InnerSea Discoveries Announces New Moderately Priced Experiential ‘Un-Cruises’ in Alaska’s Inside Passage
Kayaking among icebergs and joining the Polar Bear Swim Club are two of the wildly diverse experiences offered by a new brand of moderately priced adventure cruising being launched by InnerSea Discoveries LLC, parent company of high-end American Safari Cruises.
Marketed under the same name as the parent company, InnerSea Discoveries will specialize in experiential activities for young-minded travelers who want to push themselves physically and mentally at a lower value-driven per diem cost; the brand will debut in May 2011 in Alaska’s Inside Passage with two expedition vessels.
Other included activities are stand-up paddle boarding, wilderness hiking, snorkeling, inflatable boat and kayak excursions among icebergs and along shorelines, beachcombing and whale watching. Optional add-ons include spelunking, river rafting and jet boat excursions; fishing with expert guides on a fully outfitted boat; and overnight backpacking and kayaking. Professional naturalists will provide stimulating lectures on the surrounding environment, and yoga and massages will be offered; both boats have on-deck hot tubs and saunas with a view.
The weeklong adventures between Ketchikan and Juneau, an area largely ignored by both large and small cruise ships, will be aboard the 157-foot, 66-guest Wilderness Adventurer and the 170-foot, 80-guest Wilderness Discoverer.
Two-week itineraries will also be available; the combined one-way explorations will cover different areas and activities. Both expedition boats were purchased summer 2009 to fill a void in Alaska’s Inside Passage; at present, a moderately priced highly experiential option does not exist.
The two vessels will undergo extensive refurbishing prior to their inaugural departures. Cost will be $2,500 to $3,000 per person double occupancy, with some higher-category staterooms for about $5,000 per week. Solo adventure travelers will be accommodated with single-priced staterooms.
The foundation of the new brand stems from focus groups with travel agents and prospective customers who expressed a desire to combine their love of adventure with their love of the sea. Under the same management as American Safari Cruises, the company plans to transfer the know-how that results in ASC’s 99.7 percentile satisfaction level to the new InnerSea Discoveries brand.
A new websiste, www.innerseadiscoveries.com, offers additional information and highlights of a proposed itinerary, as well as representative images of the boats and activities.
“We think of it as an ‘un-cruise’ because there are none of the hassles of traditional cruising,” says CEO and principal Capt. Dan Blanchard. “No crowds, long lines, herd mentalities, bus trips and tourist-clogged port calls. Instead we’re offering exhilarating activities in the wildlife-rich waters of Southeast Alaska, plus creature comforts aboard the boat.”
The fares include all meals, equipment for adventure activities, expert guides, port charges, taxes and transfers. Staterooms will feature Tempur-pedic mattresses, digi players and iPod docking stations. The comfortable public areas will encourage engaging conversations among the guests, who will be served by an attentive, English-speaking crew.
The parent company will continue to operate American Safari Cruises three-vessel yacht itineraries in Alaska, Mexico’s Sea of Cortés, the Columbia and Snake rivers, and the Pacific Northwest. Inter-island Hawaii yacht cruising debuts in 2011. For information, (877) 901-1009.