Discovering Alaska by Yacht

Cruising Alaska has grown from small beginnings in the 1990s to a substantial business these days, for which the cruise ships get bigger, the tourists more numerous, and the experience less personal.

One of the ways to regain that sense of intimacy is to cruise Alaska by yacht, and the Seattle-based American Safari Cruises has just announced a new yacht-style ship that will help to enhance that sense of wonder when you cruise those Alaskan waters.

American Safari Cruises newest addition to its fleet of three yachts offering inclusive adventure cruises is the 86-guest small ship the Safari Endeavour, which was formerly known as the Spirit of Endeavour.

The yacht-style ship will cruise in Southeast Alaska from May to September. Weeklong cruises roundtrip from Juneau, Alaska follow similar itineraries sailed by the yachts with two days exploration in Glacier Bay National Park and expedition cruising in Icy Strait, Frederick Sound, Thomas Bay, Chichagof Island, Ford’s Terror and Endicott Arm. Inclusive fares start at $4,795 per person. Two-week cruises from Seattle to Juneau and reverse will be offered in spring and fall.

An extensive renovation project will add American Safari Cruises’ exceptional comfort and refined atmosphere on board. The guest capacity of the yacht-style ship will be reduced 16% from 102 to 86 guests with a mix of twin (some convertible) and king beds. Five stateroom categories include three Master, 21 Commander, 12 Captain, three Admiral and four Commodore Suites. The suites will be created by merging two former staterooms and adding new step-out balconies. All staterooms have one or two outside view windows. Other amenities being added to the ship include two massage rooms, two hot tubs, sauna, exercise equipment, wine bar and a library. An all-American crew of 34 will ensure attentive service with a guest-crew ratio of 2.5 to 1.

American Safari Cruises’ active, adventure cruises allow freedom to engage in many activities, much like on board the yachts. Kayaks and stand-up paddle boards are available for excursions. Skiff rides will explore shoreline, wildlife and glaciers up close. Expert naturalists and guides lead excursions on land and sea. An enhanced program of educational presentations will be presented in the salon. In Glacier Bay, a National Park Ranger boards the ship for two days to lead hiking and kayaking excursions and provide interpretation of the area’s history, culture and geography.

American Safari Cruises’ meals are a highly anticipated part of each day. Exquisite cuisine is innovative and fresh with seafood and produce purchased locally whenever possible. All meals will be served in the elegant dining room, and the complimentary bar offers premium spirits, fine wines and microbrews.

The line’s other yachts include the 12-guest Safari Spirit, 22-guest Safari Quest and 36-guest Safari Explorer. Specializing in active, adventure cruises with flexible itineraries, destinations include Southeast Alaska, Mexico’s Sea of Cortés, Columbia and Snake Rivers, the Hawaiian Islands and Washington and British Columbia.

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