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SAFETY FIRST

SAFETY FIRST

In today’s blog, we wanted to answer some of the questions potential travelers have regarding how safe they will be onboard a river or small ship cruise the midst of a pandemic. First of all, there’s a vast difference between sailing with 100 or so other guests on a small ship or river vessel than on a 4,000-passenger ocean-going megaliner. Many people don’t have a comfort level regarding vacationing by large cruise ship but feel better about a smaller ship. Major cruise lines don’t plan to resume service for months, while some smaller companies sailing America’s rivers and coasts plan to ease some ships back into service in the next few weeks. In fact, with international travel borders subject to closure, now is the time to travel within the Untied States.

Each line with which we do business has their own protocols, of course, but to give you some idea of the extent to which river and small ship operators are going to ensure your safety during these challenging times, we decided to look at what American Cruise Lines is doing. The following information comes straight from their website. We’ve chosen not to edit this list down because we believe it’s important to know how extensive the changes that cruise lines such as American Cruise Lines are making.

SHIP DESIGN AND SIZE

  • American Cruise Line (ACL) ships have approximately 350 square feet of passenger space per guest at full capacity. This amount was increased to approximately 450 square feet per guest through capacity reduction measures and compared to approximately 140 square feet per guest on other ships.
  • There are independent HVAC systems in every stateroom and lounge. Air conditioning ducting is cited as a source of virus transmission; ACL ships have no shared ducting between rooms or public spaces.
  • UV-C water filtration systems for all potable water. These filtration systems kill a wide range of bacteria and viruses.
  • ACL has implemented a touchless boarding and check-in process. Medical screenings may require contact between a medical professional and the guest, however proper PPE will be donned and utilized.

NEW OPERATING PROCEDURES 

  • Guest capacity has been reduced by 25%. Each cruise will sail with a maximum of 75% of the allotted guest capacity. Capacity reductions increase distancing measures and increase the ability for private crew accommodation. 
  • Increased time between cruises to allow for full vessel sanitation. 
  • Extensive pre-cruise screening measures and denial of boarding to anyone with flu-like symptoms or other qualifications of concern. 
  • Sanitation rounds to be conducted on an hourly schedule, including sanitation of all touchpoints, including railings, doorknobs, elevator buttons, and gangways. 
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) to be available at all times for guests and crew. PPE includes face shields, gloves, and face masks. PPE may be required during certain events as situations dictate. 
  • Public bathrooms will be closed. Guests will be asked to use the restrooms in their stateroom. 
  • Hand sanitizing stations placed throughout the ship and at the gangway before each boarding and unboarding. 
  • Luggage sanitation prior to loading on the ship. Deckhands performing sanitation will be wearing PPE. 
  • Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be kept behind transmission barriers and passed to guests individually. American Cruise Lines will not have buffets.

CLEANING AND SANITATION 

  • PPE will be provided for all housekeepers. 
  • Guests will have the same housekeeper for the duration of the cruise. 
  • Cleaning chemicals meet EPA and CDC Guidelines. Most cleaning and sanitizing chemicals provided by Ecolab, a company providing hygiene products to more than three million customer locations around the world, including to the foodservice and healthcare industries. 
  • Hypochlorous Acid Electrolyzed Water (HOCI) system onboard for sanitation. 
  • Daily sanitation of all touchpoints in staterooms, including doorknobs, light switches, sink, balcony railing, thermostat, etc. 
  • Disposable cover applied to each TV remote control prior to guest boarding.

MEDICAL SERVICES 

  • Onboard medical services provided by Vikand Solutions, a certified global medical company, with long-standing experience in the maritime and cruise industries. 
  • Resident nurse or EMT on each ship for the duration of each cruise. 
  • Compliance with CDC sanitation guidelines. 
  • Medical facility to be provided onboard with supplies. 
  • Covid-19 testing in conjunction with facilities ashore. 
  • Isolation rooms will be created and made available as necessary. An allotment of staterooms aboard each ship to be sanitized and kept unoccupied unless they become necessary for isolation purposes. 
  • Outbreak Management Plan in place to respond to confirmed Covid-19 case onboard. 
  • Coordinated care with shoreside medical facilities and evacuation plans in place from every port of call.

