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154 Juneau to Alaska Cruise Reviews

This was our first cruise. We traveled from Juneau, Alaska to Seattle, Washington. Group included myself, daughter, son-in-law and 19 yr old grand daughter. Majority of the travelers were between ages of 40 to 80+ but grand daughter was ok ... Read More
This was our first cruise. We traveled from Juneau, Alaska to Seattle, Washington. Group included myself, daughter, son-in-law and 19 yr old grand daughter. Majority of the travelers were between ages of 40 to 80+ but grand daughter was ok with that. Both staterooms were very nice although small but we were not in there for long periods of time. The entire ship was very nice and clean. Crew members were very friendly and helpful. Our on board naturalist Todd Weber was amazing! He has been doing tours for about 20 years and is very knowledgable about the area. If you are a history buff this is a good cruise for you. All of our shore excursions for town tours, museums etc were included in cruise price. At each port there were locals who came on board to perform music or give short talks about local history. We also had free time at the ports to shop or wander around the town. The meals on board were excellent! Each evening the cocktail hour was interesting with different appetizers and all drinks were complimentary. Breakfast consisted of fruits, cereals, etc as well as ordered hot foods. Each morning you had a menu for lunch and dinner so you could select what you wanted. Because of the region we were in there was a lot of seafood. We became tired of seafood 2 times a day but were able to order hamburgers, spaghetti etc. Before we arrived in Seattle we completed forms indicating times for transportation to airports or hotels. The crew members were very efficient in getting every one where they needed to go at the proper time. One traveler had to leave for airport at 4:00 am! We have already reserved out next cruises although we will not be traveling as the same group. We have decided we do not want to be on one of the large cruise ships unless we have to cross the ocean! Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
We took off in the Safari Explorer out of Juneau for a 7 night visit to Glacier country during the first week in August. We visited Glacier Bay National Park where we spent 2 days with a park ranger on board , Icy Strait, Chicago and ... Read More
We took off in the Safari Explorer out of Juneau for a 7 night visit to Glacier country during the first week in August. We visited Glacier Bay National Park where we spent 2 days with a park ranger on board , Icy Strait, Chicago and Baranoff Islands ,Frederick Sound, Ford terror and Endicott Arm. This was an expedition ship designed to see wildlife close and personal.We saw and followed humpback whales , sea lions, seals, sea otters, bears, bald eagles, puffins, and other birds, and saw the start of the salmon run. We took hikes in hardly touched forests and filmed bears catching salmon for dinner;kayak by glaciers with snow covered mountains for background. For those who wanted a more relaxed activity, there were the skiffs who took us on tours of the various islands and inlets. We saw the calving of Ward glacier. One day we practically followed humpback whales most of the day and saw bubbling feeding, and mother and calf breaching in front of our ship. The cabins were very comfortable and spacious for a 36 passenger ship. The staff and the service were top notch. All the meals and afternoon appetizers prepared by Nate the chef were 4 star all the way. On our arrival at Glacier Bay park, the basket full of King Crabs was waiting for us and we had them for dinner that night. All liquor was included in the cruise so at around 5 pm we started gathering by the full bar for cocktails. If the crew was busy, we fixed our own drinks. This is the cruise to take to Alaska. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
My family of four (including two teenagers), have traveled a lot but we had never been to Alaska and wanted to see as much as we could. With only a week to explore, the Safari Endeavor was the perfect size and added a bit of luxury to our ... Read More
My family of four (including two teenagers), have traveled a lot but we had never been to Alaska and wanted to see as much as we could. With only a week to explore, the Safari Endeavor was the perfect size and added a bit of luxury to our SE Alaska action packed week. We started our trip out with two full days in Glacier Bay National Park with a forest ranger, Kailin, who offered presentations on birds and glaciers as we cruised up to the Grand Pacific and Margerie Glaciers. We were able to get up close to the scenery and wildlife with kayaks, small boat tours and hiking opportunities. The next days were filled with several activity choices with our four well trained, knowledgeable, entertaining expedition guides, Matt, Conner, Jackie and Fancy. They took about a dozen people at a time on one of the many offered excursions. Matt our expedition leader, would go over our daily choices the night before with fun and thorough descriptions and creative names such as "leg stretcher" "boulder scramble" "gentle beach stroll" to define the various levels of activity from bushwhacking to small beach strolls to climbing ON glaciers. There were also guided small boat tours, kayak tours, open kayak and open up right paddle boarding on the beautiful blue, turquoise & green calm water. In between or after excursions, we usually hit one of the two hot tubs, of course still viewing the scenery and whales! We visited seven Glaciers and had excellent presentations on whales, geology, glaciers and the abundant wildlife we viewed throughout trip. The food was scrumptious, fresh and inventive. Every day presented with an early riser breakfast, full cooked breakfast, lunch, happy hour and three choices at dinner including local seafood, a meat option and a vegetarian option followed by a dessert prepared by a pastry chef. It was all so decadent I usually opted for surf and turf. Chef Mike was happy to accommodate any requests however I can say we all enjoyed everything they put in front of us. The ship has a lounge with Jerry our bartender, happy to make fun cocktails (drinks included- even premium) and cooled with GLACIAL ICE! There are many indoor and outdoor areas to view the wildlife. Also, our Captain Jenna would change the itinerary or timing as to maximize the wildlife viewing and experience. Super knowledgeable, friendly staff and really down to earth. I honestly can't say enough good things about our experience last week. I'm still trying to process all the fun we had and the "once in a lifetime" stuff we saw in one week: countless humpback whales up close, resident and transient orcas, brown bear, Dall's porpoise, a raft of otters, harbor seals, sea lions, puffins, eagles and many other birds. It was a truly incredible life experience for the four of us. WOW!   Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
When we decided to go to Alaska, I was looking for a tour that would be intimate, active and real, without getting caught in touristy activities and gift shops. I also needed to find an approach that worked for both my young kids (6 and 9) ... Read More
