n an Alaska market dominated by new
megaships and shorter itineraries, World Explorer cruises continues
to steam along with a classic ship offering extended voyages in and
around the waters of the 49th state.
World Explorer is entering its 24th season of cruising in Alaska
this summer with a new two-week itinerary called Land of the
The voyage will feature visits to areas that are absent from
most cruise charts, including the Metlakatla Tsimshian Indian
reservation and Kodiak, home of the Altutiiq Eskimos.
The line's 737-passenger Universe Explorer also will visit
better-known Alaska ports during the 14-night itinerary, including
Juneau, Skagway, Sitka and Ketchikan.
of World Explorer's 14-night cruises will feature the Land of the
The other five 14-night voyages offer the company's traditional
itinerary, known as Route of the Pioneers.
This route includes visits to Wrangall, Juneau, Skagway, Seward,
Valdez, Sitka, Ketchikan and Victoria, British Columbia.
The itinerary also features cruising in Glacier Bay and past
Both 14-night itineraries depart roundtrip from Vancouver, and
Land of the Ancestors also includes calls at Seward and Kodiak, a
new port of call for World Explorer.
World Explorer will spend the latter half of the year in Central
America and the Panama Canal.
The line is offering two 18-night holiday cruises in the Central
America/Panama Canal region from Dec. 12 to 30, and Dec. 30 to Jan.
Both itineraries feature port calls at Acapulco, Cabo San Lucas,
Cozumel and Playa del Carmen, Mexico; Belize City, Belize; Puerto
Limon, Panama; Puntarenas, Costa Rica, and Puerto Quetzal,
Guatemala. The sailings also include daylight transits of the
Port calls will enable passengers to explore Mayan ruins and
tropical rain forests, volcanoes and the beaches of the Mexican
World Explorer also offers more active shore excursions,
including river rafting and nature walks.
The voyages feature noted lecturers who discuss Central
America's art, history and archaeology as part of a series of
onboard programs designed to explore subjects related to the
Lecture topics include Art and Architecture of the Maya People
and Belize Barrier Reef and its Marine Life.
Passengers who want more in-depth study programs can select from
two enhanced programs -- archaeology/history and natural
These sessions are limited in availability, and advance
enrollment is recommended.
The Universe Explorer is a classic ship built at the end of the
transatlantic shipping era and remains one of the oldest U.S.-built
passenger vessels afloat.
According to company officials, the liner has the distinction of
having sailed under more names (nine) than any other passenger
The vessel cruises Alaska during the summer and Latin America
the rest of the year.
It serves as a floating campus for Semester at Sea, an
educational program run by the Seawise Foundation.