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S.S. Legacy Review

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S.S. Legacy
S.S. Legacy - Junior Commodore Suite S.S. Legacy - Pesky Barnacle Saloon S.S. Legacy - Klondike Dining Room S.S. Legacy - The Grand Salon
73% of cruisers loved it
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  • Low-activity "soft" adventure on a small ship
  • All meals, excursions, alcoholic beverages and one massage are included
  • Attentive crewmembers dress in traditional costumes
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S.S. Legacy Overview

By Gina Kramer, Associate Editor
Editor Rating

Un-Cruise Adventures added S.S. Legacy to its fleet with the intention of offering an expedition cruising experience unlike any other: one that highlights the wildlife, beauty, history and culture of a particular region without putting its passengers' agility to the test. This style of cruising -- comparable to the paddlewheel-style of cruising that flourishes on U.S. rivers -- is perfect for those looking for an intimate, low-activity adventure, heavy on history and enrichment.

Since its debut, S.S. Legacy has succeeded in offering just that. The extended downtime can be either an upside or downside, depending on your taste. There is no casino, massive lido deck with swimming pool or round-the-clock buffet. On sea days, passengers create their own entertainment, which isn't hard to do, considering the ship's capacity. Passengers quickly get close to one another, and a cruise can start to feel like a family reunion.

Meals are all open seating, which also makes for closer acquaintances or a way to easily carry conversations from the lounge to the dining room. Not having to choose an assigned seating time or feel obligated to sit with the same tablemates is definitely a highlight on this ship -- as is the food, which almost always includes a freshly caught regional option (even at cocktail hour) and something to cater to dieters.

The service is just as pleasing. Passengers aren't the only ones bonding by the end of the cruise; crewmembers also exchange emails and vow to keep in touch.

On S.S. Legacy, you're essentially trading all the entertainment options of a bigger ship for a smaller, more intimate experience. You don't need to be outgoing to enjoy yourself during down time, but if you're not inclined to being social, bring a good book or two. Chatty or not, evenings can be a downer as far as staying entertained; most passengers go straight to their cabins after dinner. (If you find yourself alone at the bar, consider heading to the upper deck for a private hot tub session.)

Un-Cruise Adventures purchased the 88-passenger ship, formerly named Spirit of '98, from defunct Cruise West and transformed it into an expedition ship reminiscent of a turn-of-the-century coastal steamer. The ship debuted with its new moniker in August 2013.

S.S. Legacy looks and feels more like an old Victorian vessel than what one might envision from a standard expedition ship. During its extensive makeover, the ship was given a new life while preserving details like the original layout of the dining room. There's a quaint, old-timey feel throughout; you'll see it in details such as the Western decor of the Pesky Ballroom saloon. Crewmembers frequently dress in historic clothing, encouraging passengers to play dress up, too. Crew don Gold Rush-era costumes, for example, on Alaska itineraries.

S.S. Legacy has sailed Alaska itineraries, but it primarily sails on the Columbia and Snake rivers in the Pacific Northwest.

Cruises include all food, alcoholic beverages, excursions and enrichment, plus one massage.

S.S. Legacy Fellow Passengers

S.S. Legacy attracts passengers who have adventurous spirits but are looking for a more relaxed, low-activity cruising experience versus all the bells and whistles of a typical expedition cruise. Most passengers are between 50 and 70, with a family or young couple here and there. Most come from within the U.S., although you might run into a few Australians and perhaps one or two folks from Europe.

S.S. Legacy Dress Code

Casual, causal, casual. And layers are key, because of the ship's presence in the Northwest, where rain and cool temperatures are common. The atmosphere onboard is relaxed; passengers typically head to dinner in something similar to what they wore on their excursions. You'll see a lot of long pants, rain jackets, hiking boots (great for walking on wet decks) and hats.

There are no formal nights; in fact, passengers are encouraged to dress down at times. There is a captain's dinner at the end of every cruise in which passengers have the option to break out the one nice sweater they packed, but are not required to do so.

S.S. Legacy Gratuity

Passengers can add gratuities to their bills at the end of the cruise, via cash or credit. The line suggests between 7 and 10 percent of the cruise fare, which is evenly split among the crew.
Next: S.S. Legacy Cabins
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S.S. Legacy Member Reviews

Informal Elegance seamominsb
We were pleasantly surprised that we enjoyed the cruise and the boat as much as we did. Particularly appreciated Un-Cruise's business model of not charging for extras--everything is included (except gratuities) and there was not one extra charge ... Read more
Mixed Feelings radmthom
Round trip Portland OR cruise on Columbia/Snake Rivers. Excellent tours and exposure to history, both geology and early people, of the area. SS Legacy comfortable, but cabin quite small - we are spoiled with larger cruise line experience! Food good, ... Read more
Perfect Getaway rosenkavalier
Scenery, history, culture, food and wine! We had never been to this part of the US and this cruise was the perfect introduction. Second, part of the appeal was the small size of the ship (we only had 56 passengers on our cruise), lack of cell ... Read more
1 - 3 of 11 Reviews
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S.S. Legacy Ratings

Editor Rating 4.0 Member Rating
Public Rooms
Spa & Fitness
Family & Children
Shore Excursions

Sailing From

Portland, Oregon

Cruises To

South America

Explore This Ship

Ship Stats
1983, 2013
United States
CDC Score:
Not Yet Inspected
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