When we decided to go to Alaska, I was looking for a tour that would be intimate, active and real, without getting caught in touristy activities and gift shops. I also needed to find an approach that worked for both my young kids (6 and 9) and my father (75). It seemed like an impossible task. Except it wasn't. We did an Un-Cruise "Luxury" cruise which threaded the needle perfectly. First, the boat is fantastic. Very comfortable, all amenities, excellent food and service, friendly staff. Barely felt a bump or wave. I have lot of unopened sea sickness meds because we never even thought about feeling woozy. We were impressed. Second, the excursions are fantastic. Each morning and afternoon they give you choices (kayak, small boat, hiking, beach walk, etc.) with various areas of focus and intensity. Even if you're not an "outdoorsy, adventurous person" you can TOTALLY do this. The guides are SOOOO knowledgeable, friendly, fun, engaging and helpful. They provide great rain gear, boots, binoculars, advice, and a TON of information. I feel like a went to graduate school in the week we were on this boat. It was VERY easy to have kids on this trip, even though it wasn't marketed as a kid or family trip. The staff engaged them, the kitchen made great kid-food for them, I always felt like they were safe, etc. I don't think I have one mediocre thing to include in this review. There's really no other way to do Alaska. I can't recommend this highly enough. My family is trying to decide which Un-cruise trip to do next. I feel like we discovered a real gem of an outfit here. Book it. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
This was my first time in Alaska, and I liked the concept of an 'adventure' cruise with activities other than watching the ocean go by. This was what I wanted and just what I received. Since this was my first cruise, I had lot ... Read More
This was my first time in Alaska, and I liked the concept of an 'adventure' cruise with activities other than watching the ocean go by. This was what I wanted and just what I received. Since this was my first cruise, I had lot of questions for the sales staff. They treated me courteously, got back to me with answers and helped by providing options that worked. When the time came, they followed up to make sure everything was in order. Instructions provided were clear and easy to follow. A small cruise ship, not a floating hotel, was a must for me. A desire to meet the crew and most of the passengers was also a desire. Captain 'Marce' was easy to talk to and her crew was a reflection of her very good leadership. They were all friendly, helpful, very accommodating and very easy to work with. They were knowledgeable and provided assistance on just about everything necessary to make things like kayaking (my first attempt), polar plunges, snorkeling (including thermal suits to stay warm), paddle boarding, shore hikes, whale watching and everything in between more fun than I'd hoped. Meals were casual, but very good. Choices and amounts were also very good. Activities were categorized by amounts of effort in the activity. Activity choices varied from mild (skiff rides up close and personal with calving glaciers) to endurance kayak trips or shore hiking trips. If I had it to do over again, the only thing I'd change would be to lengthen the cruise duration. And next time, I will. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
Just returned from 12 days with Un-Cruise Adventures on S.S. Legacy, Juneau to Seattle, and cannot say enough about the onboard style, the staff, the food, and above all, the 'adventure'. With the ability to spend as much time as ... Read More
Just returned from 12 days with Un-Cruise Adventures on S.S. Legacy, Juneau to Seattle, and cannot say enough about the onboard style, the staff, the food, and above all, the 'adventure'. With the ability to spend as much time as needed in any given location, we were treated to 3 hours (!!) watching humpback whales bubble feeding in Icy Straights; we 'swam' with porpoises just off the bow; we observed pods of orca up-close; and we came eye-to-eye with two curious humpbacks who used the bottom of the ship for a good scratch. Because Un-Cruise Adventures can stop for as long as they like, whenever they like, we experienced Alaska in a way no other company can provide. Add to that the tireless attention of the crew, exceptional dining (even the vegetarian dishes were incredible), the fun character interactions with the likes of John Muir, CJ and Ethel Berry, Sargent William Sharpe, and con-man Danny McSwain, and it was truly the trip of a lifetime. Excursions and alcohol are included, with optional excursions available (bear-watching, anyone?). Be sure to join in the poker game in the Pesky Barnacle. A real highlight and a great way to get to know fellow passengers even better! Un-Cruise Adventures is the only way to TRULY cruise into the heart and spirit of Alaska. We've cruised here on one of the 'big ships', and while it was a wonderful experience, Un-Cruise Adventures gave us the ultimate in Alaskan cruising. We can't wait to return! Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
Embarkation - Drop your luggage and check in at the Baranof Hotel in Downtown Juneau by 2pm. The group is led down to the ship around 5:00pm, by bus or a 10 minute walk. Good shopping is near by for you to pick up last second things like ... Read More
Embarkation - Drop your luggage and check in at the Baranof Hotel in Downtown Juneau by 2pm. The group is led down to the ship around 5:00pm, by bus or a 10 minute walk. Good shopping is near by for you to pick up last second things like another warm layer to wear under your outer jacket. If you couldn't get your bags to the hotel by 2pm, I don't think it would be a big problem, as they didn't put the bags on the bus until after 4pm. We lined up at the gangway to the ship across from the Goldbelt Hotel in downtown and went through a receiving line featuring the Captain and all of her officers. We got on the ship after 5:30 and were shown to our room, where the bags were waiting. This cruise can go to Glacier Bay first or last on the itinerary, depending on their reservation in Glacier Bay. Only a few ships are allowed in Glacier Bay each day. We went to Glacier last, even though the brochure itinerary indicates that Glacier Bay starts on Day 2. Stateroom: We had the Captain's Stateroom, which was the middle of 5 levels of staterooms. All staterooms on small boats are smaller than the rooms on larger cruise ships, but it was fine. We had adequate storage for our gear. The bathroom was small, a one person at a time arrangement. There were plenty of plugs to charge up all your stuff. There was a small flat screen in the room with a DVD player built in. The TV only carried internal channels, with the daily menus, ship position, etc. No CNN, no wifi, no cell service. No daily news headlines in a memo. You were out of touch for a week. There are no keys. When you left the room, it was unlocked. You can lock the cabin door from the inside. This presented no problem, however I wouldn't bring any valuable jewelry on this cruise. There are two locking drawers, which we didn't bother obtaining a key for. The HC/AC system worked well. Each stateroom has two robes, which were useful for trips to the jacuzzi. Each room also has a music player hung on the wall that connected to your IPhone 4S or earlier or IPod with the 10 pin connector. It played your music and charged your IPhone. We left the IPhone connected in this dock all week and played music thru it. The iPhone 5 can not dock in this device without the adaptor. Cell Service - While my iPhone was in the dock, it did receive occasional email downloads from scattered cell service picked up along the way from some small village. The signal was not strong enough to receive 3G Internet. Apparently, small towns that we pass have some cell service and emails & text messages are picked up. Your outgoing messages may take a while to get out, but they do go out eventually. So if you are really desperate for updates on stock market or sports scores, you could sign up for email or text alerts and you may get the information. Provided Gear - the ship provides each passenger with excellent rubber boots. They had most sizes. Each passenger was also offered 1st class rain gear (Helly Hanson): tops and bottoms, again for most sizes, XS to XL. Each stateroom had two aluminum water bottles that you could use in the room or take on your hikes. The ship had walking sticks for their hikes. Each room is equipped with one pair of binoculars. There were times when each person needs a pair. If you have a really unusual shoe size, you may want to bring your own rubber boots. These boots are essential, as on most of the walks you will walk in wet and muddy conditions. People wash their boots upon return from their activity and leave them outside their cabins to dry. When they make the call to go collect your boots and rain gear, move quickly to the boots to make sure you get your size. Very large and very small rain gear may run out quickly also. Dress & Laundry - there is no laundry service on the ship for passengers. You could wash your underwear in the sink and hang them on the string line in the shower. If you are going to hang something to dry, bring quick-dry stuff. Cotton underwear will take 2 days to dry and hanging space is limited in the room. No one dressed up for dinner, blue jeans and casual shirts were fine, no shorts for dinner. Most people came to dinner in their outdoorsy casual clothes. Dress for cold weather. Do not forget gloves and knit hats, they are essential. Bring sweatshirts and a warm jacket and quick-dry hiking pants. Blue jeans will take forever to dry out. Bring thick socks to wear inside the provided rubber boots. Bring a pair of hiking shoes for your everyday shoes and some flip flops to wear to the jacuzzi. Weather - The Juneau area in the summer can get brief periods of warm weather, but usually the highs are in the 60's with overcast skies and frequent light rain. While that doesn't sound too cold, out on the water it is considerably colder especially when you are on a moving boat. The temp drops even more near a glacier. The rain is usually light and a hooded raincoat will keep you fairly dry. No one used an umbrella. During the 7 days, we had 2 days of on & off light rain, one foggy day, 2 mostly sunny days and 2 cloudy days. We arrived back in Juneau in bright sunshine that lasted for 3 days. Even though it rains all the time in Juneau, you can get lucky in the summer months. According to the locals, this was the nicest summer in Juneau in 10 years. Food - Very good. Everyone eats together at specific times using open seating. You can sit with different people at each meal. There was one group of nine people that had a reserved table for all the meals, so they can accommodate groups. For dinner you have 3 choices, a meat, fish or veggie entree. For lunch & breakfast you have 2 choices. All meals are served, no buffet lines, except for one brunch that was served when the crew anticipated lots of whale watching. There is an early riser setup with bagels, muffins and oatmeal for those who want something before the 7:30 am breakfast. Portions are not large, which is nice. Compared to large ship cruises, you don't tend to overeat on this cruise. Meal times were usually 7:30 am, 12:30pm and 7:00pm. At breakfast each morning, you gave the staff your meal choice for lunch & dinner so they can prepare the food in the right amounts. You can change your mind at meal time. We often ordered a split order between 2 of the 3 entrees, which worked very well. The fish entrees were consistently excellent, fresh bakery every day, and we often cheered for the outstanding desserts. Beverages - All beer, wine, mixed drinks & soft drinks are included. There are 2 self service wine kegs open at all hours, along with coffee, hot chocolate & tea available at all hours. After dinner drinks were offered after dinner. The passengers ran the bar when staff wasn't available. Happy hour happens at 6:00pm where the crew puts out some great snacks. Wine is served with dinner. The wines were very good. Activities - Each day is different. A typical day might include a choice of 3 to 5 activities, including hiking, kayaking, boat tours on small boats, photo tours or maybe stand up paddle boarding. You pick 2 of those activities the night before and the crew does their best to schedule to give you your first two choices, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. You can do the same activity twice. The schedule is posted around 10:00pm so you can plan your next day. The ship is usually parked close enough to a glacier or land so that you have lots of scenery to enjoy on the boat if you decide to stay on board. The ship has a nice small library on Alaska and maritime wilderness topics, and plenty of DVD's to watch. There are expert talks on geology and wildlife related to Alaska. We were on a Photography cruise, so we had a professional photographer, Wolfgang, giving talks and leading photography walks and boat tours He was available to answer questions frequently and he socialized with the passengers at meals and on deck. The ship is small enough to get close to glaciers and can change course quickly to allow good viewing of whales. We changed course and schedules several times when we spotted Humpback Whales. We saw breaching, bubble net feeding, head slapping, etc. Sea otters and seals were plentiful, along with bald eagles, and birds and gulls everywhere. A few bears were sighted along the coastline, they were elusive. Hiking - The remote islands that the cruise goes to do not have trails (there are no people to cut them). Plus, the portion of the land where you walk is in tidal areas and the ground is very soft. As a result the "walks" can be quite strenuous. There are 2 kinds of walks on these shore lines, except at Glacier, where there are 3 levels of hikes: 1). The "beach walks" are across very rocky shore lines and the footing is slippery, you are watching your foot falls the entire time, thus it's hard to enjoy the scenery. The beach walks are risky, I was amazed that no one turned an ankle. You certainly couldn't get any cardio going, as you had to move slowly. I consider these walks to be moderate level, but no fun. 2). The other kind of hikes are called "Bushwhacks", where the hikers literally cut through rain forests, over soggy ground, slippery boulders, fallen trees, snap back branches. This was a strenuous walk to me (I'm not a big hiker) but the younger people on the hikes thought the Bushwhacks were only moderately difficult and lots of fun as they were blazing new trails, going where no one else had been. You need to wear your rubber boots on these walks. They are heavy, but essential. Kayaking - The ship has about 15 to 20 double kayaks, which are the "sit inside" type with "skirts". They have rudders and foot pedals for steering, which can be a little tricky to get used to. The kayaks are quite stable and fun to use. The launching & receiving deck is amazing and makes kayaking a great activity. There is always a staff member with each group of kayakers. Inexperienced kayakers had a bit of a learning curve, but no one flipped over, and most people figured it out pretty quickly. Wearing gloves really helps prevent blisters from stroking with the paddle. The ship also has a bunch of Stand Up Paddle boards, which they allow passengers to use when conditions permit. Wildlife - The crew made sure we got to see many types of wildlife on this cruise. We saw whales 3 times, eagles everyday, we saw bears from the boat a few times, salmon were jumping all over the place, we didn't see moose but we did see seals, sea lions, and otters. There were many birds to see, especially in Glacier National Park. Glacier National Park - We spent 2 days in the park. It started with a 2.5 hour stop at the visitor center which is at the Glacier Bay Lodge where there are several hiking trails. The lodge has free wifi that most people jumped on to look for important emails (they are hard to find). The Park