Monday, July 22, 2019

Cruise line Seabourn to take guests to new depths with crazy luxury submarines

Posted By on Mon, Jul 22, 2019 at 10:48 AM

click to enlarge IMAGE VIA SEABOURN
  • Image via Seabourn
With the global cruise industry booming, cruise lines are seeking unique new ways to differentiate themselves, from onboard roller coasters to drag brunches. But one luxury cruise line is taking the task to new depths —  by including custom-built, ultra-luxurious submarine jaunts.

Seabourn, the luxury cruise line best known for their virtual reality staff training program and their multi-month-long cruises (including one cruise that lasts 146 days), has two new expedition cruises now in the works that will take guests to exotic locales from the Arctic to the Amazon, with impressive included features.

The Seabourn Venture will launch in 2021 and her soon-to-be-named sister ship a year later. Both all-suite expedition ships are designed with both adventure and luxury in mind. Suites will feature built-in heated jacket wardrobes to ensure even the coldest days of a cruise in the Arctic won’t mean a chilly jacket. Twenty-four onboard Zodiac ships, the small inflatable vessels often used to reach areas that a larger cruise ship can’t go, mean that every single guest onboard can partake in a Zodiac tour at once. But the most impressive feature might be the two seven-person submarines each ship will have.
click to enlarge IMAGE VIA SEABOURN
  • Image via Seabourn
Custom-designed U-Boat Worx Cruise Sub 7 submersibles will carry six guests, split between two three-person pods, and a pilot in his own central pod, to depths of nearly 1,000 feet. The circular acrylic spheres that guests are seated in provide “undistorted views in virtually all directions,” according to Seabourn. The leather passenger seats are attached to a rotating platform that allows for easier viewing.

“The undersea world is often considered as the last great frontier on Earth, with more than 80 percent of the underwater realm remaining unmapped, unobserved, and unexplored according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration,” says Robin West, vice president of Expedition Operations for Seabourn. “With these subs, we’re going to take our guests to places that few have ever seen firsthand, leaving them with a perspective on the world around us that is jaw-dropping and will create stories to last a lifetime.”

Large LED spotlights, imaging sonar, and a state-of-the-art underwater tracking and navigation system mean that unique sights are practically a guarantee. A six-function manipulator arm capable of lifting up to 70 pounds allows for even more exploration of the seafloor. 4K cameras both outside and inside the capsules mean guests can capture videos of the sights as well as their own reactions. Once back on board, the cruise ship's footage from the 4K underwater cameras can be downloaded and will be used during lectures. A Bluetooth-enabled stereo system and dual air conditioners will help keep riders comfortable.
click to enlarge IMAGE VIA SEABOURN
  • Image via Seabourn
Champagne chillers mean riders won’t have to leave their Montaudon Brut, from Seabourn’s new champagne partner, back on the ship.

Underwater views aren’t anything new for cruise ships; Crystal Cruises has had submarines since 2015 (also by U-Boat Worx) and Ponant Cruise Line has underwater lounges on some of its ships. But the Seabourn subs are unique for their highly customized, luxury-forward design.

Seabourn Venture is the cruise line’s first ultra-luxury purpose-built expedition ship. Venture’s inaugural itineraries stretch from Scoresby Sound in Greenland down through the Panama Canal past the Chilean Fjords and to Antarctica before heading back up to the Amazon and eventually making its way to Europe in early 2022. Select itineraries include charter air flight. Sales are now open for Seabourn Venture’s inaugural cruises.

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