Cruise West, Smithsonian partner for 'Explorer' voyages

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Cruise West Spirit of OceanusThe Voyages of the Great Explorers, Cruise West's yearlong world cruise departing in March, will feature lectures and presentations by noted travel experts from Smithsonian Journeys on select segments of the voyage.

Sailing roundtrip from Singapore on March 5, the 120-guest, all-suite Spirit of Oceanus will sail westward, returning to Singapore on Feb. 3, 2011.

The Voyages of the Great Explorers is a collection of itineraries that follow the routes of legendary seafarers. The trips can be booked separately or as a complete journey.

The lecture series is being offered on 10 of the sailing's 24 distinct itineraries during the yearlong cruise, highlighting locales such as Singapore, Rome, Alexandria, Istanbul and Mumbai. Smithsonian Journeys experts will lead in-depth discussions and presentations on each region's history and culture.

"A world journey deserves world-class lecturers and guides," said Dietmar Wertanzl, president and CEO of Cruise West. "We recognized early on that a lecture series provided by Smithsonian Journeys would be a perfect complement for our adventure, given their long experience with onboard enrichment augmented by speakers recognized as authorities on our destinations. "

Specific voyages featuring the Smithsonian Journeys' Lecture Series include the 18-night Pharaohs and Prophets (Muscat, Oman, to Alexandria, Egypt), departing April 17, starting at $10,695 per person; the 14-night Echoes of Odysseus (Istanbul to Venice), departing May 17, starting at $11,595; and the 19-night Land Down Under (Sydney to Darwin, Australia), departing Dec. 31, 2010, starting at $10,695.

Prices include a hotel night before the cruise. Guests who book more than one voyage save 5%. For guests who book the entire voyage starting at $230,295, Cruise West will include first-class airfare.

For further details on the Voyages of the Great Explorers itineraries, agents can visit www.cruisewest.com or call (800) 296-8307.

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