The Seabourn Odyssey is the first new ship for Seabourn Cruise Line in over a decade. About 90% of the ship's suites have private verandas. Some of the Seabourn Odyssey's features include one of the largest spas featured in a cruise ship, a built-in marina, and expanded guest services compared to the older Seabourn fleet. The ship's keel was laid in early July 2007. The ship includes 11 decks with two swimming pools, six outdoor whirlpools, water sports from the marina and a private diamond showroom. The Retreat features a nine-hole mini golf course, a giant chess board and shuffleboard. The ship was completed in May 2009, a few weeks earlier than planned. A sister ship, Seabourn Sojourn, was planned and launched in 2010.
The ship took to sea for first trials on May 22, 2009. The naming ceremony took place in Venice, Italy on June 24, 2009, and she sailed out for her first trip with guests, the maiden voyage, the next day.
The Seabourn Odyssey will sail the Mediterranean throughout the summer and early fall of 2009, and then sail the Caribbean before embarking on a world cruise – Seabourn's first – in 2010.