The Seabourn Sojourn is a 450-passenger luxury cruise ship that delivers an exceptional cruise experience as she sails exotic, worldwide itineraries along with her sister ships in the Seabourn Cruises' fleet.
I attended the Seabourn Sojourn naming event on the Thames River near London in June 2010 and was excited to sail on a 14-day Southeast Asia cruise from Hong Kong to Singapore in February 2016. This longer voyage gave me the opportunity to fully explore and cruise ship and to get a better sense of the marvelous Seabourn experience. This article provides details and photos of the dining, accommodations, interior and exterior common areas, itineraries, and some facts and stats on the Seabourn Sojourn cruise ship.
Let's start with one of my favorite aspects of cruise travel--dining and cuisine.
Seabourn Sojourn Cruise Ship Dining and Cuisine - The Restaurant
The Seabourn Sojourn cruise ship features food that is exciting, varied, delicious, beautifully presented. I can't imagine anyone on this ship complaining about the food. On our 14-day SE Asia cruise, we could try cuisines from all over the world, including French, Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese, Japanese, Spanish, Thai, Italian, Singaporean, and North American favorites. None of the dining venues have an extra surcharge.
The Seabourn Sojourn has an excellent selection of complimentary wines, beers, and cocktails that can be ordered at all of the bars or with any of the meals on the cruise ship. Those who like to splurge can order one of the premium selections and pay extra, but all the cruisers I spoke with were very happy with the complimentary items. Although each day has different complimentary wines, guests can also order a wine featured on a previous day at no extra charge.
I love the separate printed program detailing the room service and dinner menus for the following day. This program is distributed to the cabins each evening along with The Herald daily schedule. It's fun to be able to plan your dinner without having to walk around the ship and read the menus. This is a feature I wish more cruise ships that change their menus each day would incorporate.
Details of the Seabourn Sojourn diverse dining options continue on this page and the following five pages.
- The Restaurant is the largest and most elegant dining venue on the Seabourn Sojourn. It is located on deck 4 aft. Seating is open at The Restaurant, with tables for two to eight travelers. Guests order breakfast, lunch, and dinner from a menu every day at The Restaurant.
The Restaurant usually features four appetizers, four main courses, and a selection of desserts at dinner. These menu items change each day. The appetizers include a soup, salad, and two intriguing appetizers. The main courses might include a selection of a fish, shellfish,poultry, meat, or vegetarian dishes. In addition to the items that change each day, guests can always order traditional items like Caesar salad, shrimp cocktail, roasted tomato soup, linguini pasta with a sauce, salmon filet, chicken breast, grilled beef filet mignon, or roasted rack of lamb.
Dinner at The Restaurant is almost always elegant casual, with one or more nights formal (depending on the length of the cruise). Elegant casual is defined by Seabourn as slacks with a collared dress shirt or sweater for men, with jacket optional. Elegant casual for women is defined as slacks/skirts, blouse, pantsuit or dress. Formal for men is tuxedo, suit, or slacks with a jacket. Formal for women is evening gown or other formal apparel. On our 14-night cruise of SE Asia, we had two formal nights and twelve elegant casual nights.
- Seabourn Square Coffee Bar serves coffee drinks, tea, and snacks from early in the morning until about 6 pm and then opens again from 9 pm to about 11 pm. This is perfect for a light breakfast or for a late lunch if you have a longish shore excursion. Or, it's always nice for an afternoon cookie if you need a few extra calories before a late dinner.
- In-Suite Dining (room service) is available 24 hours a day. Guests fill out a form and hang it outside their suite before bedtime for breakfast. Other meals or snacks are ordered by calling room service. The room service menu features starters such as Prosciutto and melon, shrimp cocktail, chicken consomme, or roasted tomato soup. The main dishes are cruise lover's favorites like penne pasta with tomato sauce, Caesar salad, pan sauteed salmon fillet, rosemary roasted chicken breast, grilled New York cut sirloin steak, hamburger/cheese burger, or beef hot dog. Room service desserts include strawberry New York style cheesecake; chocolate pot de creme; vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry ice cream; home made cookies; fresh fruits; international cheese plate; or a selection of cheese.
