It’s a vast spectacle of Nature right in our own backyard. Alaska’s seemingly endless, untouched waters and emerald shores are calling more cruise travellers every year. Whether you’ve already sailed along the northwest coasts of the continent, or are contemplating your first cruise to the 49th state, here’s why a Seabourn experience is the peak Alaska voyage.
Intimate and closer
In a place of natural splendour like Alaska, a smaller ship gives you ample space to feel you are part of your surroundings.
Fewer than 500 fellow guests share your Seabourn cruise to Alaska. You can stroll on a deck surrounded by the quiet serenity of the impossibly fresh air and the sound of the waves passing the ship and the densely-forested shore.
On any Seabourn voyage, you feel treasured like a member of the family. On an Alaska voyage, guests outfitted with Seabourn’s complimentary sky-blue, branded all-weather jackets take on the spirit of a team of explorers.
Seabourn Sojourn guests cruise Alaska's Aialik Bay.
Everywhere is a room with a view
Every space on a Seabourn ship gives you a feeling of being connected to the sea. All suites are ocean-front, many with verandas offering stunning views of the surrounding natural beauty.
Imagine waking in a verdant fjord to the sight of ‘baby’ icebergs floating past on glassy waters, or marine life like whales and orca – and countless bald eagles – making an appearance seemingly at arms’ reach off your teak veranda rail.
Or the unforgettable experience of sailing in crisp sub-arctic air while sipping Champagne in one of the toasty hot tubs on deck.
Marquee ports and hidden gems
Ketchikan’s rainbow-coloured stilt buildings along its picturesque creek. Juneau’s epic ice field. Sailing into Tracy’s Arm Fjord within near-touching distance of an oceanside glacier. The Klondike gold rush time capsule town of Skagway. And on select itineraries, a cruise into the absolutely stunning Glacier Bay National Park.
Seabourn visits the iconic cruising destinations of Alaska, and also the destinations and seaside landmarks off the beaten path of larger, mainstream cruise ships. The spectacular Harriman, College, and Misty Fjords, Wrangell, Inian and Chiswell Islands, Aialik and Holgate Glaciers make your Alaska adventure one-of-a- kind. Small First Nations villages dot the coastline providing a chance to see and experience a culture that celebrate its centuries-old customs and way of life.
Seabourn's culinary team will prepare your fresh-caught salmon or halibut.
Local delicacies and the only Michelin stars in Alaska
You can wonder at the breathtaking landscapes and magnificent wildlife of America’s Last Frontier by day… and indulge in the phenomenal cuisine of the world-renowned chef, Thomas Keller at night. Your Seabourn ship is the only place you can dine in Alaska at a restaurant by America’s most acclaimed Michelin-starred chef – and it’s even a complimentary experience.
The Grill by Thomas Keller evokes a mid-century American steakhouse. The menu is updated nostalgia with Chef Keller’s interpretations of classic, French-inspired American cuisine. He’s even resurrected the almost-forgotten, charming practice of chefs in the dining room preparing Caesar Salad and sundaes tableside.
In the ship’s other dining venues, Seabourn chefs plan menus like they are serving guests on a private yacht rather than a cruise ship, personally shopping for ingredients in local ports and featuring fresh flavours on menus that surprise and delight daily.
In the rich waters of British Columbia and Alaska, that translates into a bounty of crab, salmon, oysters and other local delicacies so exquisitely fresh and beautifully prepared, it spoils you for dining on them anywhere else in the world.
‘Reel’ local cuisine
Alaska’s great outdoors, Seabourn’s sublime cuisine, and the personal connection between the ship’s crew and guests join hands in one of their newest experiences. ‘Enjoy Your Catch’ appeals to Seabourn guests hungry for fishing action as well as the taste of fresh-from-the-water seafood.
In different Alaska ports, you can join a guide and embark on a fishing outing in search of local halibut or salmon in the beauty of the wilderness, combined with the added bonus of wildlife sightings such as whales, seals, sea lions, otters, bear, deer and eagles. And when you return to your ship, your fresh catch is prepared by the ship’s culinary team for you to enjoy in full Seabourn style. For anglers, it’s the Seabourn Moment of the voyage.
Seabourn Moments, Alaska style
Every guest has a story of their favourite Seabourn moment. The ship’s crew is on an eternal mission to come up with spontaneous experiences that bring you closer to your fellow guests, your destination, and the warm and enthusiastic crew. How do Seabourn moments put a smile on your face in Alaska?
One day, you may return from a shore excursion to find ‘Hot Chocolate with a Twist’ on the Pool deck, where Seabourn bartenders have stations serving everyone’s favourite comfort drink – with an optional twist of your favourite liqueur and indulgent toppings that warm you up during a scenic sail away.
In Alaska, Seabourn’s famous ‘Caviar in the Surf’ becomes festive Caviar on Ice on the pool deck. At the open-air, pop-up party, deluxe vodka and Champagne stations, chefs serving guests from super-sized cans of caviar, and the live band all come together in the ultimate Seabourn spirit of the moment.
Ventures by Seabourn
Seabourn’s smaller ships can’t only sail into Alaska’s smaller ports, bays and fjords, they can also launch Zodiacs and kayaks directly from the Marina at the aft of the ship. If you like exploring the outdoors and getting up-close to nature, optional Ventures by Seabourn are the Alaska experiences of your dreams: fun, accessible, active excursions accompanied by an Expedition Team including naturalists, marine biologists and other experts. Watch whales and eagles in Kenai Fjords from a Zodiac, kayak breathtakingly close to wildlife in Misty Fjords or to the magnificent glacier in Tracy’s Arm Fjord, take a photo safari for bears in Wrangell, or hike the Davidson Glacier.
More Seabourn ashore
You won’t want your Seabourn cruise in Alaska to end when you disembark, and luckily, it doesn’t have to. Seabourn’s pre- and post-cruise Seabourn Journeys are fully-escorted extensions inland from the ports at the beginning and end of Alaska itineraries.
Take a luxury rail Rocky Mountaineer journey including Canada’s UNESCO Banff National Park pre-cruise. Or a train and flightseeing exploration of Alaska’s Denali National Park and America’s highest peak pre- or post-cruise.
A Seabourn Alaska and British Columbia voyage is the ultimate ultra-luxury northern ‘safari’ right in our backyard.
Written by Lynn Elmhirst for Cruise & Travel Lifestyles (Winter/Spring 2020 issue).