Cruise West Offers Epic Year-Long Global Adventure

Ground-breaking Journey Will Visit 242 Ports, 59 Countries on 24 Voyages

Seattle, WA – Marco Polo; Odysseus; Leif Eriksson; Christopher Columbus; James Cook; Ferdinand Magellan — history’s great sea explorers have inspired an epic global voyage destined to become the most memorable cruise of a lifetime.

These legendary adventurers whose travels shaped much of the known and the new world set the theme for Cruise West’s Voyages of the Great Explorers — a 335-day circumnavigation of the world.  Departing Singapore on March 6, 2010, Cruise West’s flagship, the 120-guest, all-suite Spirit of Oceanus will sail westward, following the sun, to return to Singapore on February 3, 2011.

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” St. Augustine’s words will come to life on the worldwide itinerary of the Voyages of the Great Explorers.  Following the major routes inspired by history’s great ocean explorers, this new world voyage is a collection of 24 individual voyages within six themed “chapters” comprising one awe inspiring “book” that reflects the 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.

Drawing from its 63 years of tour and cruise experience, Cruise West promises one-of-a-kind voyages that will appeal to the history buff as well as the bold seafarer; traveling to places and sites that many people have only dreamed to venture.

“No other cruise line – big or small — offers a journey as long or as varied as Voyages of the Great Explorers,” said Richard West, managing director and chairman of Cruise West who will host the inaugural departure from Singapore.  “A true explorer knows that smaller is better.  These voyages are designed to visit remarkable destinations; waterways and sites during the best time of the year, and only a small exploration ship can access many of these destinations.  Our guests also appreciate the casual but gracious environment that the Spirit of Oceanus provides.”

The Voyages of the Great Explorers includes visits to 242 ports of call in 59 countries and 85 UNESCO World Heritage sites while crossing 14 seas and oceans, transiting three canals — Port Suez/Port Said (Suez Canal transit); Corinth Canal/ Corinth (Mycenae/Nafplion); and the Colon/ Panama Canal – as well as a voyage tied to The Famed Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Scotland’s colorful military musical spectacular..

Further exploration by Zodiacs and included  “Ultimate Explorer “ experiences will bring guests even closer to spectacular natural and historical wonders.  A hallmark of the Cruise West experience is engaging and thought-provoking presentations aboard every sailing.  These cruises will boast renowned guest lecturers, local experts and onboard Exploration Leaders who will expand upon the significance of the cultural and historical highlights as well as the explorers who left their mark.

Chapters of the Voyage of the Great Explorers

1.    Marco Polo  – Ancient Trade Routes of the Mystic East, March 6 – May 5, 2010.  Four enticing voyages recall the ancient trade routes from Southeast Asia to the Mediterranean Sea.  Departing Singapore, the itineraries include visits to Thailand and Burma before exploring the Indian sub-continent and Sri Lanka. Then it’s on to historic Iran, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Jordan and Egypt, before concluding in Alexandria.

2.    Odysseus and the Phoenicians  – Mediterranean Odyssey, May 5 – July 20, 2010.  In this realm of ancient mariners, six voyages explore sun-drenched islands where gods and goddesses once meddled in the affairs of mortals.  The voyages begin in Alexandria and sail on to mythic destinations in Greece and Turkey while guests savor the cultural richness and sensory pleasures of Tunis, Algeria, Italy, Sicily, Malta, Spain and Portugal before arriving in Honfleur, France.

3.    Leif Eriksson  – The Viking Sagas, July 20 – September 8, 2010.  Inspired by the heroic exploits of the Vikings, three voyages combine towering glaciers, capital cities, and leisurely days at sea between two continents. Departing Honfleur, France, these itineraries explore Ireland, the Orkney Islands and Scandinavia as well as the enchanting cities of Tallinn, St. Petersburg, London and Edinburgh. Then it’s across the Atlantic with stops at Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands before ending in St. John’s, Halifax.

4.    Christopher Columbus  – The New World, September 8 – October 25, 2010.  Five memorable voyages bring the New World into a new perspective.  Depart St. John’s, Halifax and cruise along the Atlantic coastline, island hop in the Caribbean and transit the Panama Canal. With the ease offered on a small ship, explore the tropical rainforests of Panama and Costa Rica before disembarking in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Extensions are available to the Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu.

5.    James Cook – Idylls of the South Pacific, October 25, 2010 – January 19, 2011.  Cruise the South Pacific from Guayaquil to Darwin, in waters Captain Cook once charted. These five voyages feature remote islands with pristine beaches, fabulous snorkeling and fascinating local cultures in Easter Island, Polynesia, New Guinea, the Cook Islands, New Zealand and Australia, ending in Darwin.

6.    Ferdinand Magellan – In Search of the Spice Islands, January 19 – February 3, 2011.  The final chapter of the Voyages of the Great Explorers departs from Darwin bound for the port where the journey began in Singapore. Along the way explore intriguing cultures throughout Indonesia that combine Hindu, Islamic, Western and indigenous influences and wildlife ranging from the extraordinarily beautiful to the wonderfully bizarre.

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.  Book the entire voyage starting at $233,995 and Cruise West will include first class airfare.

More information about these voyages can be found online at www.cruisewest.com or by calling 1- 800-296-8307 or a travel professional.

The Spirit of Oceanus
Cruise West’s all-suite Spirit of Oceanus is the line’s most spacious and luxurious ship. It offers gracious comfort for 120 select guests.  Each suite offers spacious closets, a large marble bathroom, sitting area and television.  Two lounges, an outside bistro and an open-seating dining room provide a casual atmosphere for socializing.  Seven suite categories are offered onboard, including 14 suites with private balconies and one elegantly appointed and spacious Owner’s Suite located on the ship’s Sun Deck.

About Cruise West
Cruise West believes that small is beautiful.  Small-ship exploration cruising allows up-close and personal experiences unmatched by the traditional larger cruise lines. For more than 63 years Cruise West has provided authentic travel experiences where the destination is the focus.  Nine small ships with guest capacities ranging from 78-138 explore remote and distinctive destinations throughout the globe.   A robust onboard enrichment program further enhances the guest experience through topical guest lecturers, additional exploration by zodiac and included excursions at every port.  Cruise West is the recipient of Porthole Magazine 2008 Readers Choice Award for Best Expedition Cruise Line.
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