Cruise West Announces Five Specialty Cruises In Mexico

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SEATTLE, July 23, 2008 – Cruise West (www.cruisewest.com), a leading innovator of small-ship itineraries, announces its eight-day Mexico’s Sea of Cortés Whales & Wildlife schedule for 2008-2009. Whales & Wildlife sails aboard the 138-guest Spirit of Yorktown and will offer 14 departures, including five specialty cruises and a new, optional post-cruise excursion to benefit the La Paz Children’s Home in Baja, Mexico. The specialty itineraries include John Steinbeck-inspired cruises with literary experts aboard, a PENTAX photography cruise with professional photographers, and two holiday itineraries.

After experiencing seven days of exotic wildlife and idyllic beaches, guests aboard the March 7, 2009 sailing can opt to disembark in La Paz to assist in a “work party” at the La Paz Children’s Home. The work party is part of Cruise West’s “Our Bear Cares” program and was created in partnership with the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia, the travel organizer for the World Affairs Councils of America. Volunteers will spend two nights in La Paz with one full day spent working at the children’s home. The optional excursion is $225 per person, double occupancy.

Guests aboard the Christmas sailing, departing December 20, 2008, will enjoy a traditional Nochebuena Christmas Eve feast and unwind for a Feliz Navidad on a remote beach with festive Mexican holiday activities. New Year’s guests on the December 27, 2008 departure will celebrate the Feliz Año Nuevo with a midnight toast and late night buffet, as well as a stop in La Paz to celebrate the “Epiphany” or “Three Kings” day.

On the January 3 and 10, 2009 sailings, guest speakers, including John Steinbeck scholars, will explain how the author’s 1940 expedition to the region inspired his The Log of the Sea of Cortez. The PENTAX photography cruise, sailing January 17, 2009, features a PENTAX professional photographer onboard to assist budding Ansel Adams imitators as they create masterpieces with their cameras.

All Whales & Wildlife guests will experience firsthand the Sea of Cortés’s abundant concentration of marine life, from dolphins to sea lions to pelicans. Highlights on the eight-day itinerary include guided nature walks through lush islands, snorkeling, kayaking, whale watching aboard a panga boat in Magdalena Bay (the whales can typically be found from mid-January thru March), tours of historic missions and churches and a fiesta complete with Mexican music, dancers and a piñata. Adventure seekers can add on a four-day post-cruise Copper Canyon Tour, including a railroad ride into the Sierra Madres through six interconnecting canyons, immersion in Tarahumara Indian culture and exploration of Pancho Villa’s hometown of Chihuaua.

Rates begin at $2,199 per person based on double occupancy. Guests will save up to $350 on departures in December 2009 by booking and paying in full by March 27, 2009; guests will save up to $175 on departures from January through March 2009 by booking and paying in full by September 5, 2008.

For additional information regarding Cruise West’s Sea of Cortés voyage visit www.cruisewest.com/destinations/sea_of_cortes/ or call 1-800-296-8307.