Seabourn Cruise Line was founded in 1987 to compete in the ultra-luxury cruise market. It was originally intended to be named "Signet Cruise Line," but a ferry company in Texas owned that name and refused to give it up.
Seabourn's first voyage was in November 1988 on the newly built Seabourn Pride. That ship was followed by a twin, Seabourn Spirit, in 1989.
In 1991, Carnival Corp. purchased 25 percent of Seabourn and an additional 25 percent in 1996. That year, the line added a third sister ship, Seabourn Legend. In 1998, a consortium, which included Carnival Corp., purchased Seabourn and merged its operations with Cunard Line, and added three of Cunard's ships to the Seabourn fleet.
Carnival Corp. bought the company outright in 1999 and Seabourn became one of its "world's leading cruise lines." It sold or transferred the three Cunard ships, returning the fleet to the original trio. Carnival's Cunard operations separated from Seabourn's in 2004, and Seabourn operated independently from other Carnival Corp. brands.
The line then decided to increase its fleet again with three, nearly identical 32,000-ton, 450-passenger vessels. Seabourn Odyssey, Sojourn and Quest debuted in 2009, 2010 and 2011 respectively.
In April 2011 Seabourn underwent another major shift as Carnival Corp. moved its operations under the umbrella of Holland America Line, another of the cruise conglomerate's brands. Seabourn is based at Holland America corporate headquarters in Seattle.
In February 2013, Seabourn halved its six-strong fleet when Windstar bought its three original vessels. But the fleet did not remain a trio for long. In 2016, Seabourn debuted a new, larger ship -- the 450-passenger Seabourn Encore -- and followed it up with a sister, Seabourn Ovation, in 2018. The same year, the line announced plans to introduce two high-end expedition ships to the fleet. The 264-passenger new-builds are scheduled to enter service in 2021 and 2022.