From Alaska to California with Seabourn


Marybeth Ricciardi
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Marybeth Ricciardi

February 6, 2019
Advisor Stories / Marybeth Ricciardi / From Alaska to California with Seabourn

There’s a lot to see and do in "The Great Land" and no cruise line compares to Seabourn when it comes to offering vibrant native cultures, rustic frontier towns and abundant wildlife in such an atmosphere of intimate, 6-star elegance and ease.

On board Seabourn Sojourn, you will enjoy unique itineraries highlighting the hidden gems of Alaska and the Canadian Inside Passage with frequent opportunities for wildlife sightings from the ship and shore. Optional Ventures by Seabourn include kayak, Zodiac and hiking excursions in select destinations - with Long-range binoculars and all-weather jackets included - all allow you to explore up-close, with guidance and insights from skilled Expedition Teams.

  • Navigate your kayak through the untouched majesty of the Misty Fjords
  • Walk on Davidson Glacier
  • Delight in the unforgettable views and wildlife sightings on the Inian Islands.

Seabourn offers seven-day northbound and southbound cruises between Vancouver and Juneau with unique glacier experiences each direction. For travelers with a little more time to spare, unhurried 11- to 14-day itineraries allow for a more in-depth and immersive experience to places where larger ships cannot go. Many destinations retain such unspoiled natural beauty that you’ll feel honored to be among the few who get to visit.

Seabourn also provides pre- and post-cruise tours, including The Denali Experience, a fully escorted custom-designed five-day Seabourn Journey and the seven-day pre-cruise UNESCO Banff National Park & the Rocky Mountaineer Seabourn Journey.

Advisor Marybeth Ricciardi had the opportunity to experience “The Seabourn Difference” for herself when she sailed from Vancouver to Los Angeles in October. This was her first vacation with Seabourn, and she was delighted by the superior service, delectable cuisine and upscale touches.

“There was caviar everywhere you went,” she laughed.

Ricciardi traveled on the Sojourn, which accommodates 450 passengers. The small ship size made boarding a breeze, and there was room for everyone to enjoy the nightly entertainment in the lounge.

Seabourn staff pride themselves on offering the highest quality of service, which Ricciardi can attest to.

“The service was amazing,” she recalled. “They knew my name after the second day. They always seemed to know what we wanted before we did.”

Another detail that sets Seabourn apart is what the company refers to as Seabourn Moments. These are personalized experiences that passengers have with staff that demonstrate Seabourn’s unyielding commitment to excellence in customer service.

“They are known for doing things like fixing a guest’s clothing or putting rose petals around the room if a couple is celebrating an anniversary—just little touches to make guests feel special,” Ricciardi explained.

Seabourn’s suites are luxuriously furnished, spacious oceanfront rooms with large windows, walk-in closets, flat-screen televisions, and dining tables. Ricciardi and her travel companion, her mother, booked a Veranda Suite, which featured double vanities and a private veranda.

“The room was 300 square feet. We had plenty of room and a large bathroom with a walk-in shower, a bathtub, and lots of storage.”

When it comes to dining, guests may choose to dine in the main restaurant, the specialty restaurant, the buffet, the sushi bar, al fresco at the pool, or in-suite. All alcohol is included, and tips are neither necessary nor expected.

“The portions were small, so we never felt stuffed. The specialty restaurant was called The Grill by Thomas Keller. It’s referred to not as a ship’s restaurant, but a restaurant on a ship. They make the Caesar salad tableside. The whole experience was great.”

Ricciardi appreciated the welcoming feeling and the sense of community created through the various events on board, such as the “block party” held toward the end of the cruise.

“Everyone would come out from their rooms into the corridors to meet the neighbors, and staff would come around with champagne and hors d’oeuvres,” she said.

“On the cruises in warmer climates, they also do what they call Caviar in the Surf where the staff actually stand in the water and serve caviar. Since it was colder on our cruise, they served caviar in the hot tub!”

In addition to the attentive and skilled servers, Seabourn also employs historians, scientists, and other experts for Seabourn Conversations. These presenters share their passion and experience with guests through intimate lectures. On Ricciardi’s trip, she was able to learn about the native people of British Columbia and some history of California.

Ricciardi and her mother joined an excursion to The Butchart Gardens in British Columbia, where they enjoyed wandering around the lush greenery and vibrant flowers.

“They had a wheelchair waiting for my mother when we got off the bus. I certainly got my workout that day pushing her around the gardens!”

After a strenuous tour, a visit to the onboard spa might be the perfect activity. Seabourn’s Spa & Wellness program has partnered with Dr. Andrew Weil to develop a mindful living program for holistic health. Guests can enjoy fitness, yoga, and meditation classes as well as a full-service salon and spa.

“The spa was really nice. The massage was one of the best ones I’ve ever had on a cruise,” Ricciardi commented.

Ricciardi and her mother both had a wonderful time enjoying the causal yet refined elegance that Seabourn has perfected.

“It was so nice to be on a smaller ship where you get to know the crew and other passengers. Staff went out of their way to make the cruise special.”

Contact Marybeth about this vacation

Pictures from this trip