EMBARKATION SCREENING 

  • Denial of boarding to anyone with flu-like symptoms or who has tested positive for Covid-19 in the past 30 days. 
  • Denial of boarding to anyone who has travelled internationally in the past 14 days. 
  • Private transportation directly to the ship (or to the arranged pre-cruise hotel, if the hotel has implemented suitable sanitation practices). 
  • Medical tent with pre-boarding screening including respirations, oxygen, and temperature check. Covid-19 testing will performed as needed. 
  • Touch free boarding and check-in process.

DINING 

  • Main dining room capacity reduced with removal of tables and chairs to allow for social distancing. 
  • All dining tables to be used only once during each meal service. There will not be multiple seatings at any table during any meal. 
  • The Back Porch Café will continue operating as an additional dining option. 
  • PPE will be provided for all chefs and galley workers. 
  • In-room dining will be available to all guests upon request. 
  • Breakfast service to private balconies will remain available. 
  • Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be kept behind transmission barriers and passed to guests individually.

SHORESIDE

  • All tour venues screened for social distancing and sanitation practices.
  • Private coaches travel directly to and from each venue.
  • Coaches sanitized before every boarding.
  • Reduced coach capacity to allow for social distancing during rides.
  • Excursion capacities reduced to allow social distancing at each venue. Additional excursion times will be added as needed for guest enjoyment.

CREW TRAINING AND SCREENING 

  • Pre-boarding screening practices will apply to guests and crew members. Additionally, crew members will be screened at the conclusion of every cruise. 
  • Reduction of crew movement in public spaces and reduced shore leave. Crew trained to engage in social distancing at all times, including when off-duty. 
  • Covid-19 identification training for all crew members. This includes training on how to observe and report symptoms, as well as how to self-identify their potential symptoms. 
  • Covid-19 response training for all crew members. 
  • PPE training for all crew members, including the purpose, use, and donning of PPE.

Contact Select Waterways to begin planning your next river cruise and anticipate the time when the world of river cruising returns. Select Waterways are your river and small ship cruise insiders, specializing in European river cruises, including Danube River cruises, Rhine River cruises, wine cruises, Seine River cruises, as well as China river cruises with Yangtze river cruises, Vietnam river cruises with Mekong River cruises, Russia river cruises with Volga river cruises, Nile river cruises, Africa river cruises and Amazon river cruises. We also offer expedition cruises and small ship cruises throughout the world, with polar cruises such as Arctic cruises and Antarctica cruises among the most popular. Naturally, we have American river cruises with Mississippi River cruises, Ohio River Cruises, Columbia River cruises, Illinois River cruises and Tennessee River cruises. Whether it’s luxury river cruising, premium river cruising, expedition cruising or small ship cruising, we’ve got you covered. Visit our website at www.selectwaterways.com or give us a call at 1-844-SWCRUISE (1-844-792-7847). Be sure to join our Insider Club by clicking here and Like our Facebook page by clicking here.

CRUISING IN A NEW WORLD

CRUISING IN A NEW WORLD

The world changed completely in just two months. We’ve never said that before in our lifetimes. Even the changes to travel wrought by 9/11 pale in comparison to the COVID-19 pandemic. Air travel is down 95%, countries have shut their borders and issued mandatory two-week quarantines for visitors and the entire cruise industry has shut down. We are living in an entirely new world. 

And that means that even as cruises resume, countries open their borders and flights begin to fill in the weeks and months ahead, we will be sailing in a new world as well. That’s why travel by river cruise and small ship, with passenger capacity limited to around 200 people or less, is going to boom. Not to mention it’s easy to stay close to home if you travel on America’s coasts and rivers. 

