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154 Juneau to Alaska Cruise Reviews

The cruise was a charter for selected college graduates in the US, starting from Juneau, making it's way in a semi-expeditionary manner to Vancouver with approx 250 passengers. The voyage was a quality and satisfying experience, with ... Read More
The cruise was a charter for selected college graduates in the US, starting from Juneau, making it's way in a semi-expeditionary manner to Vancouver with approx 250 passengers. The voyage was a quality and satisfying experience, with warm and sincerely friendly service, great food on two decks, and on the house drinks including wine. The house wines were quite satisfactory. Visited small fishing towns where large liners could not go. Much of the travel was in narrow channels which are impassible for large liners. A definite plus in our book. The ship itself was very svelte, nicely decorated inside, kept very clean, and was very quiet while moving, for the most part. Some operational noise cannot be avoided, such as lowering/raising the zodiacs and lifeboats. While we had a lower fwd room without balcony, that turned out to be a definite plus, as the lack of balcony gave us more room, which was entirely adequate for the two of us. The window size was fine, the rest of the ship quite accessible to all. Absolutely did not miss the lack of wi-fi and internet. Nice to get away from it all. We left as very satisfied customers, and although not inexpensive, would travel again on this small ship, avoiding the super large ships at all cost. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
I chose this cruise for my husband, myself, and two of our friends because of its excellent blend of natural adventure experiences, educational opportunities, and cultural enrichment, but also because it was a small ship with only about 60 ... Read More
I chose this cruise for my husband, myself, and two of our friends because of its excellent blend of natural adventure experiences, educational opportunities, and cultural enrichment, but also because it was a small ship with only about 60 cruisers. The trip was met to be a fun adventure. The trip far exceeded our expectations!! Every detail was managed seamlessly from being picked up at the airport in Juneau for embarkation to be taken to the airport in Sitka for disembarking according to our scheduled flights. The staff was courteous, friendly, and accommodating. The onboard director was knowledgeable, accessible, and extremely organized. The boat and staterooms comfortable, attractive, and well maintained. The captain and crew outstanding. We had adventures from whale watching in Glacier Bay (hundreds), to taking zodiac boats up close and personal to a calving glacier, to hiking waterfalls, visiting native villages, kayaking, an impromptu dance night, and the invigorating polar plunge. (if you desired) There was always a naturalist on board as well as a native Alaskan tribal member. During our exploration of glacier bay we were treated to a visit all day by a park ranger. Kids activities were implemented by the staff as well. There was always a choice of food for all meals as well as a well stocked bar for a minimal charge. Food was excellently prepared and gluten free and vegetarian options were always available. During the cruise you had many opportunities to met new friends, socialize, and adventure together. Absolutely the best choice for the money!!or even for more money! It was great!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
My kids had a great time, this was their first cruise, so they had no other comparisons. I was expecting more for $20,000 (4 of us)- like linen changes, portion sizes of dinner more than 4oz and special occasion celebrations as shown in ... Read More
My kids had a great time, this was their first cruise, so they had no other comparisons. I was expecting more for $20,000 (4 of us)- like linen changes, portion sizes of dinner more than 4oz and special occasion celebrations as shown in brochure. It is one of the few cruises that you can lose weight, many choices of activities. The staff was wonderful and we enjoyed getting close to nature. I think this cruise line is a great idea for parents with teenagers because there is no internet and the kids get unplugged and do some physical activity out in nature. The evening presentations were also very educational. Kids entertained themselves with board games, books and binoculars (looking at whales and other animals). The staff worked hard to make everyone's trip enjoyable. I would recommend this trip for people, who are willing and able to get off of the boat and are up for adventure. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We were looking for something in a small boat cruise that included lots of moderate to strenuous outdoor physical activity and as up-close to geography and wildlife as possible. The Un-Cruise "Exploring Muir's Wilderness" ... Read More
We were looking for something in a small boat cruise that included lots of moderate to strenuous outdoor physical activity and as up-close to geography and wildlife as possible. The Un-Cruise "Exploring Muir's Wilderness" fit the bill to a T. From no-hassle check in to the nice touch of their delivering our luggage to the airport after debarkation (leaving us time to dally/shop in town for several hours before catching their shuttle to join it for airport for check-in), the administration was practiced, hospitable and generous. We got to see whales breaching, sea lions roaring, sea otters doing that cute on-their-back swimming thing, both black and grizzly bears from a safe distance, glaciers up close and calving, more bald eagles than anyone would want to try to count, and on and on. Their recommended equipment listing was spot on - don't short-change its elements, as you'll need it all by cruise end. Hiking -"Bush-whacking" they call it - into the forest, off-trail, was great, as was kayaking around islands and along shorelines. "Meandering" ashore was nature walk interesting, but more demanding than some cruisers anticipated - don't go if you have trouble with mobility, as there's not enough to occupy on board ship, and the whole ethos is diving into the locale. We were lucky in the weather, and we didn't expect luxury accommodations (as some reviewers obviously did - we weren't there for the froufrou, but for the get out and explore). My wife scores it as the hands down best vacation we've ever taken (I've got to think some more before I score it above Paris, but it's certainly close). We both agree that the best part, and what made it really stellar, was the crew. Every member, bar none, seemed genuinely pleased to be there and thrilled that we'd decided to join them. They were also interesting, intrepid in the outdoors, remarkably well educated, eager to share their extensive knowledge of the state/wildlife/geography/flora/fauna, and honest to admit if they didn't know (and then immediately track down someone who did!). The lounge was comfortable, the meals excellent (meat/fish/veg or combine them entrees every dinner, and best-ever breakfast bacon - don't miss that!). The rooms were a bit Spartan (albeit with more storage than we expected), but cleaned daily spotless and daily re-despotted. If you're looking for a small ship outdoorsy getaway, you'll find you only use them to sleep/change/bathe - there's plenty of out-of-room to do. Overall, accommodations were nicer than the two previous small-ship cruises we've taken (on other cruise lines). A single complementary massage per passenger and two available hot tubs were welcome after some of the activities. Their "Plan-free" claim is not license to freelance - and in the Alaskan wilderness, letting hikers or kayaks go off on their own would be downright dangerous - this is not Disneyland or Monaco - but is flexible to adjust to weather, avoid other cruise ships, react to reports of interesting wildlife activity nearby, etc. The only negative I can even imagine is that Alaska's so enormous, there's no way to cover it, and the week we were onboard was limited to the southern Inside Passage, so you'll need to go beyond it to see the northern bulk of the state. As for meeting the advertised criteria, nothing negative to report at all - even the martinis were beyond excellent. If the above is what you're looking for, I'd certainly recommend it heartily! Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
