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Tag: Chile

SEABOURN PURSUIT EXPEDITION CRUISE: THE GLACIERS & FJORDS OF THE CHILEAN COAST

Diego Travel Cruise Review

Seabourn Pursuit

A luxury expedition cruise of the Glaciers and Fjords of the Chilean Coast
MARIA DIEGO

The brand new expedition ship, Seabourn Pursuit, is the latest to debut in the luxury cruise line lineup. Pursuit and her sister ship, Seabourn Venture, differentiate themselves with their state-of-the-art technology, with a PC6 strengthened hull (ie: sturdier and smoother during rough seas) and a quieter and smoother ride overall. This small luxury cruise ship offers 132 oceanfront suites with capacity for 264 guests aboard, and a nearly 1:1 crew to guest ratio, providing unparalleled service standards. We selected the Chilean Glaciers and Fjords itinerary to celebrate a milestone wedding anniversary, seeing a part of the world that can only be seen by cruise ship.

Perfect For: Adventure Travel | Couples | Groups of Friends | LGBTQ Travelers | Mature Travelers | Luxury Cruisers

Life Aboard Seabourn Pursuit

  • Oceanfront Suites

    132

  • Length

    557

  • Launched

    2023

Seabourn Pursuit Deckplan

Vibe

Seabourn Pursuit-Vibe

When boarding the Seabourn Pursuit for the first time in Ushuaia, Argentina, the excitement was palpable. Team members welcomed us aboard, which at first impression feels more like a well-appointed yacht than a typical cruise ship. Finishes are modern and clean without feeling trendy, spaces are open yet intimate, with many areas to choose from for gathering with other couples for conversation in front of a faux fireplace, or reading a book in a cozy corner. Because of the different “enrichment spaces,” as Seabourn calls them, the ship never feels crowded and offers a myriad of options for relaxation, but also learning during the daily expedition briefings or entertainment during the daily shows. From the Bow Lounge and the Constellation Lounge, to the luxury spa and wellness center by Dr. Andrew Weil, there is a space aboard that will quickly become your favorite place to unwind between your zodiac expeditions.

ACCOMMODATIONS

Seabourn Pursuit Accommodations

The most important thing to know about Seabourn ships is that all are ocean view suites, and the expedition ships will have all ocean view balcony suites. This is important because even the lead-in category on a Seabourn ship will be equivalent to a mid-category cabin on some other cruise lines. While this is great, the caveat is that there are no king beds available on any Seabourn cruise. All beds will be a queen size. The Veranda Suite is the lead-in category with 355 square feet, much larger than your average cruise ship cabin. There is also 75 square feet of veranda space. You can opt for a queen bed or two twin size beds, and all bathrooms come with double vanities, tub and shower (unless you’re booking an ADA suite), and a fully stocked bar and refrigerator.

Seabourn Pursuit Rooms

My favorite suite was the Panorama Penthouse Suite, as these have floor to ceiling glass panoramic views, heated tile floors and the layout of the room just made the most sense to me, with the bed facing out toward the ocean, but a very usable living area situated in front of the bed. If you’re able, I believe the price differential is worth it.

Having lived aboard for 2 weeks, I have a strong preference for which decks to book and which areas of these decks are best. I also took note of my favorite suite numbers, as we toured all suite categories. I also have my reasons for avoiding two decks, which I am happy to share my feedback with clients who book their cruise with me. Booking your Seabourn cruise with Diego Travel is always complimentary, we match any online promotion, and we’re always able to add onboard credit. If you’re interested in booking a Seabourn cruise, you can submit your request here.