In today’s blog, we’re not going to recount or list when our river and small ship cruise line partners are going to begin sailing again, since that changes on an almost daily basis. Quite frankly, it’s too hard to know when it will be safe to sail again. And even then, your decision to sail is a personal choice and not one we can make for you.

However, how we cruise will be different thanks to masks, testing and social distancing. One of the biggest changes we’ve seen since the pandemic is in the cancellation policies.  Most companies are allowing guests to book future cruises and cancel those bookings with no penalty as close as 48 hours before sailing. Not to mention that there are some great deals to be found for cruises in late 2020 and through much of 2021. 

All that said, it’s still important that we all stay safe until we can travel with peace of mind again. And when we do begin cruising, the cruise lines will be working hard to keep us safe onboard. So, we suggest you do what we’ve been doing the past two months, which is following the guidelines set out by the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta.

First of all, know how it spreads and be aware that though there is hope on the horizon, there is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus, which is spread mainly from person-to-person between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). The virus travels through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Importantly, realize that some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms at all. 

Since there’s no way of knowing if the people you come in contact with have the virus or not, make sure you wash your hands often and do so with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands as these are easy entry points for the virus.

Next, avoid close contact with people who are sick, even inside your home. If possible, maintain 6 feet between the person who is sick and other household members. Naturally, put distance between yourself and other people outside of your home and, once again, remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread virus. Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people and do not gather in groups. Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings. As you can imagine, keeping distance from others is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.

While the wearing of masks has become politicized, the simple truth is that wearing a mask provides you some protection but mostly protects other people if you happen to have the virus and you have no symptoms. That why you should always cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others because you could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick. Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities. Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance. Please observe proper social etiquette and remember that the cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected. Even with a mask, continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing. 

If you are in a private setting and do not have on your cloth face covering, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash and immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Both clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks. If surfaces are dirty, clean them. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection. Then, use a household disinfectant. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work.

Lastly, take care of yourself and be alert for the most common symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19. This is especially important if you are running essential errands, going into the office or workplace, and in settings where it may be difficult to keep a physical distance of 6 feet. Take your temperature if symptoms develop but not within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medications that could lower your temperature, like acetaminophen.

Take care of yourself in these unprecedented times and with liberal cancellation policies and great offers, it’s never too soon to start planning your river or small ship cruise.

Contact Select Waterways to begin planning your next river cruise and anticipate the time when the world of river cruising returns. Select Waterways are your river and small ship cruise insiders, specializing in European river cruises, including Danube River cruises, Rhine River cruises, wine cruises, Seine River cruises, as well as China river cruises with Yangtze river cruises, Vietnam river cruises with Mekong River cruises, Russia river cruises with Volga river cruises, Nile river cruises, Africa river cruises and Amazon river cruises. We also offer expedition cruises and small ship cruises throughout the world, with polar cruises such as Arctic cruises and Antarctica cruises among the most popular. Naturally, we have American river cruises with Mississippi River cruises, Ohio River Cruises, Columbia River cruises, Illinois River cruises and Tennessee River cruises. Whether it’s luxury river cruising, premium river cruising, expedition cruising or small ship cruising, we’ve got you covered. Visit our website at www.selectwaterways.com or give us a call at 1-844-SWCRUISE (1-844-792-7847). Be sure to join our Insider Club by clicking here and Like our Facebook page by clicking here.

VIKING ANNOUNCES MISSISSIPPI RIVER CRUISES

VIKING ANNOUNCES MISSISSIPPI RIVER CRUISES

Viking Cruises has announced it is launching Mississippi River cruises two years from now. The company’s first custom vessel, Viking Mississippi, will debut in August 2022 and will sail voyages on the Lower and Upper Mississippi, between New Orleans and St. Paul. Viking’s arrival will bring modern river cruising to the Mississippi. 

