SEATTLE, September 15, 2008 â€“ Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alaskaâ€™s statehood in 2009 with Cruise West, (www.cruisewest.com/), the leader in small-ship voyages and one of the most experienced tour operators in Alaska â€“ 63 years in all. New value pricing, an extended season, early booking savings and the debut of the newly refurbished Spirit of Glacier Bay will kick off Alaskaâ€™s 50th. Guests celebrating their 50th birthday or 50th wedding anniversary will receive a $50 shipboard credit.
A total of 162 Alaska departures ranging from four to 25 days highlight the 2009 season. In continuation of Cruise Westâ€™s ship renewal program, upgrades to the Spirit of Glacier Bay will include redecoration and renovation of public corridors, lobby areas, and the panoramic Observation Lounge. All cabins will receive new carpeting and window treatments.
All of Cruise Westâ€™s small ships, ranging from 78-138 guests, allow for more compelling views of wildlife and cruising into smaller inlets that larger lines just canâ€™t reach. Alaska cruises operate late April through early September.
Coastal Alaska & the Russian Far East
Three Coastal Alaska & the Russian Far East itineraries cruise aboard the five-star flagship, 120-guest all suite Spirit of Oceanus from Vancouver, B.C., to the Bering Sea, crossing the Arctic Circle and traveling into the remote Russian Far North, home of subsistence cultures. Guests who book a Coastal Alaska & the Russian Far East cruise prior to December 12, 2008 will save $400 to $1,100 per person, and those who book before February 27, 2009 will save $200 to $550.
Covering 1,600 miles from Vancouver to Anchorage or reverse, the 12-day Coastal Odyssey cruises through the Strait of Georgia, British Columbia and Alaska Inside Passage, the Gulf of Alaska and iceberg-studded fjords of Prince William Sound. Port calls include a remote Wilderness Community, Petersburg, Skagway, Sitka and Whittier. Rates begin at $8,049 per person, double occupancy.
The 14-day Voyage to the Bering Sea travels from Anchorage to Nome or reverse passing over the Arctic Circle to the farthest reaches of the Bering Sea. Visit remote ports where subsistence living still exists in the Shumagin and Pribilof Islands and Russiaâ€™s Chukotka Peninsula. Rates begin at $10,599 per person, double occupancy.
The ultimate 25-day Alaska voyage, In Harrimanâ€™s Wake combines the Coastal Odyssey and the Voyage to the Bering Sea, following the path of 20th century railroad magnate Edward Henry Harriman.. Rates begin at $18,499 per person, double occupancy.
Alaskaâ€™s Inside Passage
Three routes travel through Alaskaâ€™s Inside Passage, including itineraries from Seattle to Juneau, with stops at picturesque ports and scenic waterways. This nature loverâ€™s paradise is renowned for temperate rainforests, snowcapped mountains, calving glaciers, breaching whales and gatherings of bald eagles. Guests who book a prior to December 12, 2008 will save $200 to $700 per person, and those who book before February 27, 2009 will save $100 to $350.
The classic nine-day Alaskaâ€™s Inside Passage itinerary travels from Juneau to Ketchikan or reverse, combining the popular ports of Skagway, Sitka and Haines, and rarely visited ports including the charming fishing village of Petersburg and the sole Tsimshian community, Metlakatla. Abundant sea and wildlife can be seen at Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Frederick Sound and magical Misty Fiords. This itinerary is offered on the Spirit of â€™98, the Spirit of Endeavour, and the Spirit of Yorktown, starting at $3,999 per person, double occupancy.
The nine-day Alaskaâ€™s Whales & Wilderness itinerary, round trip Juneau, centers on sea and wildlife viewing, including Icy Strait and Glacier Bay National Park. Port calls include authentic Sitka, the â€œJewel of the Inside Passage,â€ and a Wilderness Community. Cruise West offers a whale guarantee on this itinerary or guests receive a $250 refund. This itinerary is offered onboard the Spirit of Alaska, Spirit of Discovery and Spirit of Endeavour, and starts at $3,849 per person, double occupancy.
The Gold Rush Inside Passage 11-day itinerary retraces the historic path of the original Gold Rush stampede between Seattle and Juneau or reverse. Visit the towns of Sitka, Haines, Skagway, Ketchikan and charming Petersburg. Cruise the pristine waters of the San Juan Islands, the Strait of Georgia, Glacier Bay National Park, Frederick Sound and Tracy Arm. Offered in late April, May, late August and September on six vessels, starting at $3,899 per person, double occupancy.
Alaskaâ€™s Glacier Wonderlands Cruise/Land Tours
Alaskaâ€™s Glacier Wonderlands Cruise/Land Tours are popular with guests who want to maximize their time and see the best of Alaska’s National Parks including Denali National Park and Glacier Bay National Park. Guests who book prior to December 12, 2008 will save $100 to $300 per person, and those who book before February 27, 2009 will save $50 to $150.
The Glacier Bay Highlights and Denali Land Tour visits two UNESCO World Heritage Sites in nine or 10 days. Commencing in Fairbanks and ending in Juneau, the fully guided five-night land tour features a full day of sightseeing in Fairbanks, one and one half days exploring breathtaking Denali and one night in Anchorage. Join the ship in Juneau for a three- or four-night cruise to Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve ? Cruise West is the only cruise line that offers two full days in this magnificent park. The 10-day cruise/land tour includes a port call at authentic Haines. Offered onboard the newly refurbished Spirit of Glacier Bay, starting at $1,499 for cruise only (round trip Juneau) and $4,149 for cruise/land tour, per person, double occupancy.
The eight-or nine-day Glaciers of Prince William Sound and Denali Land Tour travels Fairbanks to Anchorage. The land tour follows the same itinerary as Glacier Bay Highlights followed by four or five days of spectacular scenic cruising in Prince William Sound known for cliff-walled fjords, narrow passages, humpback whales, brown bears, sea otters and harbor seals. The nine-day cruise/land tour also makes a stop at the fishing village of Cordova. New in 2009 is the option to add-on two nights at a Denali Backcountry Lodge. Offered onboard the Spirit of Columbia, starting at $1,149 for cruise only (round trip Anchorage) and $3,299 for cruise/land tour, per person, double occupancy.
All voyages include an excursion in every port, and guests are welcome to customize their trip by adding optional excursions.
Every Cruise West trip includes Exploration Leaders, guides who share their expertise and intimate knowledge of Alaska, whether travelers are curious about whale pods or tidewater glaciers.
Guests with additional time can extend their cruise with a fully guided land tour to Anchorage, Denali National Park and Preserve and Fairbanks or stay at a rustic wilderness lodge in the heart of Denali.
For more information visit www.cruisewest.com/destinations/alaska/ or call 1-(800) 296-8307.