Drawing on its 63 years of tour/cruise experience in Alaska, Cruise West (www.cruisewest.com), is introducing a new seven-night Alaska’s Inside Passage itinerary that highlights more wilderness and Zodiac experiences and authentic ports of call. Four-night departures will be offered on Glacier Bay Highlights and Glaciers of Prince William Sound voyages, and the popular 10-night Gold Rush Inside Passage returns with a new port of call. The deployment changes reflect the Spirit of ’98 staying on the Columbia River and the Spirit of Oceanus venturing on a new epic world voyage in 2010.
“Our redeployment is in response to demand and current market conditions, while maintaining the integrity and heritage of our core Alaska products,” said President and CEO Dietmar Wertanzl. “In addition, the new Inside Passage itinerary really reflects our core values as a company, which is to get off the beaten path and explore! The best attributes of both our Whales & Wilderness and classic Alaska’s Inside Passage itineraries were combined for the new streamlined itinerary. The included ports of call and waterways are a natural for our small vessels and this itinerary also offers further exploration by small craft excursions.”
The deployment modifications include 25 departures of the new seven-night Alaska’s Inside Passage cruise roundtrip from Juneau, which includes a winning combination of authentic ports, an included shore excursion in every port and awe-inspiring wilderness cruising. Guests spend one full day exploring both historical Sitka where a choice of additional shore excursions awaits, and World Heritage Site Glacier Bay National Park. The company enhances the itinerary with Wrangell, a hidden jewel that offers a plethora of high action optional excursions including bear viewing from the Anan Bear Observatory and taking a jet boat up the Stikine River. The lovely fishing village of Petersburg features a performance by the Leikarring Dancers, beautiful walks, and the charm of the local people and their rich Norwegian heritage. Always a favorite is scenic cruising in Frederick Sound and Stephens Passage, considered the most prolific whale watching waters in Alaska. Also featured are two additional days spent searching for sea and wildlife, including opportunities to explore around Lake Eva, Red Bluff or Security Bay by Zodiac inflatable craft, and a full day at Icy Strait and the Inian Islands. The action takes place on the 138-guest Spirit of Yorktown and 102-guest Spirit of Endeavour. Prices start at $4,399, per person double occupancy.
Further, the 84-guest Spirit of Discovery will operate 24 departures of the four-night Glacier Bay Highlights itinerary, roundtrip from Juneau. This cruise offers two nights in Glacier Bay National Park, with a stop at Bartlett Cove for a special presentation and an opportunity to take a nature walk, and a full day of adventures at Haines and Skagway. Prices start at $1,599 per person, double occupancy. Pre and post night hotel packages are available to build in time for "Cruise West crafted" excursions to enhance your experience.
The 78-guest Spirit of Columbia will operate 19 departures of the four-night Glaciers of Prince William Sound itinerary, roundtrip from Anchorage. One fifth of the state’s tide water glaciers are located in Prince William Sound and this is nature cruising at its finest. The glaciers and scenery are sure to stun even the most seasoned traveler. The small fishing village of Cordova, known for its prized Copper River salmon and inaccessible by highway, is a featured port stop offering adventure activities including kayaking, hiking and river rafting. Prices start at $1,199 per person, double occupancy.
Cruise West’s popular 10-day Gold Rush Inside Passage itinerary has been revised to include Misty Fiords and the authentic Tsimshian community, Metlakatla. Ten departures will cruise between Seattle and Juneau at the beginning and end of the season on all four ships. Port calls include traditional favorites and many jewels: San Juan Islands; scenic sea and wildlife cruising in the Strait of Georgia, Frederick Sound, Tracy Arm and Sergius Narrows; the Norwegian fishing village of Petersburg, Sitka, Skagway and Glacier Bay National Park. This cruise offers exceptional value with prices starting at $3,599 per person, double occupancy.
Cruise West is the only cruise line that provides a land tour extension featuring a 3-night stay at the six million acre Denali National Park and Preserve, included in all standard land tours. Guests have more time to explore the park and enjoy included exclusive lectures by naturalists from the Denali Education Center and Alaska Geographic. For guests seeking an even more in-depth and active Denali adventure before their cruise, the company offers a more exclusive and intimate experience at two interior park lodges: Kantishna Roadhouse or North Face Lodge.