September 3, 2008 – Leading small-ship cruise line Cruise West (www.cruisewest.com) has announced 26 itineraries for the 2009 season, including four new and one re-introduced cruise. The four new voyages will visit Ecuadorâ€™s Galapagos Islands, the Danube River, the East Indies and Melanesia; the Vietnam itinerary is being re-introduced by popular demand.
The 2009 cruises include stops in 29 countries and 165 ports worldwide. The voyages will include 253 departures throughout the Americas, Asia, Europe and the South Pacific, with visits to 29 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Alaska, Cambodia, China, Hungary, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Romania and Vietnam. Cruise Westâ€™s nine small ships (with capacity ranging from 78-138 guests) allow for the companyâ€™s trademark â€œup-close, casual and personalâ€ experience, an opportunity not offered by larger cruise lines. Cruises range from three-night/four-day to 24-night/25-day, and start from $1,149 per person.
â€œOur Quyana Members (past guests) asked us to add new destinations and Cruise West listened by delivering four new distinctive itineraries and reintroducing Vietnam in 2009,â€ said Dick West, chairman and managing director. â€œI personally scouted the Galapagos itinerary and the Danube River cruise. In honor of Cruise Westâ€™s first European river cruise, I will host a Chairmanâ€™s cruise on the first departure. As with all Cruise West voyages, these new itineraries will offer guests the hallmark Cruise West adventure – an authentic experience.â€
NEW & REINTRODUCED 2009 ITINERARIES
Cruise West introduces the GALAPAGOS onboard the luxurious 40-guest Isabela II. The 10-day tour will start with two days in Quito before flying to Baltra Island to board the ship for an eight-day cruise. A post-cruise Machu Picchu Land Tour option is available. Three departures will be initially offered on August 23, August 30 and September 6, 2009.
Cruise West ventures to Europe for the first time with its 11- or 12-day Danube River cruise VIENNA TO BUCHAREST onboard the elegant new 148-guest Amadeus Diamond ? 2009 marks this vesselâ€™s inaugural year. This cruise highlights exclusive tours in Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Croatia and cruising in the Danube Delta. Four departure dates will be offered: July 16 and 24, 2009; and October 13 and 21, 2009. Add on a pre- or post-cruise Prague or Transylvania Land Tour.
VIETNAM is reintroduced by popular demand. Originally offered in 2007, this 12-day itinerary cruises Haiphong to Ho Chi Minh City via Ha Long Bay, Hue, Danang, Hoi An, Qui Nhon, Nha Trang and the Mekong River. One departure will be offered on November 21, 2009 onboard Cruise Westâ€™s flagship, the 120-guest Spirit of Oceanus. Add-on a pre- or post-cruise Cambodia and Angkor Wat Land Tour.
Cruise the exotic East Indies, SINGAPORE TO SYDNEY for the holidays onboard the Spirit of Oceanus. Offered December 16, 2009, this new 17-day itinerary transits the waters of early European explorers and will feature mysterious cultures steeped in ancient history in Indonesia. Spend New Yearâ€™s Eve in Sydney! Port calls to be announced fall 2008.
Extraordinary islands throughout Melanesia are featured on the new 17-day SYDNEY TO FIJI voyage departing December 28, 2009. Visit isolated cultures and pristine waters in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji and more. Port calls to be announced fall 2008.
2009 Itinerary Updates
COLUMBIA RIVER CRUISES: Twenty additional departures of the Columbia River itineraries have been added. Four spring and six fall departures of the delicious Taste of the Pacific Northwest epicurean cruise have been added, increasing from three initial departures in fall 2008. Ten spring and 15 fall departures of the popular and historically based River Voyage of Discovery itinerary will be offered, up from 12 total departures in 2008.
PANAMA & COSTA RICA: An extended season, one enhanced and two new land tours are offered on the nine-night Between Two Seas itinerary, traveling from Panama City to San JosÃ©, Costa Rica or reverse, onboard the recently upgraded 100-guest Pacific Explorer. Highlights include traversing the entire Panama Canal and visiting the remote EmberÃ¡ Village in the DariÃ©n Jungle. The enhanced cruise/land tour includes the 10-day cruise plus five nights of accommodations and adventures in SarapiquÃ and Arenal, Costa Rica. The two new land tours include a two-night/three-day Monteverde Cloud Forest visit and a four-night/five-day stay in Tortuguero National Park.
ALASKA: Alaskaâ€™s Inside Passage itinerary will offer an extended cruise season with value pricing and two new add-on land tour options: two nights at a Denali Backcountry Lodge in conjunction with the four- or five-day Glaciers of Prince William Sound cruises; or a four day fully escorted Denali land tour traveling round trip from Anchorage in conjunction with the nine-day Alaska Whales & Wilderness cruise.
For further details on Cruise Westâ€™s itineraries, visit www.CruiseWest.com or call (800) 296-8307.