Cruise West (www.cruisewest.com), a leading innovator of small-ship voyages, has announced eight designated PENTAX Photographers’ Cruises for the 2009 season designed to help photography buffs capture the natural beauty of their worldwide voyages. The specialty sailings are in partnership with PENTAX Imaging Company, a leader in digital photography, and will feature field events and onboard workshops all co-hosted by professional PENTAX photographer Kerrick James.  The PENTAX cruises are at no additional cost to guests and will allow both novice and seasoned cameramen and women to take advantage of personalized instruction on an array of related topics as well as access to a variety of the newest PENTAX products.

“We are so pleased with the glowing reports we’ve had from guests who participated on the 2008 PENTAX cruises, that we have increased the offerings for 2009,” said President & CEO Dietmar Wertanzl. “Each Photographers’ Cruise combines small-ship sailing with the world’s most photogenic destinations including Mexico’s Sea of Cortes, Panama & Costa Rica, British Columbia, Alaska, and new in 2009, Europe’s Danube River.  Our ships provide an engaging classroom!”

Kerrick James has photographed the American West, Mexico and the Pacific Rim for over 25 years, and his work has appeared on more than 80 book covers, 85 magazine covers and in numerous feature stories in travel and in-flight magazines.  James will give hands-on  instruction and constructive workshops for guests seeking to capture on film the stunning vistas and once-in-a-lifetime moments inherent in every Cruise West experience.

Departure dates include: the nine-night Between Two Seas tour in Panama & Costa Rica on December 2, 2008 and March 2, 2009 (starting at $3,799; the seven-night Whales & Wildlife itinerary on Mexico’s Sea of Cortés on January 17, 2009 (starting at $2,599 per person); a seven-night Pacific Northwest Coastal Escape sailing on April 26, 2009 (starting at $2,999 per person);  four Alaskan itineraries including the eight-night Alaska’s Whales & Wilderness (May 30 and July 4, 2009, starting at $4,449), the four-night Glacier Bay Highlights (June 30, 2009, starting at $2,599 per person), and the eight-night Alaska’s Inside Passage (August 22, 2009, starting at $4,449); and the new 10-night Danube River, Vienna to Bucharest (October 13, 2009, starting at $4,899).

In addition to Kerrick James’ expertise, all Photographers’ Cruise guests will benefit from Cruise West’s distinctive Exploration Leaders Program, in which onboard experts provide guests with a wealth of insider knowledge and a passion for the history of the region.  Curious minds on Mexico’s Sea of Cortés, Panama Canal & Costa Rica, the Pacific Northwest, Alaska and Danube River itineraries will gain insight from Exploration Leaders throughout their journey, broadening their experience with a deeper understanding of the indigenous culture, history, flora and fauna of the region they are cruising.

For additional information regarding Cruise West’s Photographers’ Cruises visit http://www.cruisewest.com/photocruise/default.aspx or call 1-800-296-8307.  For more information on PENTAX products, visit: www.pentaxslr.com and for additional information on photographer Kerrick James go to: www.agpix.com/kerrickjames.