American Safari Cruises is great for families…Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet can attest to that

One of my favorite small ship cruises lines is American Safari Cruises. These ships are really small, 10-20 passengers, and they offer a wonderful experience.

Thirteen years ago my husband Chet and I sailed on the Safari Quest during its first season. The story that I wrote about that trip appeared in newspapers all over America. It was so much fun…tucking into small bays all around Alaska. There were only 16 of us on that trip.

Kate Winslet and daughter

Chet’s brother Carl and his wife Vicki sailed with us and they liked it so much they returned two more times, bringing more friends with them.

It is nice to know, these many years later, that the company has managed to survive and branch out. It has offered its small ship cruises in Los Cabos and in 2011 introduced an Hawaii program.

A press release arrived recently telling us that young actresses Kate Winslet and Emma Thompson and their extended families have twice chartered the ship. The fact that these women allow their quotes to be in a press release speaks very highly of the company. Obviously, they would not have their names attached to anything but a superior vacation experience.

Here’s what they said:

“Our success has a lot to do with the degree of satisfaction of our guests,” said Tim Jacox, executive VP of sales and marketing. “They often rate us above expectation in all areas, and that’s especially true of two recent charters by two well-known actresses – Kate Winslet and Emma Thompson – and their children and extended families.”

The 10-person, multi-generational one-week charter in Alaska was aboard American Safari’s 105-foot, 12-guest luxury yacht Safari Spirit. The cruise roundtrip from Juneau spent two full days in Glacier Bay National Park to hike, explore glaciers, follow wildlife and learn from the onboard naturalist. An all-American crew of six ensured that guests saw the real Alaska close up in kayaks, motorized skiffs and from the comfort of the yacht.

In a letter to the crew, Winslet described the trip as one to be treasured, remembered and never forgotten. “We have been utterly overwhelmed by this wonderful experience,” she wrote. “Thank you for introducing us to an unbelievable new world. Every second of this trip has been mind-blowing. It far exceeded my expectations and every little detail was thought-out and wonderful. This is the kind of holiday that leaves a foot-print on your soul.”

Thompson called the yacht “bliss, utterly gorgeous and so comfortable.” She remarked on the crew’s enthusiasm and the harmony they created. “ ‘Thank you’ is inadequate,” she said, “and our gratitude is boundless, like the beauty of this trip.”

True testimonial comes in the form of traveling again with the same company. Such is the case with these two busy actresses as they were able to fit a second cruise on the same yacht within seven months of the first – this time to Mexico’s Sea of Cortés. Praise was equal to the first adventure with hopes of cruising again.

Here are the details:

American Safari Cruises offers luxury in the pursuit of adventure. The company’s three yachts have high-end amenities including on-deck hot tubs, private bathrooms with heated floors, staterooms with Tempur-pedic mattresses, a 2-to-1 guest-crew ratio, and complimentary bar with premium liquors, fine wines and microbrews. Two of the yachts have saunas and one offers complimentary massages from an onboard massage therapist.

American Safari Cruises pioneered yacht cruises in Alaska’s Inside Passage 13 years ago. Information: or (888) 862-8881; or (877) 901-1009. Their website is

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