This is not your big boat cruise. I've been on those and the whole reason for the choice of this ship rather than the 2800 passenger ship that was also in those waters with us is to become intimate with the flora and fauna, make ... Read More
This is not your big boat cruise. I've been on those and the whole reason for the choice of this ship rather than the 2800 passenger ship that was also in those waters with us is to become intimate with the flora and fauna, make photographs. We sailed into all the nooks and crannies along the route, stopping for zodiac trips to shore with NatGeo photographers who were also naturalists, so we learned not only how to make great photographs, but also details about what we were photographing. Many times, one would hear the engine die followed by an announcement that wildlife had been spotted on shore and the captain would nose the boat very close to shore so everyone could get a good look and great pix. Don't know about other cabins, but no problems with smells in my cabin and the overall appearance of the ship was clean and tidy. The cabins are small - a place to crash after a busy day experiencing all there was. The shower/head was really tiny - to take a shower, throw some liquid soap against the walls, step in and turn around a few times. Don't forget to draw the curtain between the shower and the head or you will be trying to dry off with wet towels. But then again, I had one of the small cabins. There are a few larger ones. If you want a luxurious stateroom, take the 2800 passenger ship. You'll sort of get the experience. But if you want to get the pix of the black bear whom you could see had recently been in a fight, you are looking for something like this. PIX at http://flikr.com/photos/clind/albums. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
PROS We chose this cruise because - being a small boat it get's to places the big ships can't go (max 70 passengers). We stood 30 metres off shore from calving Glaciers - wow ! The sea and land scenery were simply awesome. ... Read More
PROS We chose this cruise because - being a small boat it get's to places the big ships can't go (max 70 passengers). We stood 30 metres off shore from calving Glaciers - wow ! The sea and land scenery were simply awesome. Every day you get to chose variety of off-boat activities i.e. kayaking, skiff tours & shore excursions and rough trails. The have the best methods of launching and decking returning kayaks. The crew are likable, friendly, capable and very knowledgeable, so is the Captain. Breakfast and lunch are a very scrumptious smorgasbord, but dinner was a la carte. I found the portions very small and not being able to eat bread (a coeliac) left me hungry at night. They also gave me 3 dinners containing gluten 3 times in error and this made me ill. Of course you can stay on the boat, look at the wonderful temperate forest, mountains and occasional glacier or just read a book. But if you like adventure, especially kayaking, this is the cruise for you, but it's up to you to take part. I expected to see more wildlife, but we saw our share of bears, eagles, otters, seals and sea lions and I guess it's all down to luck. CONS Luke warm coffee and tea was a constant downer. Couldn't wait to get off the boat and get a hot tea or coffee. If you're not used to tipping e.g. Australian, English or NZ, we got a BIG shock when with 2 days to go the Capt told us we were expected to tip 15-20% of the cabin cost ! Our cabin cost was $10,000 AU which meant paying another $1,500 to $2,000 extra. OK I've tipped $150 to the cabin steward on our Hawaiian cruse but not 15% of the cruise cost. I felt this was unconscionable but our American friends assured us it was all above board in USA. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
If you want to see Alaska from the ship's railing twenty stories above the water or from the inside of the ship's casino, then take a big ship cruise. You may see whales, porpoise, or sea lions in the water but simply wave ... Read More
If you want to see Alaska from the ship's railing twenty stories above the water or from the inside of the ship's casino, then take a big ship cruise. You may see whales, porpoise, or sea lions in the water but simply wave goodbye to them as you and your 3000 fellow passengers sail on by so you don't show up late at your next port of call to buy overpriced trinkets and jewerly. UNCRUISE has smaller vessels to enhance the Alaska experience. Their largest vessel accommodates 88 passengers. "Passenger" is really an unfair descriptions for UNCRUISE guests because we were much more than passengers, we were full participants in the nature experience. UNCRUISE is considered a soft adventure cruise because the description is totally accurate. UNCRUISE believes you really cannot experience or fully appreciate the wild beauty of the 49th state unless you are actually along the ship railing only 20 feet from the water so you can actually feel and smell the spray of the sixty foot humpback whale cruising within 50 feet of the ship. Get on a zodiac skiff and be able to get close to the incredible majestic glaciers. Reach over the side and pick up crystal blue glacier ice. Knowledgeable guides took us into the woods and described the flora and fauna so you get an education along with the experience of being in wild pristine nature. We saw black bears with baby cubs on the shore. We were so close we didn't need binoculars to determine that the black spots on the shore weren't a muskrat or beaver. Since UNCRUISE doesn't have a set time table to be in the next port of call they have flexibility to ensure you take full advantage as wildlife appears. This was quite an advantage for us as we saw a pod of orca whales ahead of our vessel. The captain shut down the engines a safe distance from the whales in hopes that they would come towards us. The sight we saw was incredible as the pod of 12 orcas moved steadily toward us. They came within 20 feet of the vessel and breached the water and spy hopped for over 20 minutes. They seemed like they were putting on a once in a life time show just for us. Because of the flexiblity in schedule the captain was able to stay right there and provide enough time to really take in the full splendor of those beautiful creatures. Try doing that on a mega cruise ship. Even if the ship had the flexibilty to stop, it would take over a mile to fully stop. The orcas would have been long gone. I'm not knocking large cruise ships but they're not for me. The large cruise ships are great for many people who enjoy extragant floorshows and a casino, but you really miss so much of the true Alaska experience. If you love delicious locally sourced fresh seafood and produce you will really be impressed with the food options on UNCRUISE. The scratch made pastries are unbelievable. I really believe one of the best things about the UNCRUISE experinence is the crew. You will never experience a more attentive, caring, and professional crew. After the very first day they will know you by name. They will know what you drink and how you like your coffee. It is a personal relationship with the crew and your shipmates. I have taking three cruises with UNCRUISE and at the end of each and every one new relationships have been forged and precious memories created. What else can I say, UNCRUISE is the best. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We have been to Alaska twice before on big ship cruises and thought a small boat cruise would be a way to see Alaska in a different way. It was awful! By the third day boredom was setting in and by the fourth day, we had come to realize ... Read More