Hosting 386 guests in 193 all outside staterooms, the new state-of-the-art Viking Mississippi is inspired by Viking’s award-winning river and ocean ships and will feature clean Scandinavian design, as well as public spaces that are familiar to Viking guests but that have been reimagined for Mississippi River voyages. Purpose-built for the Mississippi and currently under construction in Louisiana, the five-deck ship’s cutting-edge design, expansive windows and comfortable amenities will make it the largest and most modern cruise ship in the region. Highlights of the new ship include:

All Outside Staterooms: Guests can choose from an unparalleled seven spacious stateroom categories that range from 268 sq. ft to 1,024 sq. ft: Veranda, French Balcony, Deluxe Veranda, Penthouse Veranda, Penthouse Jr. Suite, Terrace Suite and Explorer Suite. All staterooms feature a private veranda or French balcony, king-size bed with luxury linens, large flat-screen interactive TV, mini-bar, large glass-enclosed shower, heated bathroom floor and 24-hour room service.

Viking Suites: Viking Mississippi will have some of the largest true suites on the river, with every suite featuring two rooms and a full-size veranda off the spacious sitting room. Guests in Penthouse Jr. Suites (400 sq. ft.) and Terrace Suites (425 sq. ft.) receive early stateroom access; expanded double-sink bathroom; mini-bar with alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, water and snacks replenished daily; welcome champagne; and laundry, pressing and shoe shine services. Guests in the expansive Explorer Suites (657 sq. ft. to 1,024 sq. ft) also receive a wraparound veranda and complimentary Silver Spirits Beverage Package.

Explorers’ Lounge & The Bow: Familiar to Viking’s ocean guests as one of the most popular onboard public spaces, Viking Mississippi will also feature an Explorers’ Lounge near the bow of the ship. The sun-filled, two-story Explorers’ Lounge has floor-to-ceiling windows that open to The Bow, a unique outdoor seating area at the front of the ship where guests can relax and enjoy ever-changing riverside views.

River Café: From American classics to Mamsen’s® Norwegian specialties, this indoor/outdoor dining venue on the top deck will offer alternative restaurant dining in a casual al fresco setting.

Aquavit Terrace: A public space beloved by many of Viking’s ocean and river guests, Viking Mississippi will also feature a revolutionary Aquavit Terrace on the top deck, providing a casual dining space ideal for an American barbecue experience. Combined with the River Café, the Aquavit Terrace will provide the most al fresco dining on the Mississippi.

Sun Terrace with Infinity Plunge Pool: Similar to Viking’s ocean ships, Viking Mississippi will have a glass-backed pool experience at the aft, allowing guests to take a dip while fully surrounded by their destination.

The Living Room: Clean Scandinavian design paired with American influences, the Living Room on Deck 1 is designed for socializing, relaxing and entertainment. Nearby, the quiet corner of The Library is a perfect place to discover a new book.

The Restaurant: This main dining venue on Deck 1 will serve daily-changing menus featuring delicious regional cuisine and always available classics prepared with fresh, local ingredients.

Full 360-Degree Promenade Deck: Guests can stroll the entire ship outside on Deck 1, stretching their legs while viewing scenic landscape and regional wildlife.

Every Mississippi River cruise fare includes everything guests need, with no surprises or hidden fees. Cruise fares include one complimentary shore excursion in each port of call, all onboard meals, and all port charges and government taxes. Guests also enjoy many complimentary amenities as part of their fare, including beer and wine with lunch and dinner service, lectures, alternative dining at no extra charge, self-service launderettes, 24-hour room service and free Wi-Fi.

2022-2023 Viking Mississippi Inaugural Voyages:

America’s Heartland (8 days; St. Louis to St. Paul)—From pristine farms nestled in rolling terrain to steep bluff rising from tributaries dotted with wooded islands, the Upper Mississippi offers a rich tapestry of beauty upon every turn of the river. This journey introduces you to the unforgettable experience of the locks and dams that control the flow of the heartland rivers. Hear stories of settlers migrating west; learn about Lewis & Clark, Mark Twain, John Deere and the Amish and Norwegian migrations; experience regional music like polka and Norwegian folk; and taste regional cuisine showcasing local beer, produce and Wisconsin cheese. 

