Happy August! Now that summer is winding down, we’re thinking about back-to-school—and specifically, to college. This month, we’re talking about a new trend we’ve been seeing lately: Families taking special trips with their college-bound kids. And speaking of bonding travel, we’re also highlighting our recent retreat in Puerto Rico—including our top hosting tips. And finally, rounding out this edition is a great Q&A with Qatar Airways, which was recently honored with the distinction of “World’s Best Airline.” We hope the rest of your summer is fun and relaxing!
Erika Reategui and Fernando Gonzalez
Whether you’re deciding on your next travel experience or are planning a trip for a client, there’s lots to consider when it comes to cruising—from where you’ll be headed to what’s offered on board. To help, we talked with Doug Seagle, Vice President of Sales, North America at Seabourn, the ultra-luxury cruise company that sails everywhere from Alaska to Australia to Antarctica. Here, he tells us about their newest ships, the most under-the-radar destination (hint: think adventure) and his top tips for cruisers.
We’d love to hear a bit about what’s new in the world of luxury cruising and Seabourn?
We just finished celebrating our 30 year anniversary in 2018. As the company that pioneered ultra-luxury cruising, it gave us a chance to reflect on our proud history as we launched our newest ship, Seabourn Ovation, back in April 2018. There is more to come since Seabourn is building two new purpose-built, ultra-luxury expedition ships, which are scheduled to launch in 2021 and 2022, respectively. Our team is always trying to innovate and create a unique luxury travel experience while maintaining the personalized service travelers have come to know from us.
What are some of the biggest trends you’re seeing these days?
We’re seeing more interest from luxury travelers in experiences that enrich and transform their lives in some way. Perhaps it’s a visit to a UNESCO World Heritage site with limited access—or it may be seeing a small port city they have never been to before that is difficult to access. Wellness is also a growing interest for many travelers and we offered our first two wellness cruises in 2018 with our spa and wellness partner Dr. Andrew Weil.
Are there any new amenities you’re now offering—or plan to offer in the future?
Yes, we are currently beginning the rollout of a new caviar, Regiis Ova, that will be used onboard to elevate our legendary caviar service. Our new dinner venue, Earth & Ocean at The Patio, is now open on all ships and features a menu created with some fantastic global influences. Soon we will launch our new artisanal homemade gelato on Seabourn Quest. The gelato is currently being made with a wide variety of flavors on the rest of our fleet and it’s as authentic as you will find in the heart of Italy.
What under-the-radar cruising destination would you recommend?
My recommendation would be a trip to Iceland and Greenland aboard Seabourn Quest. The landscapes are gorgeous and the adventure-oriented traveler can take advantage of our optional for-charge Ventures by Seabourn expedition-style experiences, operated by a team of true experts in many fields. Another suggestion I would make would be a voyage through Canada and New England. While they may feel close to home, they have plenty of coastal culture and in cities like Montreal, a heavy dose of European appeal.
Any go-to tips you recommend for people—whether they are veteran cruisers or have just booked their first trip?
Watch the itineraries from year to year as we announce them. Our team is always looking for new and notable places to go, so there is always something new to see. Also, some people believe luxury travel isn’t affordable, but with our all-inclusive environment it’s quite an attractive offering, even for the occasional luxury traveler who might want to celebrate an anniversary or life event. And the biggest tip? Use a travel advisor. Time is a precious resource for so many of us and they can help save time and make great suggestions along the way.
New ships—can you tell us a bit about them?
Seabourn will be building two new purpose-built, ultra-luxury expedition ships, with the first set to launch in June 2021 and the second in May 2022. We have some significant history in expedition-style travel dating back to 2013 with our first Antarctica voyage and continuing with our Ventures by Seabourn excursion program offered in a number of destinations around the world. We’re very excited to launch these new ships that we feel will truly elevate expedition travel in a way only Seabourn can offer.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Seabourn takes great pride in taking care of our guests who are also your clients. We truly value the role of the travel advisor and always strive to create memorable experiences for your clients when they travel with us, offering them a home away from home that is sure to create a desire to return.