Ranger came on board for 2 days and gave us a talk about what we were going to see in the park. We saw lots of birds and a few mountain goats during the next 6 hours on our way to the glaciers. We saw no whales and even if we did, ships cannot be within 0.5 miles of a whale compared to 100 yards in the rest of the US. We made it to the top (north end) of Glacier Bay by 8pm and stayed in front of Margerie Glacier until about 9:30 PM, then we back tracked a few miles to Reid Glacier and anchored. We had morning and afternoon activities on the second day near Reid Glacier including 3 levels of hikes, small boat tours and kayaking. The extreme hike was 5 hours, with a 1000' elevation gain. It was called the "Glacier Assault". Per Park regulations, only 12 hikers could go on any hike. There were 11 hardy hikers (plus the guide) who made this hike with no problems. At noon, the ship featured a "polar plunge" and about 12 passengers and a few crew members took a quick dip in the Glacier Bay waters (mid 40's) and all got out quickly and headed for the hot tubs. We got to see 2 glaciers at this stop. The last evening in Glacier Bay was our last on the ship and the crew did a slide show of all the pictures they took on the cruise and gave each cabin a thumb drive with all the slide show photos on them. They also took sign ups for future cruises if you gave them a $350 p/p deposit. That gave you a $1000 credit for (Heritage Cruises), a $500 credit for (Luxury Cruises) or a $250 credit for (Active Cruises) on your next cruise. You have 12 months to make the booking and 24 months to make the trip in order to use this credit. You have 45 days to call up and cancel your deposit for any reason. Every cruise offers. Discounts for booking your next cruise while still on the cruise. By cruise standards, I think this is a great deal. Photography - This is the trip for your long lenses. Photographing whales is tricky at best. You need to be ready every second with everything pre-set. You need a good camera with a high burst rate, maybe 6 to 9 frames per second. Point & Shoot cameras will not likely produce a good photo as the whales are changing position every 10th of a second. Set your camera on manual focus and pre-focus in the approximate focal plane where the whales are. Shoot in "shutter priority" with about 1/1000th of a second shutter speed and crank up your ISO to allow a high aperture number so you get a good depth of field. The ship has to stay about 100 yards from the whale, so bring out your longest lens. A tripod won't help when trying to find the whale through the long lens, the whales are moving around too much, but the fast shutter speed should eliminate some camera shake. The viewing areas on decks 2&3 get fairly tight along the rails, as everyone is shooting photos. The best place to go is the 4th deck, where you have room for a tripod. Video is a great way to capture the scenery. Still photos are great and can be very artistic, but you can pan with video and capture the immense scenery of Alaska that even a wide angle lens photo cannot. If you use the telephoto feature of a video camera, you must be on a tripod. It's impossible to get steady video clips in full zoom holding the camera in your hands. Remember to shoot in shorts clips when shooting video, 10 second clips max. It's much easier to watch that way. Never zoom while shooting. Pan very slowly. It's better to stop the video, move your camera, then start recording again. You cannot watch a fast panning video on the screen at home, you will just delete all those segments. Passengers - This was a younger crowd than you'll find on large cruise ships. The average age was about 50. Virtually everyone went on the shore excursions. The boat is not set up for wheel chairs as there are no elevators. You'll need to be able to climb stairs to take this cruise. Crew - A wonderful group of 34 hard working men & women, all with personalities and good English language skills. By the end of the week, we were like a big family. The Captain worked all the time. When we were at anchor, she was helping passengers into & out of kayaks. The Captain was happy to show you around the bridge. Disembarkation - You put your bags out by 7:30am, and go to breakfast. After eating you came back to the room to pick up your carry-ons and leave the boat to a farewell line of most of the crew. They took your bags to the airport if you were flying out that day or to the Baranof Hotel if you were not flying out that day. Buses then took passengers directly to the Baranof or to the airport if your flight was in the morning. Passengers with afternoon flights went to the Hotel, and then a later bus took them to the airport. We rented a car and stated in Juneau for 2 more nights. We did some more whale watching, did a Mendenhall River Rafting trip and explored Juneau. Avis has a rental car agency in the Goldbelt Hotel, right across from the Endeavour's dock. You can drop off the car at their airport location, with no extra charge. Misc Notes - No one seemed to get sick on this cruise unlike big ships where you hear lots of coughing after a few days. There is no ship store to buy cough medicine in case you do get a cough and you stop in no towns to go to the drug store, so bring your own just in case. You could probably get a few cough drops from fellow passengers. Summary - Small ship cruises are so different than large ship cruises. Big ship cruises are fine but small ship cruises are just amazing, everything is included and your experience is very personal, not one of thousands descending on some small town. Kayaking in Alaskan waters in front of a glacier is unforgettable. This cruise was all about adventure and getting to know fellow passengers and the great crew. Plus, there was no added costs once you boarded the ship, all excursions and drinks are included and there is no wifi to buy. We liked this cruise so much, that we have booked two more cruises with Un-Cruise. Email me if you have a question at kentennis@cox.net   Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
My husband and I and 3 friends went on an Un-Cruise Adventures Inner Reaches of the Eastern Coves of Alaska --small ship cruise on July 27 to August 3 of 2013. We cruised from Juneau to Ketchikan aboard the ship named Wilderness ... Read More
My husband and I and 3 friends went on an Un-Cruise Adventures Inner Reaches of the Eastern Coves of Alaska --small ship cruise on July 27 to August 3 of 2013. We cruised from Juneau to Ketchikan aboard the ship named Wilderness Discoverer. The cruise definitely exceeded our expectations. We had been on a Cruise West cruise in 2010 before Cruise West ceased operating due to the economy. That cruise to Glacier Bay was wonderful but the Un-Cruise experience was even better (better food and more off ship activities). Because the Un-Cruise ships are small (Wilderness Discoverer accommodates 76 passengers and 28 crew) we were able to access small coves and waterways for a very memorable experience in Alaska's untouched areas. The ship was very clean. The staterooms are small but very comfortable. There is room under the beds to store soft sided luggage and a floor to ceiling cupboard with shelves for clothes and items you unpack. The private bathroom with shower that is in the stateroom is very small but manageable. It was hot on several of the days we were traveling and we were very pleased that the ship has AC and a control panel in each room (it also has heating which we did not need). The food was outstanding and the chef eagerly accommodated my food allergies. The crew members were extremely friendly, helpful and knowledgeable . We thoroughly enjoyed the off-ship expedition activities (all are included in the cost of the cruise) which were extremely varied and included things like kayaking, paddle boarding, skiff tours, hikes, snorkeling, swimming (for the braver travelers) etc. The expedition leader was very knowledgeable and accommodated passengers of all ages and physical abilities in the activities off the ship--as did her expedition crew members. The captain and expedition leader worked together to provide the best experience for passengers and were flexible with regard to the schedule and ship course, for example, making changes so passengers could spend more time viewing whales and bears and other animals or going to coves where animals had been sighted by other ships. We enthusiastically recommend Un-Cruise Adventures! Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
