Small-ship line Cruise West will replace five four-day Alaska cruises with two 10-day saiings on the 84-passenger Spirit of Discovery in summer 2010.

The canceled cruises are the Glacier Bay Highlights sailings in May and early June.

Cruise West said that its 10-day cruises are selling 15% better than they did during the same period in 2008, prompting the line to add the two departures for a total of 12.

The line attributes the itinerary's popularity to a deal that offers seven nights for the price of 10. Also, many customers prefer leaving from Seattle, and half of the departures enable them to do that. The 10-day cruises sail between Seattle and Juneau.

"We are responding to our guests' preference for longer cruises embarking or disembarking from a major U.S. port like Seattle," said Richard Genovese, vice president of sales and marketing for Cruise West.

"We are increasing the number of departures on an itinerary that is hot right now for Cruise West. The positive news is that Alaska is booking in line with our expectations at this point in the calendar, and that Gold Rush, a 10-night cruise, is booking better than expected."

Port calls include the San Juan Islands, Petersburg, Sitka, Skagway and Glacier Bay National Park. There's scenic sea and wildlife cruising in the Strait of Georgia, Frederick Sound, Tracy Arm and Sergius Narrows.

The two additional Gold Rush Inside Passage cruises are scheduled for late May and early June.


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