FOOD & BEVERAGE

  • The most important thing to know about Seabourn cruises is that the dining is truly an all-inclusive experience.  Perhaps most famous for their all-you-can-eat caviar on demand, or their wide selection of quality wines and spirits, Seabourn prides itself in providing plentiful culinary options without any upcharges for the ‘fine dining experience,’ that you’ll find on many cruise ships.
      Aboard the expedition ships of Pursuit and Venture, you’ll never need to make a dinner reservation.  While the formal restaurant, The Restaurant, was most crowded between the hours of 7 and 9 PM, we never waited more than 10 minutes for a table.  The menu changed daily, and there were many options for starter, main course and desserts, as well as tasting menus for an additional cost.  They also offer a full wine cellar of fine wines, so if you want something beyond what is included with your cruise, you can always order that.  Having said that, most of the people we were with never felt the need to order a bottle at an additional cost.
  • Seabourn Pursuit-Dinning

  • Seabourn Pursuit-Food

  • I don’t consider myself a picky eater, but I have a gluten and shellfish allergy, which can at times be tricky to navigate, particularly in certain destinations. We were lucky to have a behind-the-scenes tour of the kitchen and how the logistics work aboard a cruise ship, from the supply chain and delivery to machinery to meal preparation standards. Knowing what I know now, I would have put more requests on special order during our time aboard. With Seabourn, they can prepare anything for you, as long as you give 24 hours notice to do so. With my allergies, I love this about Seabourn! I also loved that they serve gluten free soufflé at The Restaurant, in different flavors each evening. It was such a treat and something I don’t get to experience very often.

  • The breakfast buffet at the Colonnade had a large selection of both hot and cold items – and everything was fresh. In fact, my husband and I were both surprised at the sweetness of the melon and honeydew, the best I have ever tasted.

  • Seabourn Pursuit-Snacks

ONBOARD ACTIVITIES

  • Admittedly, the onboard entertainment on Pursuit and Venture is limited due to their smaller size. If having access to nightly shows, stage productions and high-paced entertainment is important to you, then the expedition ship is probably not the right cruise for you. The key here is the quality, intimacy and curation of what’s provided. With a smaller ship, you get to know your fellow passengers, so onboard activities encourage socialization with your neighbors. They have contracted entertainers that come aboard the ship for short stints, and we had a magician who performed two incredible shows during our cruise. They also have more permanent fixtures, from vocalists and guitarist duos that sing in the lounge each night, to Amy, the head of entertainment who has worked in the cruise industry for years.

  • Seabourn Pursuit

  • Seabourn Pursuit

  • One of the coolest onboard activities were the lectures given by the overqualified expedition team members. We learned about the animals, sociology in Chile and even their take on global climate change. If you were unable to attend a lecture, they were all recorded where you could later watch them at your convenience in your suite.
WELLNESS

I’m almost embarrassed to admit this, but I enjoyed many massages while aboard. We were on an anniversary trip without the kids, so why not?! It was a perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon when the weather got stormy, and the large sauna and steam room were also such a nice way to warm up post-expedition.

My treatments were consistently good, so I would highly recommend taking advantage of the spa services (they also have a full-service salon aboard, which I did not utilize) and also the exercise and fitness classes, which are offered daily.

Seabourn Pursuit-Sauna

What  Sets  It  Apart

Seabourn Pursuit

Aside from the sparkling new ship, the expedition team is what set the Seabourn experience apart. After speaking with so many guests aboard who had experienced other cruise lines like Regent Seven Seas, Silversea, or Oceania, the Seabourn team members were second to none. Seeing Antarctica and the Arctic are high on my bucket list, and now having experienced the Chilean fjords and glaciers with such fun and knowledgeable team members, I wouldn’t want to experience Antarctica or the Arctic in any other way. The number of years each team member has worked for Seabourn speaks volumes about their loyalty and happiness with a brand that puts its people first.

As someone who has been in the travel industry for 20 years, I always say that no matter where you travel or at what level, the most memorable experiences always comes down to the people. With Seabourn, it was no different, and I will always be thankful that I got to experience this destination with the Seabourn team. They really feel like family, which is why they earn so much guest loyalty.