I made a commitment to myself to visit Alaska each summer and I've been successful so far. This year was by far the best trip I've ever had. I am not a fan of the big ship concept in Alaska. I want to see and enjoy the true ... Read More
I made a commitment to myself to visit Alaska each summer and I've been successful so far. This year was by far the best trip I've ever had. I am not a fan of the big ship concept in Alaska. I want to see and enjoy the true Alaska and have seen how quickly a large ship in port can disrupt the entire experience. For this reason I restrict my travels to small ships that allow me to see and do things with minimal exposure to the unnatural side of life. My trip on Un-Cruise this year was aboard one of their luxury vessels, the Safari Endeavour. I learned that their luxury yachts are named "Safari ..." and their adventure yachts are names "Wilderness ..." The ship was in excellent shape and was immaculate. The accommodations are what you would expect on a small luxury yacht, cozy yet ample, well-tended and the beds extremely comfortable. I slept like a rock. There is an iPod docking station in each cabin but no television or phone. What a concept to actually get to spend quality time with nature outside of our "connected" world. My husband's birthday occurred half-way through the trip and I was able to get cell service for a brief time to make a quick call. The crew are all very familiar with where and when cell service should be accessible. Don't expect it every day. There is room under each twin bed for storing suitcases and a large closet with lots of drawer space which was way more than I needed. I've read other comments about the small cabins and onboard noise and my only comment is that sailing with Un-Cruise is like cruising on a private yacht. You will always have smaller cabins, engine noise and moderate vibration which are normal and expected for the mode of transport. The smaller cabins more than make up for having to deal with 3,500 of your new best friends on the mega cruise ships and the engine sound actually works like white noise lulling me to sleep. The big plus was the included massage much needed after the glacier assaulted me and the two hot tubs that were the perfect spot for viewing the scenery each evening. My cabin was the closest to the hot tubs and what a plus that was. Since you are very active all day, most guests call it a night at a reasonable hour so foot traffic noise was never an issue. The hotel and dining staff proved themselves to be the most professional I have encountered on a small ship. I do not throw this out lightly. Everyone went above and beyond to insure that each and every guest had all of their needs and preferences met. They were all personable and friendly while still maintaining a professional image which is next to impossible to achieve in this environment. I was very impressed that they pulled it off. The chef was creative in her menu and the food well presented. I was really glad to see the portions sensible preventing waste. This was a first for me and left a lasting impression. Meals on the luxury ships are served off the menu in the dining room (as opposed to buffet lines) and the food was fabulous. I believe meals on the Un-Cruise adventure boats are served buffet-style. The bar staff did a great job of keeping us hydrated and smiling. They were always quick and very funny. Since the environment is cozy, we all seemed to congregate in the salon which is where the bar is located. This is the perfect place to start your morning as hand-drawn cappuccino/latte/espresso is also available from the bartender/barista. Our departure in Juneau was the sole port since our experience focused on secluded coves and unimaginable beauty. We rarely saw another ship and felt as though we alone had the Inside Passage to ourselves. This does not mean that there was ever a feeling of isolation, quite the contrary. The small ship experience affords what I aptly term summer vacation for adults although there were families onboard which added to the fun. It is a place where people come together to have a jolly good time and would be perfect for the small group that you host. For me its the perfect opportunity to get to know like-minded adventurers and share in various activities including kayaking, paddle boarding, glacier assaults and good old-fashioned hikes. Dress is very casual so ladies, you can leave the Jimmy Cs & Christian Ls at home. I dressed head to toe in REI and Ex-Officio. My one recommendation is a good pair of mucking boots although they are supplied if needed. I bought mine (Smoky Mountain Amphibian rubber-neoprene) a few years ago at a local feed store and they come in handy for wet landings on the skiff. I wore them daily. The exploration staff leading our journey were all experienced and then some and one of the exploration guides, also a college professor in Oregon, was the most knowledgeable Ive ever encountered. I learned more on this trip than all seven previous combined. They were always on hand to offer assistance or help introduce you to a new sport. New to kayaking no problem. Theres an introductory demonstration and once in the water, everyone seems to encourage and help each other. Ive kayaked for years but a simple word of encouragement to a newbie went a long way. Everyone was very active. Our Captain, Jenna Stevens, was also a surprise and she, too, left a lasting impression. She was out there pitching in with the guides getting the skiffs ready to launch always with a smile and kind word. She was available when needed and always looking out for the guests. Im not exaggerating when I say I am still in awe of everyone onboard, from the Captain on down. I have never been on a trip that I didnt hear grumbling of some sort from either guests or crew. This trip was the sole exception and it still amazes me. The entire crew set the gold standard for the cruising. Their continued efforts to insure a perfect trip did not go unnoticed by anyone. In trying to convince my friends to join me on my small ship travels I always use this comparison. If you go to the Super Bowl and have field-level tickets you are going to pay much more than if you are seated in the nose-bleed section. The same concept applies here. The small ships go where the big ships can't so obviously you will see an entirely different Alaska than they will. You actually get to see and experience the Inside Passage as opposed to watching it through your window or off your balcony. I am very protective of maintaining the dignity of this precious piece of America and being able to anchor is a secluded cove and clearly hear the sounds of nature and see bald eagles, bears, sea otters, sea lions, seals, whales and wildlife up close is indescribable. I can't recommend it enough. I've spent time in Alaska May through October and recommend July solely because three of my trips in July produced the best weather. Salmon run early July through the end of August and bear sightings on this trip were remarkable. I can't even count the number of whales we spotted. I finally made it to the 20-story high Dawes Glacier, topping my list, and what a welcome we received. A very large chunk of glacial ice broke off and not only calved but created a 375 foot high geyser for our viewing pleasure. Since we were already photographing the smaller calvings from our Zodiac, we caught the whole episode on both camera and video. Wow!!! As you can probably hear from my words, I am still awed by the trip.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
