Small Ship Cruising in the U.S.

 The line emphasizes the “un-cruise.” Tim Jacox, executive v.p., sales and marketing, InnerSea Discoveries/American Safari Cruises, explains: “An un-cruise searches the protected shores and waters for ultimate wildlife, scenic and wilderness encounters. A key to the uncruise is small group access to explore remote, inner reaches and avoid the beaten path inhabited by main stream cruise ships. We go where other ships do not and focus on actively exploring the wilderness—hiking, kayaking, skiff explorations, paddle boarding, expert naturalists, exclusive cultural experiences. Our guests spend time discovering and playing outside, learning about the area’s history and culture, watching whales and seeking out other wildlife. Our itineraries are flexible and we are guided by nature and wildlife.”

They offer, he says, a redefinition of luxury. “Certainly American Safari Cruises offers wonderful onboard services, accommodations, amenities and a rich yet relaxing environment on all four of its yachts,” says Jacox, “but that luxury is accentuated untold times when combined with our luxury of experience. Our highly active/adventurous explorations focus on untouched, remote areas and agents should be aware of that emerging definition of luxury, especially since it applies so perfectly to our un-cruises,” adding that the point isn’t the company’s five-star experience. “The real stars, which number in the thousands, are the bears, whales, dolphins, eagles, icebergs, waterfalls, trees, indigenous peoples, and yes, real stars in the sky seen from the deck of a small ship anchored in an isolated cove with no one else around.”

And clients will see all this and more on any of the myriad Alaska itineraries the line offers, including the 14-night Famed Inside Passage, which extends from Juneau to Seattle. The itinerary is a who’s who of Alaska, with the Icy Strait, Glacier Bay National Park, Baird Glacier/ Frederick Sound, Ketchikan, San Juan Islands/Friday Harbor and more. Departure dates are April through September, available on all four Safari yachts, with rates starting at $6,095.

The company targets the young at heart, emphasizes Jacox. “Adventure- seeking people, those who like to be active outdoors, highly educated and interested in learning along the way, looking for a more meaningful travel experience. Ages range from 35-70 usually, but we are getting more families with young children.”

In 2013, the line will be adding the 88-guest Safari Legacy to its fleet, debuting in Alaska in summer 2013 and then sailing fall and spring seasons on the Columbia and Snake rivers. A twist to this boat will be the incorporation of Living History programs on board and ashore, consisting of characters from history appearing on board for reenactments, presentations and discussions.

For more information, call  (888) 862-8881 or visit

keep an eye out for…

Clients looking to explore America’s heartland might want to book the Great American Steamboat Company’s new Steamboat American Queen, the largest paddleboat steamboat ever built, the company says. The steamboat is set to debut next month, calling Memphis its home-port.

The 436-guest vessel will offer 3- to 10-night journeys through from Memphis, New Orleans, St. Louis, Minneapolis/ St. Paul, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Louisville and Chattanooga.

Themed cruise aficionados will especially love the Epic Civil War voyages being featured for the 2012 inaugural season. They are 8- to 10-night cruises with visits to legendary battlefields following in the footsteps of the blue and the gray between New Orleans, Vicksburg, Chattanooga and Louisville, accented by onboard entertainment including actors, impersonators, leading lecturers, balladeers and reenactments. Rates start at $2,295 pp dbl and include pre- or post-luxury hotel stay.

“Guests want to discover so much of this country’s rich history,” says Tim Rubacky, senior v.p. of sales, marketing and product development, Great American Steamboat Company, “and themed cruises such as our Civil War are led by academics and passionate storytellers. What could be a better classroom.”

You’ll want to know, too, that the line has signed an exclusive agreement with Signature Travel Network, meaning both will work closely together to develop extensive sales and marketing initiatives that include co-operative marketing, travel agent educational opportunities and agent training programs.

For more information, call (888) 749-5280 or visit To read the full interview with Tim Rubacky, click here: