SEATTLE, Oct 30 â€“ As travelers continue to look closer to home for their next getaway, Cruise West, the global leader in small-ship exploration voyages and the largest American-owned cruise line, is adding a new Summer 2009 Columbia & Snake Rivers itinerary. A reflection of the companyâ€™s attention to demand from their repeat customers as well as overall travel trends, Cruise West, now the only cruise operator on the river, is extending the Columbia & Snake Rivers cruise season through the summer with a new itinerary on the Spirit of â€™98. As bookings for the river itineraries continue to rise, Cruise West will stay and operate a new summer itinerary rather than send the Spirit of â€™98 to Alaska for the summer season.
Cruise Westâ€™s new, seven-night â€œBest of the Columbia & Snake Riversâ€ itinerary will cruise round-trip out of Portland, OR and highlight the native culture, cuisine and history of the region, with tours of the Tamastslikt Culture Institute, Mt. St. Helens and two boutique wineries. Additionally, guests of this Columbia & Snake Rivers cruise will visit the Bonneville Dam, the Pendleton Underground Tour and Pendleton Woolen Mills, plus take an exhilarating jet boat ride into Hells Canyon. The new summer itinerary departs weekly May 15 through September 11, 2009. Prices start at $3,399 per person, based on double occupancy. Guests who book and pay in full prior to December 12, 2008 will save an additional $450 per person, and those who book and pay in full by February 6, 2009 will save $350.
â€œOur Pacific Northwest itineraries have grown in popularity as weâ€™ve infused them with our signature â€˜Up-close and Personalâ€™ touches,â€ remarked Cruise West President & CEO Dietmar Wertanzl. â€œCruise Westâ€™s Columbia & Snake Rivers itineraries are part of our heritage. As the original cruise line on the Columbia River we have been perfecting these itineraries since 1992. We understand that travelers would like to maximize their vacation days by traveling closer to home and our Columbia & Snake Rivers itineraries offer just that opportunity.â€
The Spirit of â€™98, along with the Spirit of Columbia, currently operates the River Voyage of Discovery itinerary on the Columbia & Snake Rivers in the spring and fall, highlighting the history of Lewis & Clark. Additionally, the Spirit of Discovery will continue to offer its Taste of the Pacific Northwest itinerary, launched in fall 2008, in the spring and fall. This itinerary focuses on the rich culinary traditions and distinctive wines of Washington and Oregon. For additional information, a complete itinerary or to book a Cruise West Columbia & Snake Rivers cruise, call 1-800-296-8307, contact your Travel Professional or visit www.cruisewest.com