Antarctica is a place of extreme beauty and harsh environments, where the frozen wilderness stretches as far as the eye can see. For adventurers who seek to explore this land of ice and snow, Seabourn Antarctica Expeditions cruises on the Seabourn Venture provide the perfect way to travel in style and premium comfort.
The snow covered white continent left me speechless and in awe; each day was better than the previous. A trip with Seabourn expeditions is among the best way to cruise to Antarctica. A trip to the polar regions on the Seabourn Venture is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I highly recommend.
For those looking to book a Antarctica Expedition, please contact me at Scott & Thomas Travel.
The Ship – Seabourn Venture
The Seabourn Venture, and sister ship Seabourn Pursuit, are PC6 polar class icebreakers. Both luxurious expedition vessels are specifically designed for exploring remote regions like Antarctica. Both ships boast all-suite accommodations for just 264 passengers. Luxury Cruising and expeditions at its finest, Seabourn did not overlook any details on this beautiful cruise ship.
These luxury expedition ships have spacious rooms that are beautifully appointed and equipped with everything you need for a comfortable and relaxing stay. Every room includes a full veranda, walk-in closet, heated drying closet, and 5-piece bathroom with separate bathtub and walk-in shower. Most of my friends stayed in a standard beautiful veranda suite. These rooms are more than comfortable and offer more space than most ships.
I upgraded my room to the larger Panorama Veranda Suite and the additional cost was 100% worth it. Larger windows and more space to relax, a larger bathroom with a jacuzzi tub equated to a blissful and more comfortable stay. Plus the room includes upgrades such as heated floors, more plush robes, and a nespresso machine.
Seabourn Dining Options
The ship features a variety of dining options. The Restaurant offers gourmet cuisine in a formal setting and is open for dinner, plus breakfast and lunch on select dates. White table clothes and 5 star service is the theme in the restaurant. Yet without a strict dress code. Thankfully, jeans are now allowed and there are no formal nights on these luxury expedition cruises.
The Colonnade serves up more casual fare and is open for Breakfast and Lunch. The colonnade is a buffet, but also has cooked to order options as well. At dinner time, the Colonnade transitions to the Earth and Ocean restaurant. This is a more casual dinner option with theme meals based on different regions of the world. Earth and ocean is a sit down dinning facility with table service.
Nightly, from 6-9pm the Seabourn Club also turns into a sushi restaurant. Serving up surprisingly fresh and delicious sashimi, Nigiri, and rolls. We found this was a great place to grab a pre-dinner snack. Yet, it could easily be a full meal as well.
Other dining options include the light bites from Seabourn Square, the coffee shop. Or for those who want something else there is complimentary 24 hour room service available. The entire dinner menu from the main restaurant or earth and ocean is also available via room service.
Other Public Spaces
Seabourn has taken nearly every element of their larger cruise ships and brought them to the smaller expedition cruise ship plus more! The ship has a full size fitness center and a spa with two beautiful saunas. Both feature a panoramic window ensuring you miss nothing during your journey.
There is a club for live music and dancing in the early morning hours. Often we closed it down at 2 am. Plus there is the constellation lounge at the front of the ship with live music. This space is utilized for afternoon high tea, afternoon and evening cocktails.
The bow lounge is a great place to meet the expedition team and see the ships navigation tools. The Bow Lounge is one of my favorite places as it’s the closest access to water level and has direct access to the massive bow. It’s the perfect spot to watch for marine life. It also features touch screens showing the ship’s plotted location, as well as navigational charts and scientific information used to help guide the ship on its journey. There is also snacks in the bow lounge for those feeling peckish.
Finally, one of the most important areas of the ship is the beautiful Discovery Center. The discovery center is where the expedition team provides daily recaps and plans for the following day. The discovery center is also utilized for nightly entertainment and live shows. On my expedition the cruise director performed both live opera and classical musicals. We also watched the super bowl, other movies, and watched our expedition video. The discovery center is also often used for educational talks throughout the expedition.
