Clients onboard the Safari Explorer can go whale watching. // © 2010 American Safari Cruises
American Safari Cruises (ASC) will be extending its yachting adventures from Alaska and Baja, Mexico, to Hawaii starting in the fall of 2011. The company had originally announced the move in 2008 and now, with cruise lines seeing stronger demand again, ASC has announced Hawaii excursions onboard its 36-guest Safari Explorer, focused on experiencing marine life and traditional culture.
With its emphasis on unstructured inter-island yacht cruising built on flexibility, ASC is a natural fit for Hawaii. The vessel does not have to be at a specific port at a specific time, so when guests want to linger, they can.
Two itineraries are available: the seven-night Hawaiian Seascapes and the 10-night Hawaii’s Traditional Shores. Both provide opportunities to kayak, hike, snorkel, sail, bike, stand-up paddleboard and more, and both itineraries cruise between Lahaina, Maui and Kona. Each features whale watching and exploring bays and beaches around Lanai, visiting ancient Hawaiian homelands on Molokai for a private Hawaiian paina (feast), hiking among ancient ruins on Maui, snorkeling at night in the rich marine environment of Molokini and walking on a Big Island black-sand beach near the southernmost tip of the U.S. Optional activities such as scuba diving, helicopter tours, mule ride and golfing are available in various locales.
The 10-night Hawaii’s Traditional Shores tour also includes three days of island exploration on the Big Island, both on foot and by small water craft. There are opportunities for kayaking, seeking out green sea turtles and other marine life and soaking up the sunshine on a secluded beach.
Along the way, guests experience traditional Hawaiian culture and have multiple opportunities to meet locals. On Molokai, guests spend one day in Halawa Valley with Hawaiian families, participating in projects such as restoring taro terraces with a hands-on community initiative and fishing with nets in ancient ponds.
The Safari Explorer is equipped with an on-deck hot tub, a sauna, exercise equipment, two-person kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, sail boats, snorkeling equipment and motorized shore boats, along with a wine library and a large-screen television in the main salon. Yoga classes are included in the fare, as is a massage session, and onboard cuisine is prepared with fresh, local ingredients; the complimentary bar offers premium spirits, wines and microbrews. All staterooms have view windows, Tempur-Pedic mattresses, flat-screen television/DVD players and iPod docking stations. The guest-to-crew ratio is two-to-one with an all-American crew.
The inaugural Hawaiian cruise departs on Oct. 26, 2011, with weekly departures through mid-May 2012. Inclusive prices start at $4,995 for seven-night cruises and $6,495 for 10 nights.