Heart of the Delta (8 days; New Orleans to Memphis)—This journey on the Lower Mississippi is infused with American history, culture and heritage. Tour the area where the migrating French and Acadians settled; immerse yourself in the culture and lessons from the American Civil Rights Movement; discover the music of the South—jazz, blues and gospel; and experience the life and food culture of the South, from Cajun and Creole to the famed “dry” Memphis BBQ.

Southern Celebration (8 days; New Orleans–Vicksburg–New Orleans)—On this exploration of the Lower Mississippi, visit the historic homes of Louisiana and Mississippi; learn about Civil War history, touring sites like Vicksburg National Military Park; and discover the excitement and unique flavors of New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

America’s Great River (15 days; New Orleans to St. Paul)—Experience nearly the entire length of the Mississippi River on this incredible journey from the Gulf of Mexico to the northernmost reaches of the U.S. Relax and enjoy the variety of scenery, foliage and wildlife on this leisurely voyage. Absorb southern charm and beautifully preserved homes in Natchez; retrace the steps of Civil Rights leaders in Memphis; ascend the Gateway Arch in St. Louis; and visit “The Norwegian Valley” in La Crosse.

Contact Select Waterways now to be among the first to experience a Mississippi River cruise, Viking-style, in just two years. Select Waterways are your river and small ship cruise insiders, specializing in European river cruises, including Danube River cruises, Rhine River cruises, wine cruises, Seine River cruises, as well as China river cruises with Yangtze river cruises, Vietnam river cruises with Mekong River cruises, Russia river cruises with Volga river cruises, Nile river cruises, Africa river cruises and Amazon river cruises. We also offer expedition cruises and small ship cruises throughout the world, with polar cruises such as Arctic cruises and Antarctica cruises among the most popular. Naturally, we have American river cruises with Mississippi River cruises, Ohio River Cruises, Columbia River cruises, Illinois River cruises and Tennessee River cruises. Whether it’s luxury river cruising, premium river cruising, expedition cruising or small ship cruising, we’ve got you covered. Visit our website at www.selectwaterways.com or give us a call at 1-844-SWCRUISE (1-844-792-7847). Be sure to join our Insider Club by clicking here and Like our Facebook page by clicking here.

VICTORY ADDING FOURTH SHIP

VICTORY ADDING FOURTH SHIP

Victory Cruise Lines recently announced the addition of its fourth small ship, Ocean Discoverer. Currently under construction, the Ocean Discoverer will be delivered in September 2022 and will join Ocean Victory in Alaska in 2023, offering additional small ship cruise options in the 49th state. Ocean Discoverer will make its debut with the Discover Beyond™ Alaska Expedition Adventure Cruise itineraries, which are currently available for booking on board the Ocean Victory.

The aptly named Ocean Discoverer was designed for in-depth destination access and exploration, while promoting responsible and sustainable travel. Providing world-class accommodations and amenities, guests will enjoy immersive shore excursions led by expert marine biologists, scientists and naturalists throughout the 12- to 13-day expedition voyages.

The 8,500-ton, 342-foot and 200-passenger Ocean Discoverer will be identical to the Ocean Victory and feature 93 suites, of which 68 will have balconies, nine French balconies and 16 panoramic windows. The vessel will carry a crew of 100 and boast a 2-to-1 guest to crew ratio. Onboard venues include two restaurants, in addition to an open-deck dining area, observation and lectures lounges, piano bar, library, gym, spa, swimming pool with a pool bar and jacuzzi.

Once complete, Ocean Discoverer will share the same cutting-edge design, technology and operating efficiencies as the Ocean Victory. Signature elements include a patented X-bow design which creates a smoother, more comfortable ride to lower noise and vibration levels and consequently seabed disturbance; Rolls Royce Zero Speed Stabilizers to reduce rolling and therefore make cruising more comfortable for guests; and Dynamic Positioning (aka “virtual anchoring”) – a computer-controlled system that automatically maintains the vessel’s position utilizing its own propellers and thrusters resulting in top-rated ship maneuverability. Lastly, the smaller size and low draft of Ocean Discoverer allows it to dock in many of Alaska’s smaller ports not accessible to larger cruise ships.

