May 19, 2022

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For splendid leisure

Travel advisors say the Ocean Victory is a winner: Travel Weekly

3 min read

ONBOARD OCEAN VICTORY — American Queen Voyages’ new expedition ship established sail on its inaugural Alaska cruise Saturday. And if the reaction of company and advisors on a three-working day shakedown sailing from Seattle to Vancouver is any indication, it truly is likely to be a major strike.

American Queen Voyages founder John Waggoner suits up for a Zodiac expedition.

American Queen Voyages founder John Waggoner satisfies up for a Zodiac expedition. Image Credit rating: Jeri Clausing

As any individual in the travel business is aware of, advisors and other insiders are the industry’s own worst critics. So it was uncommon to listen to nothing but praise for the 186-passenger Ocean Voyager, which is a initial-of-its-form entrant to the well-known Alaska sector dominated by major ships.

There are, of program, also a range of lesser luxury and journey makes in Alaska. But nothing fairly like Ocean Victory, which just finished its 1st year in Antarctica, the place it will sail winters under the Albatros brand.

“This is a hybrid of anything else out there,” said advisor Patty Crichton, a tiny-ship and river cruise specialist with Alaska and Outside of. “It’s a combination of expedition and the extremely-significant stop. This is the very best of each worlds. While it is really not for men and women who want to get dressed up and carry out the jewels.”

And that is just what Janet Anderson, director of cruise partnerships for the Signature consortium, explained she loves.

“This is my kind of ship,” she claimed. “It really is everyday luxury that truly appeals to all demographics — 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s. I would carry my entire spouse and children.”

The ship’s cabins and in depth general public areas — embellished in blue, white and gray with pictures and paintings of polar wildlife and expeditions — have the truly feel and facilities of a contemporary boutique lodge. There is also a compact spa, physical fitness heart, infinity pool and two outdoor scorching tubs.

A stateroom on the Ocean Victory.

A stateroom on the Ocean Victory. Image Credit history: Jeri Clausing

But the authentic video game-changer is the experience choices, science courses and staff. 

The business has teamed up with California Polytechnic Point out University, the Seem Science Analysis Collective and Sitka Audio Science to bring gurus and college students aboard for each day instructional lectures, hands-on science classes and evening fireside chats. There are also “Native Voices” displays about the region’s indigenous cultures.

The ship is equipped with a fleet of Zodiacs and kayaks so friends can take a look at Alaska and its wildlife in areas huge ships are unable to go. And each individual Zodiac launch carries a pilot and naturalist to assistance place wildlife and provide expertise.

“I’ve by no means seen a additional passionate and proficient team,” reported one particular vacation field visitor, who requested that her name not be employed for dread of alienating other organizations she performs with.

Spotting scopes and binoculars are situated around the Ocean Victory.

Spotting scopes and binoculars are located all over the Ocean Victory. Photograph Credit score: Jeri Clausing

Without a doubt, whilst this a new market for American Queen Voyages — greatest acknowledged for its paddlewheel ships that ply U.S. rivers — the expedition group on the new ship is everything but inexperienced. 

Top the staff is Peter Szyszka, who has sailed a lot more than 130 expeditions in Antarctica and the Arctic. And most team users have at the very least a decade of knowledge in Alaska and/or Antarctica. 

Moreover leading the out of doors adventures, the staff mingles with friends throughout the working day and night, even becoming a member of company for meals.

The Ocean Victory in the San Juan Islands in Washington State.

The Ocean Victory in the San Juan Islands in Washington Point out. Photo Credit: Jeri Clausing

“They are helpful and proficient,” stated Julie Kean, a little-ship professional with Usa River Cruises. And they’re intrigued in earning sure you encounter the expedition aspect of it in a secure but relaxed way — to give confidence to men and women that may well not have in any other case gotten on a Zodiac.”

Her remaining verdict: “It’s fantastically set with each other,” mentioned Kean. “I consider it is really likely to be a massive hit — a tremendous substantial hit!”

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