Seabourn plans pair of expedition newbuilds with Mariotti/Damen

Marco Ghiglione, managing director, T. Mariotti, left, with Andrea Trevisan, Damen SVP cruise sales & marketing Marco Ghiglione, managing director, T. Mariotti, left, with Andrea Trevisan, Damen SVP cruise sales & marketing

Seabourn becomes the latest line to order new ships for luxurious expeditions. The company signed a letter of intent with a new partnership between shipbuilders T. Mariotti and Damen, which will collaborate on the construction under the Mariotti Damen Cruise banner. 

Each 23,000gt ship will carry up to 264 passengers. The first delivery is expected in June 2021 and the second in May 2022.

Breakthrough for Damen

The order is a breakthrough in the cruise sector for Damen, a seasoned international shipyard group with 90 years of history which has been touting an all-weather luxury newbuild design. T. Mariotti has a strong relationship with Seabourn, having built Seabourn Odyssey (2009), Seabourn Sojourn (2010) and Seabourn Quest (2011).

Innovative design

The expedition vessels will sport an innovative design, created specifically for the ultra-luxury expedition traveler, and will include many features that have made Seabourn ships so successful as well as a host of new features to enhance the expedition experience.

The 170-meter/558-foot vessels will add new capacity for Seabourn in Antarctica, the Arctic and other exotic destinations around the world while meeting Polar Class 6 standards. Each will feature 132 luxurious veranda suites.

'This is a groundbreaking moment for Seabourn and for luxury travelers, who will now find a new standard of authentic yet luxurious expedition adventures in new and amazing destinations few people will ever see,' Seabourn president Rick Meadows said.

'The combination of immersive experience, fine accommodations and sumptuous amenities offered by these new ships builds on the success of our current product lineup and further demonstrates our leadership as innovators as we continue offering the finest ultra-luxury cruises available.'

Submarines, kayaks, Zodiacs

Two submarines will be carried on board, along with a complement of kayaks and 24 Zodiacs, to operate as a part of the highly successful Ventures by Seabourn program offered in select destinations around the world.

'It’s been amazing to watch the growth of our expedition-style experiences since our first sailing to Antarctica in 2013 through today, where we now offer the Ventures by Seabourn program in a number of desirable destinations around the world,' said Robin West, VP expedition operations and planning for Seabourn. 'A year ago we started developing the concept for this next chapter of our expedition story with dedicated ships built to take luxury travelers to the most coveted places on the planet and they will be thrilled to see these remote destinations in Seabourn style.'

First season in the Arctic

Seabourn will announce design and service details for the new ships beginning later this year. Specifics about itineraries and booking availability will be released in early 2019. The first ship is currently planned to sail in the Arctic in late summer 2021, with a full season in Antarctica to follow.

T. Mariotti, Damen plan long-term partnership

T. Mariotti managing director Marco Ghiglione said: 'We are very pleased to work together with Damen on the construction of newbuild cruise vessels as both Mariotti and Damen share a common vision of the future of the cruise industry. This long-term partnership will offer our current and prospective clients access to a comprehensive suite of shipbuilding services and capabilities in terms of high quality, sustainable vessels demanded by the cruise industry of tomorrow.'

For his part, SVP cruise sales & marketing Andrea Trevisan said Damen is 'very honored by this collaboration,' adding: 'The combination of T. Mariotti luxury cruise shipbuilding’s experience of long standing with the high-class facilities of Damen Shipyards Group represents a unique synergy in the cruise industry. Our partnership brings together two proud family businesses, both of which enjoy a reputation for shipbuilding excellence.'

Posted 02 July 2018

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Anne Kalosh

Editor, Seatrade Cruise News & Senior Associate Editor Seatrade Cruise Review