Cruise West Unveils Holiday Voyages


Cruise West has announced its 2009/2010 holiday season schedule, featuring four cruises traveling across Mexico, Panama and Costa Rica, Vietnam and Australia.

The 11-night Vietnam voyage will commence in Hanoi aboard the all-suite Spirit of Oceanus on November 21 and will end in Ho Chi Minh City. Guests will spend the Thanksgiving holiday discovering the Hue, the Imperial City on the Perfume River including the Forbidden Purple City and the Imperial Citadel, followed by a traditional Thanksgiving feast onboard. Other featured sites include the ancient shrines in Hoi An, the Gulf of Tonkin, the temples of Nha Trang, the Cham Museum, UNESCO World Heritage Site Ha Long Bay and a special private performance of traditional martial arts in Qui Nhon. Prices start at $5,649.

Guests can bid farewell to 2009 in the wilds of Costa Rica on the December 18 and December 27 New Year's Eve cruises. The nine-night "Between Two Seas" cruises aboard the Pacific Explorer will travel between Panama City and San Jose, Costa Rica, and will feature festivities such as a New Year's Captain's Dinner, a "Carnival" evening with music and drinks, and embracing the joy of giving when guests deliver gifts to the local children of the Emberá Village. Additional highlights include Portobelo, traversing the entire Panama Canal, UNESCO World Heritage Site Coiba National Park, Golfo Dulce, Caletas Beach and Manuel Antonio National Park. Prices start at $4,399 ($4,199 when you book and pay in full by September 11, 2009).

Guests can enjoy a traditional Nochebuena Christmas Eve feast in Mexico’s Sea of Cortes aboard the 102-guest Spirit of Endeavour. The seven-night "Whales & Wildlife" cruise departs on December 19 and will traverse the seaside village and mission town Loreto, La Paz and Isla Espiritú Santo, home to several plant and animal species unique to the island. Active guests can kayak, snorkel and enjoy nature walks at the islands Los Islotes and Isla Partida. Prices start at $2,599 ($2,399 when you book and pay in full by September 11, 2009).

Planning ahead, the 17-night "Discovering the Maori Coast" cruise travels from Auckland to Sydney departing December 15, 2010. This 24th segment of the "Voyages of the Great Explorers" world cruise offers festivities for both Christmas and New Years' Eve. The 120-guest Spirit of Oceanus will be in the wilderness of Stewart Island on Christmas Day, the most southern island of New Zealand, discovering penguins and other creatures including wekas, albatross, tokoekas and silvereyes. The ship will then make a grand entry into Sydney Harbor on News Year’s Eve in time to enjoy the annual celebratory fireworks display. Prices start at $14,395.  Travelers may save up to 20 percent by booking and paying in full by October 15, 2009.


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