Our cruise started in Juneau. Our cabins were very adequate. Spacious for storage and comfortable for sleeping. The ships crew kept them clean and anything you needed they were happy to comply. Dining was perfect. we had buffet and seated ... Read More
Our cruise started in Juneau. Our cabins were very adequate. Spacious for storage and comfortable for sleeping. The ships crew kept them clean and anything you needed they were happy to comply. Dining was perfect. we had buffet and seated dining. Everything was well prepared and special request were gladly excepted. Our servers were excellent. As a matter of fact we got quite close to all of the crew. There was nothing we asked for on the ship that was not taken care of . The whole ship staff was great. There were 4 in my family. 3 of us had massages and it was worth it. Activities included. hiking, kayaking, polar bear plunge,snorkeling and paddle boards. Every evening our teens were in the dvd library or planning a board game from the lounge with other ship mates. If they weren't to tired from the day's activities. One day was a 5.5 mile hike to a lake by a glacier. So if you do the math, total was 11 miles. so awesome!!! There are always other options available. Never a dull moment. We saw a multitude of alaska wildlife. Humpback whales, sea lions, brown bear, black bear and eagles. That's only mentioning a few. You get up close and personal with everything you do. Our captain even did the polar bear plunge. And he was there for almost every activity we did when we returned to the boat to ask how it was. In my opinion it is the best cruise to take in Alaska. Don't hesitate to call and ask them questions they are so helpful. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
From first contact in planning tto departure, guests were the focus of the entire crew and Un-cruise staff. Each crew member from moment of approaching the ship until after we were safely on our way to airport did even tiny thing in a ... Read More
From first contact in planning tto departure, guests were the focus of the entire crew and Un-cruise staff. Each crew member from moment of approaching the ship until after we were safely on our way to airport did even tiny thing in a personal, friendly, competent and efficient manner. Their excitement was infectious ,,,their knowledge and acts enhanced our experiences both with the ship and its amenities as well as the real reason for small-ship cruise choice: up close, intense and personal contact with Nature and Alaska. Our dream began in 1996... life was as life would be and finally our dream became reality and began June 2013... in all respects, our deepest gratitude to Un-Cruise, front office, captain, officers, staff and crew. Words of compliment in the English language are oft over- or mis-used. Our experience with Un-cruise: superb. We look forward to at least two more trips with it. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
Up close and personal in Alaska. No ports, just following the wildlife, kayaking, paddle boarding and taking the zodiacs up to the shore for hiking and photography, while cruising so very close to the calving glaciers. As a seasoned ... Read More
Up close and personal in Alaska. No ports, just following the wildlife, kayaking, paddle boarding and taking the zodiacs up to the shore for hiking and photography, while cruising so very close to the calving glaciers. As a seasoned traveler with 50 cruises to date, I must say this was one of the best experiences I have had! I was initially a bit hesitant to cruise on such a small ship as I am not usually the kayak, paddle board or take long hikes type, but didn't want to do a 'big ship' for my first trip to Alaska. As the large ships cruised by at the required 8 mile distance from the glaciers, I was thrilled that we were able to sail within a mile and zodiac right up to them through the 'bergy bit' ice bergs. We had a Park Ranger onboard for two days. She was informative and well educated, taking us into small coves to find the wildlife easily. The crew was exceptional! They seemed genuinely happy and made us all feel like family from the first day. Both the Captain and the second in command were WOMEN! A first for me. An open bridge policy allowed guests to experience how the ship navigates and see the panoramic views. The ship is small and intimate, able to carry just 86 passengers. Everyone dines together and shares tables at meal time while enjoying the passing scenery from the wall to wall windows. Several times during the cruise our dinner was interrupted when whales were spotted and we all went rushing to the bow with our cameras. The chef, who is very talented, kept our meals warm until we returned. The pastry chef, who I compliment and curse at the same time because of my expanding waistline, created the most delicious cookies, scones and desserts I have ever had at sea. You cannot possible stop at just one. The panoramic view lounge at the front of the ship can seat everyone for happy hour. Our cruise was an all inclusive sailing, with drinks included. Great conversations with interesting people sparked many friendships that I think will last well past the cruise. Twin doors opening to the bow of the ship make it a great spot to watch for wildlife and step out for photographs. I was surprised to see a couple in their 80's on the ship with some mobility issues, but soon realized this ship is the best way for them to view the wildlife through the windows even though they couldn't participate in the off ship adventure activities. The cabins were minimal and small, but I found I didn't spend time there with so many things to do outside. The mattresses could have been thicker and more luxurious, as it felt like being at camp with just a mattress on a platform. The black out curtains didn't completely block the sunlight, so I woke with the sun at 4:15 am on many mornings. I was told they are looking into shades instead. That would be a welcome improvement. Drawer and closet space were ample. The bathroom was tiny, but efficient. Be prepared to truly un-connect. There is no Internet or cell coverage. A welcome change to unplug and enjoy the natural beauty for a week. Another first for me was having the entire crew lined up on the dock as we departed to say goodbye. It was touching as guests gave each crew member a hug and shared a special moment with the individuals that made it such a memorable week. The right ending to a perfect cruise and a heartwarming testimony for the cruise line. Overall, I give the Safari Endeavor a high rating and look forward to coming back to explore Mexico and Hawaii with them.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
Where do I start? The ship (Wilderness Discoverer)- We were in the Navigator level cabin. It is the least expensive and on the lowest level. It is small( about 8x10) but though snug, we found it really neat. The window opens to the sea and ... Read More
