American Safari Cruises Introduces Heritage Adventures

American Safari Cruises’ Safari Legacy sails Southeast Alaska, Columbia and Snake rivers By: Marilyn Green
The Safari Legacy // (c) 2012 American Safari Cruises/InnerSea Discoveries
The Safari Legacy // (c) 2012 American Safari Cruises/InnerSea Discoveries

The Details

American Safari Cruises/InnerSea Discoveries

With American Safari Cruises’ debut of the renovated 88-guest Safari Legacy in summer 2013, the company is launching a new Heritage Adventures program in Alaska and along the Columbia and Snake rivers with a living history program on board and ashore.

“In both destinations, historical characters and stories come to life in unexpected ways,” said Tim Jacox, executive vice president of sales and marketing. “You may meet naturalist John Muir on the bow of the boat in Alaska or Meriwether Lewis along the river.”

The Heritage Adventures program on each sailing combines onboard presentations with tours on shore, all coordinated by onboard Legacy Leaders who retrace history along the Gold Rush trail in Alaska or Lewis and Clark’s expedition along the rivers. Stories and characters from the past are brought to life through educational presentations, expert guest speakers and character reenactments.

In contrast to the line’s luxury and active adventures, which tend to forgo port calls for maximum time in the wilderness, the Safari Legacy calls on historic ports along the route and includes a tour in each town. Guided visits to museums and historical sites provide another view into the past and a chance to visit with local people and historians.

Gold Rush Legacy

Two, 11-night Gold Rush Legacy sailings between Seattle and Juneau, Alaska, kick off the Safari Legacy’s inaugural year. The Aug. 11 and Aug. 22 cruises visit the San Juan Islands and Friday Harbor, Wash.; Canada’s Inside Passage; Ketchikan, Wrangell, Petersburg, Frederick Sound, Sitka, Icy Strait, Glacier Bay National Park, Haines and Skagway in Alaska.

Highlights include guided tours in port, whale watching, viewing glaciers in Glacier Bay, discovering native Tlingit culture and exploring scenic waterways by Victorian-style steamer. Legacy Leaders weave the colorful stories from Alaska‘s history and the Gold Rush into activities throughout the voyage. Rates start at $7,895.

Legacy of Discovery

From September through November and March through May, weeklong Legacy of Discovery cruises depart roundtrip from Portland, Ore., to explore the history and scenery of the Columbia and Snake rivers. The itineraries include the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Richland, Hells Canyon, Walla Walla, Washington’s wine country, The Dalles and Astoria. 

Among the highlights are scenic cruising through the Gorge; a visit to Multnomah Falls; transiting eight sets of locks and a tour of the Bonneville Dam Visitor Center; a jet boat ride into Hells Canyon; Fort Clatsop, Fort Walla Walla, downtown Walla Walla or the Whitman Mission; the Columbia Maritime Museum in Astoria; the Maryhill Museum and Columbia Gorge Discovery Center; and a private wine tasting at a Washington winery. Cruises are priced from $3,195.

In summer 2014, the Legacy will return to Alaska for a full season of weeklong cruises between Juneau and Ketchikan.

The renovated Legacy emulates an early Victorian style steamer with carved wooden cabinetry, period decor and old-world charm, and all staterooms have outside view windows, flat-screen televisions with DVD players and iPod docking stations. The vessel has a hot tub, sauna, fitness equipment and yoga classes. Public areas include a salon, a dance floor, a dining room with adjoining wine bar, a DVD and book library, an open bridge and a covered sun deck. An elevator provides access to three public decks.

Safari Legacy cruises include entry fees to museums, national parks and preserves, all onboard meals, fine wine, premium spirits and microbrews and a complimentary massage. Cruise rates include transfers and all activities except optional excursions.

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