– Avalon Myanmar – Myanmar River Cruise – April 2017
*Azamara Club Cruises – Azamara Journey – Singapore to Dubai (April 8, 2018)
* Azamara Quest – Southeast Asia and Japan (February 2015)
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? – Part I
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? Part II
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? Part III
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? Part IV
– How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity’s Smallest Ship Get? – Some Final Observations and Thoughts
– The Prologue to the Travelogue
– The Adventure Begins…With a Bump or Two
– Settling In Made Easy
– Luxury Touches Here, There and OK, Not, Everywhere…But There Are Lots of Them!
– Asian Flair Onboard and On Shore
– Private Tours, Israel and Conflicts in Perceptions and Perspective
Celebrity Equinox 2009 – Egypt…Impressive and Depressing
– Dining With the Captain and the Reidel Wine Seminar
– The Last Dinner (Tuscan Grille) and Disembarkation
– What Happens When A Class Act Meets Highly Discounted Cruise Fare
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part I
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part II
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part III
– Lisbon to Monaco: Crystal As a “Move Up” & “Move Over” Luxury Option – Part IV (Food & Wine!)
– Princess Cruises Doesn’t Treat You Like Royalty; Celebrity Cruises Does! Which is a Better Value for the Upscale Cruise Guest? Part I
– Celebrity Silhouette vs. -Royal Princess – Which Is A Better Value For The Upscale Cruise Guest? Part II: The Standard Veranda Staterooms
– Celebrity Silhouette vs. Royal Princess – Which Is A Better Value For The Upscale Cruise Guest? Part III: Treating You Right From The Start
– Celebrity Silhouette vs. Royal Princess – Which Is A Better Value For The Upscale Cruise Guest? Part IV: The Wine Lists Speak Volumes (As Do The Beverage Packages)
Regent Seven Seas Voyager – August 2017
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part I
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part II (Getting There, The Stateroom and First Impressions)
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part III (“You Can’t Teach Five Star Service” and Bonafacio, Corsica)
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part IV (Calvi, Monaco, Portofino, Porto Azzurro…and Stale Bread)
– Italy and Corisca 2014 – Part V (My Last Day…and How The Chef’s Team Makes It Happen)
Yes, Seabourn Cruise Line is for sale. No, it is not my being “anti-Seabourn”.
Seema Mody, of CNBC, tweeted today,
Carnival in discussions to sell Seabourn brand to the Saudi sovereign wealth fund, per sources. Talks are still ongoing, no deal finalized as of yet. Comes <1 week after Carnival went to the debt market to raise $1b at 10% yield. Saudis currently own 5.1% stake in $CCL.
I know there are some – and some who have written me some pretty harsh emails – who have claimed my reporting and analysis were unfair and based upon Seabourn “blacklisting” me. The reality is that it has all been pretty unemotional for me from the standpoint of whether Seabourn is for sale.
Knowing this, please take a fresh look at my most recent article: Is Seabourn Cruise Line for Sale? I’m Not The Only One Wondering! – Goldring Travel As well as the portion of my May 3, 2022 article about the news out of the Seatrade Cruise Global Conference:
No New Cruise Ships for Seabourn – During the Luxury Cruise panel discussion I asked a question with two purposes. The second one was to confirm that Seabourn has no plans to build any more classic luxury ships. And Josh Leibowitz confirmed that to be true. (Remember the Seabourn Venture and Pursuit were supposed to be sailing for two years now, so one must truly discount their addition as offsetting new classic luxury ships into the future!)
In contrast, Silversea just launched the Silver Dawn, Silver Moon, and has the Silver Nova and another yet unnamed ship under construction. Explora Journeys has at least four ships coming with two under construction, Ritz Carlton has just announced two more ships to be built. Ponant has more than doubled its fleet and is still growing. Regent Seven Seas has the Grandeur and Oceania has the Vista just out or coming out. But not Seabourn!
So does this mean that Seabourn does not see it expanding its offerings for at least a decade while virtually (if not literally) all of the other luxury brands expanding their classic luxury cruise ship fleets? I mean adding two small expedition ships doesn’t really add much inventory (both ships combined are equal to one classic luxury ship) and after those are operational in the next year there is nothing.
Clearly, the idea of no growth is not normal; especially for a publicly-traded company like Carnival Corp. So does it mean something else?
You will see that I have looked, as I always try to do, at the facts. (That is what you count on me to do, isn’t it?!)
Obviously, I think the sale of Seabourn happening – rather than its prospect looming over the brand – is a positive. As I have said for decades, “The only thing that happens if you sit on the fence is: You rip your pants!” And, to me, I’ve been seeing small tears happening.
I know that the Saudis have been very interested in the cruise industry of late. During the peak of the Covid pandemic Saudis chartered a Silversea ship as well as the Scenic Eclipse. Was that done to test the Arabian cruise market? Or was it to become more educated in how to operate a cruise ship? Or a combination of both? Or totally unrelated? At this point, I don’t know, but it certainly raises some interesting thoughts.
I don’t have any concern that if the sale goes through Seabourn will become an Islamic-focused product. I am sure alcohol will continue to be served, pork will be served, etc. And the product will remain very Western-focused. Heck, I am all for the most culturally diverse experience possible!
Where I think the changes will come are more related to rational pricing, addressing the increase in customer service lapses, onboard cut-backs, employee retention, better itineraries, and more relevant marketing.
Might there also be a move to purchase the two Crystal Cruise ships which are going to auction on June 7, 2022? Alas, that is a long shot, but Ya Never Know!
Goldring Travel LLC
12177 Business Park Drive, Suite 6
Truckee, California 96161
US: (877) 2GO-LUXURY (877-246-5898)
UK: 020 8133 3450
AUS: (07) 3102 4685
Everywhere Else: +1 530-562-9232