Where do I start? The ship (Wilderness Discoverer)- We were in the Navigator level cabin. It is the least expensive and on the lowest level. It is small( about 8x10) but though snug, we found it really neat. The window opens to the sea and since you are on the lowest level it means no railings blocking your view and nobody walking by you window. That means no need to draw the curtain- who cares if a whale or dolphin sees you au naturale? The crew- Just the best! So friendly and happy to help you in any way possible. The food- Omigosh- everything was perfect. We all were constantly amazed at the variety and quality of the meals. The activities- Kayaking, hiking, and fun skiff rides to glaciers and land hike areas. Also, the polar bear plunge which is a jump from the ship into 38 degree water which is a one time event near the end of the trip. We didn't partake but about 20 did and it was a blast to watch them. The fellow passengers-they were so much fun and so interesting. We were a like minded group that were looking for more than sitting with 1000 others on those giant ships. The Un-Cruise company has done their homework. The crew made the time so special. Having been told how they pick their crew, I only wish all employers would follow their technique. We did the eastern cove, 7 day trip. The weather was gorgeous-hardly any rain and many sunny days. DO NOT be fooled. We were told how unusual that is. So if you read their suggested packing tips-believe them. It will most likely rain so be ready for it. A couple of tips. Many brought their own binoculars but they must have had 15 or 20 of their own in the lounge available for the use of passengers. They have many pairs of "wellies" or rubber calf length boots. I still would advise you bring your own. Finally, I really recommend the Un-Cruise experience. It was so much fun. In case you think it was perfect- well nothing is. When filling out the initial form for the trip, one question asked if I had a special occasion occurring during the trip and was told to write it in the blank and they would have the crew celebrate it with us on board. Well, i told them my birthday was on May 21 just 3 days into the voyage and I waited each evening for "something" to be announced but it never was. After contacting Un-Cruise afterward, they apologized for the error. Failure to communicate was the reason I think. What do I remember the most? The unbelievable silence after stopping paddling our kayak in Misty Fiord. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
The views of Alaska from the boat are beautiful, but by hiking in the forests you see behind all those trees to the temperate rain forest. It is full of green growth - vines, lichen, moss, leaves and voluptuous beauty. We were able to walk ... Read More
The views of Alaska from the boat are beautiful, but by hiking in the forests you see behind all those trees to the temperate rain forest. It is full of green growth - vines, lichen, moss, leaves and voluptuous beauty. We were able to walk on glaciers, in muskeg, and enjoy wildflowers and wildlife. Our boat was small - 76 guests on board. The rooms are very simple but functionary. The sun deck was used for yoga classes in the morning and then for relaxing later in the day after activities. The boat is very basic - nothing luxurious about it! The only change I wished for was for tables and chairs to play cards or a game on. The lounge had very small cocktail tables. The food was very good, and we always had 3 choices of entree. My vegan husband was happy with his meals. The crew were absolutely the best! Always accommodating and friendly. By the end of the week it was hard to say goodbye. When we were in the middle of a hike, the expedition leader might gather us into a group and then read a poem about the wilderness. It bonded us together, and to the sacred land. In my opinion, this is the way to see Alaska. Small coves, boots on the ground, kayaking to get really close to the land. Lots of friendly people, good food, great crew, memorable experiences. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
We experienced some of the most magnificent scenery in the world as we cruised into fjords & coves that are inaccessible to the mammoth cruise ships. In solitude, our adventure started as we watched Dawes Glacier calf as harbor seals ... Read More
We experienced some of the most magnificent scenery in the world as we cruised into fjords & coves that are inaccessible to the mammoth cruise ships. In solitude, our adventure started as we watched Dawes Glacier calf as harbor seals reefed on the floating ice quite close to our skiff. The culmination of our cruise were the towering cliffs of Misty Fjord dwarfing everything below. The stars dazzled the night sky many evenings. We were also fortunate enough to see an aurora borealis on the horizon. We kayaked, hiked beaches & forests, took skiff excursions, walked on Baird glacier & basked in the unexpected sunshine for. I am a novice kayaker, but the launch ramp from the back of the boat made entering & exiting to water very easy. Hikes were rated from 1 to 5. 1 & 2 hikes were very manageable for most of our group. Experienced hikers took the 3 - 5 treks. Snorkeling & paddle boarding were also available. For a buffet, the food was exceptional. Quality was preferred over quantity. Lots of healthy choices were offered each day at breakfast, lunch & dinner. Happy Hour appetizers were good enough to gorge yourself & skip dinner - which I did the night they served lamb. The entire cruise was a photographers dream. Every turn in the river, bay or cove revealed scenes that were even more spectacular than the last - mists enshrouding mountains, mirror images of soaring cliffs, the aurora. Eagles & sea gulls were everywhere. Groups of harbor seals & individuals were spotted. A whale surfaced & tail-flapped with great enthusiasm near kayakers on day 3. A bear was spotted on the beach from the boat. However, I was disappointed in the wildlife viewing. The orcas had headed south; the puffins were gone; I never saw an otter. We didn't get as close to some of the animals we saw as I would have liked. All in all - it was a truly unique experience that I would recommend to anyone who loves nature & the great outdoors. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
We have sailed on a number of small expedition ships and have found this to be our preferred way of cruising. We had a wonderful first week in which the Wilderness Explorer met all of our expectations.The Wilderness Explorer did not have ... Read More
We have sailed on a number of small expedition ships and have found this to be our preferred way of cruising. We had a wonderful first week in which the Wilderness Explorer met all of our expectations.The Wilderness Explorer did not have the luxury of some of the ships we have experienced but the price was quite a bit lower and on the whole, the first week represented very good value for money. The second week however was very disappointing and I would not recommend it at all. Firstly though the advantages. During the first week, there were some good hikes and excellent opportunities for paddle boarding and sea kayaking. . The main benefits for us were the excellent staff especially those helping with the sea kayaking and the small skiffs. The staff were also quite knowledgeable and seemed to genuinely try to make the experience enjoyable for everyone. On most evenings, there was a lecture after dinner and it was interesting to hear from the staff about aspects of the environment or Another great aspect of the trip was that we were able to visit many places which would have been inaccessible to larger ships. This was a real bonus as some places such as Misty Fijords were truly spectacular. It was also wonderful to be in places where our ship was the only one to be seen and which seemed to be true wilderness areas remote from other people. The food on the ship was quite good and very plentiful. There was plenty of variety and lots of salads and vegetables. Except on the final night, all meals were served buffet style. There was also bar where it was possible to purchase cocktails and other drinks and nibblies were served before dinner. In summary, every day during the first week was