Sunday, 28 June 2009

American Safari Offers $500 Savings on New River Cruises



American Safari Cruises announces a new itinerary and introductory savings for fall and spring cruises on the Columbia and Snake rivers of Washington, Oregon and Idaho aboard the 145-foot, 36-guest Safari Explorer. The yacht’s entry into the region helps fill the void left by Majestic America Line when it ceased operating three riverboats in the area. Called “Rivers First” in honor of the Safari Explorer’s inaugural season on the rivers, the promotion offers savings of $500 per person on river cruises booked by the July 24 deadline. The eight-night itinerary is one way between Lewiston, Idaho, and Astoria, Ore.

“River cruising in America is very popular,” said Tim Jacox, executive vice president of sales and marketing. “And yet with Majestic America pulling its boats from the Mississippi River as well as here, and RiverBarge Excursion ceasing operations for this year, the opportunities to enjoy this experience are very limited.” Jacox says that the company decided to do one-way cruises because of the time required to lock through the eight dams on the Columbia. “If we did roundtrip itineraries, we’d have to go through 16 lockings and we’d see a lot more of the dams than the river, the spectacular scenery and historical side trips,” he said.

As with all ASC cruises, guests explore by double sea kayaks and motorized skiffs, and also take guided hikes. Because the route lies in the Pacific flyway, birding opportunities abound as more than 200 species of birds rest in the area during their annual migrations.

The Safari Explorer offers luxury amenities and activities including complimentary massages, exercise equipment, a sauna, top-deck hot tub, and yoga sessions. Staterooms feature Tempur-pedic mattresses, heated tile floors in the private bathrooms and DVD players. There is a complimentary bar with premium spirits, fine wines and microbrews; cuisine with fresh, local ingredients; a wine library; and a crew-guest ratio of 1-to-2. Cruises include a jet-boat excursion into Hells Canyon; wine-tasting at two Washington state wineries; a visit to Hood River, the wind-surfing capital of the world; a tour of Bonneville Dam; and the Lewis and Clark Discovery Center in Ilwaco, Wash.

Dates for fall 2009 cruises are Sept. 30, Oct. 8, Oct. 16, Oct. 24, Nov. 1, Nov. 9, Nov. 17 and Nov. 25. Prices begin at $5,295 per person. Spring 2010 dates for a seven-night cruise are March 20, March 27, April 10 and April 17. Prices begin at $3,395 per person. April 3 is a wine and culinary themed cruise featuring eight winery, distillery and brewery visits along with vintner and guest chef-hosted wine and food pairings to be held in the onboard wine library. Prices for this program start at $4,295 per person. For more information, call 888-862-8881 or visit www.amsafari.com.