Seabourn invites its guests to enjoy some fine dining in a sheltered cove.

As far as unique cruise excursions and experiences go, just the sight of a team of butlers and tuxedo-clad waiters standing in full formal regalia yet knee-deep in the ocean is one to behold but which you can participate in as part of the Seabourn cruise experience.

This week we have been looking at some of the more unique and entertaining directions in which cruise lines are taking their beverage services, having already looked at Royal Caribbean’s bionic bartenders and the personal wine blending tour on Holland America Line. The series continues next with a taste of Seabourn’s ‘Caviar in the Surf’ experience.

Perhaps the beauty of Caviar in the Surf is really the sheer simplicity of it all, and in many ways, sometimes the best and most memorable experiences you can have while cruising are in fact the simplest. Essentially a high-end beach party, Seabourn aims to put its service standards – which it says is the backbone of everything it is about – to a bit of a test by doing something different and somewhat quirky for those guests who may wish to take part.

A unique event such as Caviar in the Surf requires a unique approach, including serving by surfboard.
A unique event such as Caviar in the Surf requires a unique approach, including serving by surfboard.

Available across the line’s three ships (becoming four in late December 2016 and then five in early 2018), the experience begins with guests whisked ashore in one of the ship’s lifeboats. If you’ve never cruised before, this is a common practice which helps ships ferry their guests to shore in parts of the world where the vessel cannot approach land, such as islands.

Waiting on the beach (aside from the partially submerged wait staff) is a lavish spread of caviar and associated breads, biscuits and sweets, as well as plenty of champagne. This is followed by a sumptuous beach BBQ, serving up shrimp skewers, steak, lobster and plenty of side dishes, all on fine china brought over from the ship. Guests then spend the afternoon in the sun or enjoying some watersports activities.

Caviar in the Surf on Seabourn serves up delicious platters of caviar as well as a sumptuous BBQ.
Just one of several caviar options guests can enjoy at Caviar in the Surf.

Caviar in the Surf is held in various parts of the world such as Ko Kood Island in Thailand, Indonesia or farther afield in Isla Catalina in the Dominican Republic or Prickly Pear Island in the British Virgin Islands, the latter two both in the Caribbean. Belize has also hosted Caviar in the Surf in the past.

Often, the experience will take place where there is a sea day scheduled despite there being only a relatively short distance between ports. This affords the ship an opportunity to anchor in a secluded, sheltered bay somewhere within a group of islands offering little to no surf or wave effects and where guests may even be the only inhabitants for the time you’re there. For a closer look at the Caviar in the Surf experience, as told by a Seabourn cruise director and restaurant manager, check out this video.