Seabourn in discussions with shipyards on newbuild

Seabourn Odyssey at SeaFEBRUARY 19, 2013 — Carnival Corporation's Seabourn Cruise Line is planning a newbuild cruise ship of similar design to its three Seabourn Odyssey class, 450 passenger, 225 suite ships delivered by Italian shipbuilder T. Mariotti in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

Left: Seabourn Odyssey at sea

Seabourn president Richard Meadows says the three "have raised the bar for ultra-luxury cruising"  adding that the line is already in discussion with shipbuilders and that "an order is likely to be announced within the current fiscal year."

Mr. Meadows gave the word of the newbuilding as Seabourn announced the sale of its original three vessels Seabourn Pride, Seabourn Spirit and Seabourn Legend to Xanterra Parks & Resorts, owner of Windstar Cruises. There will be no disruption in service or changes in operations on any currently published Seabourn voyages. Seabourn Pride will be transferred after its published schedule ends in April, 2014. The Seabourn Spirit and Seabourn Legend will be transferred to Windstar in April 2015 and May 2015, respectively.

Mr. Meadows said the new ship will allow Seabourn to maintain much of its current guest capacity.

Windstar Cruises said the expansion will double the size of Windstar's recently renovated, three luxury sailing yacht fleet, making the company the market leader in small-ship cruising with 300 or fewer passengers, with a total of 1,230 berths.

"Windstar Cruises has experienced four straight years of revenue growth," said Andy Todd , chief executive officer of  Xanterra Parks & Resorts "This expansion is the perfect way to build on the momentum following our recent fleet-wide renovation, providing us with the much needed capacity to match the accelerating demand for our intimate style of yacht cruising."

The Seabourn Pride will be the first ship to enter into Windstar's luxury fleet in April of 2014.  Following a Windstar branded renovation, which will give the ship a new name and casually elegant look, the Pride with set sail a month later in May 2014; voyages are expected to go on sale in May of this year. Windstar Cruises will take possession of Seabourn Legend in April 2015 and Seabourn Spirit in May 2015. These two yachts are scheduled to start sailing in May of 2015 following their dry-dock period.

"Windstar is proud of its heritage in sailing, but what our guests are most enthusiastic about is our intimate, yacht style of cruising. This style is the core of our brand experience and the new ships are a perfect fit to build on that foundation," added Hans Birkholz , chief executive officer of Windstar Cruises.

The fleet expansion will provide Windstar Cruises access to new destinations such as Asia and South America, in addition to the fifty countries the company already sails to.

Windstar's shoreside operations will continue to run out of the company's Seattle, WA headquarters.

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