The Ocean Discoverer will also utilize Victory Cruise Lines’ partnership with the acclaimed Department of Marine Biology at California Polytechnic State University to feature marine biologists, scientists and naturalists among the ship’s expedition team. This along with the vessel’s fleet of zodiacs and kayaks, will provide guests with endless opportunities for active and responsible adventure and up-close wildlife viewing. Offering the same premier service, dining and accommodations guests have come to expect onboard Victory Cruise Lines and sister company the American Queen Steamboat Company, Ocean Discoverer will feature the finest regional cuisines, top-of-the-line entertainment and immersive shore excursions.

Bookings for Ocean Victory Alaska are currently available and bookings for Ocean Discoverer will be announced at a later date. Victory Cruise Lines also operates Victory I and Victory II, identical 202-passenger ships and offer all-inclusive cruises to Canada, the Great Lakes, New England, Mexico, South America and Alaska.        

Contact Select Waterways to be among the first to experience a small ship cruise, Victory-style, in Alaska. Select Waterways are your river and small ship cruise insiders, specializing in European river cruises, including Danube River cruises, Rhine River cruises, wine cruises, Seine River cruises, as well as China river cruises with Yangtze river cruises, Vietnam river cruises with Mekong River cruises, Russia river cruises with Volga river cruises, Nile river cruises, Africa river cruises and Amazon river cruises. We also offer expedition cruises and small ship cruises throughout the world, with polar cruises such as Arctic cruises and Antarctica cruises among the most popular. Naturally, we have American river cruises with Mississippi River cruises, Ohio River Cruises, Columbia River cruises, Illinois River cruises and Tennessee River cruises. Whether it’s luxury river cruising, premium river cruising, expedition cruising or small ship cruising, we’ve got you covered. Visit our website at www.selectwaterways.com or give us a call at 1-844-SWCRUISE (1-844-792-7847). Be sure to join our Insider Club by clicking here and Like our Facebook page by clicking here.

VICTORY IN ALASKA

VICTORY IN ALASKA

Victory Cruise Lines, operated by American Queen Steamboat Company, has just announced its inaugural Alaska small-ship cruises for the 2021 season on board the 200-passenger Ocean Victory. Currently under construction, Victory Cruise Lines’ third vessel invites guests to explore the breathtaking scenery and wildlife of Alaska and British Columbia on expert led excursions and small-ship, scenic cruising.

To ensure that the Ocean Victory showcases the very best of expedition cruising, Victory is working with California Polytechnic State University to include marine biologists, scientists and naturalists among its expedition team of 19 to lead excursions, provide education lectures and act as a resource for all guests. 

The inaugural season of small-ship Alaska cruises includes:

NORTHBOUND: VANCOUVER, B.C TO SITKA, ALASKA

12-Day Cruise: May 21; June 11; July 2, 23; August 13; September 3

From the bustling city of Vancouver to the stunning views along the British Columbia Inside Passage, you will experience the best of this varied region. Fiordland Conservancy’s dramatic waterfalls dropping into majestic fjords, unbelievable wildlife sightings in Misty Fjords National Monument, expansive ice fields at LeConte, Sawyer and Dawes Glaciers and world-famous whale watching in Frederick Sound will leave you in awe. In addition, the fascinating culture of the Tsmshian people, Norwegian-inspired Petersburg, Alaska and Russian influenced Sitka, Alaska all welcome you to learn about the area’s diverse and storied heritage. Ports of call include: a pre-cruise hotel in Vancouver, B.C.; British Columbia Inside Passage; Fiordland (Kynoch Inlet); Ketchikan/Metlakatla; Misty Fjords National Monument; Wrangell/Stikine River Wilderness; Waterfall Coast/Baraof Wilderness; Petersburg/Le Conte Glacier; Tracey Arm/Sawyer Glacier; Kake/Frederick Sound/Five Finger; and Sitka, Alaska.