We have been to Alaska twice before on big ship cruises and thought a small boat cruise would be a way to see Alaska in a different way. It was awful! By the third day boredom was setting in and by the fourth day, we had come to realize that each day was going to be exactly the same with the same three activities (hiking, kayaking, or a small boat tour) offered each day. We loved seeing the glaciers up close and having the chance to kayak close to one of them between the icebergs. The wilderness areas we went to pretty much looked the same so it became very repetitious. While they kept touting that this is the "true" Alaska, I beg to differ. There is so much more to Alaska than wilderness and we had a much larger overview of the state on our other cruises. We do a lot of shore excursions on the larger ships and don't just get off the ship and wander around at each port of call. The food was very gourmet but got very old because it was pretty much the same every day. There were only about 30 passengers but yet it took at least an hour for everyone to get served at lunch and dinner and we had ordered in advance! Our meals never arrived steaming hot. The early riser breakfast always consisted of some type of breakfast pastry (muffins, croissants, etc.) that were served very cold. I guess we just like simpler food because I would have given anything for a good old hamburger after a few days. We saw a lot of whales and sea otters but we've seen them before. We saw two bears at a distance and didn't even come close to a moose. The wildlife was what we came for so this was disappointing. I can't believe what we paid for this cruise and what we got in return. Anyone who can afford to do one of these cruises can afford to go on one of the luxury cruise lines (our favorite is Regent) which is a much better value. Most people on this cruise turned up their noses at being with a lot of other people on a ship but it's actually easier to get away from other people on the larger ships. You do EVERYTHING together on a ship this small which can be very interesting with the different mix of personalities. I will say that the crew was excellent. They were very knowledgeable and it was obvious they loved what they were doing. This just wasn't for us and it will take a long time to get over how much it cost and what a waste we felt it was. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This is a Small Ship 62 People. When National Geographic and Linblad team up is is superb. The ship is outfitted very well and the entire team, the naturalists, photographers, sea life divers were informative, fun and cared about how you ... Read More
This is a Small Ship 62 People. When National Geographic and Linblad team up is is superb. The ship is outfitted very well and the entire team, the naturalists, photographers, sea life divers were informative, fun and cared about how you enjoyed your experience. This was a fun expedition in Southeast Alaska. The Captain, Crew and Chef were first Class, the food was extraordinary. If Sherry B is a tour guide she is the best. Well worth the extra $ to see and experience what we did. We saw it all Glaciers, 50 or so Orcas, up close. Humpbacks, Eagles Grizzly bears and cubs. Sea Otters all kinds of Birds including ruffled Puffin. Icebergs a plenty! Just special. Undersea life. We hiked, Sea KAYAKED and learned about the Flora and Fauna. Glacier National Park was spectacular. Getting in the expedition zodiac boats and see Glaciers up close and personal and icebergs you could touch was special. Spectacular waterfalls that seemed to come to the boat. We met a native american Interpreter that was outstanding Mr George. Yes and I did a polar plunge! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We wanted to see Alaska, but are not fans of big cruise ships, nor did we want an extreme nature cruise. This cruise fit the bill. Nice size, nice crew, interesting passengers. Beautiful scenery. I would highly recommend. ... Read More
We wanted to see Alaska, but are not fans of big cruise ships, nor did we want an extreme nature cruise. This cruise fit the bill. Nice size, nice crew, interesting passengers. Beautiful scenery. I would highly recommend. The outstanding item I want to highlight was the bartender Daniel Harding. Not only a great bartender in general, his Irish Coffee was the best I have ever had! The Buena Vista in San Francisco should take lessons from Daniel! We went in May and loved watching the humpback whales. Glaciers were outstanding and we learned much about several that we got to see up close. Watched what is called caving…calving? Pretty spectacular. You are pretty remote the entire time and cell service is sparse if any. It was nice to be disconnected from civilazation! They even offer on board massage, which I passed on. Others spoke highly of the massage and even one was said to call it "a spiritual event". Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We, a group of 3 couples, took this cruise a couple weeks ago. I cannot say enough good things about this cruise line. When you compare prices of Un-Cruise cruises and the "big ship" cruises, you wonder if it could be worth the ... Read More
We, a group of 3 couples, took this cruise a couple weeks ago. I cannot say enough good things about this cruise line. When you compare prices of Un-Cruise cruises and the "big ship" cruises, you wonder if it could be worth the extra money. The answer is yes. We were on the Wilderness Adventurer. It holds 60 passengers and 25 crew. It is 4 floors. The lowest level is the crew level so we never saw that. The next level has some cabins, which is where ours were, the galley, the dining room and the bar/lounge. On the back of the boat, this is the level you get into your kayak or the skiff but you access this from stairs on the 3rd level. The 3rd level is rooms and the front bow where you can stand out and watch wildlife. The 4th level is the open deck and bridge. The back half is off limits because this is where kayaks and skiff are stored. There are 2 elipiticals and 2 stationary bikes and some weights on this level also. This cruise line is very informal. You do not need to dress up for any meals. Some nights we came in from hiking and went straight to dinner without cleaning up. There is no assigned seating. There is fruit/toast/yogurt out at 6:30am, then hot buffet breakfast at 7:30 every day. Lunch is buffet at 12 or 12:30. Cocktail hour is at 5:30 with a drink special, because the Alaska cruises do not include alcohol, and heavy appetizers. Dinner is at 6:30. During breakfast the chef tells you your dinner choices, a meat option, a seafood option, and a vegetarian option. You pick one. One night, one of our group didn't like her meal so they brought her out one of the other choices. One night I didn't like any of them, so they made me a salad to order. Cookies every day with lunch and at 3pm and a different desert every night. I am a picky eater and don't eat seafood so the food wasn't my highlight. My friends loved the food, especially the all you can eat crab night. The cabin is basic. But you aren't on this ship to be in your room. We were about 6 or so feet off the water, with a nice size window. You have a shower/toilet combo. There is a TV but it's only a couple channels of discovery type shows. We never turned ours on. The rooms only lock from the inside, not from the outside. At first, I thought that was crazy but it quickly became obvious, there is no need to worry. Both the other passengers and crew are all great people. As the week went on, more and more clothing were being hung outside the room on hooks in the hallway. Our floor of rooms had a problem with the heat, we talked to several people about it but they couldn't figure it out. We ended up sleeping with the window wide open and the door cracked to cool off. There is a big white board in the dining area. This is where the days activities are listed plus the expedition leader would tell us our options every night. Some days we all went out on skiffs, some days we all stayed on board and did some wildlife viewing from the top deck. Sometimes, the choices were kayaking or hiking or skiff. The expedition guise are all so interesting and knowledgable. Some had degrees in wildlife but others had other degrees but just love being outdoors. I learned so much from them. The best thing we did a