Cruise West wants to be known as a global brand, according to Dietmar Wertanzl, president and CEO. The plan is to grow the company with new and exciting itineraries, including river cruises in Europe and a Galapagos program.

While small-ship Alaska cruises remain Cruise West’s core product, Wertanzl said the strategy is to test new itineraries over the next three years.

Thus, in 2009, Cruise West will offer four river cruises on the Danube on the new 148-passenger Amadeus Diamond.

“We have the brand and past passengers looking for something new,” said Wertanzl.  The product will be an expedition-style river cruise modeled after Cruise West’s expedition-style concept.  The goal is to attract more repeat business.

Wertanzl described the one Galapagos sailing offered (and tested) in 2009 as an “ocean safari.”

Pending the success of the new offerings, Cruise West will continue to build its international presence and passenger sourcing, he said. About 15 percent of the passengers are sourced internationally, with Australia and the UK being the largest markets.

New destinations are also offered aboard the Oceanus, sailing in the Pacific.

Seattle-based Cruise West, which is privately owned, has a fleet of nine vessels plus charters and carries approximately 20,000 passengers a year. (For further details, see the next issue of Cruise Industry News, the newsletter.)