In november 1988, Seabourn Pride
was delivered as the first ship for the Seabourn Cruise Line. She was built at the Schichau Seebeckwerft in Western Germany as yardnumber 1065. A small and luxurious cruiseliner, with a tonnage of 9.975. She is 134,10 meters long, 19,20 meters wide and her draft is 5,15 meters. She was built for 208 passengers and 150 crew, this ratio shows her status, as she was rewarded with 5 stars by Berlitz. Ships of around the same size hardly sailed with less then 400 passengers at the time. On her positioning voyage to the United States for the start of her maiden cruise, she ran into an angry stormfront that slowed her down so bad that Seabourn had to cancell their first cruise. Of course, this small ship (although double the size of the Sea Goddess
-yaughts) was built for soft-weather conditions in the sunny Caribbean and not for North Atlantic voyages. A second ship, Seabourn Spirit
, was added to the new company's fleet in 1989 and a thirth exact sister was built in 1992, but she became part of Klosters' Royal Viking Line as Royal Viking Queen.
Seabourn Pride was christened by Shirley Temple Black, an American actress born in 1928. She played in movies like 'Little Miss Marker' (1934) and 'Since You Went Away' (1944). She also did a lot of television work and later acted as the US Ambassador to Ghana.
The ship was instantly one of the most luxurious vessels afloat. Every suite was very large and has open views to the sea and there is an open-seating dining accomodating all passengers, a new concept at the time the ship entered service. According the the Seabourn website, the crew was hand-picket, 'recruited from the finest European hospitality schools and hostelries, are re-trained and managed according to the philosophy that every request is a golden opportunity to create delight, that the unexpected pleasure is what truly makes an experience memorable, and that the rendering of the very best service is a product of professional pride, not influenced by the expectation of a gratuity.' I normally try to use my own words in ship descriptions, but in this case, that seemed impossible...
For the passengers, there are many public rooms available. Two main restaurants, a large Spa and Gym, of course the ship also has a library, a showlounge, computer center and observation lounge. On the outer decks, a pool, several sporting activities and two whirlpools are present. In The Restaurant, the tables are decked with Porsgrund china and Schott Zwiesel crystal and some evenings in the restaurant are candlelit when a more formal attire is wished. On these evenings, there can also be danced in the restaurant, not disco-dancing though. On most evenings though, a somewhat less formal attire is enough.
For the sportive passengers, the ship also offers a marina that can be placed in the ocean at the stern of the ship so people can swin in the ocean safely from the ship. From here, also there come several sportive options like banan boat rides, waterskiing, kayaking and windsurfing.
With the addition of a new class of ships in the Seabourn fleet from 2010 onwards, in the beginning of 2013 the announcement was made that the original trio of ships would be sold to Windstar Cruises throughout 2014 and 2015. The new name for Seabourn Pride is Star Pride and she is the first ship to join Windstar. Her first Windstar cruise departed at the 5th of may of 2014 from the Catalonian port of Barcelona and it will take her up to Rome. She will be sailing the Mediterranean Sea during 2014, before she set sail for the far east in the winter of 2014/2015. For Windstar, the ship was updated throughout so she will have a fresh new look inside. The only sorry thing is the name, because a name like Star Pride may be the most unpretentious and unimaginary name in cruising history, and this in a time when good, innovative ship names are already so few... When will there please be someone in the industry who comes up with the intention to really think about a name, rather then just take over the old name and make it as silly as possible for the new company. Someone who does that should be awarded with, well, an award...