bushwhacking hike. There was no trail, hiked over, under and through the forest. It was a blast! A bear was spotted on shore about ¼ mile from us. Luckily we never saw him on the hike, we did go see him on the skiff on the way back to the boat. There was some kind of different entertainment every night. Some were lectures, one night was crew or guests could sing, the last night was the slide show. We brought some cards with us and played cards a few nights. There are some games on board along with books and DVDs. Every room has a DVD player. The whole week was just so great, no cell phone service, no other people besides who was on our boat, and the park rangers we saw at Glacier Bay National Park. All of the guests were easy going and interesting to talk to. Most guests were probably in their 60s. Our group is aged 33-52. There were a few other 20 somethings there, all with their parents. Almost all Americans, except 2 couples from New Zealand and 2 from Australia. We loved it so much we signed up for another one on board. You get a nice discount for doing so. Wildlife we saw were humpback whales lunge feeding, they kept coming closer and closer to the boat, probably 50 or so yards away. We saw 2 orcas, 2 moose, lots of brown bears, aka as brown and fuzzies, and cubs, mountain goats, seals, sea lions, otters, Bald Eagles, puffins. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We selected Uncruise,- Wilderness adventurer - which went up into Glacier Bay as part of the itinerary. No stops in trinket shopping towns except Juneau for embarking/disembarking. Our trip was all scenery which we wanted, and we ... Read More
We selected Uncruise,- Wilderness adventurer - which went up into Glacier Bay as part of the itinerary. No stops in trinket shopping towns except Juneau for embarking/disembarking. Our trip was all scenery which we wanted, and we observed every species of wildlife we hoped to see: humpbacks, orcas, see otter, harbor seal, seals, bald eagles, puffins, brown bear, mountain goat, deer, various birds, and more. We saw several glaciers and calving. Weather was much better than usual with virtually no rain, and we wore everything from full winter gear to shorts and T shirts on deck. We were able to do a several short hikes, sea kayaking, skiff rides, snorkeling, and the obligatory polar plunge near a glacier. It is true that there is a lot of camaraderie among the guests and crew. Meals were EXCELLENT, and better than expected. Fun happy hour with orderves each night before dinner, when we also signed up for next day's activities. I highly recommend Uncruise for Alaska, and believe it is a far better experience than on a big cruise ship. We have been on 4 prior big boat cruises. On deck were some work out equipment (bikes and ellipticals which were quite worn), but it is a harsh environment - glad they at least had that. Binoculors in rooms and all over the ship. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We are not leisure cruisers, but this adventure cruise captured our imaginations. The size of the ship, the destination and the activities were all appealing to us, and the cruise was certainly not a disappointment. Our cabin was basic ... Read More
We are not leisure cruisers, but this adventure cruise captured our imaginations. The size of the ship, the destination and the activities were all appealing to us, and the cruise was certainly not a disappointment. Our cabin was basic but adequate with plenty of hot water. Even tho it was above the engine, once under way our sleep was not disturbed. All staff were great from the hotel staff and kitchen staff to the tour guides and crew. Activities for all levels of fitness were catered for from shore walks and skiff tours to kayaking, hiking, bushwacking and even snorkelling. The scenery was spectacular! Cities of Juneau and Sitka had a frontier feel and were interesting to explore. food was extremely good with a choice of main courses and the bar offered a great variety of beers and wines. Would thoroughly enjoy this type of cruise for the active traveller. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
I continue to relive this trip six weeks later. It was a wonderful experience. I shared a room with my adult daughter and it was comfortable. We controlled the heat which was very nice. The beds were great. We were in 213 and kept our ... Read More
I continue to relive this trip six weeks later. It was a wonderful experience. I shared a room with my adult daughter and it was comfortable. We controlled the heat which was very nice. The beds were great. We were in 213 and kept our curtains open almost all the time because we didn't want to miss any views. The guests ranged in age from 16 to four young-at-heart people in their eighties. Many of us were adults with adult children, which made the trip extra special. The entire crew was outstanding and set the tone for an exceptionally enjoyable experience. The companionship among guests seemed unusually congenial. The food was excellent - all meals and hors d'oeuvres. Early breakfast was served in the lounge and consisted of cold food. Regular breakfast was in the dining room and featured hot items and delicious choices and all you could eat. Smiling wait staff were there to refill coffee, clear dishes and offer anything one could want. Lunch always included a green salad along with hot items. The dinners were spectacular. NOT meat and potatoes. There were three choices - meat, fish and vegetarian. And you could order 1/2 and 1/2 for those of us who couldn't decide which delectable meal to choose. Alcohol was reasonably priced. A daily special cocktail was offered for $5.00 and was delicious. The activities were varied, well described, fun and for many enough of a challenge so we felt proud of ourselves for participating. There were first time kayakers, snorkelers and polar plungers. Basic requirements were to be able to climb stairs, get in an inflatable and have a good attitude. The more rigorous activities were longer hikes and a 6.5 mile kayak. Perhaps a more strenuous hike would have appealed to some. The guides for all activities were helpful and informative and so pleasant. Every evening following dinner a guide presented an organized lecture. Our last night we had a very fun and funny contest hosted by the guides. One reviewer commented on the noise of the engines and generators. It did exist, and one table in the dining room was pretty loud. However while sleeping the generators were white noise and when the diesels started in the morning it was a reassuring sound. We kept our window open every night and slept very well. If your desire is to see SE Alaska up close, unspoiled and uncrowded, book with Un-Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
I've wanted to visit Alaska for years but a traditional cruise doesn't appeal to me. I was so excited to discover Un-Cruise. It exceeded my very high expectations. The crew is friendly, funny, professional and will do anything to ... Read More
I've wanted to visit Alaska for years but a traditional cruise doesn't appeal to me. I was so excited to discover Un-Cruise. It exceeded my very high expectations. The crew is friendly, funny, professional and will do anything to make sure you have a perfect adventure. We learned to kayak, went bushwhacking, took skiff rides around huge icebergs, and watched humpback whales leap and dance. We spent much of the week a little wet and a little cold, knowing there would be a hot drink waiting for us on deck when we got back to the ship. The food was exceptional. Portions were very reasonable --not huge, but you could ask for more. Evenings were fun and sometimes educational but not heavy lectures. Passengers gather in the lounge often to drink, snack, play games, or meet. We changed tables and meal companions daily. Un-Cruise also has the advantage of being a small ship with great flexibility, so if water threatened to be rough, the captain and cruise director changed plans to give us a perfect week. I can't say enough good things about our experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
