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InnerSea Discoveries is expanding its fleet and itineraries, building on a strong response to the company’s first season in Alaska. The brand’s mission to offer an authentic experience of local culture and wilderness in great comfort at a moderate price point has filled a void, according to Tim Jacox, executive vice president of sales and marketing. Jacox said that 2011 was virtually sold out by March, and next year looks even better. The line also will be moving into Hawaii in 2012, when the 76-passenger Wilderness Explorer becomes the third ship in the fleet.
Wilderness Explorer will also expand InnerSea’s itineraries in Alaska, sailing a different route between Sitka and Juneau with three days in Glacier Bay (the other ships offer two days). With this route, the company now offers two or three weeks of varied back-to-back cruises.
The line’s other two ships — the 49-passenger Wilderness Discoverer and Wilderness Adventurer — have been extensively renovated with DVD players and iPod docks, a hot tub, a massage therapist, saunas, exercise equipment and Tempur-Pedic mattresses. Onboard, every effort is made to bring passengers close to the wildlife and the people who live in remote areas.
“We love to buy our fish fresh from the locals,” Jacox said, “and to bring locals onboard so passengers can meet the people who live in the wilderness.”
Agent education includes a Webinar program with three, 30-minute sessions. Upon successful completion, agents are certified as “Adventurous” and are featured on the website, which is being revised to include both sister brands: InnerSea Discoveries and American Safari Cruises.