Seabourn Pursuit Vibe

Diego Travel Loves

I am admittedly not a ‘cruiser,’ but I loved the small size of the ship, and I never felt enclosed or crowded.  The outdoor spaces on the deck and the residential feel of the interior spaces lends itself to finding privacy if needed, but also having the ability to gather with friends, family and groups when desired.  The crew was really what set the stage for our experience, as every person aboard the ship went above and beyond to cater to our needs and make the experience a special one.  At each meal, you’ll have the opportunity to dine with your expedition team members, and I highly recommend it.  They all hail from different countries and backgrounds and have fascinating stories to tell. 

Diego Travel Review of Seabourn Pursuit

How Much Does it Cost?

From anywhere between $3,800 to $6,900 for a shorter cruise to upwards of $22,000 for an Antarctica cruise, there is a Seabourn itinerary that can fit every budget.  It’s really important to note what is included when comparing to pricing of other cruise lines, as you want to be sure you’re comparing apples to apples.  Seabourn is almost always the best value for a luxury cruise line.  Also note that a group only requires booking 5 suites – this means that you will get more value added to your cruise when you bring the whole family or gather all of your friends.

Diego Travel Extras at La Reserve Paris

Extras You’ll Get with Diego Travel:

As a Seabourn preferred partner, you will always get additional onboard credit plus Virtuoso Voyages benefits.

Contact me here for current promotions or access to the Seabourn hot sheet (the rock bottom rates reserved for last-minute travelers).

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The Cruise

  • Argentina & Chile

  • Cruise

    Expedition

  • Days

    14

  • Cruise Itinerary

    We started off the trip in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  We have close friends who live outside the city, so we flew in a day early and spent two nights in the city enjoying great food, shopping and plenty of sight seeing. We spent  one night at the Park Hyatt, and the following night at the Alvear Palace Hotel, which was part of our Seabourn itinerary.  If you’d like my opinion about which hotel is better, you can contact me here

  • Ushuaia, Argentina

    Ushuaia, Argentina

  • From Buenos Aires, we had an early morning departure to Ushuaia, Argentina.  Seabourn chartered two commercial planes for our group which seemed overkill as half the plane was empty and there was an empty seat between each passenger.  Upon arrival into Ushuaia, we had a few hours to walk around and explore the southernmost city in South America, and the major starting point for most Antarctica itineraries.  

    That afternoon, we boarded the ship and were familiarized to everyone and everything with their easy-to-follow onboarding process.  Everything was seamless and painless in comparison to past Disney and Royal Caribbean cruises I had been on. 

  • By the late afternoon, we set sail for the fjords, taking in a breathtaking afternoon of rays of sunshine gleaming through striking mountains.

    The following days were spent anchoring along Garibaldi Glacier, sailing the Cockburn Channel, stopping at Punta Arenas, Chile and continuing on down the Strait of Magellan.  The onboard seminars were all relevant to where we were sailing and what we were experiencing, which made the experiences more enriching.

  • Seabourn Pursuit-Garibaldi Glacier

    Garibaldi Glacier, Chile

  • Pio iX Glacier

    Pio XI Glacier, Chile

  • As we neared Santiago, Chile, the weather got drastically warmer, and the puffer jacket that was required in the beginning of the trip was suddenly replaced with short-sleeved shirts.  While I had anticipated that a two-week cruise would go by dreadfully slow – I brought three novels to read aboard – our time aboard Seabourn actually flew by and I barely cracked a book open.  When I wasn’t working on my laptop, we were kept busy on our daily excursions and saw more than I imagined we would.

  • While some days were listed as Sailing Days on our itinerary, we stopped every single day for a kodiak excursion, which I had not expected.  It was nice to get off the ship each day and explore the shores of the Chilean coast.  Each spot was unique, and the geography changed drastically as we made our way north over the course of 14 days.

  • Chiloe, Chile

    Chiloe, Chile

ACTIVITIES

  • Included Activities

    The daily zodiac expeditions are included with the ship, as are many shore excursions. Options varied greatly from day to day. While anchoring at remote spots or At Sea, the expedition crew would tirelesly scout locations in order to offer morning and afternoon zodiac excursions. While at port, you could choose between many different “add on” shore excursions offered by local guides or choose to explore on your own. I don’t think you would be missing out if you didn’t do any of the ‘add-on’ shore excursions.  However, we opted to pay extra for the white-water rafting and it was well worth it.  It was something that got me out of my comfort zone but was so much fun.