As many have said before in the small vs. large cruise discussions, small cruises really are a lot more flexible, and the captain has a lot of leeway in deciding where to go based on weather and wildlife sightings, etc. That is a huge ... Read More
As many have said before in the small vs. large cruise discussions, small cruises really are a lot more flexible, and the captain has a lot of leeway in deciding where to go based on weather and wildlife sightings, etc. That is a huge advantage, in my opinion. Also, everybody on staff worked SO hard--guides, dining hall people, etc. What I really came to dislike, however, was the relentless upselling that seemed to be happening constantly. No matter what was happening your guide was constantly telling you how GREAT it all was. "Aren't we lucky! Isn't this FANTASTIC!" when in fact it was pouring rain and for some reason no bears appeared in what was supposed a bear-heavy area. Then the day we started out we had to endure a long motivational talk by the company president that probably did contain SOME interesting information, but which got buried under the infomercial type of atmosphere. Likewise on our last night at the "captain's dinner" were we told that that he had some important information for us -- and then passed us to another recorded infomercial from the owner and THEN we had to endure more upselling about how we could earn discounts by purchasing credits beforehand, etc. etc. It was really a turnoff. The other thing is that, while they certainly provided us with activities, nothing is terribly strenuous. Most people were probably in their 50s and 60s --- that being said, there were plenty of people in their 50s who were pretty athletic and it was difficult being confined on a boat for a week without access to exercise that was a little more strenuous than what was on offer. I think I if Un-Cruise could offer at least a couple of activities during the week that were a little more challenging physically it would help out people there who are fit and used to being more active. I know my husband, who runs several miles a day, was going crazy at the relative inactivity. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
There is something very special about cruising the Inside Passage, especially on a smaller ship, however I wondered do these smaller ships really take advantage of their smaller size. We are from Australia, so seeing humpback whales is ... Read More
There is something very special about cruising the Inside Passage, especially on a smaller ship, however I wondered do these smaller ships really take advantage of their smaller size. We are from Australia, so seeing humpback whales is not unusual, we saw a number of them in Alaska, but always some distance away and only the backs, they are still majestic and beautiful but sightings were not regular nor close. We saw an Orca once and at quite a distance, like, pretty much a spec. I agree with one of the other reviews re the upselling - especially the Captains Dinner, when to be honest, I didn't even notice the Captain, other than at the beginning when he introduced his team. Listening to the Video and being told how easy and at a reduced cost it would be to book the next cruise sounded desperate. Send us the info later!! Nobody was really interested at that time. This holiday gets such rave reviews that I will be considered the negative naysayer, but here goes anyway. There are many pro's for this cruise, but a number of con's also: The guests were all delightful, interesting and engaging. A lot of them quite fit and I really enjoyed an impromptu yoga class by the gorgeous Meghan on the deck in glorious sunshine as we travelled along. A truly magical day. The Bushwhacking was great if you love Lichen and other plants, but it got quite tedious after that. Having said that, I was in the very lucky group of people that witnessed a bear catching salmon in the river, it was about 40 metres away from us and a truly amazing sight, if for nothing else the trip was worth it just for that. Nobody else saw a bear, even in the distance, other than this sighting. The kayaking was really enjoyable, especially when guided by Sarah W, she seemed to be able to get the right amount of talking happening, she was informative but also happy for the landscape and environment to speak for itself. The food was certainly above average and the pasty chef was amazing. Biscuits and cakes were delicious. The guides were all extremely well read and informed, they knew their stuff. Skiff rides through the glacier ice in Icy Strait were truly amazing. I agree with a previous review though, that at times I was stir crazy for some hard exercise. On the second day the Captain advised us that there was a "stowaway", which was a gastro bug, effecting largely the crew. This made eating anything a lottery. To their credit they did seem to get it contained, before about Wednesday when an awful flu went through the ship. I found the ship to be quite grubby even when cleaned. The windows needed to be opened more and it needs the carpets and fabrics updating badly. It felt like a harbour for disease. Even a number of the crew looked like they could do with a good scrub. This could also be due to the fact that it was the second last cruise of the season and it just needed a good clean. The open bridge policy was a joke. The Captain had zero personality. I realise he has a large responsibility but I didn't like the way he was to the passengers or a couple of his crew. I think the bridge should be closed if the people up there cant be friendly. I realise it would be tedious being asked the same old questions, but if that's the policy at least do it well. The safety drill was ridiculous as was the way a false alarm was conducted. Accidents are unlikely and just as well as they would not have coped. The expectation of a large tip at the end might be expected in the USA, but those of us not from the States found it quite a high expectation of approx. $500 per cabin. Just be aware and factor it into the cost. The guides/crew/hospitality all worked extremely hard, although some had definitely had enough by this stage of the season. Would I do another Un-Cruise - Im just not sure. It was great on so many levels, but really I give most of the credit to the wonderful state of Alaska more than anything else. Would I recommend you to do this cruise with Wilderness Discoverer - yes. Just go with eyes opened. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
I have done the traditional cruises in the Caribbean, but when my husband and I decided to go to Alaska for the first time, I wanted to find something different. I did not want a ship that dropped you off for a few hours at a port; I ... Read More
I have done the traditional cruises in the Caribbean, but when my husband and I decided to go to Alaska for the first time, I wanted to find something different. I did not want a ship that dropped you off for a few hours at a port; I wanted to see wild Alaska. I did some research, most of the small ships were priced out of my budget, but I found information about Uncruise. The more I read the more I realized this was just the type of cruise I was looking for. And, when you consider all the excursions are included in the price, it was within budget. We booked the seven day cruise “Northern Passages and Glacier Bay” on the Wilderness Adventurer starting 8/29/2015 from Juneau to Sitka. I choose this particular cruise because the entire itinerary did not go to another port until we disembarked and also I wanted to see Glacier Bay. This trip and the ship surpassed my expectations. Day 1 - Embarkation We flew in two days early, so we had some time to sightsee in Juneau. The day of embarkation, Uncruise arranges a hospitality suite so you can drop off your bags anytime after 9:00 am, which was right downtown, not far from the dock. That left us time to shop and have lunch. Everyone was to meet back at the suite by 4:00 pm. Our luggage had already made it ways to our cabins, so we only had ourselves to deal with. There were tables and chairs set up so you could relax before your journey to the ship and start meeting your shipmates. Mark, the Activities Director, said a few