For summer 2014 Kenai Fjords Tours, which is a part of CIRI Alaska Tourism, is adding a new 83-foot aluminum catamaran to its fleet in Kenai Fjords National Park.
Onboard the 150-passenger M/V Callisto Voyager, guests can view wildlife and glaciers during the upcoming summer season.
Designed by Teknicraft of New Zealand and constructed by All American Marine in Bellingham, Wash., the new vessel will join two sister ships, the Aialik and Orca Voyagers in the Kenai Fjords Tours fleet. This new catamaran meets the latest EPA standards for a vessel of its class and is 40-percent more fuel efficient when compared to traditional monohull boats.
“With this vessel, we can go farther while burning less fuel,” said Gideon Garcia, CIRI Alaska Tourism’s chief operating officer. “This give us more flexibility with our tours, in how much time our captains might choose to spend visiting certain spots on the tour where there might be rich wildlife, and not have to worry about a deadline.”
The M/V Callisto Voyager is named for Callisto Head, a prominent point in Resurrection Bay that can be seen from Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge on Fox Island. Callisto is also a young woman from Greek mythology who was turned into a bear and cast in the sky to become Ursa Major, which is the Big Dipper, the symbol on the Alaska state flag.
The new vessel follows the debut of CIRI Alaska Tourism's first escorted tour, which Travel Agent learned about at last October's Alaska Media Roadshow. CIRI decided to add the escorted group tour to the company's customized unescorted packages based on feedback from industry partners, CIRI director of marketing Dee Buchanon told Travel Agent.
Alaska Native owned and operated, CIRI Alaska Tourism is the umbrella company for Kenai Fjords Tours, Alaska Heritage Tours, Kenai Fjords Wilderness Lodge, Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge, and Seward Windsong Lodge.