Alaska adventure line InnerSea to hold ship-naming ceremony in Seattle

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InnerSea Discoveries, the newly formed small-ship adventure line that will operate in Southeast Alaska, will name its two ships in an April 29 ceremony at the Port of Seattle’s Fisherman’s Terminal.

The 60-passenger Wilderness Adventurer and the 68-passenger Wilderness Discoverer will enter service in mid-May, operating seven- and 14-night Inside Passage sailings between Juneau and Ketchikan on “Western Coves” and “Eastern Coves” itineraries. The cruises will bypass traditional ports in favor of lesser-known fjords, islands and coastal cruising grounds.

The line is a sister company to American Safari Cruises. The corporate parent of both lines, also named InnerSea Discoveries, is co-owned by Dan Blanchard, CEO, and Tim Jacox, executive vice president for sales and marketing.

Using a self-styled marketing theme, the new line bills itself as the “un-cruise” company because its itineraries focus on land- and water-based adventure activities. Among the offerings are kayaking, paddleboarding, wilderness hikes, up-close glacier viewing and fishing.

The line said it spent $3 million renovating the two vessels, which previously sailed for the now-defunct Glacier Bay Cruiseline. InnerSea said it was in the process of acquiring the ships through a lease-to-purchase agreement with an investment firm whose name it would not disclose.

In creating a sister brand to upscale American Safari, the company designed a less expensive product. Fares on InnerSea’s seven-night cruises start at $1,795 per person, double, while a seven-night trip aboard American Safari’s Safari Explorer start at $5,595. InnerSea Discoveries will operate through early September.

Advance bookings have been great so far, according to InnerSea Discoveries spokeswoman Sarah Scoltock.

“There’s been a big response,” she said. “These are moderately priced cruises and very high on adventure activities off the ship, and all activities [and gear] are included.”

The launch of the new line was announced last fall, after its parent company acquired the website and customer databases of the defunct Cruise West.

The naming ceremony for the two InnerSea Discoveries ships also will have an “un-cruise” flavor about it. For one thing, no godmothers are involved. Instead, Scoltock said, the company’s owners have invited “longtime friends from the cruise industry and from Alaska to participate in the tradition.”

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