words of welcome. Then we all followed him down the street to board the ship and have our picture taken. Each picture was displayed on a board in the dining room so not only was it easy to remember names of our shipmates, but it helped the crew get to know all of us too. At the gangplank stood the captain of the ship, Shep, who greeted each one of us and welcomed us on board. Then each couple was escorted by a member of the crew to their cabin. At first I was a bit freaked about the size of the cabin and small storage space. But when I actually unpacked, it all worked fine. It is the smallest cabin I have been in, just room for the twin beds (placed together) and a small cabinet. There is more room if you leave the twins separate; otherwise whoever sleeps on against the wall has to crawl over the other person to get out. There are four shelves against the wall as you come in, that is where you store your clothes, no closet. There are two extra pillows on one shelf (you can ask that they be removed to give yourself more room). That leaves three shelves for your clothes. Our cabin was on the lowest passenger deck, I found later on the cabins on the deck above us has about an extra foot of room, which also gives more room for on the shelf for clothes. There is a sink with a cabinet above, which held most of our toiletries. The bathroom is small. Shower is as you walk into the door, and to keep the toilet and your towels dry you pull a shower curtain across. Space is tight, but the shower is a hand held which helps. There is a full window across the back of the bed, and you can even open it for fresh air or to take pictures through. I tend to need some alone time, there were many times that I propped the pillows up against the wall while in bed, and watched the coastline go by. There is also a shelf above the bed, which was great to store things too (like a clock). Each room has a set of binoculars, very handy. We met for happy hour and introductions to the heads of the departments. Then we had our safety drill, very painless. Watched the ship leave Juneau and we were on the way. Dinner was at 7:00. The dining room is open seated, with tables of four and six. You get to choose who you sit with, and you typically get to know most of the people right away. The passengers were probably aged 50 to 70, a few younger and few older. One woman brought her three children, probably late teens or early twenties. There were several Australians and one couple from England. Dinner is plated, and you have three choices, seafood, meat, or vegetarian, all served with the same sides. Each day at breakfast the chef would announce what the evening’s choices were and there was a sign-up sheet. If you changed your mind later, it was not a problem, but it helped with meal planning for the chef to know what and how much to prepare. My choice that night started with a spinach salad with strawberry vinaigrette, salmon in a cream blanche (very yummy), finger potatoes, asparagus, and a rich chocolate dessert with an orange sauce. This set the bar for the trip, the food (including the buffets) was outstanding and served at the appropriate temperature. Blaine, the head chef was amazing and created terrific food in a very limited kitchen. And the pastry chef, Cathi was very talented. (The only “complaint” I would make is that our cabin was directly across from the kitchen and Cathi worked nights, several times I woke at 2:30 in the morning smelling bread baking, sure wanted to walk across the hall and ask for a sample!) I will continue to list each night’s choices, though I did not keep track of the vegetarian entrees. After dinner, we met in the lounge (which has a great selection of books, mostly on nature and Alaska) and an extensive game selection. Also heard what was planned for the next day and met the expedition crew. After that the crew would come around and sign you up for which activity you wanted. What was typically offered each day was a guided kayak trip, open kayak (you had to stay within sight of the ship), paddle boarding, a shore walk (easy), a hike (easy to medium), a bushwhack (strenuous), and a skiff tour. Snorkeling was offered once, they provided full wet suits and about 6 of the passengers took this opportunity and said it was great. There were no trails, this is the wilderness. Bushwhacks tended to be up a mountain, through brush and forest. Most lasted about 2 ½ hours (skiff tours were typically 1 hour). All of the guided trips had one expedition leader, and they all were very good. They were knowledgeable about the history, area, wildlife, and plants. We traveled most of the night, and hit some rough ocean (this particular ship does not handle swells well because of the shallow draft). Most of the time we were in protected water and there was very little motion. One of the things to be aware of, the itinerary that is listed is only tentative. The captain will decide where best to go based on the sea and the weather, which is great so that the bays you are anchored are the most protected for the ship and kayaks. Day 2-Glacier Bay We woke up at 5:45, still sailing to clouds and rain. Early morning continental breakfast starts at 6:30 or so. There was fruit, cereal, pastries, and I think oatmeal and grits. Coffee is not very good, but great selection of teas, cocoa, milk, and three types of juices. Every morning there is a stretch class at 7:00 for 15-20 minutes. It is not yoga, but a very good class to take (don’t need any special clothes). It helps work the kinks out and wake up the body. If not raining it was held on the sun deck, you can’t beat exercise with gorgeous scenery passing by. Hot breakfast was at 7:30 with Florentine scrambled eggs, Cajun potatoes, excellent crisp bacon, and of course all the cold selections offered earlier. The owner of the company showed up when we arrived in Glacier Bay (Bartlet Cove) at the ranger outpost. He greeted everyone individually and spoke about Alaska and the beautiful protected area of Glacier Bay, a very passionate, inspired man. We took on a ranger for the two days that we were in Glacier Bay, who went on the hikes and also spoke in the evening. She was always available for a conversation on deck. There were only 3 walks offered in the morning, a 1 mile in the forest with the ranger, and a 3 hour walk to a river and lake (one was fast paced and one a bit slower). I took the walk in the forest, which was lovely even though it drizzled the entire time. Unfortunately, it was a large group of people and you could only hear the ranger if you were close. At the end of the walk was a skeleton of Snow, a humpback whale that had been hit by a cruise ship and killed. I took a short nap while we started cruising again. Lunch was also a buffet, and let me tell you the food was always excellent and plenty of it. There was a salad, coleslaw, BBQ brisket (very yummy), anchio braised pork, mac & cheese, cornbread with honey butter, vegetable soup and a raspberry pound cake. After lunch the ranger talked about Glacier Bay. The guides talked about hiking safety and explained how to get in and out of the boats and kayaks. We were issued vests for kayaking which were kept in individual lockers. Spent the afternoon cruising and watching for wildlife, saw lots of dall sheep. When wildlife is spotted the ship stops to give us lots of time to enjoy. Traveled to Marjorie Glacier and actually saw some calving (small chunks). Happy hour always had a cocktail on special and appetizer. Today was goat cheese and herb spread. There is beer on tap and a good selection of wine. The alcohol is extra, but the soda pop is free. Also they always had flavored water at the bar, every day something different; one of my favorites was cucumber and mint. Dinner was a shrimp dish or duck with nuki and kale. Excellent cheese cake. Evening talk was about plants for nutrition and healing held in the lounge. The nice thing was that you could also watch the presentation on the TV and hear it on the speaker in your room. Day 3-Glacier Bay Great night sleeping, my husband said he saw the moon during the night, but it was overcast in the morning. Beautiful mountains surrounded us