SEATTLE, Jan. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Seabourn, the world's leading ultra-luxury cruise line, has announced the formal signing of a contract for construction of a new all-suite vessel, continuing the fleet modernization that the company began in 2009 with the launch of Seabourn Odyssey. This award winning new class of ship, which includes the Seabourn Sojourn (2010) and Seabourn Quest (2011), has won acclaim from luxury cruisers, travel agents and journalists alike, one of whom proclaimed the design "… a game-changer for the ultra-luxury cruise segment." The configuration of the new, 40,350 GRT vessel will be based on the highly popular Seabourn Odyssey-class ships, with one additional deck and new expanded public areas. The ship will be built by Fincantieri S.p.A. in Italy, with delivery scheduled for mid-2016. It is expected to carry just 604 guests, based on double occupancy of the all-suite lower berths. The design will maintain Seabourn's high ratio of space per guest and enable highly personalized service by nearly one staff member per guest on board. In addition, every suite will feature a private veranda. "The new ship will continue the evolution that began with Seabourn's fleet expansion, adding modern design elements and innovations consistent with Seabourn's reputation for understated elegance," said Richard D. Meadows, Seabourn's president. "With its delivery, the most highly rated cruise line in the world will also offer travelers the newest fleet of ships in the luxury segment." The vessel will replace capacity that will be reduced when the company's Seabourn Pride, Seabourn Spirit, and Seabourn Legend are transferred to new owners in April 2014, April 2015, and May 2015, respectively. The contract with Fincantieri continues a longstanding relationship of more than two decades between Seabourn's parent company, Carnival Corporation & plc and the Italian shipbuilder.