The Seabourn Odyssey, a 450-passenger ship under construction for Seabourn Cruise Line, will launch its inaugural season from Venice in summer 2009.

Pamela Conover, president and CEO of Seabourn, said that on June 24, 2009, the ship would depart Venice on a 14-day cruise to Istanbul, calling in Croatia, Montenegro and Greece. Its inaugural season will be capped by Seabourns first world cruise, a 108-day sailing out of Fort Lauderdale in January 2010. 

Seabourn has begun taking bookings for the ships first season from people that have been on a waiting list; on Nov. 5, bookings will be open to the general public. Conover said that in the highest category, the 14-day trip is $49,000 per person; the lowest price is $11,000.  

People put down money without even knowing where we were going, Conover remarked.

The Odysseys second trip will be a roundtrip Black Sea cruise from Istanbul, leaving on July 8. From there the ship will do a series of cruises in the Mediterranean before spending its first winter in the Caribbean, ahead of the world cruise. 

Conover said the new ship would meet some of the pent-up demand from Seabourn cruisers, 50% of which are repeaters.

We have been constrained by a lack of available beds, she said. People complain, 'Why cant I get on your ship?' "

Conover anticipates that in-room dining will be quite popular on the Odyssey because of its huge balconies, each of which will average 65 square feet.

I said, 'Larry [Lawrence Rapp, Seabourns vice president of hotel operations], get ready,' she laughed.

To contact reporter Johanna Jainchill, send e-mail to [email protected].

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