SOUTHBOUND: SITKA, ALASKA TO VANCOUVER, B.C.

13-Day Cruise: May 31; June 21; July 12; August 2, 23; September 13

The southbound itinerary reverses the northbound itinerary, with an additional day exploring Tracey Arm, Endicott, Dawes and Sawyer Glacier and Ford’s Terror Wilderness. On all Ocean Victory sailings 20 Zodiacs and dozens of kayaks will transport you through narrow inlets larger ships cannot access, giving expedition leaders the flexibility to choose the best spots for the day’s adventure, setting the Alaska adventures on the Ocean Victory apart from competition. Ports of call include: a pre-cruise hotel in Sitka, Alaska; Kake/Frederick Sound/Five Finger; Endicott Arm/Ford’s Terror/Dawes Glacier; Tracey Arm/Sawyer Glacier; Petersburg/LeConte Glacier; Waterfall Coast/Baranof Wilderness; Misty Fjords National Monument; Ketchikan/Metlakatla; Fiordland (Kynoch Inlet); British Columbia Inside Passage and Vancouver, B.C.

HIDDEN COAST: VANCOUVER, B.C. TO SEATTLE, W.A.

12-Day Cruise: September 24

This one-time itinerary will explore the ports and sights along Vancouver Island. Keeping with VCL’s dedication to education, guests will visit the Copeland Island Marine Park and U’Mista Cultural Center, one of the longest operating First Nations’ cultural facilities in British Columbia. On the southbound leg, striking views of Cortes Island, Von Donop Inlet and Desolation Sound await, revealing the majesty of British Columbia. Ports of call include: a pre-cruise hotel in Vancouver, B.C.; Princess Royal Reach/Princess Louisa Inlet; Copeland Islands Marine Park; Alert Bay/U’Mista Cultural Center; Cortes Island/Von Donop Inlet; Desolation Sound – Redonda Islands; “Sunshine Coast” – Pender Harbour; Nanaimo; Gulf Islands/Ganges; Victoria and Seattle, W.A.

The 341-foot Ocean Victory will feature 93 suites, of which 68 will have balconies, nine with French balconies and 16 with panoramic windows. The vessel will carry a crew of 100 featuring a 2-to-1 guest to crew ratio. Onboard venues include two restaurants, in addition to an open-deck dining area, piano bar, library, gym, heated outdoor pool, spa services and jacuzzi, plus observation and lecture lounges and a dedicated expedition and adventures launching platform.

Bookings for Ocean Victory Alaska cruises are now open, with early booking savings up to $1,400 per stateroom on reservations made by March 31, 2020.

Victory Cruise Lines operates Victory I and Victory II, identical 202-passenger ships, and the upcoming newly-built 200-passenger vessel, the Ocean Victory. Victory Cruise Lines operates all-inclusive cruises to Canada, the Great Lakes, New England, Mexico, South America and Alaska.        

Contact Select Waterways to be among the first to experience a small ship cruise, Victory-style, in Alaska. Select Waterways are your river and small ship cruise insiders, specializing in European river cruises, including Danube River cruises, Rhine River cruises, wine cruises, Seine River cruises, as well as China river cruises with Yangtze river cruises, Vietnam river cruises with Mekong River cruises, Russia river cruises with Volga river cruises, Nile river cruises, Africa river cruises and Amazon river cruises. We also offer expedition cruises and small ship cruises throughout the world, with polar cruises such as Arctic cruises and Antarctica cruises among the most popular. Naturally, we have American river cruises with Mississippi River cruises, Ohio River Cruises, Columbia River cruises, Illinois River cruises and Tennessee River cruises. Whether it’s luxury river cruising, premium river cruising, expedition cruising or small ship cruising, we’ve got you covered. Visit our website at www.selectwaterways.com or give us a call at 1-844-SWCRUISE (1-844-792-7847). Be sure to join our Insider Club by clicking here and Like our Facebook page by clicking here.