I took a luxury Arctic cruise through Iceland. I rode in a submarine and saw the Northern Lights — see what it was like.

I took a luxury Arctic cruise through Iceland. I rode in a submarine and saw the Northern Lights — see what it was like.
Rachel Dube on a zodiac.
Rachel Dube on a Zodiac.Rachel Dube
  • Rachel Dube went on a luxury Seabourn cruise with her dad.

  • During the 10-day journey, they got to explore remote parts of Iceland and Greenland.

  • Dube says she would sail again due to the luxury amenities, spacious suites and personalized onboard experience.

My dad and I always try to take one unique trip a year. Last fall, we decided to go on the Seabourn Venture, a luxury expedition cruise ship operated by Seabourn Cruise Line.

Neither of us had sailed with Seabourn previously, however, we heard great things about the line from friends and family. The experience exceeded our expectations and is something we still talk about to this day.

At the time, Venture was Seabourn's first and only expedition ship. Then, the luxury cruise line launched and began sailing Pursuit, their second expedition ship, this summer.

For a voyage similar to mine in 2024, the rate starts at $11,699 per person based on double occupancy for a Veranda suite.

We began our 15-day voyage in Iceland and continued through Greenland

The voyage went from Reykjavik, Iceland to Greenland.
The voyage went from Reykjavik, Iceland to Greenland.Rachel Dube

We went onboard the 264-passenger ship in Reykjavik, Iceland, and ended the journey in Greenland. The voyage itself was 15 days and included shore excursions at almost every port.

In addition, there were expeditions, such as hiking and Zodiac cruises/landings, and we got to see icebergs, remote towns, and picturesque scenery up close.

We went onboard the 264-passenger ship in Reykjavik, Iceland, and ended the journey in Greenland. The voyage itself was 15 days and included shore excursions at almost every port.

In addition, there were expeditions, such as hiking and Zodiac cruises/landings, and we got to see icebergs, remote towns, and picturesque scenery up close.

The cruise line sails to various expedition destinations throughout the Arctic, Iceland, South America, Antarctica, and more.

My ship sailed from Reykjavik, Iceland, to remote ports around Greenland, including Umivik Bay, Qaqortoq, Aappilattoq, Hvalsey, Narssaq, Qassiarsuk, Paamiut, Nuuk, Maniitsoq, and Sisimiut.

The cruise ended in a remote spot in Greenland where all those disembarking took a private charter back to Reykjavik.

During the journey, we stayed in a Veranda Suite

Veranda Suite on Seabourn's luxury expedition ship, Venture
Veranda Suite on Seabourn's luxury expedition ship, VentureRachel Dube

The room had a private balcony, a living room area with a couch, and a walk-in closet. There was also a queen-size bed, which we opted to divide into two twin beds. In addition, there was a large bathroom with a separate tub and shower.

In my opinion, this suite is one of the largest cruise ship cabins that I have ever been in. The cabin made great use of the space and the balcony was fantastic for checking out the gorgeous scenery.

Every passenger receives a hat, parka, and backpack to use during the journey and keep afterward

The gear is specifically designed for the ship to use during the journey. All of it was made by Hally Hansen.
The gear is specifically designed for the ship to use during the journey. All of it was made by Helly Hansen.Rachel Dube

The hat, parka, and backpack were from brand Helly Hansen. They are specifically designed for these cold-weather expedition voyages. They came in handy, especially during the unpredictable weather.

In addition, the ship had binoculars available for use during the voyage.

Each room had a special button that allowed you to hear announcements from the team

Announcements were made for wildlife sightings, northern lights spottings, and more.
Announcements were made for wildlife sightings, northern lights spottings, and more.Rachel Dube

The announcements could come at any time of the day or night. One night, I woke up at 2 a.m because the team said there were strong Northern Lights sightings. On another morning, I got up early after the crew announced they had spotted some whales.

These announcements enhanced the journey and truly emphasized the fact that we were on an expedition sailing cruise, not just a leisurely one.

Arguably the best part of sailing was experiencing places I wouldn’t have been able to see on my own

The Seabourn Venture ship.
The Seabourn Venture ship.Rachel Dube

This was made possible because the ship was smaller, so it was able to navigate smaller, remote stops.

There is an expedition team onboard each sailing

The ship had an onboard expedition team.
The ship had an onboard expedition team.Rachel Dube

The expedition team included a local destination expert as well as experts in fields ranging from marine life, geology, wildlife, and so much more. They were willing to answer any questions, which truly enhanced our voyage experience. They held lectures and were always on the lookout for interesting things for us to see.

The expedition leaders took turns guiding the daily Zodiac cruises, so we got to hear about different things while we explored.

Since we visited a lot of remote locations, we spent a lot of time on the ship

The balcony within the writer's Veranda room.
The balcony within the writer's Veranda room.Rachel Dube

There were various activities, including daily expedition briefings, where we discussed the plan for the next day, lectures, and multiple game and musical performances.

