The Empress' itineraries

he Empress of the North joined its sister, the Queen of the West, on Columbia and Snake river itineraries out of Portland, Ore., and will operate on Alaska itineraries again in May.

In 2004, eight-night, roundtrip sailings from Sitka will call at Petersburg, Ketchikan, Wrangell, Juneau and Skagway.

Fares start at $3,399 per person, double, which includes a shore excursion in each port and a precruise hotel stay in Sitka.

Departure dates are May 30; June 6, 13 and 20; July 18 and 25; Aug. 22 and 29; and Sept. 5.

An 11-night itinerary out of Seattle to Sitka will cruise through the San Juan Islands and call at Victoria and Vancouver, British Columbia, Ketchikan, Petersburg, Juneau and Skagway. Departure dates are May 20; June 27; July 8; Aug. 1 and 12; and Sept. 12.

Fares start at $4,399 per person, double, and include a shore excursion in each port.

For more information, call the American West Steamboat Co. at (800) 434-1232 or visit the Web at www.americanweststeamboat.com. - C.C.

To contact reporter Claudette Covey, send e-mail to [email protected].

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For more details on this article, see Paddling Alaska's Inside Passage, steamboat-style.

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