Cruise West closes down
Cruisers who like the smaller boats, the ones that navigate the ports where no big ships dare to go, were disappointed when Cruise Wes t closed its doors this year.
Cruise West was a leader in small-ship cruising on rivers in the U.S. and were famous for their small-ship cruising in Alaska.
When the company shut down, the Spirit of Oceanus — the largest and most luxurious member of its fleet — terminated its world cruise in the Maritimes. While many attempts were made to find new financing, it didn’t happen and Cruise West embarked on the process of selling off the fleet.
Spirit of Oceanus was eventually sold to a Danish corporation and now will sail with the well-known adventure cruise company, Quark Expeditions, operating out of Toronto.
In the fleet you will find everything from nuclearpowered icebreakers to the Spirit of Oceanus, which is now sailing as Sea Spirit. Their ships, trips and pricing can all be found at quarkexpeditions.com.
The Sea Spirit is going through hull strengthening and will be based in Ushuaia, Argentina, the farthest major southern city in South America and the ship’s home for proposed Antarctica cruises starting next month, according to the website.
The new owners describe Sea Spirit as the most luxurious of their adventure ships. The cabins are some of the largest you’ll find on any ship, at 235 square feet, and are loaded with amenities.
Sailing at the bottom of the world does not come cheap. Starting price on this one is $16,999 for 20 days.
Magic for kids
Fran Golden, in her AOL blog, suggests that kids won’t be sitting in a circle listening to a book being read when they get a look at the new Disney Dream’s high-tech, interactive Magic PlayFloor. It’s a giant grid of 28 HD panels embedded in the floor or deck with actions controlled by your feet.
Some of the games, according to Fran, are so high on the fun metre that adults will wish they could participate. Will it work? According to Dean Orion, the show’s producer, the entire floor has been tested in a warehouse at Disney’s Imagineering Campus. The floor can be changed with the click of a button to offer a variety of games, including rope jumping, high-tech style.
Great news for people concerned about child obesity!
Disney has always led the way in family cruising, but Royal Caribbean — with the signing of DreamWorks and its characters — looks to be chasing that market, too. Visit portsandbows.com for daily updates on the
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