Some additional activities included the line's signature Caviar on Deck event, which my dad and I found out about once we got onboard. Although we ended up missing it, we heard a lot of people raving about it.

The only downside to the ship was the lack of connectivity. Since we were often in the middle of the ocean or in fjords without any civilization, it was hard to go online.

Thankfully, the ship had a variety of cool spaces

The sauna onboard the ship had beautiful sea views.
The sauna onboard the ship had beautiful sea views.Rachel Dube

There was a gym, the bow lounge, an expedition lounge, the spa (with had various treatment rooms), and a sauna. The sauna in particular had beautiful seaside views.

The Discovery Center is where most of the onboard activities took place

The discovery center was where most of the onboard activities took place.
Most of the onboard activities took place here at the Discovery Center.Rachel Dube

The daily briefings, along with most of the onboard activities, were held within the Discovery Center. It had a theater-type atmosphere with velvet seats and a stage at the front.

There was also a variety of outdoor decks to take in the views

At the top of the ship was a hot tub.
At the top of the ship was a hot tub.Rachel Dube

Outdoor spaces are available on almost every floor of the ship. There was a hot tub on the top floor, and while I didn't go in it myself, my dad said it was quite refreshing with the cold outdoor temperatures.

Since the voyage is all-inclusive, the dining and most offerings onboard the ship, including caviar and room service, are covered

The Club served up sushi and drinks during the evening.
The Club served up sushi and drinks during the evening.Rachel Dube

Our favorite spot was The Club, which served sushi, drinks, and other light bites. It opened daily at 6 p.m. and had a dedicated bartender and sushi chef. Everything was made to order, and my dad and I adored going there.

By the sixth day of our voyage, the staff in The Club already knew our orders. They were also incredibly accommodating to my food allergies and made sure to make everything separate for me. Live music played in this lounge everyday. Overall, the atmosphere here was relaxing.

Casual lunch and breakfast were served in The Colonnade, along with regionally-inspired dinners

The Colonnade was a great casual breakfast and lunch spot.
The Colonnade was a great casual breakfast and lunch spot.Rachel Dube

Breakfast and lunch were more casual affairs on the ship. Whatever we wore for our excursions, such as sweatpants and workout gear, was totally okay.

But dinners were more formal and there was a recommended dress code. I wore dresses, dress pants, and blouses, and my dad wore pants and button-up shirts.

During our time onboard, my dad and I ate food options like fish, salad bar, dessert, and other side dishes. The menu changed daily at one of the restaurants and we tried dishes like risotto, lamb, and chicken. My favorite part of dinner was the soufflés, which was freshly made and had a different flavor each day.

At most stops, there was an included tour with a local guide

Rachel Dube on a zodiac.
Rachel Dube on a Zodiac.Rachel Dube

Some of the tours involved walking around the small towns, while others included touring the local museums. Touring different places made our experience more memorable — especially since we were in secluded towns filled with a rich history.

Zodiac cruising or landings were also available at almost every stop

Elephant Rock, which was viewed on one of the zodiac tours.
Elephant Rock, which was viewed on one of the zodiac tours.Rachel Dube

With the Zodiac tours, we had the opportunity to view glaciers and icebergs up close. We were divided into small groups based on colors and went with the same group daily. Our tour timings rotated daily between two sessions based on our group color.

Once onboard the Zodiacs, I had the opportunity to hear from different experts and see different nature up close. This made our journey different from a leisure cruise; we saw wildlife, unique rock formations, and other natural sights. My dad and I really enjoyed the Zodiac cruises and looked forward to them each day.

There were paid expeditions, too, including kayaking and riding a submarine

The interior of a Seabourn Venture submarine.
The interior of a Seabourn Venture submarine.Rachel Dube

My dad and I splurged on the submarine ride, which cost around $899 per person for a 30-minute ride — it was totally worth it. The submarines can dive nearly 1,000 feet below the surface and offer panoramic views. We couldn't see much because the water was cloudy, but we still enjoyed learning about the vessel and heading below the surface.

Seabourn chartered an aircraft to take passengers back to Iceland

Seabourn chartered a jet to take passengers back to Iceland.
Seabourn chartered a jet to take passengers back to Iceland.Rachel Dube

We departed the ship in a remote location in Greenland and were taken in buses to the nearby airport. Then we took a jet back to Iceland.

I had never experienced something like this on a ship before, but it only elevated the luxuriousness of the experience. We stayed overnight in Iceland before departing back to the states.

Overall, my dad and I both really enjoyed our time onboard the Seabourn Venture

Rachel Dube went onboard the ship with her dad.
Rachel Dube went onboard the ship with her dad.Rachel Dube

The voyage took us to incredibly beautiful destinations and the team of experts onboard taught us so many things about nature, wildlife, and more.

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