Most passengers are in their 40s and 50s, with the line reporting an average age of 47. About 70% are American (with British, Canadians, and other Europeans making up most of the remainder), and are not veteran cruisers. They're the kind who have refined tastes and want top-notch service and gourmet food, but are secure enough to dispense with a stuffy atmosphere. When our coauthor Heidi sailed aboard the SeaDream I in the Caribbean, the mix included a fun-loving, middle-aged doctor and his wife from Texas; a 30-something couple-next-door from Pennsylvania, who ran a successful baking business and liked to swig beer from the bottle; a retired travel executive who was clearly used to the good life; a restaurant owner; and a group of well-dressed, hard-drinking friends celebrating a 40th birthday. Many passengers have chartered their own small yachts for a vacation or actually own one. Passengers were friendly and mingled easily, and by day three, alliances had been made and clusters of new friends were enjoying drinks by the pool and dining together in the open-seating restaurants.
The SeaDream yacht experience is most similar to a cruise with Windstar, whose intimate, motorized sailing ships provide casually elegant, yachty jaunts for mostly 40- and 50-somethings to similarly great places in the Caribbean and Europe -- though not with SeaDream's all-inclusive price tag. The SeaDream experience is less highbrow and way more playful than Seabourn, whose three 208-passenger ships attract an older, more sober clientele.
A big chunk of the line's business comes from full charters of the ships, often by large (rich) families. Smaller groups can sometimes take advantage of a deal that offers one free cabin for every four booked, up to a maximum of 25 cabins. Groups of 50 are a significant presence on ships this size, so when booking, inquire whether there will be any large groups aboard, to avoid the "in crowd/out crowd" vibe.
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Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.