Changes in Cruise Company Names

Recently announced and observed company name changes have some people excited, others confused.

American Queen Steamboat Company

American Queen Steamboat CompanyEffective July 1, 2012, the company once known as Great American Steamboat Company is changing its name to American Queen Steamboat Company. This is an intuitive choice, as their recently renovated ship, the American Queen, has a stronger name recognition than the current company name. However, its timing is creating a bit of a stir, as the company just celebrated just over a month into its inaugural season.
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Dual-Christening of Safari Endeavour and Wilderness Explorer

Dual Christening of American Safari Cruises Safari Endeavour (left) and InnerSea Discoveries Wilderness Explorer (right)

“It is a happy day!”

With that statement from Dan Blanchard, CEO at InnerSea Discoveries and American Safari Cruises, along with “Oh Happy Day” playing in the background, the dual-christening of the Safari Endeavour and Wilderness Explorer began.
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Safari Endeavour and Wilderness Explorer to be Christened May 18

InnerSea Discoveries’ and American Safari Cruises’ dual-boat christening ceremony set for May 18 in Seattle. Sporting new hull colors, interior spaces, furnishings and amenities, the 86-guest Safari Endeavour and 76-guest Wilderness Explorer emerge from major renovation projects on May 18, 2012 for a dual-boat christening event in Seattle and a summer season of un-cruise adventures in Alaska.

Safari Endeavour
Safari Endeavour

Sporting new hull colors, interior spaces, furnishings and amenities, the 86-guest Safari Endeavour and 76-guest Wilderness Explorer emerge from major renovation projects on May 18, 2012 for a dual-boat christening event in Seattle and a summer season of un-cruise adventures in Alaska. InnerSea Discoveries/American Safari Cruises operates three expedition vessels and three yachts in scenic destinations including Alaska, Mexico’s Sea of Cortés, Pacific Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands.

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Paddle Boarding Takes Off with Small Ship Adventure Cruises

Paddle Boarding
Paddle Boarding © InnerSea Discoveries

Ever heard of Paddleboarding? Paddle Boarding is one of the fastest growing water sports in the world. And “stand up paddle boarding is catching on aboard small ship cruises.

Originating in Polynesia, the sport has been popular in the South Pacific and Hawaii. The sport has begun to catch on in a perceivably unlikely location — Alaska. While Alaska may not be considered a natural location for this water sport, it’s perfect for the bays and coves that small ship cruises explore, due to the flatwater found in these areas. Another destinations where the sport is picking up steam is Mexico’s Sea of Cortez, where sea kayaks have been popular for years. And of course, you’ll find plenty of paddleboard enthusiasts off the coast of Hawaii.
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Alaska’s Eastern Coves vs. Western Coves

There are several questions that often come up when planning to explore Alaska’s coastal waterways via a small ship cruise. What month to sail, what style of cruise (soft adventure, high-adventure, expedition, luxury yacht, etc.), what ship, etc. There are also lots of questions around which itinerary would be best. We at Sunstone Tours & Cruises see and receive lots of questions about two Alaska cruise itineraries in particular; InnerSea Discoveries Alaska Eastern Coves and Alaska Western Coves. So what is the difference between these two Alaska cruise itineraries?

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Former Cruise West Ships – Where are they now?

Cruise WestBack in the 90’s and into most of the 2000’s, Cruise West was a major player in the small ship cruising niche industry. Many of our clients fell in love with their Alaska experience and the ships. With the one-year anniversary of the Cruise West’s demise approaching, we like to check in on the former Cruise West ships to see where they are now.

Spirit of Oceanus

Spirit of Oceanus / Sea SpiritThe one time 120-passenger flagship of the line was the most luxurious ship in the fleet, and sailed grand Alaska and Asia itineraries. The Spirit of Oceanus was in the midst of sailing a world cruise when Cruise West halted operations. The ship terminated its sailing in Newfoundland, Canada and was immediately sold to TN Cruise K/S, who now charters the ship to other cruise lines.

Today, the ship, renamed Sea Spirit, is now chartered to several expedition lines, including Quark Expeditions and Zegrahm Expeditions, sailing the Antarctic.

Sea Spirit Itineraries

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