May 18 will mark a special day on the calendars of InnerSea Discoveries and American Safari Cruises as their two ships emerge from major renovations and have a dual christening ceremony in Seattle.
Complete with new hull colors, redesigned interiors, new furnishing and upscale amenities, both the 86-guest Safari Endeavour and the 76-guest Wilderness Explorer will soon begin their summer cruise adventures in Alaska.
The honor of your presence is requested
As is maritime tradition, the ceremony will include the familiar breaking of the champagne bottle across the bow of the ships. In keeping with their new uncruise tradition, the christening event, which begins at 5:30pm, is open to the public at Seattle’s Fishermen’s Terminal. Ship christenings are usually by invitation-only, but not so with InnerSea Discoveries and American Safari Cruises taking their uncruise theme to the next level and the open invitation.
“We’ve invested in these two boats to ensure maximum comfort, adventure and unsurpassed value for our guests,” said Tim Jacox, executive vice president of sales and marketing. “Whether you choose the inclusive yacht or the expedition vessel, the value and quality of our un-cruise adventure package will be remarkable.”
Safari Endeavour – four new suite accommodations
The 86-guest Safari Endeavour joins American Safari Cruises’ fleet of yachts—all with navy blue hulls. The guest capacity has been reduced from 102 to 86 guests with a mix of twin (some convertible) and king beds. During renovation, four Commodore Suites were created by merging eight former staterooms and adding new step-out balconies and Jacuzzi tubs. Four more stateroom categories include three Masters, 21 Commanders, 12 Captains and three Admirals, all with one or two outside view windows. All rooms have flatscreen TVs/DVDs and iPod docks.
During an 11-month renovation, interior spaces were updated with higher-end furnishings and fixtures and new spaces and amenities added. In the main dining room, a wine bar and a resource library have been created to provide two new gathering places to relax and read or enjoy a glass of wine. Other additions include six microbrews and eight Proletariat wines on tap in the lounge bar, new outside decks and a keyboard and flatscreen TV for presentations in the lounge. The dining room and lounge also received updated décor and an improved public announcement system.
Wellness facilities added to the Safari Endeavour include two massage rooms, two hot tubs, sauna, yoga mats for yoga classes on deck and fitness equipment. Two wellness directors provide a complimentary massage to each guest and lead morning yoga classes. Carrying 20 double-kayaks, a high-tech kayak launching platform was added to the stern to quickly launch four kayaks at a time.
Wilderness Explorer – three new cabin categories
The 76-guest Wilderness Explorer, now painted with InnerSea Discoveries’ signature forest green hull, will join the active adventure fleet in Alaska this summer. During a seven-month renovation, refinements were made throughout the vessel. Staterooms were refreshed with new décor, linens, flatscreen TVs/DVDs and iPod docks.
Three cabin categories consist of 21 Trailblazer, 13 Pathfinder and 4 Explorer cabins. Bed configurations include twin or queen with many more made convertible during renovation. In the lounge bar, guests will find eight microbrews and two Proletariat wines on tap. A new buffet in the dining room will streamline meal service usually held buffet-style to ensure maximum flexibility with adventure activities.
Other shipboard amenities include complimentary on-deck yoga classes, a large resource library, well-stocked DVD library and board games. A professional masseuse is part of the crew and massages are available for a fee.
Wellness facilities added include a hot tub on the bow, sauna and fitness equipment on the sun deck, and a massage room. A new swim step has been added to the ship’s main deck aft and serves as a launch pad for excursions. The boat carries 28 kayaks and hosts a state-of-the-art kayak launch platform able to quickly and safely launch four kayaks at once.
An innovative human-powered watercraft, built especially for the company, will be on board the Wilderness Explorer for guest use. Powered by two peddlers and up to six paddlers, it can be taken out for low-impact, up-close exploration of remote areas closed to motorized vessels in Glacier Bay.
Itineraries for 2012
The Safari Endeavour will sail weeklong inclusive roundtrip cruises Juneau from June to August. According to the company, guests will enjoy the luxury of two days exploring inside Glacier Bay National Park with opportunities to hike and kayak with park rangers. Seven theme cruises feature guest presenters or performers and a $518 per couple travel credit commemorating the christening of the vessel May 18.
The Wilderness Explorer will sail week-long between Juneau and Sitka (and reverse) from June through August. The itinerary includes three full days exploring inside Glacier Bay National Park including the lesser visited but equally spectacular East Arm with McBride Glacier and Muir Glacier.
Fares for the Safari Endeavour begin at $4,795 and $3,095 aboard the Wilderness Explorer, per person based on double occupancy.
If you want to experience an Alaska uncruise this summer, act quickly. With airfares to Europe at record levels, more vacationers are staying closer to home. This looks to be an especially good year to visit Alaska and cabins on these two newly renovated ships will quickly sell out before too long.
I’m the editor and creator of CruiseMaven.com, a solo traveler cruising the world on waves and wheels, collecting recipes along the way. I hope my articles and photos entertain, advise and inspire you to travel the world without flying. Take a breath…stop for a local meal and a glass of wine along the way.