during morning stretch. Breakfast was pancakes, potatoes O-Brian, and large link sausage. We were at Lamplugh Glacier. There were four excursions offered; kayak to the glacier, a skiff and shore, a skiff and scramble (at the side of the glacier), and a skiff tour to this and another glacier. We chose the skiff and shore, spent about 45 minutes in front of the glacier and got a lot closer to it than I expected. Then we were dropped off on the shore beside the glacier for about 45 minutes. The great thing was that there had been a stream beside the glacier that prevented you from getting up close. The stream was such that we could ford it in our rubber boots and actually go and touch the glacier. It was amazing. Lunch was ginger chicken and rice, coconut fish, stir fry vegetables, spinach salad and spice cake. Also, any dessert left over from lunch was placed out during the afternoon to snack on and at 3:00 fresh baked cookies were offered. Took another nap and then watched out my cabin window. Listened to a lecture by the ranger on seals and birds we would be seeing at South Marble Island. I went on deck and spotted two porpoises and lots of sea lions. Very cool! Happy hour had glazed fig tarts with mascarpone and bacon. Dinner was a choice of pork tenderloin with onion jam or rockfish with apricot chutney, green beans and sweet potato puree. Delicious cheese cake. The evening talk was about the different ways that salmon is raised. Day 4-Dundas Bay Sunshine! Woke to the ship cruising and clear skies, saw seals and otters. Morning stretch was interrupted by a moose sighting. Breakfast was omelets, home fries and ham. The excursions offered was a skiff tour, a shore walk, kayaking and two bushwhacks. We took the shore tour, which was great! We saw wolf, bear, and moose tracks. We walked through streams and even through the river, about 1.7 miles. Lunch was tacos with beef or pork, rice, vegetables, nachos, and brownies baked with a bit of cayenne. Our afternoon kayaking was canceled as the wind picked up. Headed off to Icy Bay and whale watching. Finally sighted a breech about 4:30. There were lots of spouts and fluke sightings. Came in for happy hour with drunken watermelon slices and feta cheese cubes. Halfway through more whales were sighted, very active with breeching, tails, and side feeding. Boat finally started back up to send us back in for dinner, which was bacon vinaigrette scallops, lemon chicken and risotto, carrots, parsnip soup, and tisuimi. Dinner was followed by a great sunset. Day 5-Sitkoy Bay at Chichagolf Island Very rough night traveling; the ship was rolling from side to side with loud booms as the waves crashed on the side. We traveled all night, had to move from where it was planned on anchoring to another site because the sea was too rough. There was a beautiful sunrise as we did morning stretch. Breakfast was fried eggs mornay, country potatoes, bacon, and scones. Signed up for guided kayak, what a beautiful day, sunshine and fairly calm, saw lots of jelly fish, zombie salmon (dying after spawning), and a couple of harbor seals. We did see a couple of black dots in a meadow that we found out latter were bears that the hikers saw. Paddled to the settlement of Chatham, which used to be a salmon cannery, now just used as a camp for traveling boats. When the guided excursion was done, we continued to kayak in open paddle around the ship and really enjoyed it. Lunch was chips, salad (great strawberry poppy seed vinaigrette), curry chicken wraps, roast beef cheddar wraps, steak fries with a dipping sauce, cucumber salad and lemon bars. After lunch we did a moderate hike, the wind had picked up so there was no kayaking. Happy hour was on the sun deck. Dinner was Dungeness crab, prime rib, succotash corn, bok chow, beet salad, and chi chocolate dessert. The evening discussion was on the feeding habits of humpback whales. Day 6-Ushk Bay on Chichagof Island Had sunshine again. Breakfast was French toast, link sausages and home fries. Took another guided kayak trip, the water was calm, quiet, and very serene. We paddled to the mouth of the bay, saw an eagle. We then continued in open kayak, this is the Alaska I hoped to see, wild and gorgeous. Lunch we had delicious lasagna, Alfredo shrimp, eggplant parmesan, garlic toast, salad and a great dessert that was cashews in a date bar sort of thing. In the afternoon we did a shorewalk and ventured in the forest for a bit, really awesome. We found a deer skull, lots of dead Dungeness crabs and fish. Happy hour was on the sun deck again, salmon and crackers as the appetizer. We even saw a whale as we were enjoying our cocktails. Dinner was halibut, lamb, butternut bisque, white beans over shaved zucchini. The evening entertainment was Alaska animal trivia. We were going through the Narrows that night, I arrived too late on deck to see but my husband said it was very interesting to see the boat travel through this very narrow channel. That night the crew woke us to see the Northern Lights. Spectacular! Day 7-Magoun Islands Breakfast was cheesy eggs, potatoes and ham. We decided to just do open kayak as the day before it was pretty strenuous paddling. The area was so pretty that most everyone wanted to kayak. We had to wait until the guided kayak trips left (three groups of them), and discovered there was only one kayak left for open, luckily we were geared up and ready to go. All the guided kayaks left the area and we had the islands around the ship to ourselves, just drifting along, soaking in the scenery. It was so quiet, very awesome. This was one of the highlights of our trip. Lunch was grilled chicken, steak strips and blackened cod, Cesar salad and yummy caramel cupcakes. In the afternoon we did a shore walk, did see an eagles, lots of hermit crabs, little fish and bear poop. Dinner was salmon or filet migon, brocollini, mashed potatoes, and a pear salad. After dinner was the polar plunge, and yes, I did it! They then did a slide show of pictures the guides took of our trip. This will be emailed to the passengers. Boat moved to a pretty bay a few miles from Sitka for the evening anchor. Day 8-Sitka Left the bay about 5:45 am. We went on deck to take pictures of the last day of travel and coming into Sitka. Had a delicious breakfast casserole with a cheese sauce and the terrific bacon again. All the crew lined up at the bottom of the gangplank to say farewell. A word about the crew, this was the happiest, most talented and friendliest crew I have ever met on a ship. They love what they do and all of them have time to interact with the guests even though they put in long hours. A bus took us to the hospitality suite at the Westmark hotel. The ship provides transportation to the airport, but if your flight does not leave until later, you can leave your luggage there and continue to sightsee. In conclusion, if you wish to see wild Alaska from the water, this is the type of cruise you should take. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
The Safari Endeavour is the second largest ship in the Un-Cruise line with 42 cabins. We went on one previous cruise on a large cruise ship and did not enjoy it. It was large and massive, dumping 2,000 people into each port. While ... Read More
The Safari Endeavour is the second largest ship in the Un-Cruise line with 42 cabins. We went on one previous cruise on a large cruise ship and did not enjoy it. It was large and massive, dumping 2,000 people into each port. While this trip is expensive it covered all activities, there were no additional costs involved. The not-so good - the cabins are small and our shower was particularly small. It was difficult to shower without getting the floor a bit wet. The two single beds could not be moved together in our cabin (which is noted in their catalog). Housekeeping was excellent, our cabin and bedding were very clean. Everything else exceeded expectations. We could go into bays and get close to glaciers, get even closer in kayaks (and look back on the large cruise ships that could just barely enter the bay). I felt an intimate connection with the fjords and the land. In the guided kayak trips there was one leader in front and one in back. The leaders were knowledgeable and enthusiastic. The dining room was a few feet above water level and the experience of eating as you glide past waterfalls and cliffs was delightful. I liked the fact that there was one seating per meal and you could sit at any table you wanted. Activities are geared to active retired people with usually three choices each morning and afternoon: bushwhacking, kayaking and a ride on a skiff. While hiking we saw salmon swimming upstream to mate, from the skiff we saw a family of bears catching fish, and on board ship we saw whales galore. At one point there were at least 6 whales swimming around the ship. This is a cruise that allows you to be intimate with Alaska. It was a fantastic experience. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
