SEATTLE – Small-ship line InnerSea Discoveries, sister company to American Safari Cruises, offers exhilarating cruises in Alaska in 2011 that go beyond the norm. Each of the four itineraries ranging from 7- to 14-nights is designed to take advantage of the wonder and wildlife that are hallmarks of the Alaskan wilderness. Rather than just being an observer, guests are invited to participate in daily included activities such as kayaking, hiking, stand-up paddle boarding, fishing, exploration by small water craft and more.
“We designed the itineraries to take advantage of Alaska’s geographical attributes, authentic towns and to provide guests a multitude of meaningful ways to discover and get involved,” commented Capt. Dan Blanchard, InnerSea Discoveries principal and CEO. “The ships serve as comfortable staging platforms that are a welcome sight after a day of unique adventures. Our goal is to provide guests the opportunity to reengage their senses and revel in new outdoor experiences.”
The numerous activities offered cater to all levels of abilities. Guests choose the pace that appeals to them such as a tranquil paddle along the shoreline, a robust guided six hour paddle and hike at Deep Cove or quietly exploring pristine waters such as Yes Bay by stand-up paddle board. There are options galore including relaxing onboard to watch for sea and wildlife with a favorite beverage in hand from the on-deck hot tub. All itineraries feature a port call at the authentic town/communities of Wrangell or Klawock to mingle with the locals who look forward to sharing stories about their rugged history and native heritage.
Choose from four adventure itineraries: the 7-night Southeast Alaska’s Inner Reaches Western Coves, Ketchikan to Juneau; 7-night Alaska’s Inner Reaches Eastern Coves, Juneau to Ketchikan; 14-night Alaska’s Inside Passage Ultimate Adventure (combined Western and Eastern Coves itineraries), Juneau round trip; and the 14-night Wilderness Passages of Discovery, Seattle to Juneau or reverse. The itineraries are purposely flexible as nature sets the schedule and the floorshow. If a pod of Humpback whales are frolicking in Frederick Sound, the ship makes time to stop and linger.
Traveling with a maximum of 49 like-minded guests aboard the expedition ships Wilderness Adventurer and Wilderness Discoverer, guests can expect exemplary service, delicious cuisine with an emphasis on local foods served family style or buffet depending on the day’s activities, a 1:3 crew to guest ratio and access to top notch gear (such as Diamond Trail compact hiking poles, Necky tandem kayaks and Surftech softop stand-up paddle boards). The on and off ship experiences are accentuated by experienced naturalists who present topical information and serve as guides on excursions.
Both vessels are undergoing full refurbishment with many enhancements being added such as underwater cameras mounted on the bows to view the world below the surface including dolphins playing in the bow wake, newly-developed kayak launching floats, flat screen TVs/DVDs/iPod docks in all cabins to view videos taken by guests each day, 24-hour streaming video from the underwater camera or DVDs, memory-foam mattresses in all cabins and main salons designed with the blended feel of a 1940’s National Park Service Lodge and a neighborhood pub.
For guests seeking additional adventure, a sampling of noteworthy optional excursions include roughing it with a combination of kayaking, hiking and overnight camping with an expert guide; safely searching for bears at the Anan Creek Bear Observatory by river boat; and a half-day of sport fishing at Little Port Walter.