When Alaskan cruises come to mind, first thoughts  are  major cruise lines who’ve been sailing there for decades. But there are alternatives. A key one is American Cruise Lines. Known for  small ship Alaskan cruising experience, their itineraries include the East Coast Waterways & Rivers, the Mississippi River, Northwest Rivers as well as Alaska Inside Passage cruises.

Two Different Itineraries on American Spirit

In summer of 2013, the American Spirit offers 7 night Alaskan Inside Passage cruises departing Juneau roundtrip. Guests onboard can enjoy Glacier Bay, Icy Strait, Haines,  and Skagway, as well as South Sawyer Glacier and a day cruising the Alaska Inside Passage. American Spirit’s 11 night Seattle to Juneau Inside Passage  cruise sails from Seattle to Juneau. On this 1,000 mile journey guests  are taken  through the deep fjords and narrow waterways as well as the pristine islands of Southeast Alaska and British Columbia.

More About the American Spirit

American Cruise Lines is known for spacious staterooms (all over 200 square feet), as well as providing more of a country club atmosphere. The American Spirit accommodates just 100 guests, provides an open, single seating dining experience along with a complimentary  cocktail hour each evening.   Cuisine features an all-American menu with a Pacific Northwest twist. Also locally sourced  and carefully selected seafood, produce and meats are daily prepared and served  in their grand open seating dining room. And with its smaller size, American Spirit provides access to areas that aren’t accessible to larger ships, allowing guests to really experience the culture, history and attractions.

While onboard

Providing more of a country club atmosphere, the American Spirit also features onboard experts who delve deep into local culture and history. And guests also enjoy a variety of different entertainment focused on that particular region, from local musicians, historians, regional experts and distinguished lecturers.  American Cruise Lines’ ships are American built and flagged,  and feature an all American friendly and accommodating crew. Elevators are on all decks,  along with satellite TV’s in all staterooms. Large opening picture windows  or sliding glass doors are in every stateroom, and most staterooms feature private balconies

Experiences taking guests from ship to shore

American Cruise Lines has a fleet of custom built launches with a stable design that take guests from ship to shore. This allows them the opportunity to get an even closer look at unique wildlife, secluded shores and pristine beaches. Their launches have a specially designed bow ramp that lets guests go ashore in areas where people otherwise rarely have a chance to  set foot.

Dates for American Spirit’s Alaska cruises

American Cruise Lines’ Alaskan cruise departures  onboard American Spirit sail in June, July and August when the weather is at its best with temperatures ranging about  60 degrees. And as noted, the  2013  Alaska Inside Passage cruises depart and return to Juneau, while the 11 night cruises depart from Seattle and arrive in Juneau, providing another variation of the Inside Passage cruise.

Alternative to large ship cruising

With more personalized touches as well smaller ships that can access areas that might not be reached by larger ships, the American Spirit might be one to consider for your next group’s trip to Alaska.