During dinner hours, guests can also order room service from The Restaurant's menu, which means someone could stay in their cabin 24 hours a day and still enjoy the excellent food from The Restaurant or room service. (But who would want to?)
There is no excuse for anyone going hungry on the Seabourn Sojourn. Overall, the food is very good to excellent, with many memorable dishes. The servers were happy, friendly, and eager to please.
The fourth dining option on the Seabourn Sojourn is The Colonnade Restaurant.
Seabourn Sojourn Cruise Ship Dining and Cuisine - The Colonnade Restaurant
The Colonnade Restaurant on the Seabourn Sojourn cruise ship is located aft on deck 8. It's Seabourn's version of the traditional cruise ship buffet, but is so much more than what you see on mainstream ships. The wide variety of breakfast fruits, breads, and pastries was especially delicious, as were the lunch specials. At breakfast and lunch, there's buffet food, but guests can also order items like egg dishes or pancakes from a breakfast menu, or sandwiches and burgers at lunch.
The Colonnade is reservations only at dinner, and everyone orders from a menu. Each evening is a different cuisine, with options such as family style comfort food, French, Italian, Spanish, Indian, Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, Singaporean, surf & turf, and steak house, There are usually three choices for appetizers, four for the main course, and a couple for dessert.
We had mostly excellent weather on our southeast Asia cruise, so dining outdoors at The Colonnade was a marvelous option at all three meals.
Seabourn Sojourn Cruise Ship Dining and Cuisine - Outdoors at The Colonnade
The Seabourn Sojourn outdoor deck dining area at The Colonnade is shaded and has heaters for when the weather is chilly. Eating breakfast outdoors is a great way to start the day, and having dinner outdoors and watching the sunset is a perfect way to end the day.
Seabourn Sojourn Cruise Ship Dining - Sunset Views from The Colonnade
We were lucky and enjoyed some amazing sunsets at sea on the Seabourn Sojourn. With views like this one, it's not surprising that The Colonnade outdoor seating was very popular at dinner.
The other outdoor dining venue on the Seabourn Sojourn is the Patio Grill.
Seabourn Sojourn Cruise Ship Dining and Cuisine - The Patio Grill
The Patio Grill is the Seabourn Sojourn's poolside casual restaurant. It's open for lunch and dinner when the weather is good. The most popular dishes are the grilled meats, kebabs, and vegetables, but they also serve a great Caesar salad. Many guests on the cruise ship liked to have a before dinner drink outdoors at the patio bar, and extend their stay with dinner.
Seabourn Sojourn Cruise Ship Dining and Cuisine - Restaurant 2
Restaurant 2 is the Seabourn Sojourn's intimate alternative restaurant. Located on deck 8 near The Colonnade, Restaurant 2 has a fixed menu of five small plates each evening and since the venue is tiny, reservations are necessary.
The menu at Restaurant 2 is unique and varies several times during the cruise, with items sure to be a conversation piece at your table. For example, how does a lobster corn dog sound? Or octopus ceviche? This is not a venue for those who like simple foods and familiar tastes, but it is very interesting. And, the food is good!
Those looking for comfort food should make a reservation at The Colonnade on one of the nights featuring a Thomas Keller menu.
Seabourn Cruises and Thomas Keller Partnership
Seabourn Cruises has partnered with famous American Chef Thomas Keller to develop an array of dishes, ranging from appetizers to main courses to desserts for dining venues on the Seabourn Cruises' ships.
The exact dishes to be served on the Seabourn Sojourn were still being finalized when I sailed on the cruise ship in February 2016. However, The Colonnade featured a Thomas Keller menu on three nights, and The Restaurant menu included one Thomas Keller-designed appetizer, main course, and dessert on most evenings. Guests in The Restaurant could select the entire Thomas Keller menu or mix and match it with other items from the regular menu. The ginger and yogurt semifreddo, seen in the photo above, had a whipped green tea base and was topped with a Persian lemon meringue. It was served in The Restaurant and was as tasty as it looks! It was a perfect dessert to accompany the Thomas Keller herb-roasted saddle of lamb served with a Confit byaldi (like a ratatouille), a Tarbais bean puree, and roasted garlic jus.
