Thursday 15 August 2013

Un-Cruise Adventures launches SS Legacy

Un-Cruise Adventures officially named the 88-passenger SS Legacy in a dockside celebration near company headquarters in Seattle on Thursday. The replica coastal steamer is the eighth vessel in the fleet.

Legacy will sail heritage adventures, taking passengers back in time to the 1890s and early 1900s to explore history of the Klondike Gold Rush in Alaska and early explorers along the Columbia and Snake rivers. The all-American crew—in 1890s attire—aims to bring history to life through short vignettes during the day and staged dramas at night.

With a nod to the vessel’s style, the cruise line’s ceo and principal Dan Blanchard channeled his great grandfather Michael J. Willet, a turn of the century shingle mill tycoon, to tie in history of the 1890s in Seattle. HG Wells and Jules Verne joined the inaugural celebration and Ray Gardner of the Chinook Nation and Joe Williams, a Tlingit from Saxman, Alaska, blessed the vessel.

Blanchard and Tim Jacox, evp sales and marketing, together handed over command to Capt. Dano Quinn. JeeSook Kutz, company controller and godmother, smashed the bottle of champagne against Legacy's bow.

'This fine vessel has been refurbished into a coastal steamer from the 1900s, and crew in period costume bring characters from the past alive along the way,' Blanchard said. 'It’s not a ship; it’s a time machine.' He dedicated the christening to the late Capt. Kris Strinsky, a longtime friend.

In September Legacy will begin cruising week-long 'Legacy of Discovery' cruises on the Columbia and Snake rivers round-trip Portland with 12 departures scheduled through November. The ship returns to the rivers in April for nine more departures through May. From June through August, Legacy will sail 10 week-long 'Alaska’s Golden History' cruises between Ketchikan and Juneau.

Heritage adventures include shore excursions to points of historical interest. A gold rush highlight is the included trip aboard Skagway’s White Pass & Yukon narrow-gauge railway.

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