Recapping our Ultimate Alaskan Sojourn with Seabourn

Seabourn Sojourn in Misty Fjords, Alaska. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

Thursday, July 6, 2017

All good things must come to an end. That’s the case here aboard Seabourns 450-guest Seabourn Sojourn, as the luxury ship makes her way along the Pacific Ocean up to Seward, Alaska at the conclusion of her third-ever cruise through this part of the world.

Seabourn hasn’t offered cruises in Alaska for 15 years. Now, the luxury line is back, and it’s brought it’s A-game. With a season that stretches from June to September, prospective guests can choose between three separate itineraries: the 11-day Ultimate Alaskan Sojourn from Vancouver to Seward; the 12-night Ultimate Alaska & Inside Passage operating roundtrip from Vancouver; or the 14-night Ultimate Glacier & Fjord Adventure, which also offers extended calls on three ports in British Columbia: Prince Rupert, Alert Bay, and the Tsimshian First Nations village of Klemtu, nestled within the heart of BC’s Great Bear Rainforest.

Our full day-by-day Voyage Report:

Seabourn Sojourn - Ultimate Alaskan Sojourn

DAYPORTARRIVEDEPART
Monday, June 26, 2017Vancouver, British ColumbiaEmbark Seabourn Sojourn1700
Tuesday, June 27Cruise the Inside Passage; Seymour Narrows; Queen Charlotte Sound
Wednesday, June 28Ketchikan, Alaska08002300
Thursday, June 29Scenic cruising Misty Fjords
Friday, June 30Wrangell, Alaska07001600
Saturday, July 1Scenic cruising Glacier Bay National Park10002000
Sunday, July 2Cruising Tracy Arm and/or Endicott Arm
Monday, July 3Haines, Alaska07002000
Tuesday, July 4Juneau, Alaska08001700
Wednesday, July 5Sitka, Alaska10001900
Thursday, July 6At Sea
Friday, July 7, 2017Seward (Anchorage), Alaska0700Disembark

This voyage concludes my 10th journey to Alaska. I’ve sailed here on big ships, small ships, and other luxury vessels. What I’ve found Seabourn truly excels at is providing guests with the best qualities of each of those styles of cruising: Seabourn Sojourn offers big ship amenities, like spacious lounges and nightly production shows. But it offers the intimacy and adventurous shore excursion options of a small pocket-style ship that only holds 60 guests, while still providing a true luxury experience – one where drinks are complimentary, dining is always included, and tipping is never required.

You can’t beat Seabourn Sojourn’s elegant surroundings. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

Seabourn isn’t the only luxury player in Alaska, but its Ventures by Seabourn excursions set it apart from its contemporaries. Originally developed for the line’s expedition cruises to Antarctica, Ventures by Seabourn proved to be so popular among the line’s guests that Seabourn made the decision early-on to add it to its Alaskan itineraries. And while these tours aren’t inclusive (and indeed, can be quite costly), they are a welcome and important addition to Seabourn’s stellar itineraries here.

Along with Seabourn’s adventurous hiking, kayaking and in-depth Ventures excursions, Seabourn still offers a wide array of “classic” Alaskan experiences ashore, from salmon bakes to trips up Skagway’s White Pass & Yukon Route railroad. Like any good luxury cruise, the choice really is yours. If you want to take every Ventures by Seabourn hike that’s offered, you can do that. If you don’t want to do anything and would just rather wander the ports of call independently, well, you can do that too.

Seabourn’s Ventures product offers one-of-a-kind excursion opportunities in Alaska. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

But one of the biggest advantages Seabourn has is its talented Ventures expedition staff. Many of these fine folks have come from other luxury and expedition lines, and the team that’s on Seabourn Sojourn now is one of the best. I’ve sailed with many of them several times over on other lines, and it’s a pleasure to see them here, inaugurating Seabourn’s first Alaska cruise season in a long time.

Which brings me to the crew of the Seabourn Sojourn: one of the nicest, friendliest, most caring crews I’ve sailed with. Calling them “crew” seems a disservice; I’d almost be inclined to do what Ritz-Carlton does and call them, “ladies and gentlemen” – because they are most certainly that. You get the sense that it’s their pleasure to do something for you. No request is too small. And every interaction is accompanied by wide, easygoing smiles.

Taking the time to enjoy afternoon tea…Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

…in the Observation Lounge for the first time aboard Seabourn Sojourn today. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

I was also pleasantly surprised by Seabourn’s dress code, which is very flexible and relaxed. There’s only one formal night on this 11-night itinerary, when you must dress up. The rest of the evenings are designated as “Elegant Casual” – and only in the main Restaurant. If you’d like to keep your jeans and a polo shirt on, there’s no need to dress up elsewhere in the ship. Having done many luxury cruises over the years, I have to admit it was nice to be able to wear slacks and a collared shirt to dinner, and not have to worry about putting on the full suit-and-tie each evening.

Central Staircase, Seabourn Sojourn. Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

If you’re put off by the short, weeklong itineraries to the same three ports of call that make up the vast majority of Alaskan cruising, Seabourn will win you over with its unique and innovative voyages here. And once you come onboard, Seabourn will close the deal, from the modern luxury and beauty of the Seabourn Sojourn to its extensive and adventurous shore excursion offerings, its locally-sourced cuisine, and its friendly staff.

If I could turn around and sail 14 days back to Vancouver right now, I would. Seabourn’s Alaska product is that good. If you think you’ve “been there and done that” in Alaska, Seabourn’s voyages will show you a side of this area that you never knew existed.

Off we go…Photo © 2017 Aaron Saunders

Our Voyage Report from Seabourn Sojourn’s Ultimate Alaska voyage has sadly come to a close, but more cruise adventures are in store. Follow along with our latest cruise adventures on Twitter: @deckchairblog.

Seabourn Sojourn - Ultimate Alaskan Sojourn

DAYPORTARRIVEDEPART
Monday, June 26, 2017Vancouver, British ColumbiaEmbark Seabourn Sojourn1700
Tuesday, June 27Cruise the Inside Passage; Seymour Narrows; Queen Charlotte Sound
Wednesday, June 28Ketchikan, Alaska08002300
Thursday, June 29Scenic cruising Misty Fjords
Friday, June 30Wrangell, Alaska07001600
Saturday, July 1Scenic cruising Glacier Bay National Park10002000
Sunday, July 2Cruising Tracy Arm and/or Endicott Arm
Monday, July 3Haines, Alaska07002000
Tuesday, July 4Juneau, Alaska08001700
Wednesday, July 5Sitka, Alaska10001900
Thursday, July 6At Sea
Friday, July 7, 2017Seward (Anchorage), Alaska0700Disembark
 

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