When the newly formed Sea Venture Cruises launches the M/S Sea Venture into the Alaska season next June, she may very well be the most innovative and unique cruise ship, as the cruise line is boasting in its press information. The ship is designed for specialty cruising in the upscale market.
The 7,500 ton, 360 pax. Sea Venture has an unusual silhouette with no deck space in the bow where the superstructure rises immediately featuring a twin-level observation lounge far forward of the bridge, offering a 240-degree view protected from wind and ocean spray.
In addition is a 360-degree lounge surrounding the stack.
All passengers will be accommodated in outside “suite rooms,” more than half of which have private terraces.
The ship is built on the hull of a roll-on, roll-off ship that never was completed, and total estimated cost is $46 million.
Sea Venture Cruises is owned by a partnership comprised of Anastasios Kyriakides, Chairman, who also founded regency Cruises; Anargyros Mertikas, who is also the naval architect; and Douglas MacGarvey, President.
Kyriakides has resigned all executive positions with Regency while he remains a principal shareholder of that company.
MacGarvey was formerly Senior Vice President of Marketing for Regency Cruises, and spent 13 years with Cunard.
MacGarvey referred to research the company has conducted which shows that their ship concept fills a void in the marketplace for a small luxury vessel at competitive prices. According to a spokesperson, part of the research was carried out by Travel Research and Advertising, Inc. of New York.
MacGarvey noted that he is aiming at the emerging demand for specialty cruising, adding that industry figures show the niche cruise market to be growing 11 percent in 1986 compared to 6.5 percent for the industry overall.
Press articles have compared many of the ship’s features to those of Sea Goddess, including the outside accommodations, the stern platform, one seating dining during the evening hours, and the ship’s ability to call at smaller ports inaccessible to conventional cruise ships. The ship will also carry its own 120-passenger glass-enclosed launch to facilitate visits where there are no docking facilities.
The ship is 424 feet with a beam of 56 feet and draft of 17 feet. The service speed will be 21 knots.
There will be a staff of 240 to service the 360 passengers. According to the spokesperson, food service and entertainment concessions have not yet been finalized while there is also the possibility that the line will provide its own services.
The Sea Venture will begin sailing in Alaska on June 6, 1988. Per diems will be in the range of $310 to $380 on 10- and 11-day cruises, according to the spokesperson for the line, who said that the line sees the rates as being competitive with NAC and Princess.
The ship’s hull has been strengthened for ice impact allowing it to travel much closer to the glaciers offering a more adventurous Alaska experience, according to the line.
The typical Sea Venture passenger is said to have cruised before – in Europe and/or in the upper categories of RCCL’s ships or the Norway; to come from a household with an annual income exceeding $55,000; and to be 45 years of age and up. A preliminary brochure is now being mailed to travel agents, while a “deluxe brochure” is due in August, by which time air/sea programs will be announced as well as land tours in conjunction with the cruises. The line has not yet officially committed to a winter program.
The first consumer advertising will break in September in the Alaska Travel Planner. The line is soliciting bids from advertising agencies. Ruthann Devlin and Associates is onboard for PR and marketing consulting.
The line’s intention is that the Sea Venture will be the first in a fleet of ships the same size, and Kyriakides has indicated that he may take the company public to meet future growth needs.
The Sea Venture is registered in Greece and classed with Lloyd’s register of Shipping.