Ex-Cruise West ships join InnerSea, American Safari fleets

InnerSea Discoveries, parent company of American Safari Cruises and InnerSea Discoveries, has christened two ships for this summer's Alaska season, one for each brand.

In a recent dockside ceremony at Seattle's Fishermen's Terminal, the 86-passenger Safari Endeavour joined the American Safari Cruises fleet, and the 76-passenger Wilderness Explorer entered service for InnerSea Discoveries. Both ships previously were operated by Cruise West, the small-ship line that went out of business in 2010.

The Wilderness Explorer is the former Spirit of Discovery, and the Safari Endeavour is the former Spirit of Endeavour. The two ships will cruise in Alaska.

Company CEO and principal Dan Blanchard led the traditional maritime christening. He and Tim Jacox, executive vice president of sales and marketing, unrolled a banner announcing the firm's marketing theme: the Un-Cruise.

A spokeswoman for the company explained that the names of the brands are not changing. Un-Cruise Adventures is being used "in marketing, as an umbrella over both brands." The Safari Endeavour is sailing weeklong cruises in the Inside Passage through August, roundtrip from Juneau. The Wilderness Explorer operates weeklong cruises between Juneau and Sitka through August.

Norwegian unveils island cabanas

Norwegian Cruise Line took the wraps off 10 cabanas available on Great Stirrup Cay, the line's private island in the Bahamas.

Located west of the island's main beach, the Cabanas on the Cay can be reserved for $249 per day either through the line's website or shipboard at the shore excursion desk.

Each cabana accommodates up to six guests and is furnished with lounge chairs, tables, a cooler, beach towels and a shower.

The rental includes a $50 food and beverage credit, up to six all-day passes to the Hippo Waterslide, one large float, bottled water and a fruit basket. A special menu will be offered to cabana guests, too, the line said.

Passengers who book a cabana receive priority tender service to the island.

Grandeur of the Seas Baltimore-bound

Royal Caribbean International in 2013 will deploy the 1,950-passenger Grandeur of the Seas to Baltimore, replacing the 2,252-passenger Enchantment of the Seas, which will reposition to Port Canaveral.

The Enchantment of the Seas will replace the 2,390-passenger Monarch of the Seas, which is being assigned to Pullmantur, a sister line to Royal. Parent company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. announced in March that the Monarch would join Madrid-based Pullmantur, Spain's largest tour operator/cruise line.

On April 13, the Enchantment of the Seas will sail a 12-night Southern Caribbean sailing from Baltimore to Port Canaveral before launching year-round three- and four-night Bahamas itineraries from Port Canaveral starting April 25.

In Baltimore, the Grandeur of the Seas' summer itineraries will alternate between seven-night Bermuda sailings, featuring a two-night call at Kings Wharf, and seven-night sailings to the Bahamas, calling at Port Canaveral, Nassau and CocoCay, Royal Caribbean's private island in the Bahamas.

The Grandeur of the Seas' fall schedule will alternate between six-night Bermuda and eight-night Canada and New England sailings. The winter season will consist of rotating 10-night sailings to the Eastern and Western Caribbean as well as eight-night sailings to the Bahamas.

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