Columbia River Cruise Review: Sailing Aboard Un-Cruise Adventures’ Intimate s.s. Legacy by Jeffrey Ward, The Savvy Navigator

s.s. Legacy 0

Un-Cruise Adventure’ s.s. Legacy has shifted from Alaska to Portland for full time work on America’s Columbia River system

by Jeffrey Ward, from Luxury Cruise News

With the growth of European river cruising, and its appeal to North American travellers, I’ve often wondered why there are not more river cruising vessels and destinations in the USA. I recently had the opportunity to spend a week onboard Un-Cruise Adventures’ s.s. Legacy sailing round trip out of Portland, Oregon, eastbound along the Columbia and Snake Rivers to the Idaho border. This five-star trip is an unparalleled experience here in the States, and I highly recommend the 7-day sailing for all cruise lovers.

The 88-passenger s.s. Legacy was built approximately 30 years ago as the Pilgrim Belle, operating as a coastal steamer in New England. She later traded on the St Lawrence River as the Victorian Empress and on the West Coast and Alaska as the Spirit of ’98. The design of the ship is based on naval architecture from the turn of the last century, but is equipped with today’s modern conveniences. The vessel was brought into the Un-Cruise Adventures fleet in 2013, after a complete refurbishment.

Un-Cruise originally deployed the ship in Alaska, but has decided to base her permanently in Portland for the April – November 2015 season, offering the “Legacy of Discovery” and “Ameritage – Four Rivers of Wine and History” themed cruises.

s.s. Legacy open bridge

s.s. Legacy‘s open bridge policy allows passengers to visit the wheelhouse.

One great appeal of a river cruise on the s.s. Legacy is that everything is included in the fare – meals, accommodation, drinks, activities, a free massage, and airport or hotel transfers. The 44 cabins onboard are set up in either a twin bed or queen configuration. The accommodations are extremely comfortable, with en-suite baths and televisions (used for watching DVDs from the ship’s library) and twice-daily maid service. Another aspect of the ship that very much appealed to me was the open bridge policy. I spent quite a bit of time in the wheelhouse with Captain Dano Quinn and his team, which was mesmerizing – especially during sunrise and sunset.

For The Savvy Navigator, however, the highlight of the cruise was the impressive quality of the food and wine. Three meals are served per day, along with cocktail hour (daily at 5:30 p.m.), and early riser breakfast from 6 to 8 a.m. (where the coffee cake was the best I’ve ever consumed). The variety and quality of the food was excellent, and paired nicely with local beers and wines from the Pacific Northwest. In addition to the open-seating dining room, there’s a large, comfortable lounge on an upper deck above the bow, which is always stocked with snacks, libations, and coffee. (A special shout-out goes to the nocturnal pastry chef, whose bread, rolls, pastries, desserts, and other baked goods turned this non-dessert eater into a ravenous sugar glutton.)

The historical interpretation team offers authentic and entertaining insights into the region’s history.
Another highlight of the onboard experience is the historical interpretation team, who function as the guides for the cruise. Led by historian Ryan Downs, the team did an excellent job of bringing history to life, in an authentic and surprisingly entertaining way.

Older passengers are welcome onboard this cruise (and made up the majority of travellers on my sailing), as the excursions are not particularly active or physically challenging. And the sailing’s appeal isn’t limited to any type of cruiser – I’ve always preferred cruising aboard large ships, and now I’m a small ship convert.

The bottom line is that I loved this cruise. It was comfortable and interesting, led me to gain a few pounds, and exposed me to a completely new part of the world.

For further details please call The Cruise People Ltd in London or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk. In North America call 1-800-961-5536 or e-mail cruise@thecruisepeople.ca

Inland Cruising Market Shows Huge Promise – A Third Royal Class Ship, Fourth Of The Line – Celebrity Eclipse Gets A Refit

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 4th August 2014..

Pearl Mist at Sault Ste Marie ON 02.08.14 © Angela at Sault Ste Marie Tourist Information Centre

Europe’s inland cruising market has been booming, as marked by the christening of 24 new river cruisers in March of this year alone. Now this trend is beginning to spread to North America, as American Queen Steamboat Co adds the 233-berth American Empress and Un-Cruise Adventures  the 90-berth s.s. Legacy to the Columbia River, American Cruise Lines orders three new 150-berth river ships, Pearl Seas Cruises began service this summer (their 210-berth Pearl Mist is shown above at Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, this weekend) and another new operator, Haimark Line, plans to revive a long laid-up coastal and inland vessel and bring her into service next year as the 214-berth Saint Laurent. Meanwhile Princess has ordered another ship, while the UK-based Celebrity Eclipse is due to go in for an update.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                                                  (See previous columns)

Small Ship Savings in Alaska, BC, the Columbia River, Hawaii and the Sea of Cortès with Un-Cruise Adventures’ US Coastal Ships

ss_legacy_smUnrushed. Uncrowded. Unbelievable. @ Un-Cruise Adventures

All offers valid on new reservations only and are not combinable with other offers, and not available for December 20 & 27 departures. Restrictions may apply. No cash value. Prices in USD. Book by June 30.