The Colonnade Thomas Keller menu is comfort food, and those on the ship who had dined at Keller's family-style ad hoc restaurant in Yountville, California, said the atmosphere and food were similar. My friend Claire and I loved the Thomas Keller dishes at The Colonnade so much the first night that we went back for an encore 10 days later! I'm not sure which was our favorite dish--the rib chop, the cheese with honey and bread, or the very creamy mashed potatoes.
Mr. Keller and some of his chefs were on the Seabourn Sojourn just a few weeks before our cruise, helping to educate the cruise ship's culinary team on the preparation and plating of the Keller dishes. Although our experience was not finalized, I think everyone on the ship was delighted with the opportunity to be able to go home and say they had sampled some Thomas Keller-designed dishes.
Let's take a look at the different types of cabins and suites on the Seabourn Sojourn.
Seabourn Sojourn Cruise Ship Cabins and Suites
All of the staterooms on the Seabourn Sojourn are classified as suites, but most of them have a curtain dividing the sleeping and living areas, as shown in the Veranda Suite photo above. The Veranda Suite is the most prevalent category and has about 365 square feet--300 inside and 65 on the private veranda.
The larger suites like the Wintergarden, Owner's, and Penthouse Suites do have separate sleeping and living areas. Seabourn Cruises added four Spa Penthouse Suites to the ship in 2013, and these suites are located near the spa and have special spa privileges.
This photo gallery has 30 pictures of the Seabourn Sojourn cabins and suites and more detailed information on the size, location, and differences among the various categories.
Now that we've looked at the dining venues and sleeping areas, let's tour the indoor and outdoor common areas of the Seabourn Sojourn.
Seabourn Sojourn Cruise Ship - Spiral Staircase
This spiral staircase is found mid-ship on the Seabourn Sojourn. I love the view looking down.
Seabourn Sojourn Cruise Ship - Seabourn Square
Seabourn Square is the "living room" of the luxury cruise ship and is located aft on deck 7. This area has the library, retail shops, shore excursion desk, reception desk, computers, and coffee and snack bar.
Seabourn Sojourn Cruise Ship - Seabourn Square Library
Seabourn Square also has indoor and outdoor seating for those who want to read or relax.
Seabourn Sojourn Cruise Ship - Observation Bar
The Observation Bar on the Seabourn Sojourn cruise ship has the best views on the ship and is located forward on deck 10. This bar has "early riser" continental breakfast each morning, tea and snacks in the afternoon, and canapes and drinks before and after dinner.
Seabourn Sojourn Cruise Ship - The Club Lounge
The Club Lounge is a popular gathering spot for drinks before dinner since it has live music. After dinner, the lounge has dancing with the live music. Aft of the Club Lounge is a small outdoor relaxation area, with plunge pool, hot tub, quiet lounges, and great views over the aft of the Seabourn Sojourn cruise ship.
Seabourn Sojourn Cruise Ship - Swimming Pool
The swimming pool on deck 8 of the Seabourn Sojourn cruise ship is small, but it didn't keep some on our cruise from swimming laps each day.
Seabourn Sojourn Cruise Ship - Pool Deck
The pool deck on deck 8 of the Seabourn Sojourn has some of the most comfortable lounge chairs I've ever experienced. This deck has lounges in both the sun and the shade. More lounge chairs can be found on deck 9 and deck 11.
Seabourn Sojourn Cruise Ship - Deck 5 Pool, Hot Tub, and Relaxation Area
Aft of The Club Lounge on the Seabourn Sojourn cruise ship is this quiet relaxation area, with lounge chairs, plunge pool, and hot tub.
Seabourn Sojourn Cruise Ship - The Spa at Seabourn
The Spa at Seabourn on the Seabourn Sojourn cruise ship features many standard spa treatments. It also has a hair and nail salon, fitness center, and a Kniepp Walk Pool.
