CruiseClout score: 95.0
Seabourn Sojourn: An intimate, luxurious cruising experience
In my view, if you are seeking a luxurious, pampered and intimate cruising experience the Odyssey Class ships in the Seabourn fleet, including Seabourn Sojourn, should be on your short list. Hosting just 450 guests, it's a very social ship with both the crew and passengers being encouraged to mix and get to know each other. In addition to an understated and stylish decor, which feels very much like a boutique hotel, there is a significant focus on food and providing a tailored and individual service to passengers.
Unconstrained by having to manage large numbers, the crew on the Seabourn Sojourn are able to spend time getting to know each guest's individual preferences and quirks — and are usually able to cater to them. I was impressed how much face time we had with the crew and also how everyone seemed to know our names.
The ship came into service in 2010 and has the English fashion icon and actress Twiggy as godmother. And, despite being a small ship, does provide a decent choice of bars and lounges, restaurants and entertainment. However, the focus is always on enabling and encouraging people to interact and mix and you should not expect to be entertained non-stop. You are more likely to find events like a Neighborhood Block Party (where guests come out into the hallways for drinks and snacks to meet their neighbors), Rock The Boat Party (on deck party where crew invite guests to dance) and being invited to join tables hosted by crew and entertainers to meet other passengers.
One of the most popular features of Seabourn Sojourn is Seabourn Square. This area is a welcoming space on Deck 7 that has all the guest services like Guest Relations and Destination Services as well as coffee shop, internet cafe, library and seating area with a vast selection of printed and digital newspapers from around the world. It is always busy and you will meet crew and other guests to share experiences, get advice and socialize.
Who will like sailing on Seabourn Sojourn
Seabourn Sojourn is best suited to those who enjoy a social environment. It is not a ship where you will or can be anonymous and invisible. The guests tend to be in their 50s, 60s and 70s, English speaking and well traveled. As it is positioned as an ultra-luxury line with all-inclusive fares and all-suite accommodation the fares are more premium and so attract a more affluent cruiser. Most people are traveling as couples but they have a long heritage of attracting and catering for solo travelers. Families do come on board during peak holiday periods and they have two hosts placed on board to run a program for children at these times. However, they do not have extensive facilities for kids and as many of the guests resent having children on the ship they focus on trying to keep them out of the way and away from the main public areas, such as the pool deck.
Where Seabourn Sojourn sails
The Seaborn Sojourn sails in and around Africa, Asia and the Mediterranean. The cruise ship features longer cruise itineraries that range from a couple weeks to more than a couple months. Some of the most popular countries that this cruise ship visits are South Africa, Singapore, Vietnam and Thailand.
Top dining choices
Seabourn Sojourn offers a gourmet dining experience, and there is no extra charge for any dining on board.
- The Restaurant is the main dining venue on board, serving multi-course breakfasts, lunches and dinners in an open-seating style amid a refined setting of white linens, sheer draperies and crystal chandeliers. It is open-seated dining and it can hold all passengers at one time. The dinner menu has daily specials and Seabourn classic dishes.
- The Colonnade is a more casual indoor/outdoor option serving station-style buffet breakfasts and lunches. Dinners in the Colonnade include regionally themed menus prepared in the open kitchen and served at the table.
- Restaurant 2 features an intimate setting where guests can enjoy innovative small-plate tasting menus nightly. Reservations are required, but there is no extra charge.
- A casual alternative dining option, the Patio Grill offers poolside dining for luncheons and dinners, as well as freshly baked pizzas from its on-site oven all afternoon. In the evening it has a daily theme such as British Pub and Chop House Grill.
Much of the entertainment is focused on encouraging and enabling guests to interact and mix. There is a choice of things to do across the day but it is not as extensive on larger ships. Some of the highlights include:
- The Retreat (Deck 11): The multi-use plaza has shuffleboard courts and a 9-hole contoured golf putting green.
- The Shops at Seabourn (Deck 7 Midships): Three duty-free shops are The Seabourn Shop featuring shield-emblazoned logo wear, The Boutique offering fashions, cosmetics, scents and designer's luxury goods and The Collection sells a selection of fine watches and jewelry, including a private showroom for diamonds and other gemstones.
