SEATTLE - At 192 feet in length, the last thing the ship S.S. Legacy wants to convey is big cruise ship modernity.
On the bridge are some of the most modern tools for navigation, but the big wheel is there along with an old telegraph which in days of yore would convey instructions to the engine room.
What the S.S. Legacy is trying to evoke is the past - from a Wild West-like saloon on the fan tail to old horns and whistles on the funnel. Cruise staff dress like it's the 1890s and routed from Seattle, the jumping off place for miners heading to the Klondike gold rush.
"The un-cruise is the antithesis of the large cruise ships with 3,500 of your closest friends," said Captain Dano Quinn. In fact, the company is named Un-Cruise Adventures.
The first trip aboard the refurbished ship, originally built in the 1980s, is this Sunday. Twelve days to Alaska and another 12 back down. After that, it's off to cruising the Columbia River. (Yes, the ship fits through the locks on the various dams.) The S.S. Legacy is expected to stay in the Northwest market.
Aboard you'll find period appointments from the dining salon to the state rooms all reflective of a time gone by. You won't find deals on gold chain and shops pushing evening wear. But you will find modern conveniences like high definition TV and the operators promise plenty to do at a relaxed pace.
"Trips start at around $4,000 per person,” said CEO Dan Blanchard. "So it's quite a bit more than your $1,000 special on the large cruise ships. It is all inclusive and you're dealing with 88 people. There's no hoards, there's no lines."
And he says alcohol is included. You don't have to lay down two bits on the bar for a shot of whiskey.
While the ship is full, it's not sold out. For reservations, call (888) 862-8881.