Seabourn Sojourn Cruise Ship - Fitness Center
The fitness center on the Seabourn Sojourn has many different types of exercise equipment and great views of the sea.
Seabourn Sojourn Cruise Ship - Deck 5 Promenade
Many travelers like to walk for exercise, and although the fitness center has treadmills, it's fun to walk outdoors. The Seabourn Sojourn does not have a full, wrap-around promenade on deck 5, but it does have a horseshoe-shaped promenade. (The bow area is blocked off.) Guests also walk around the swimming pool using the area on deck 9. In the early morning, those walking on deck 9 can find water and cold towels. Isn't that a nice treat!
Seabourn Sojourn Cruise Ship - Seabourn Signature Events
While sailing on the Seabourn Sojourn cruise ship, we enjoyed two Seabourn special signature events that were memorable. The first was "Officers on Deck", an epicurean event where the Seabourn Sojourn officers and crew served small plates of food and drink, including caviar, shrimp, sushi, margaritas, cosmopolitans, and a selection of cheeses. The event was held poolside and included live music and lots of fun.
I didn't think much could be better than the "Officers on Deck" event, but the second signature event was one of the best days I've ever enjoyed on a beach. The Seabourn Sojourn anchored off the Thai island of Ko Kood. Seabourn had arranged for us to have a private beach for the entire day. The fun started at 10 am when guests could enjoy all sorts of water sports including water skiing, kayaking, tube riding, and snorkeling. At noon, the crew served champagne and caviar from surfboards floating in the bay. In the photo above, the guests look a little like lemmings going off into the sea; however, they are just in search of champagne and caviar. We also had a marvelous beach barbecue under the shade trees on the beach. The water was refreshing and clean, with white sand and no sea urchins or rocks underfoot.
It was an amazing day ashore, even for those who don't like to swim. One cruise friend from the UK insisted that I make her photo in the sea with my waterproof camera to send to her children. She said never got her swimsuit wet, but made an exception on that day.
Events such as these take a lot of time and effort for the crew, but help make this ship and cruise line a very special one.
Seabourn Sojourn Cruise Ship Itineraries
The Seabourn Sojourn and her sister ships cover the world. Just looking ahead to the Seabourn Sojourn for the 18 months from March 2016 to September 2017 demonstrates the exciting voyages this one ship has.
The Seabourn Sojourn repositions to the Mediterranean in the spring of 2016 and stays there until mid-November, when she returns to Asia. During the winter of 2016-2017, the ship sails several itineraries in Asia, including the 14-day voyage we enjoyed between Hong Kong and Singapore. The ship doesn't repeat itineraries, so most voyages can be extended by booking back-to-back cruises that include different ports of call. In the summer of 2017, the Seabourn Sojourn moves to Alaska.
Those who expect and appreciate outstanding service, accommodations, food, and amenities should have a great time on any of these voyages. Seabourn Cruises costs more than the other cruise lines owned by Carnival Corporation, but most guests agree with me--you get what you pay for.
Seabourn Sojourn Cruise Ship Facts
The 450-guest Seabourn Sojourn cruise ship was launched by Seabourn Cruises in June 2010. She has two almost identical sister ships, the Seabourn Odyssey and the Seabourn Quest. The Seabourn Sojourn's godmother is British icon Twiggy, and she officially named the ship on June 6, 2010, at a gala ceremony on the Thames River near London.
Here are some fast facts on the Seabourn Sojourn:
- Ship's Registry: Bahamas
- Ship's Builder: T. Mariotti yard in Genoa
- Guest capacity: 450
- Crew members: 330
- Tonnage: 32,000grt
- Length: 650 feet
- Breadth: 84 feet
- Guest Decks: 8
- Cruising speed: 19 knots
- Original Cost: $250 million
- Passenger Decks: 10
- Passenger Space Ratio: 71.1
- Self-Service Launderette: Yes (complimentary)
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary cruise accommodation for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our Ethics Policy.