Line hopes special offer will boost business

Cruise North faces uncertain 2009 season


Cruise North, the Makivik Corp.-owned cruise line, tried to soften a tough cruise season in 2009 with a "two-for-one" offer on all new bookings earlier this year.

Until Feb. 15, clients making new bookings could bring along a friend at no extra cost, except for the price of additional airfare, says Cruise North.

The offer was recently available through some third-party cruise organizers.

This offer effectively cut the cost of a cruise for two people in half.

Regular prices for the company's cruises range from a low of $2,795 US to a high of $8,595 US.

Cruise Lines International Association recently said "there is no doubt that 2009 represents an uncertain environment."

And Jillian Dickens, manager of marketing and communications for Cruise North, agrees.

"The travel industry across the board is experiencing a slow start to 2009, which comes as a surprise to no one," Dickens said. "So we were experiencing a slowdown late December and into January. We decided to do the two-for-one to further showcase our awesome cruises, and generate some buzz, along with bookings."

For its cruises, Cruise North uses the 122 -passenger Lyubov Orlova.

This means that Cruise North, now in its fifth year, needs 976 passengers to fill its cruises, which include itineraries in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nunavik, Nunavut, the High Arctic and the Northwest Passage.

Cruise North's Baffin Adventure with stops in Pangnirtung and Iqaluit is already sold out, according to information from its web site.

A boost to bookings may also come from Cruise North's recent ranking among the top "Best Adventure Travel Companies 2009" by the editors of National Geographic Adventure magazine.

In their ranking of the world's top outfitters, the magazine surveyed 248 adventure travel companies and their clients. The rating criteria included quality of service, sustainability, spirit of adventure, education and client satisfaction.

"Excellent scores in all criteria (especially client satisfaction!) landed us top five in the Adventure Cruising category," said a Cruise North news release.

"This is Inuit country, and who better to guide you through it than the Inuit themselves? The company is Inuit owned and operated and puts a priority on training local teens in guiding and marine navigation. Clients visit Inuit villages, learn about traditional customs, and explore arctic tundra on daily hikes and zodiac rides … into polar bear- and orca-inhabited bays and inlets," said Adventure.

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