Ship joins expedition fleet exploring Southeast Alaska in summer 2012
Seattle, WA –On the heels of a sold out inaugural season in Alaska, InnerSea Discoveries announces the acquisition of the 76-guest Wilderness Explorer, formerly the 86-guest Spirit of Discovery. After significant renovations, the ship will sail active, adventure un-cruises between Juneau and Sitka, Alaska beginning summer 2012.
“There’s no doubt about the demand for active, hands-on explorations in Southeast Alaska,” said Dan Blanchard, principal and chief executive officer. “We quickly sold out our first season. This ship fits in nicely with our fleet, and we are starting renovations now to add new amenities and spaces fitting our style of active adventures.”
Beginning June 2, 2012, the Wilderness Explorer will sail weeklong un-cruise adventures between Juneau and Sitka, Alaska with three days spent exploring inside Glacier Bay National Park. A National Park Ranger will stay aboard the ship for the full three days to provide interpretation on the area’s history, culture, geography, flora and fauna. The park ranger, along with shipboard expedition guides, will also lead guests on hiking and kayaking expeditions within Glacier Bay. Other areas to be explored include Icy Strait, Chichagof Island and Peril Strait. In May and August, two-week cruises between Seattle and Juneau (and reverse) will be offered.
“Adding Glacier Bay rounds out the wilderness areas explored by the InnerSea Discoveries fleet,” said Tim Jacox, executive vice president of sales and marketing. “The ships explore an impressive number of scenic and wilderness areas, and guests now have a broader range of choices, including the option of a three-week voyage.”
The new Northern Passages & Glacier Bay itinerary will sail from Juneau on Saturdays linking it to the line’s two other vessels—60-guest Wilderness Adventurer and 76-guest Wilderness Discoverer—which sail between Juneau and Ketchikan, AK (and reverse) on weeklong adventures beginning and ending on Saturdays. An all-encompassing three-week voyage combines a two-week roundtrip Juneau cruise with a weeklong cruise on the Wilderness Explorer.
Three cabin categories consist of 21 Trailblazer, 13 Pathfinder and 4 Explorer cabins. Bed configurations include twin or queen with many more made convertible during renovation. Cabins will feature flatscreen televisions with DVD players, iPod docking stations and eco-friendly bath amenities. All cabins feature a large, view window.
During renovation, two hot tubs will be added with one on the bow and one on the aft sun deck. A sauna and exercise equipment will also be added to the aft sun deck. The lounge bar will be expanded with the addition of 10 taps serving a selection of microbrews and cask wine. To ensure ample space for included adventure activities, a new swim step will be added to the ship’s main deck aft. The extra space will serve as a launch pad for excursions and host a state-of-the-art kayak launch platform able to quickly and safely launch five kayaks at a time.
With an emphasis on exhilarating explorations in Alaska’s wilderness, expert naturalists lead hiking and kayaking tours of varying lengths and activity levels. Guests may also enjoy open paddling. Other adventure activities include stand-up paddle boarding, skiff explorations and whale watching. Snorkeling gear is available for a fee. Flexible itineraries and few set port times allow the ships to seek out wildlife and maximize viewing time for guests.
Other shipboard amenities include complimentary on-deck yoga classes, a large resource library, well-stocked DVD library and board games. A professional masseuse is part of the crew and massages are available for a fee. An underwater camera mounted on the ship’s bow will stream video from the underwater world to flatscreen televisions in all guest rooms and the lounge. Healthy and hearty meals feature fresh ingredients including locally caught Alaskan seafood. A 3-1 guest to crew ratio ensures attentive service.
Prices for the 7-night cruises aboard the Wilderness Explorer start at US$3,095 per person, double occupancy, and include transfers and all activities except optional excursions. Port charges of US$167 per person per week, massages, spirits and gratuities are extra. To book an un-cruise or to request additional information, contact your travel agent or InnerSea Discoveries at 877-901-1009 or [email protected].
American Safari Cruises, a division of InnerSea Discoveries, is also acquiring the Safari Legacy, formerly the Spirit of ’98. Preliminary plans are for it to operate summers in Alaska’s Inside Passage beginning in 2013 and fall and spring on the Columbia/Snake Rivers. The company recently acquired the Safari Endeavour which will begin operations in Alaska in 2012.