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The passing of Cruise West into small-ship adventure-cruising history, at least for now, has left a luxury-sized gap, where once existed glorious whale pod sightings and crystal fjord shots – a modicum of Alaska’s wild and free natural reserve. Filling in for the recently bankrupt carrier, InnerSea Discoveries, a branch of elite American Safari Cruises, unveils four new Alaska routes to launch in 2011.
Departing from opposite ends of the waterway at either Juneau or Ketchikan, two seven-night Alaska Inside Passage voyages will sail through the Eastern and Western coves of the mesmerizing inland corridor. The itineraries promise to call on less-traveled harbors like Devilfish Bay, Patterson Bay and Deep Cove, Klawock, Baird Glacier Trail, and Yes Bay, where passengers will choose from a wide range of entirely customized activities, from crab fishing, to kayaking, to camping onshore, or snorkeling in Alaska’s teeming waters.
Two 14-night cruises will also ply Alaska’s pristine depths. The Wilderness Passages of Discovery is scheduled to depart Seattle and weave through 900 miles dotted with the San Juan Islands, Little Port Walter and Mist Cove, Frederick Sound, and more, while the Alaska Inside Passage: Ultimate Adventure completes a round-trip journey from Juneau, calling on Eastern and Western ports.
Effectively tackling affordable luxury, InnerSea Discoveries exploratory cruises start from just $1,795, and carry a maximum of 49 guests, with a 3-to-1 passenger-to-crew ratio. The ships, Wilderness Discoverer and Wilderness Adventurer, offer ultra-comfortable accommodations with flat-screen TVs, hot tubs, and iPod docking stations, while passengers are treated to perks like complimentary yoga classes, prepared local Alaskan seafood, and even underwater cameras and hydrophones, amplifying the intermittent, other-worldly whale song.
To book, visit www.innerseadiscoveries.com.