Small-ship exploration line Cruise West (www.cruisewest.com) recently launched its epic world cruise, Voyages of the Great Explorers, that will circumnavigate the world in 335 days sailing westward starting March 5, 2010. Enhancing the journey is the addition of highly regarded Captain Reidulf Maalen, who will take the helm of the Spirit of Oceanus for five of the 24 voyages including the inaugural voyage.
“As a former executive at Crystal Cruises and fellow officer at Royal Viking Line, I had the pleasure of working with Captain Maalen and I’m very pleased to have the opportunity to work with him again,” said President & CEO Dietmar R. Wertanzl. “He brings not only a plethora of worldly experience to this exciting cruise, but a warm level of hospitality that has made him one of the most sought out captains in the industry. The fact that he is delighted to join us is a tribute to Cruise West’s dedication to making this epic voyage an unabashed success.”
“When my old friend Dietmar Wertanzl contacted me and asked if I would be interested in being a part of an innovative concept in ‘World Cruising,’ it didn’t take much convincing for me to agree to join on as Captain of several voyages,” remarked Captain Reidulf Maalen. “While I sailed and enjoyed the world on larger cruise ships, I often thought about the advantages of a smaller vessel that could take my guests off the beaten track, to places where most experienced cruisers had not yet ventured. The Voyages of the Great Explorers does just that!”
Captain Maalen will join the 120 guest, all-suite Spirit of Oceanus for the inaugural 16-night voyage Lands of the Lotus traveling from Singapore to Chennai, which happens to be a Chairman’s cruise as well; he will continue on the 16-night Song of India voyage from Chennai to Mumbai that departs March 20, 2010; and return to Captain the entire “Chapter III of the epic adventure Leif Eriksson and the Viking Sagas from July 19 – September 7, 2010, that is comprised of three separate voyages. Maalen’s knowledge of this region is unsurpassed given his rich Scandinavian roots. The 19-night Viking Conquests sails Honfleur to Oslo departing July 19, 2010; followed by the 15-night Baltic Treasures, Oslo to London on August 6, 2010; and finally the 19-night A Voyage to Vinland, London to St John’s departing August 20, 2010.
St. Augustine’s quote, “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page” was the inspiration behind the Voyages of the Great Explorers. Following the major routes inspired by history’s great ocean explorers Marco Polo; Odysseus; Leif Eriksson; Christopher Columbus; James Cook; and Ferdinand Magellan, this new world voyage is a collection of 24 individual voyages within six themed “chapters” comprising one awe inspiring “book” that reflects these exploits of the legendary seafarers. Each distinct voyage, ranging from nine to 18 nights, will offer historical insights into the sea commanders who first made history along the same routes
The entire voyage includes visits to 242 ports of call in 59 countries and 85 UNESCO World Heritage sites while crossing 14 seas and oceans, transiting four canals -- Port Suez/Port Said (Suez Canal transit); Corinth Canal/ Corinth (Mycenae/Nafplion); Kiel Canal; and the Colon/ Panama Canal.
Cruise West explorers can purchase individual voyages, sets of multiple voyages or the full circumnavigation. Prices per voyage start at $4,995 (US dollars) and include a hotel night pre-cruise. For maximum savings book and pay in full by July 15, 2009 and save up to 35 percent. Book more than one voyage and save an additional five percent. Quyana members (Cruise West past guests) receive an additional 10 percent and become a member of the Chairman’s Circle that qualifies them for a 10 percent lifetime savings for all future travel.