Cruise West awards prizes

SEATTLE -- Travel agents have less than two weeks to get in on a California Wine Country cruise sweepstakes that could earn them cash prizes of up to $1,000 in addition to the standard 10% commission.

Seattle-based Cruise West introduced the contest to reward individual agents and their agencies for wine country cruise sales made by Aug. 31.

The company is offering three- and four-night cruises in the California Delta country to the wine regions of Napa, Sonoma and Carneros out of San Francisco between Sept. 24 and Dec. 17.

Agents booking cabins on the ships automatically will be entered in a drawing each time. The top selling agent will win a three-night cruise, including air fare.

Cash prizes of $250, $500 and $1,000 also will be given away in a drawing of the names of all qualifying individual agents. For each agency that sells 10 or more cabins, Cruise West will host a wine and cheese party for the entire staff.

Cruise West's representatives in the market will be the 100-passenger Spirit of Endeavour and Spirit of '98. The latter is undergoing extensive repairs in Seattle after hitting a submerged rock near Juneau, Alaska, but will be back in service in plenty of time for its California season, according to Cruise West president Dick West.

The ships leave from San Francisco and sail along the Napa and Sacramento rivers. Two full days of winery visits, tastings, banquets and tours are included in each itinerary.

A wine expert will travel with each ship, lecturing en route. The three-night cruise is priced from $495 per person, double; the four-night rate is from $695 per person, double. The two ships -- out of Cruise West's fleet of seven -- will be in Alaska during the summer months.

Cruise West

Phone: (800) 426-7702 or (206) 441-4757 (reservations), (800) 888-9378 (brochures)

Web: www.cruisewest.com

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