  • Punta Arenas, Chile

  • Seabourn Pursuit

  • Optional Activities

    Optional activities include kayaking and other shore excursions, such as the day trip to Torres del Paine. The most exciting optional activity however might be the underwater submersibles.  They cost $5 million each to build and they have two aboard each expedition ship.  They were made in the Netherlands and the crew underwent a months-long training and they also always have a crew member employed by the submersible company aboard the ship.  They are very economically-friendly, emitting vegetable oil and having minimal environmental effects.  The dive time is for 45 minutes and costs between $500-$1000/person, depending on the location.  The submersible is always positively buoyant, and an alarm sounds when it reaches 1,000 feet in depth, and it automatically pops back up to the surface.  The passengers board the submersible through a small hole at the top and sit in chairs that face inward.  Then, as they’re lowered into the sea, the chair rotate outward for maximum viewing.  Although we didn’t get to experience it due to murky conditions, it would have been high on my list as the optional activity to experience aboard.

Summary of Our Cruise

Seabourn Pursuit

Overall, I loved our Seabourn experience and I’m so grateful we did this trip. The glaciers and fjords we saw can only be experienced by cruise ship, and for me, there’s likely not another cruise ship I’d want to do it on than with Seabourn. I don’t like being around a lot of people, so the small size was perfect. The glaciers were indescribably beautiful, and a highlight of our journey was seeing two blue whales. To give you perspective, the captain of the ship has been sailing with Seabourn for 25 years and his entire career, this was only the second time that he’s seen blue whales. Most of the expedition team members had never seen them before. The ship stopped for a few hours to follow them, which is something other cruise lines/larger ships would likely be unable to do. That’s the beauty of Pursuit is that it’s small enough to feel like you’re on a large yacht.

Insider Tips

  • One tip that a crew member shared with my husband and I over dinner was that any additional gratuity left by guests is split evenly for all crew members.  We decided early on in our cruise to leave a substantial tip, as we did not want to leave it for the end.  Every day thereafter, crew members would pass us and personally thank us.  Even though it was a small gesture on our part, it made a huge difference to the crew and how incredibly hard they work.

  • Seabourn Pursuit-Expedition Crew

  • Seabourn Pursuit-Jacuzzi

  • My husband and I escaped to the rooftop jacuzzis one day when the sun came out. We were the only ones up there as we sailed down a fjord and watched seemingly hundreds of whales float by us.  It was magical!  I highly recommend using the rooftop jacuzzis over the ones located in front of the restaurant.  

  • Snacks!  I am a big snacker, and I wished they had more snack options aboard.  They do have a cafe where you can stop in and get small bites and coffee, but the gluten-free options were somewhat repetitive there.  For next time, I would have packed more snacks to bring along in my suitcase.

  • Seabourn Pursuit-Snacks

  • Seabourn Pursuit

  • Our itinerary was the first to come off the Antarctica season, so there were 40 suites who had just done Antarctica.  They all shared that compared to Antarctica, the Chilean Fjords were anticlimactic. If you are interested in doing both itineraries, I would recommend to do the fall itinerary when you can do Chilean Fjords first followed by Antarctica.

Packing List

It was not as cold as I was expecting, but it was necessary to have:

  • Waterproof pants (I took ski pants and they worked great)
  • Gloves (waterproof with ability to use iPhone to take pics on zodiacs)
  • Sleep mask (sunset was around 11 PM, so it was nice to have one)
  • Sunglasses
  • Swimsuit – spa has amazing sauna and hot tubs on deck
  • Snacks (I wish they had more snacking options aboard)
  • It was crazy how the weather changed during the itinerary, so you need everything from puffer jackets to summer clothes when you are in Buenos Aires and Santiago
  • No drones allowed aboard any Seabourn cruise

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