Alaska’s Inside Passage by s.s. Legacy (above) SAVE $600/couple
• Alaska’s Golden History: June – August 2014
7 Nights, Ketchikan to Juneau, Alaska (or reverse)
• Gold Rush Legacy: June & August 2014
11 Nights, Seattle, Washington to Juneau, Alaska (*or reverse)

Columbia & Snake Rivers by s.s. Legacy (above) SAVE $400/couple
• Legacy of Discovery: August – November 2014
7 Nights, Roundtrip Portland, Oregon

Coastal Washington & British Columbia SAVE up to $200/couple
• British Columbia’s Yachters’ Paradise: September – November 2014
7 Nights, Roundtrip Seattle, Washington
• Explore! Olympic Wilderness & San Juan Islands: September – November 2014
7 Nights, Roundtrip Seattle, Washington

Hawaiian Islands SAVE $600/couple
• Hawaiian Seascapes: November 2014 – Apr 2015
7 Nights, Moloka’i to Hawai’i (or reverse)

Mexico’s Sea of Cortés SAVE $400/couple
• Cousteau’s Aquarium of the World: November – December 2014
7 Nights, Roundtrip San José del Cabo, Baja California Sur, Mexico
• Baja’s Whale Bounty: January – March 2015
7 Nights, Roundtrip San José del Cabo, Baja California Sur, Mexico

For further details please call Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk.

Un-Cruise Adventures Revives A Legacy In Alaska’s Inside Passage

ss_legacy_sm

The American steamship replica s.s. Legacy carries only 88 passengers

A recently revived ship that has been catching attention in the American West recently is Un-Cruise Adventures’ 1,472-ton s.s. Legacy, which was christened on August 9 in Seattle. The entry into service of this ship has brought the Un-Cruise small ship fleet to eight vessels.

Built in 1984 as a replica of an American coastal steamer, after working for three owners on the east coast the s.s. Legacy last operated as the Spirit of ’98 for small ship cruise line Cruise West, which went out of business in September 2010.

ss_legacy_lounge_sm

s.s. Legacy – Lounge and Piano Bar for nightly entertainment

Although the eighth in the fleet, the 88-berth ship is sufficiently important to Un-Cruise Adventures that it has opened a separate sub-brand for the vessel under the name Heritage Adventures.

These new Heritage Adventures will take vacationers back to the 1890s and early 1900s to explore the history of the Klondike Gold Rush in Alaska and the Yukon and the early explorers of the Columbia and Snake Rivers. The all-American crew will wear 1890s attire and bring history to life through short vignettes during the course of the day and staged dramas at night.

History will also come to life through guided tours ashore to discover the Gold Rush and view wildlife and glaciers. The ship will also offer occasional themed sailings such as a 1940s music cruise.

ss_legacy__klondike1_sm

s.s. Legacy –  Restaurant with plenty of room

Exquisitely appointed with period decor, the vessel’s carved wooden cabinetry, Grand Salon with full bar and dance floor, Klondike Dining Room with wine bar and Pesky Barnacle Saloon, as well as her hot tub, sauna, fitness equipment, yoga classes and massage suite will be accessible to all guests. While the ship’s decor has been designed to echo the 1890s, her modern amenities provide extra pampering.

Of interest to guests will be the ship’s all-inclusive fares, which include premium spirits, fine wine, microbrews, shore excursions, an on board wellness program, transfers and port charges.

The vessel has spent her first autumn season cruising the Columbia and Snake Rivers but in the summer will go back to Alaska to offer 7-night cruises between Juneau and Ketchikan, making calls at Haines, Skagway, Glacier Bay, Icy Strait, Sitka, Petersburg and Wrangell. Alaska 7-night all-inclusive fares start at $5,195 (about £3,335 or €3,990) per person.

For further details or bookings please call Miri Lopusna at The Cruise People Ltd in London on 020 7723 2450 or e-mail cruise@cruisepeople.co.uk.

The Southampton to New York Run – Other Cruise News: Un-Cruise Revives A Legacy – How Will P&O’s Britannia Turn Out?

THE CRUISE EXAMINER at Cybercruises.com by Kevin Griffin

The Cruise Examiner for 25th November 2013..

QuantumoftheSeas
 
Royal Caribbean International’s new 177,000-ton 4,180-berth Quantum of the Seas will depart Southampton on November 2, 2014, for an 8-night crossing to New York

The North Atlantic run from Southampton to New York has been that ocean’s prime route since the White Star Line first transferred its express operation there in 1909. Cunard, busy experimenting with Fishguard before the First World War intervened in 1914, did not follow until 1919. Now, a number of other ships offer occasional opportunities on this same route, but usually just from delivery voyages from north European shipyards. In the US, meanwhile, Un-Cruise Adventures has recently introduced its eighth ship, the 88-passenger s.s. Legacy. Finally, we look at a couple of forecasts of what features may be included in P&O’s new Britannia, to be delivered in 2015.

FOR THIS WEEK’S STORY                                                                      (See previous columns)