the authenticity of the offerings (gumbo was made without a roux; Pad Thai wasn’t made with rice noodles, etc.)

We found The Colonnade more appealing during the Earth & Ocean nights. The evening, borrowed from the al fresco restaurant on the other ships, features the same braised upscale menu. The night even feels more special because the staff don different outfits. You’ll get the delicious smoked chicken salad mezze platter here that is featured on other Seabourn ships, and the food seemed better spiced and prepared.

You’ll never lack for desserts in The Colonnade, no matter what the meal. We were particularly fond of the gelato cart. Tip: If you just want gelato and Seabourn Square is closed, you can come down here during dinner and get some to go.

Sushi at The Club. A nice casual addition to Seabourn Venture, sushi is served in The Club lounge from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. daily. The menu is fairly basic, consisting of edamame, raw fish served as either rolls, sashimi or on rice, and a few specialty rolls. Still, it’s enough for a nice appetizer or a small meal if you want to skip dressing up.

Seabourn Square. Snacks and light bites are served at Seabourn Venture’s coffee bar from early in the morning until 6 p.m. The selection rotates, with yogurt and fruit parfaits, muffins and Danishes featured in the morning, before switching to small sandwiches, salads and desserts from 10 a.m. on. There’s also a gelato bar here too, in case you missed your chance in the Colonnade.

The Bow Lounge. This small lounge tucked away at the front of Deck 6 has grab and go sandwiches, canned sodas, a specialty coffee maker and desserts in the afternoon. If you missed out on the delicious salted caramel cookies at lunch, come here for a fix.

High Tea in the Constellation Lounge. There’s no skimping on this tea, just because you’re on an expedition cruise. The Seabourn Venture tea is the real deal, with trays of tea sandwiches, scones (with clotted cream, butter and jam), and pastries.

Room Service. Room service on Seabourn Venture is comprehensive and can be ordered 24/7. While the main menu doesn’t change from day to day, you can order anything from The Restaurant menu during dinner hours and it will be brought to your suite. Breakfast in the mornings can be ordered via a door tag, and on the days we ordered it, things came right on time and at the proper temperatures.

Cruise Critic Restaurant Picks on Seabourn Venture: Sushi in The Club

To make up for not having its own standalone restaurant on Seabourn Venture, sushi is served nightly from 6 to 9 p.m. in The Club. While most people ate here as an appetizer, we found it a great place to have a more casual meal. Our only complaint is that the menu stays the same during the entire trip, although we noticed more intrepid passengers asking the sushi chef to make off-the-menu rolls. Next time.

Dietary Restrictions on Seabourn Venture

Seabourn Venture will ask you about your dietary restrictions before you board, and waiters will also ask you when you order a meal. Vegetarian and gluten-free items are marked on the menu, and the Colonnade and Seabourn Square have gluten-free goodies set aside.