New Ships (small) for 2008

The 2008 small ship cruise season brings some new and refurbished ships to us cruisers. Below are the ships, along with background information and associated itineraries.

National Geographic Explorer

National Geographic Explorer

Formerly the Hurtigruten (Norwegian Coastal Cruises) Lyngen and built in 1982, the ice-class polar expedition vessel was obtained by Lindblad Expeditions in October 2007 and renamed the National Geographic Explorer. It is currently undergoing an extensive renovation to become a state-of-the-art vessel. Renovations include gutting out all public & cabin areas.

Note: This ship should not be confused with Lindblad Travel’s first ship, the Lindblad Explorer, which was commissioned in 1969 by Lars-Eric Lindblad, as the world’s first purpose-built expedition ship, which sank in the Antarctic in November 2007.

Features will include:

  • zodiacs
  • kayaks
  • hydro-phones
  • underwater HD cameras
  • remote operated vehicle (ROV)

Shipboard amenities will include:

  • multiple dining venues
  • lounge area designed specifically for educational presentations
  • a luxury wellness spa

Cabin amenities will include:

  • Glass-top writing desk with special storage slot for the National Geographic Atlas to be enjoyed in cabin
  • Ample outlets and shelves for recharging cameras, laptops, etc.
  • 2 internet cable connections for laptops in each double cabin
  • Telephone for calling assistance, cabin-to-cabin, and ship-to-shore
  • Wardrobe doors on sliders (rather than those that swing open and tend to bang about in rough seas)
  • Recessed and open area of wardrobe with hooks, closest to the cabin’s entry, for convenient outerwear storage
  • Open and tilted bottom shelf of wardrobe for shoe storage
  • Full-length mirror in every cabin
  • Ample under-bed storage for suitcases
  • Ample shelves and drawer storage around vanity in bathroom

National Geographic Explorer Itineraries




Atlantic Coastal

Pearl Seas Cruises

Pearl Seas Cruises first ship (unnamed)

The new Pearl Seas Cruises is a subsidiary of American Cruise Lines. It features luxury cruises to the Canadian maritimes, Atlantic Coastal and the Caribbean.

It’s first ship, yet to be named, will begin sailing in August 2008 and will immediately sail the Atlantic Coastal before heading south to the Caribbean in November. The ship will boast luxurious, oversized staterooms ranging from 302 to 580 sq. ft, all with private balconies.

Shipboard amenities will include:

  • Elevator to all decks
  • 6 lounges
  • Spa
  • Well stocked library
  • Multiple observation areas
  • Sports and Exercise Deck
  • Fully stabilized

Cabin amenities will include:

  • Spacious Private Balconies
  • Large opening picture windows
  • Flat Screen Satellite TV / DVD

Pearl Seas Itineraries

Atlantic Coastal


Safari Explorer

Safari Explorer

The new 36-guest, 145-foot Safari Explorer, a yacht recently acquired by American Safari Cruises, will make its first Alaska port call May 30 in Juneau for the start of its 2008 eight-day, seven-night roundtrip cruises from Alaska’s capital. The ship will then relocate to Hawaii for its new set of itineraries.

The former yacht Rapture is currently undergoing a multi-million-dollar renovation in Seattle.

Shipboard amenities will include:

  • Sauna and complimentary massages plus an on-deck hot tub for an “under the stars” experience
  • Onboard exercise equipment such as elliptical trainer and exercise bike
  • A large screen TV/DVD in the main salon and an exclusive wine library
  • A full-beam swim-step for ease in boarding the two-person sea kayaks and the high-speed skiffs
  • A DVD and book library highlighting hundreds of titles and information on cruising destinations as well as fiction and other genres
  • Six two-person kayaks
  • Four mountain bikes
  • Fishing in Alaska
  • Snorkeling or scuba diving in Hawaii
  • Included bar stocked with premium spirits, fine wines and micro-brews
  • Intimate wine library

Cabin amenities will include:

  • All outside or above-deck staterooms
  • Two large suites with Jacuzzi tubs and balconies
  • Hair dryers
  • Bathrobes
  • Alarm clock
  • iPod docking station
  • TV/DVD
  • Heated tile floors in bathrooms
  • Tempur-pedic® memory foam mattresses

Safari Explorer itineraries



Spirit of Glacier Bay

Spirit of Glacier Bay

Cruise West is repositioning the Spirit of Nantucket from it’s 2007 Atlantic Coastal sailings to Alaska for 2008. And in doing so, giving it the region-appropriate name Spirit of Glacier Bay. It will make its Alaska debut in 2008 sailing 4 & 5 day Glacier Bay Highlights cruises.

The Spirit of Glacier Bay offers a sleek, stylish and quietly elegant decor, with light wood accents. The Observation Lounge features expansive picture windows, a video and lending library, plus cozy banquettes and conversation circles for mingling with fellow travelers.

Every stateroom features a wide picture window or porthole, private facilities, a writing desk and ample storage. And when it’s time to go outside, guests enjoy generous outside space on the bow and aft decks.

Spirit of Glacier Bay itineraries



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