The Spirit of Yorktown is the largest of the Cruise West's new ships. Its year-round itineraries take it north along Alaska's Inside Passage and south into the Sea of Cortés.
You'll find a well-traveled, intellectual group of mostly active retirees on board, but sometimes they bring their younger folk along. A stylish yet comfortable Observation Lounge with large windows for scenic viewing is the "living room" of the ship, as passengers will spend the most time here. Cruise West has also upgraded the Sun deck with Explorer Class cabins for the more upscale guests.
Guests can dine either in the main dining room or in the lounge. Free seating allows you to sit where you want, so if you are late, you take the seats that are left. The menu consists of American cuisine, such as ribs and smoked Alaskan salmon. Fresh bread and desserts made by the kitchen's own pastry chef are available every day. Other dining amenities include a well-stocked bar with cocktails and wines under the $30 range, and a coffee corner offering complimentary coffee, tea, soda or hot chocolate at any time of day.
Entertainment and Nightlife
While there are no other entertainment options beyond the lectures by knowledgeable experts and documentaries shown on a DVD player, the Spirit of Yorktown cruise offers wildlife viewing as a main attraction. With the expansive windows in the Observation Lounge, plus two other decks to look from, passengers are afforded good views of the exciting marine life at all times. Whales, killer whales, sea lions, bald eagles and even brown bears along the countryside, have all been spotted by guests. There is no casino, spa, shows or Internet access on the ship. Lectures are given by forest rangers, Native American leaders, and other experts about topics ranging from local history to economic and environmental issues in the region. The Spirit of Yorktown reviews each destination and prepares presentations with those in mind.
All staterooms have wide windows or portholes, private bathrooms, writing desks and ample cabinet space for two people. While a bit small, rooms are designed to be comfortable and the decor is nice and simple. After renovations in 2008, the Spirit of Yorktown ship now offers upscale accommodations with Explorer Class cabins. Four of these were added to the Sun deck and each one includes a private balcony with teak flooring, a café table plus chairs for two, a queen-sized bed, a mini-refrigerator, and new carpets, cabinets, fixtures and lighting. These also have eco-friendly amenities, like soft bamboo-fiber towels and linens, water-conserving Speakman "Easy Jet" shower heads, and hypoallergenic European duvets.
There are no recreational facilities on board the ship. You may do laps around the upper deck-14 laps equaling a mile. At port stops you may also go for long walks or jogs, and if you a more active type, you can book yourself on shore excursions like biking and hiking. Water sports are available on the Sea of Cortés itineraries.
Taking the Kids
There are age-based children-specific activities available.
Cruise fares are inclusive of all tips. You still have the option of handing gifts to your favored servers.