Cruise

Cruises 101

by Sherri Eisenberg

Seabourn Cruises

Number of ships: 3
Ship capacity: 208 passengers
Price range: Expensive

The audience: Remember this—when the price goes up, so does the average age of the passenger. Seabourn's three 208-passenger ships feel like a country-club-at-sea, with lots of furs and diamonds in evidence.

Strengths: Its ships are older than those of its luxury competitors, so Seabourn has worked hard to up the amenity ante. All cabins are suites, outfitted with heavy drapes and the latest tech toys (flat-screen TVs, DVD players, Bose stereos), and large picture windows. Dinner feels like a special occasion: Charlie Palmer crafted the continental menus, and the list of included wines is impressive (the reserve list even more so). The line also hosts several formal nights, with postdinner dancing on the deck.

Weaknesses: Since the ships are older (two new ones are due in 2009 and 2010), the layouts don't reflect more recent innovations in cruising: Spas are small, there are no alternate fine-dining restaurants, and only half the suites have balconies.

Insider tip: The small ships have an inherent bonus: They can anchor in places where the massive cruise ships can't. For instance, on Southeast Asian voyages, Seabourn's ships can travel up rivers to cities like Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City rather than anchoring far offshore.

Itineraries: A one-way 14-day "Asian Capitals and Vietnam" tour starts in Singapore and terminates in Hong Kong (from $10,395 per person).

Seabourn Cruises
Tel: 800 929 9391

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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