June 14, 2009

The Pow Wow Cruise

Floating pow wow offers unique vacation

Upcoming cruise will feature flute workshops with award-winning performers, dancing and non-stop fun

By Gale Courey ToensingIf you love pow wows and adore the ocean, a trip on the Pow Wow Cruise is likely to be at the top of your list of ideal vacations.

Although the Pow Wow Cruise has been operating for 15 years, it remains below the radar. That’s because the business is operated by a husband and wife team, David and Linda Underwood, on a shoestring budget, with largely word-of-mouth advertising. But the Pow Wow Cruise’s reputation is growing, and David Underwood hopes to one day see his dream of an entire cruise ship filled with American Indians for the biggest floating pow wow in history.
How the cruises got started:Friends from Oklahoma would say, “Oh, no, you can’t do that! A pow wow should always be on land.” Those from the Pacific Northwest in Washington State would say, “That would be wonderful! We honor the ocean!”

“And I thought, okay, I can see the different traditions, so I said, okay, I’m going to do it. And everyone said you can’t do it. It’s too difficult. The logistics are impossible. I talked to all the cruise lines and they said the same thing, but I love a challenge. Tell me I can’t do something and I’ll show you you’re wrong,” Underwood said.

It took about two years to organize the first floating pow wow and the couple has been hosting two or three cruises a year since then.

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