Thursday, 16 April 2009

CRUISE WEST ANNOUNCES ENHANCED EXPLORATION ON MEXICO'S SEA OF CORTÉS VOYAGES IN 2009/2010


~More Zodiac Opportunities, Enhanced Onboard Experience, Copper Canyon Land Tour Add-On~

Cruise West (www.cruisewest.com), one of the world's leading providers of small-ship exploration cruises to the most fascinating destinations on earth, announces 12 departures of its seven-night Mexico's Sea of Cortés Whales & Wildlife itinerary for 2009-2010 including three specialty cruises. The specialty itineraries include a John Steinbeck inspired cruise and two holiday getaways.

The Whales & Wildlife cruise takes place aboard the comfortable and maneuverable 102-guest Spirit of Endeavour. Guests will have additional opportunities to be immersed into the natural environment by an increased number of small craft excursions. And to truly immerse the guests into the local culture, history, wildlife and sea life of the surrounding area, the lines' recently enhanced enrichment program, Compass, provides meaningful and topical presentations by onboard Exploration Leaders and local experts - a hallmark of all Cruise West voyages.

Holiday getaways include the December 19, 2009, Christmas sailing offering a traditional Nochebuena Christmas Eve feast as well as Mexican holiday activities on an inviting and remote beach. Or celebrate Feliz Año Nuevo on the December 26, 2009 departure complete with a midnight toast and late night buffet and a stop in La Paz to celebrate the "Epiphany" or "Three Kings" day.

Steinbeck's riveting adventures come to life on the January 9, 2010 sailing. A John Steinbeck scholar will provide insightful commentary regarding how the author's 1940 expedition to the region inspired his book, The Log of the Sea of Cortez.

Guests will experience firsthand the Sea of Cortés's abundant concentration of marine life, from dolphins to sea lions to blue-footed boobies. Cruising roundtrip Cabo San Lucas, highlights comprise both onshore sea and shore opportunities for discovery. Guided nature walks through lush islands, snorkeling, kayaking, whale watching aboard a panga boat in Magdalena Bay (the whales can typically be found from mid-January thru March), tours of historic missions and churches and a fiesta complete with Mexican music, dancers and a piñata are all included excursions. Island visits and port calls include biologically diverse Isla Espiritu Santo, the picturesque village of Loreto, Los Islotes, Isla Partida, La Paz and remote island exploration.

The four-day post-cruise Copper Canyon Land Tour offers a spectacular inland contrast to the sea including a railroad ride to over 8,000 feet into the Sierra Madres traveling through six interconnecting canyons; visiting with one of the best preserved cultures in north America, the Tarahumara Indians; and exploration of Pancho Villa's hometown of Chihuahua.

Rates begin at $2,599 per person based on double occupancy. Three tiered early booking and final payment savings are available – book and pay in full by May 22, 2009 and save $600; by June 26, 2009, save $400; and by September 11, 2009, save $200 per person. The cruise plus optional four-day Copper Canyon land tour starts at $4,499 per person.

More information about Cruise West's 2009/2010 Sea of Cortés voyages or cruise locales as diverse as Alaska, Panama and Costa Rica, Galapagos, Japan, Vietnam, Antarctica, the Pacific Northwest or the romantic rivers of Europe – can be found online at www.cruisewest.com or by calling 1-800-689-1783.