This was our first cruise with ACL. We had a great time visiting small towns like Petersburg, Kake, Haines, Skagway and sailing through Tracy Arm and Glacier Bay. The trip was fun and educational with local experts on board providing ... Read More
This was our first cruise with ACL. We had a great time visiting small towns like Petersburg, Kake, Haines, Skagway and sailing through Tracy Arm and Glacier Bay. The trip was fun and educational with local experts on board providing information on Alaska, glaciers and all the wildlife we saw (bald eagles, whales, sea lions, otters, etc.). Most of the shore excursions on this trip are included in the cost of the cruise. There are guided historical walking tours, guided nature tours, hiking, whale watching, train trip included in the trip. Additional cost tours are salmon fishing and kayaking. Most of the ports were a short walk to town but transportation was always available if you didn't want to walk. We sailed on The American Spirit with approximately 85 total passengers. There were 4 children on this trip ranging in age from 8 years to teenagers. There were some 30 & 40 year old couples but the majority of passengers were seniors. The cabins are roomy and very clean. Soap, shampoo, etc are all provided along with a hair dryer. There is a DVD player in the room and a library supply of movies to watch. There is no cable on board and limited internet capability since most areas of the trip are remote. Breakfast is plentiful and good with lunch & dinner being average quality and small portions. We had a great time but and would recommend trip to others. Would not recommend for young children or those whole require a swimming pool. Airfare and transportation to and from the ship are not included in the cost of the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
We joined this cruise very much under protest as we had been due to sail with Un=Cruise on one of their "tiny" ships (36 passengers) but it had engine trouble and so we were offered the alternative (cost met by Un-Cruise) of 5 ... Read More
We joined this cruise very much under protest as we had been due to sail with Un=Cruise on one of their "tiny" ships (36 passengers) but it had engine trouble and so we were offered the alternative (cost met by Un-Cruise) of 5 nights aboard L'Austral. None of us wanted a large cruise ship -anything above 500 passengers is not our scene and even the 250 passenger L'Austral seemed huge in comparison to what we had planned. However we were made very welcome on board and quickly settled into a life of luxury. Obviously with only 250 passengers the choice of activity and food is more limited than on a larger ship but we had absolutely no reason to complain. The crew were all attentive and friendly form the tender boat crew right up to the Captain and the officers were very much in evidence at all meals. The cabin so far as we were concerned was very suitable and indeed we praised its design with separate WC room and showeroom with washhand basin. Yes these 2 rooms were small but how long do you intend to spend in them! The kingsize bed was extremely comfortable, The range of shore trips was excellent in our opinion. Some had to be pre-booked days before embarkation but as the ship was not full we were able to get on all the trips we wanted to do and thoroughly enjoyed them all. The highlight of these for us was a zodiac trip close up to the Dawes glacier which calved off a huge chunk of ice just as we were about 300 metres from it with a resultant large wave. My only adverse comment would be that the swimming pool seemed quite small but frankly in Alaskan waters there was little call for it though is was exceptionally warm weather when we were there - hence the salmon run had not started and we saw no bears. However one night just as we sat down to dinner the Captain announced that we were in the the middle of a large pod of Humpback whales. He stopped the ship for about 45 minutes whilst most passengers deserted the restaurant for what was a great opportunity to view a pod of whales bubble feeding. This disruption of dinner did not faze the restaurant staff who took it in their stride. Perhaps one advantage of having only one sitting. The food and wine was fabulous as perhaps one would expect on a French ship. The restaurant was fine dining waiter service but there was a buffet facility on an upper deck which we tended to use for breakfast and lunch. No complaints there either. We were not allocated any specific table or dining companions which I find preferable. I would recommend the L'Austral to anyone who enjoys small ship cruising. The stage entertainment was perhaps a little lacking but the standard of the musicians on board and who played mostly in the bar but also on occasion in the theatre could not be faulted. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
I realize i am the naysayer on these guys, Perhaps i believed the brochures too much as UnCruise is still pretty "cruise" like in many ways. the impression given by their marketing is that this cruise is a chance to get close ... Read More
I realize i am the naysayer on these guys, Perhaps i believed the brochures too much as UnCruise is still pretty "cruise" like in many ways. the impression given by their marketing is that this cruise is a chance to get close to nature with hikes, free kayaking and such. But your are kept on a pretty tight leash and the nature/adventure experience very limited. all in all the animal experiences were disappointing. Here are things that really ticked us off. 1) they will not announce animal sitings during or immediately before meal times so as to not disrupt service. As a result most of the boast missed the only Steller Sea lions we saw on the cruise. We saw them but i feel bad for the foreign visitors who may never get to see these huge marine animals. 2) they will not announce animal sitings if they feel it will delay a departure. This time most of the boat missed the only bears as one group saw them but were not allowed to alert the rest of the boat. 3) They keep much further away than the day boats (whom are observing the legal limit). so their brochure photos of whales near the boat must be a rarity. If your primary goal is to see wild life you would do far better to take the ferry between these small ports and then day trips out from each port. Also, if you are an active person then this is not the trip for you. Kayaking is only allowed in the immediate vicinity of the boat and all "hike" are really walks with them all being less than a mile. I am sure they have their reasons for all of this, but know what to expect and take the advice above if you are seeking something different. On the plus side, the ships crew are uniformly great and bend over backwards to help with any request. The Captain is excellent and the open bridge policy outstanding. Strangely the expedition leaders are a mixed bunch, some good, some poor. I am not sure why their hiring policies result in a great crew but a inconsistent expedition team (but they do). Many people love uncruise. but then many people love Carnival cruise. For the nature buff neither are the people to go with. For the cost of this cruise you could organize an outstanding personal adventure. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015

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