Cruise West (www.cruisewest.com), a leading global provider of small-ship exploration cruises to some of the world’s most fascinating destinations, honors Alaska’s 50th year of statehood with exclusive land tours of exceptional value. Of the 1.5 million projected visitors to the nation’s largest state in 2009, only Cruise West guests will experience personalized, locally inspired adventures at Denali National Park and throughout Alaska, providing an attractive intimate alternative to the larger passenger vessels.
The 89 Alaska-bound departures – ranging from 3-night getaways along ice-carved fjords in Prince William Sound to 3,600-mile, 25-day sojourns beyond rugged coastlines into the Bering Sea – include one-of-a-kind “intangibles” that only a 63-year-old family-run company can offer. Cruise West is the only company that combines two of the most notable destinations in Alaska (Glacier Bay National Park and Denali National Park) in an 8-night cruise tour package.
“The Denali Corridor (Anchorage to Fairbanks with a stop in Denali), is extremely popular,” remarked John Kreilkamp, vice president of Alaska land operations. “To excel as a tour operator you have to offer unique service and value. Cruise West has built a reputation of being a niche operator and we deliver on just that.”
Cruise West is the only American owned Cruise Tour company in Alaska, Further, it is the only cruise line that provides a land tour extension featuring a 3-night stay at the park entrance, giving intrepid types ample time to explore the home of North America’s highest peak. And only Cruise West offers guests the choice of three Park tours at the time of booking – choices include a 90-mile, 12-hour Wilderness Tour; a 50 mile, 7 hour Tundra Wilderness Tour; or a 20 mile 5 hour Denali Natural History Tour. In addition, the company includes an exclusive presentation “An overview of the sub-arctic” from a certified naturalist from the Denali Education Center.
Setting itself apart with strong ties to local businesses and time-honored traditions, guests receive a hospitable Alaska welcome from a uniformed Meet & Greet agent when arriving in Anchorage, Ketchikan, Juneau or Fairbanks. The distinctive “Dine Around” program encourages all guests to savor a la carte meals at Anchorage and Denali’s finest restaurants, exposing diners to authentic flavors of the nation’s largest state.
For guests seeking an even more in-depth and active Denali experience before their cruise, the company offers a more exclusive and intimate experience at three interior Park lodges: Kantishna, North Face Lodge or Camp Denali. “Camp Denali and North Face Lodge are the only properties inside the park boundaries that feature direct views of Mt. McKinley, the highest peak in North America, from your room and dining room,” says Kreilkamp.
Upgrades to land tour transportation round out Cruise West’s exceptional value: well-appointed Dome cars convey guests along dazzlingly scenic routes between Talkeetna and Denali, reducing travel time to allow for leisurely dining upon arrival in Anchorage. New cushy MCI coaches smoothly shuttle guests from Anchorage to Talkeetna and Whittier, and between Fairbanks and Denali National Park. Cruise West’s average group departure is 25 guests.