Spirit moves: Cruise West ship heading to Lower 48

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Cruise West has canceled the 96-passenger Spirit of '98's summer season in Alaska and will instead operate the ship in the Columbia & Snake Rivers.

The move comes as travelers continue to look closer to home for their vacations in the face of a worsening economy, Cruise West said.

The Spirit of '98 will operate seven-night Best of the Columbia & Snake Rivers cruises roundtrip from Portland, Ore., with visits to the Bonneville Dam, boutique wineries, Mount St. Helens and other local attractions.

The summer itinerary will operate weekly from May 15 through Sept. 11, with prices starting at $3,399 per person, double. With the shutdown of Majestic America Line, Cruise West will be the only cruise operator on the Columbia River.

In Alaska, meanwhile, Cruise West is offering a number of initiatives to boost business during the lucrative summer season, including money-saving early-booking programs.

For example, customers who book and pay for Alaska's Coastal Odyssey or Voyage to the Bering Sea itineraries by Dec. 12 will save up to $1,100 on departures scheduled after June 15.

To book a Cruise West Alaska cruise, call (800) 296-8307 or visit www.cruisewest.com.

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