An Interview with Jen Martin: Seabourn’s Director of Product Development - Expedition

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Whilst on board Seabourn Venture we caught up with Jen Martin, Director of Product Development - Expeditions at Seabourn to learn a little about the team behind their exciting programme to some of the world's most remote destinations and exotic frontiers on board Seabourn Venture and Seabourn Pursuit.

Jen has worked in small ship expeditions for over 20 years and is an experienced naturalist and expedition leader in destinations all over the world.

Q. How did you come to be at Seabourn?

A. Having been on expedition ships for 20 years and involved in managing the expedition teams and itinerary development, my love of the latter brought me to Seabourn to help build the product from a lot of different angles - putting together a team that would help education, product development and operations all together. For me it was also exciting to be part of a brand that was almost like a start-up but with complete financial security.

Q. How have you seen the sector change over the time you've worked in it?

A. It's changed a lot because the guest profile has changed. Now guests are no longer satisfied with simply being taken wherever. People want to know more information about the trip which also has to be planned in more detail due to increased regulation and restrictions. There's also significantly more choice so companies work hard to differentiate themselves.

Q. What environmental changes have you seen?

A. When you go to the same places year after year after year, you visibly see changes especially as we're operating in temperate and polar regions most often, so you see different populations of penguin that are colonising places they never were before, or Arctic sea ice that was impenetrable until August in some places could be wide open in July or June.

Q. What most excites you about the Seabourn offering?

A. I love working on a brand-new ship custom-made for the guest experience, things like the bow lounge with the monitors that reflect the digital display on the bridge, and an expedition team of 26 people, the most I've ever had with any company. Add to this the guest expectation of luxury with Seabourn being our benchmark for what we do and who we are, from which we can boost with the amazing destinations that we showcase, it's an unbeatable blend of luxury and expedition.

Q. How does the Seabourn expedition product differ from other expedition offerings?

A. The expedition team's size means we can take everyone out at once, using a team with a huge amount of expertise. Add to this our attention to detail at all levels, be it the Swarovski binoculars to use in each suite, or the uniquely designed Helly Hansen parkas, it's all about combining comfort and discovery to elevate the experience beyond that of others.

Q. Which Seabourn itinerary most excites you?

A. Papua New Guinea. We are doing a couple of different versions, one more island focussed off the east coast, and then some in West Papua which will hopefully include the Asmat region and maybe into the Sepik River. For me Melanesia in general is an extraordinarily interesting place. You have Vanuatu which we're hoping to visit during the Pentecost when you have the land divers, and Ambrym, the island of sorcery where they perform the incredible Rom dance. It's fascinating as you have so many different island groups that have very different cultural traditions and they're not very far apart.

Q. Where is still on your bucket list?

A. I've been so fortunate to visit so many remote places so the two left on my bucket list are Mongolia and the Pantanal in South America for very different reasons. I love wildlife so the Pantanal seems like a wild, amazing place and Mongolia for the stunning landscapes there. There's something appealing about the places furthest out of your reach!

Meet the author

Alex is Director of Sales & Marketing at Mundy Adventures, having worked with the company for 10 years and in travel for over 18 years. His most recent adventure was a cruise on Seabourn Venture and he has also sailed with Regent, Crystal, SeaDream, Tauck and Ponant. His favourite adventure destination is South America however he's also enjoyed adventures in Antarctica, the Western Mediterranean, Middle East, East Africa & Indian Ocean, India, Myanmar and South East Asia. When he’s not travelling he loves walking holidays; a favourite included a trek to Everest Base Camp.

More about Alex

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