American Safari Adds More in 2010

The soon to be released 2010 brochure for American Safari Cruises will detail new voyages on Alaska’s Glacier Bay, the Columbia and Snake rivers, Mexico’s Sea of Cortés and the Pacific Northwest.

Alaska Cruises

Important Fact

The National Park Service regulations call for a maximum of 12 passengers from any vessel on hikes at one time. With the small guest contingents on these yachts, American Safari Cruises can easily operate within this proviso, so all guests are able to get on shore to explore on foot. They’re the only cruise line that can do this. It doesn’t work for large cruise ships with thousands of passengers or even for smaller cruise ships with 100-plus onboard.

In Alaska, American Safari Cruises will increase its seven-night sailings into Glacier Bay National Park by 100 percent over 2009. On similar itineraries roundtrip from Juneau, the company will operate three luxury yachts — the 36-guest Safari Explorer, the 22-guest Safari Quest, and the 12-guest Safari Spirit. Every departure of the April 30 to Sept. 10, 2010, season includes two consecutive days in Glacier Bay. American Safari Cruises guests are permitted to explore by sea kayak and shore boat, and to go ashore to hike and walk on glaciers.

In addition, guests can use onboard kayaks and shore boats to search for bear, moose, wolves, mountain goats, whales, seals and birdlife, including puffins. Other highlights include a visit to the fishing village of Elfin Cove, the humpback whale-viewing waters of Frederick Sound and Icy Strait, Endicott Arm and Admiralty Island. Prices begin at $4,895 per person double occupancy.

Columbia River Cruises

On its “Rivers of the West” itinerary, American Safari Cruises has scheduled 13 eight-night spring and fall departures on the Columbia and Snake rivers of Washington, Oregon and Idaho, including four sailings that will have a wine and food theme and visit wineries. The one-way cruises between Portland, Ore., and Lewiston, Idaho, take guests through locks on the Columbia and include a jet boat ride into Hells Canyon. Departures run in March, April, October and November. Prices begin at $3,995 per person, double occupancy. The wine and culinary cruises on April 3, Oct. 8 and Nov. 6 and 13 begin at $4,295.

Baja Mexico / Sea of Cortes

In response to past guests’ requests, the Safari Spirit is returning to the Sea of Cortés for 12 seven-night sailings Nov. 21 through March 20, roundtrip from La Paz, the capital of Baja California Sur. Prices begin at $6,995 per person double occupancy; the full charter rate is $89,995. Pacific Northwest cruises aboard the Safari Spirit depart in September and October roundtrip from Friday Harbor, Wash., and explore the San Juan Islands of Washington state, the Gulf Islands of British Columbia and the passages of Vancouver Island, including Desolation Sound and Princess Louisa Inlet. Included are visits to Victoria and Butchart Gardens, a state marine park, Roche Harbor and Vancouver. Prices begin at $6.095 per person double occupancy.

The Ships

All three yachts carry two-person sea kayaks, motorized shore boats, an on-deck hot tub, exercise equipment, salon with large-screen TV for viewing videos, staterooms with DVD players and private bathrooms, a library and a complimentary bar with premium spirits, fine wines and microbrews. Meals are served at a single sitting and feature cuisine prepared with fresh, local ingredients. The guest-to-crew ratio is 2 to 1. The flagship Safari Explorer also features a sauna and onboard masseuse who provides complimentary massages and yoga sessions.

Visit SunstoneTours.com for more details on these itineraries. To request the aforementioned brochure, contact Sunstone Tours & Cruises at 1-888-815-5428.

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