Antarctica Expeditions are more than a standard cruise. If you are traveling to Antarctica, you also need to learn about Antarctica, South America, and the history of the area, including the Falkland Islands and south Georgia. The Discovery center is utilized for Seabourn conversations, or educational “ted talks.”
There are other public spaces on the ship, such as the expedition lounge. The expedition lounge is the meeting point for kayak and submarine excursions. It also doubles as a bar for the discovery center. Outfitted with a fireplace, it’s a cozy place the relax throughout the journey. This place also doubles as a dance floor when cruise director DJ Lupe spun for us.
Other spaces include the mud room where you get ready for the polar plunge or daily landings and where you disembark to zodiac boats. There is also the Sky Bar off the club next to the two higher jacuzzi. Off the colonnade is the pool deck which features a bar and two Jacuzzis too!
The only thing the Seabourn Venture is missing in the famous Thomas Keller Grill. Yet, honestly with all the food options, I didn’t miss it that much!
Seabourn Antarctica on the Seabourn Venture offers a wide range of activities that are designed to help you get the most out of your journey and off the ship. Although, I cannot stress enough, no matter who you go with, you will spend the majority of your time on the ship. Therefore being on a comfortable ship is extremely important. There really are few places to land in Antarctica. With so many penguin colonies and the largest glaciers on this earth, stable land is limited which results in more time on the ship than off of it.
With Seabourn Expeditions you can take part in guided hikes, kayak through icy waters, and even take a polar plunge into the frigid Southern Ocean. All passengers are offered daily zodiac cruise options along with landings. If the weather cooperates you can expect getting off the ship 2-3 times a day for 1-3 hours at a time. The fewer passengers also means the more time on land. IAATO regulations limit 100 tourists on land at a time and prohibits ships with greater than 500 passengers from landing in Antarctica.
All landings and Zodiac cruises are complementary and included in every Seabourn Expedition. Kayaking and submarines do cost more and should be signed up for before departure. The Seaborn Venture and Pursuit ships carry 2 submarines and 10 kayaks.
The Seabourn Venture also features two custom-built submarines that can take you on an underwater exploration of this icy wonderland. Seabourn is one of the few operators on the Antarctic peninsula with submarines! Do note that many submarine excursions do get canceled. They have limited operational capacity and if it’s too windy or wavy they have to cancel excursions due to safety. I personally was offloaded from a submarine during a surprise storm and now understand why they do not operate them except in pristine conditions. Not only was getting back to the boat cold and wet, but it was very difficult to transfer from the submarine to the zodiac during the windstorm which created whitecaps.
In addition to off-ship activities there are plenty of items to keep you busy. On every Antarctic expedition, you can also attend daily lectures and presentations by expert naturalists and scientists. They will help you gain a deeper understanding of the wildlife, geology, and ecology of Antarctica. One of my favorite lectures I attended, an in-depth look at penguin poo. I also learned about the research stations on the continent, the Antarctic ice sheet and how territorial claims lead and a mini war lead to peaceful purpose treaty for scientific research only in the Antarctic region.
The highlight of the Seabourn Antarctica journey is, of course, the experience of exploring the continent itself. The Seabourn Venture took me and my friends to the most stunning locations on earth. I witnessed first-hand the beauty and majesty of this unique landscape, giant ice sheets, tons of wildlife, and even watched icebergs form during glacier caving. You will have the opportunity to see wildlife that is found nowhere else on earth, and to explore the vast, frozen landscapes that make up the continent. The experience of exploring Antarctica on the Seabourn Venture is truly a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
There is so much more I will say about my adventure to Antarctica in another blog. Yet know, this really is an adventure of a lifetime and traveling with Seabourn was a true treat. When you’re ready to book your adventure to Antarctica, please contact me at Scott & Thomas travel. Bookings are now open through Feb 2025. I work with all major operators beyond Seabourn. My other favorites include National Geographic, Ponant, and Aurora Expeditions. Let me help you find your way to Antarctica!