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Don’t rule out small-ship Alaska cruises

SmarterTravel

Cruise West sails around the world, but it’s best known for its small-ship Alaska cruises. The line’s 78- to 138-passenger vessels can sail into shallower waters than their larger rivals and don’t suffer from onboard crowds. However, if you’re used to the bells and whistles of the mega-ships, Cruise West’s casual atmosphere and simple amenities may not be to your taste.

Cruise West just announced plans to expand its Alaska excursions for the 2007 season. It’s offering a two-night stay in Glacier Bay National Park on its “Wilderness Inside Passage” cruise and scheduling more departures of this itinerary with the addition of a second ship. For this trip, Cruise West even offers a “Whale Sighting Guarantee”—a $250 refund per guest if no whales are seen.

Other new excursions include a guided hike through Glacier Bay National Park, a zip-line adventure in Juneau, a tour of a glass-blowing studio in Skagway where guests can create their own glass souvenirs, and a tour of Saxman Village led by its mayor.

To book a cruise, call 800-296-8993 or visit Cruise West’s website.

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