SEATTLE -- In response to demand for the small ship product, Cruise
West added two early-season departures to the seven-day Inside
Passage schedule of the Spirit of '98.
The first will depart Seattle for Juneau April 22 and the second
from Juneau a week later, bound for Seattle.
Chairman and chief executive officer Richard West said that 2000
was developing as an "exceptionally strong year."
The company operates seven small ships in the waters of the 49th
state each summer.
West pointed out that there were a number of advantages to
sailing in the early part of the season in the Inside Passage,
among them, these:Prices are substantially lower than in the peak months of
summer.There are more than 18 hours of daylight each day.Wildlife is plentiful; most of the deer, bears and other
creatures have not yet moved to the mountains inland.Because the majority of the cruise lines do not begin in the
market until May, ports tend to be less crowded.The aurora borealis is still in season in the spring.
West said that the emphasis on small ships -- the Spirit of '98
carries just 96 passengers -- "is outward on wildlife, wilderness
scenery, culture and history rather than [larger ships' inward
focus] on shipboard entertainment."
The Spirit of '98's two additional cruises start at $2,565 per
person, double, and include calls at Ketchikan, Skagway and Haines
as well as a full day in Glacier Bay and a cruise through Misty
Fjords National Monument, Tracy Arm Fjord and Frederick Sound.
Phone: (800) 426-7702 for reservations; (800) 888-9378 for