- Card Room (Deck 7 Midships): Adjacent to the Main Staircase on port side is a card room for bridge, board games, puzzles and a large-screen setup for electronic games.
- Grand Salon (Deck 6 Aft): The ship's main showroom can accommodate all guests. Lectures, cooking demonstrations, movies and other gatherings are held here in the daytime. In the evenings, guests can gather for everything from live music to vocal production shows, cabaret performances, comedy and classical recitals.
- The Casino (Deck 5 Midships): Forward of The Club on the starboard side, a casino offers blackjack, roulette, poker and slot machines.
- The Marina (Deck 3 Aft): On select, warm-water cruises, the captain will anchor and deploy a water sports marina, inviting guests to enjoy board sailing, water-skiing, kayaking, banana boat rides and pedal boating right from the ship. A steel-mesh enclosure allows safe swimming in the sea.
Bars & lounges
- Observation Bar (Deck 10 Forward): Early Riser's Coffee and Tea is served every morning in this stunning round lounge with a square bar and panoramic views. The piano music makes it a great choice for drinks and conversation before and after dinner.
- Sky Bar (Deck 9 Midships): This is an alfresco oasis for drinks and socializing overlooking the Pool Patio.
- Patio Bar (Deck 8 Midships): Full beverage, cocktail and wine service, fruit smoothies and gelati are available at this bar on the pool deck.
- The Club (Deck 5 Aft): The liveliest lounge on board is the scene of daily afternoon tea service. It is a popular spot for pre-dinner drinks and dancing to live music. After dinner, the dancing music continues, and later a DJ spins dance music until late at night. Another terrace of open deck aft of The Club boasts a plunge pool and two small whirlpool spas.
Spa & relaxation
- The Sun Terrace (Deck 11 Forward): This terrace features 36 double sun beds arrayed for enjoying sunshine by day and stars and moon by night.
- The Spa at Seabourn (Deck 9 Aft): The largest spa facility on any luxury cruise ship, with six treatment rooms, this spa features a thermal area with a large hydro-pool, dry float, sauna and steam rooms, a full-service salon, well-equipped gym and a motion studio featuring a Kinesis Wall and Thai massage area. All classes are complimentary.
- Pool Patio (Deck 8 Midships): This expansive open deck surrounds a swimming pool and a pair of large whirlpool spas. Sun loungers and cabanas are arrayed in a mix of sun and shade, and a stage provides occasional live music for dancing.
- Plunge Pool and Hot tubs deck 5 rear. A quiet and shaded spot to relax and enjoy the warm weather.
Seabourn Sojourn offers several grades in accommodation, which are all suites. 90% of them have private verandas. This includes five Owner's Suites measuring up to 1,062 square feet (including the veranda) and four two-bedroom Grand Suites with up to 1,682 square feet of private living space. You can also choose to stay in one of the 22 Penthouse Suites on the uppermost decks, each featuring up to 534 square feet of space.
All suites include a living area and bedroom; a five-foot-wide picture window or veranda; walk-in closet; flat-screen interactive TV featuring music, movies and more; a fully-stocked bar; Bose Wave Radio CD, writing desk; spacious bathroom with tub; shower; twin sinks and a large vanity; a direct-dial telephone; and private electronic safe.
Suite amenities include complimentary champagne upon arrival, 24-hour room service, personalized stationery, fruit basket replenished daily, fluffy terry-cloth robes, Eqyptian Cotton linens, a fluffy duvet, fine soaps by Hermes, Bijan and L'Occitane, Pure Pampering Aromatherapy by Molton Brown, nightly turndown service, daily newspaper, World Atlas and an umbrella.
Gary Bembridge sailed on Seabourn Sojourn on a press/blogger trip as a guest of Seabourn. See Cruiseable's Ethics & disclosure policy.
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Top highlights on this ship
- Shuffleboard courts and a 9-hole putting green at The Retreat
- Tea and coffee with a view at the Observation Bar
- Relaxing spa treatmentas at The Spa at Seabourn
- Gourmet cuisine at the Colonnade restaurant
- Seabourn Square is the heart of the ship with guest and destiantion services, coffee bar and library
- All-inclusive all-suite ship which covers all drinks and gratuities