Small cruise ship companies offering more in 2017

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Alaskan Dream Cruises' Chichagof Dream in Endicott.
Alaskan Dream Cruises' Chichagof Dream in Endicott.

Small cruise ship companies are offering up new experiences next summer to satisfy travelers seeking to increase their sense of inner wellness and those wanting to reach further into Alaska's wilderness.

Alaskan Dream Cruises is offering families on its seven-night True Alaskan Family Cruises a second day of exploration and discovery that will bring guests to even more remote areas of Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve.

"Being in such remote places really lets families disconnect from the outside world and experience the park's beauty together," said Michelle Glass, Alaskan Dream Cruises' president of sales.

Cruise ships typically sail past Reid Inlet but Alaskan Dream Cruises has arranged for a second disembarkation for guests aboard its 74-passenger Chichigof Dream. That will give guests more time for wildlife and glacier viewing, as well as exploring the park on foot.

Guests will spend the first night anchored in Bartlett Cove, the only inhabited area of the park. There, adults and children will find the largest humpback whale skeleton in the United States. Nearby is the newly opened Huna Tribal House, the first permanent clan house in Glacier Bay in 250 years where visitors can learn more about Tlingit history.

Other highlights of Alaskan Dream Cruises' family cruises include searching for fossils in Saginaw Bay, whale-watching in Frederick Sound, taking an excursion in an inflatable boat in Tracy Arm Fjord and visiting the Orca Point Lodge.

Alaskan Dream Cruises is offering two departures on July 9 and July 23. Fares start at $4,390 for adults and children 15 and under receive a 30% discount. More information is available at www.alaskandreamcruises.com.

Lindblad Expeditions will introduce the National Geographic Quest, a 100-passenger expedition ship that will set sail from Seattle next June and head to Alaska's Inside Passage where it will spend the summer visiting Alaska's protected bays, fjords and Glacier Bay National Park, as well as small towns such as Petersburg and Sitka. 

Quest sailings are available through AdventureSmith Explorations, which also has partnered with a family-run vessel Dream Catcher to expand its reach to Prince William Sound and Whittier, gateway to Anchorage and some of the state's most impressive parks. The seven-day, 12-passenger Prince William Sound Dream Catcher cruise costs $5,775 per person based on double occupancy. More information can be found at http://adventuresmithexplorations.com.

UnCruise Adventures is offering travelers 11 adventure cruises in Southeast Alaska, ranging from a week to 12 days with rates beginning at $2,895. New next summer is the Inner Reaches Western Coves itinerary with visits to the Tlingit village of Kake.

UnCruise also is pairing for the first time in 2017 with Lifetime Fitness to offer wellness theme cruises. Four departures are scheduled for next summer in which there will be two wellness experts onboard to create activities ranging from core strength kayaking to yoga on the deck to healthy cooking tutorials.

"A wellness theme is a perfect fit for our guests who enjoy being active and maintaining a healthy lifestyle while on vacation," said UnCruise CEO Capt. Dan Blanchard.

More information is available at https://uncruise.com.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article contained inaccurate information about the National Geographic Quest.

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