Chill thrill


New onboard features to delight intrepid wildlife explorers

IN underwater bow camera, high-tech kayak launchers and iPod docks are just a few of the new features installed on InnerSea Discoveries’ two expedition ships, Wilderness Discoverer and Wilderness Adventurer, during preparation for its inaugural season in Southeast Alaska which began in May.

Kayaking adventures will be a popular activity with each ship carrying 28 assorted styles of Necky kayaks – stable, roomy and good for pros and novices. With multiple guided trips throughout each cruise, the ease of launching and return of kayaks is a priority. Both ships have been outfitted with custom made EZ Dock kayak launching systems able to quickly and safely launch four kayaks at a time. Kayakers can also easily guide themselves back onto the ship using the system.

"Though our focus is on activities outside such as hiking and kayaking, we have put a lot of thought into new features to make the experience on board even more enriching and comfortable," said Tim Jacox, executive vice president of sales and marketing. "Guests will return to a relaxing and inviting atmosphere after a day spent outside exploring nature."

An underwater camera mounted on the ships’ bows will stream video from the underwater world to flatscreen televisions in all guest rooms and the lounge. A close-up view of life underwater will amaze with a large variety of sea life and, at times, views of dolphins playing in the bow’s wake. An underwater hydrophone pipes in the otherworldly sound of whales communicating with each other.

All guest cabins are above deck with large, windows and feature upscale amenities to ensure a warm, inviting home-away-from-home. Eco-friendly memory foam mattresses are included as either a twin, double or queen bed. Flatscreen televisions with DVD players, iPod docks and eco-friendly bath amenities take these ships to a new level of creature comfort.

Hot tubs on deck provide a spectacular setting for guests to relax and take in the scenery. Each ship also has a sauna, exercise equipment, complimentary yoga classes, a large resource library, well-stocked DVD library and board games. Professional massages are available for a fee.

The interiors of the ships feature contemporary colours that complement the wilderness outside.

InnerSea Discoveries’ ‘un-cruise’ adventures sail between Juneau and Ketchikan (and reverse) from May through to September on a Western Coves and Eastern Coves itinerary. When combined, it becomes the two-week Ultimate Adventure.