filled with interesting activities, beautiful scenery and opportunities for exercise. The second week was a very different story. We had booked for the cruise in Australia and I did not realize that there was an opportunity to disembark the ship in Ketchikan. Only a third of the passengers remained on board for the second week- most of whom were other Australians. During this time we had full three days at sea where it was not possible to leave the ship at all. The ship was simply too small for this to be a pleasant experience. Additionally, our mid range cabin was very small and very cold so it was a pleasant place in which to relax. The other days, while pleasant, were spent in areas which could not be considered wilderness areas. I think that the whole week was oriented towards bringing the ship back to Seattle at the end of the season.The staff too, seemed to relax after most of the passengers left. Even on the days which were not at sea, many of the staff seemed to be not as helpful as they were during the first week and we had the feeling that they were simply wanting to finish the cruise. I can understand this as the staff must have worked incredibly hard all season and were probably ready to move on to other aspects of their lives. Finally, we were slightly annoyed that one of the staff made it very clear that a ten per cent tip would be expected at the conclusion of the trip. We know that this is common practice but it still irked. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
I am not a cruiser. I can think of few less appealing vacations than traveling from touristy port town to another touristy port town with 3000 of my closest friends. However, my desire to see the inside passage of Alaska beat out my desire ... Read More
I am not a cruiser. I can think of few less appealing vacations than traveling from touristy port town to another touristy port town with 3000 of my closest friends. However, my desire to see the inside passage of Alaska beat out my desire to never cruise again. I am so glad that we did this. I recently did a 1 week Eastern Coves itinerary with my wife, and 2 sons ages 8 and 5. We were initially scheduled on a "family" cruise, but the dates were changed by the company, so we ended up on the regular cruise. Everything about our trip was truly fantastic. The staff on the boat from the hotel staff, kitchen staff, expedition leaders, and crew were amazing. Particular props go to Kathleen who took such good care of us in the dining room, and Chef JO who was so kind to create alternative meals for our kids. The food was surprisingly delicious and plentiful. Every day held unique expeditions in incredibly beautiful locations. The expedition staff was professional, safety oriented, well informed, and very fun! Annie the head of the expedition staff made sure that my family was placed in appropriate expeditions for our kids. Kristin was particularly wonderful with our boys and even got our older son out on a paddle board and encouraged him to do a "polar plunge". Alison, Mark, and Liz were great as well. Capt. Dano was great. Our family connected with Chief Mate Jeff, who is a whale biologist. We spend many hours with him in the bridge, learning about all kinds of marine mammals. He is an extraordinary fund of knowledge, and his enthusiasm was infectious. On 2 nights our boat ended up surrounded by humpbacks surfacing at sunset, truly a marvelous and majestic experience. Our kids got out of bed, and we watched from our 200 level room as the whales surfaced so close it felt like we could reach out and touch them. During our one port stop at Wrangell, we went to the Anan Creek Bear Observatory and saw 15 black bears and 6 grizzlies. We watched them feed off of spawning salmon in Anan Creek. We greatly enjoyed kayaking, hiking, paddleboarding, and the many wildlife encounters. On our first day in Windham Bay, we were observing a black bear from a few hundred yards (safely across a river) when an humpback surfaced and "blew" about a 300 yards offshore. It was truly awe inspiring. Alaska is an amazing place, and Innersea Discoveries is an incredibly well run operation from booking to disembarkation. The crew was wonderful, safety oriented, and fun. Our fellow travelers were adventurous and from all over the world. They were interesting and fun people, and the uncruise was quite informal. The rooms were clean and comfortable, but we didn't spend much time in them because we were so busy adventuring out into the Alaskan wilderness. I can no longer say I will never cruise again, as we will likely take another trip with Innersea in the future. Our kids want to go back next year! They have been sad because they miss all their new friends from the boat. Thanks Kristin, Jeff, Kathleen, Jo (and your great staff), Annie, Alison, Liz, Mark, Dano, Michael, Katherine, Blythe, Alex, Paul, Derek, Celia, Heather, Emily, Dain. If I forgot to mention anyone, I am sorry because you are all wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
My husband and I loved our Alaskan cruise on the Safari Explorer. The Safari Explorer is a spectacular vessel. Attention was paid to every detail of the yacht. The woodwork is beautiful, the cabins are comfortable, and the tiles in the ... Read More
My husband and I loved our Alaskan cruise on the Safari Explorer. The Safari Explorer is a spectacular vessel. Attention was paid to every detail of the yacht. The woodwork is beautiful, the cabins are comfortable, and the tiles in the bathroom are heated. The beds are tempurpedic and are exceptionally comfortable. The food is truly gourmet. We had fresh fish every evening, except one and we had King crab legs that evening. My husband does not enjoy seafood and his meal was as delicious as mine. He had steak, lamb, and duck! The service at meals was spectacular. The staff learned our names and even what we liked within the first day. The complimentary wines were also very good. Our excursions were also fabulous: hiking, kayaking, and skiff tours. The expedition leaders were very knowledgeable and just delightful people. We were allowed extra time to see wildlife when needed. For example, we found some wolves and spent several hours watching them play on the beach. We were also able to see the humpback whales bubble net feed for several hours. We had very informative lectures and a couple of great movies. From the moment we boarded the yacht until disembarkation, every aspect of the trip deserves five plus stars. We enjoy small yacht cruising and American Safari is the best cruise line yet! Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
What an introduction to Cruising.... 7 days all exclusive trip on a luxury yacht around some great scenery and wildlife. 21 like minded guests on board and we have already visited some of them after the cruise. From the welcome at the ... Read More
What an introduction to Cruising.... 7 days all exclusive trip on a luxury yacht around some great scenery and wildlife. 21 like minded guests on board and we have already visited some of them after the cruise. From the welcome at the local hotel until we disembarked 7 days later, everything was friendly, professional and most welcoming. The on board staff made the trip for us; they became companions on the adventure. I know they were working hard behind the scenes to make the trip what it was; from the cooks who surprised us every meal with their culinary skills, the very knowledgeable Expedition leader (who corrected the park Ranger a few times) to the Captain who navigated us into some great isolated places. Cabins were spacious; we didn't spend much time in ours as so much to see from the decks or on the kayaks/skiff. Great nature trips; kayaking amongst icebergs, brown bears and in front of glaciers, and walking in temperate rain forests and on glaciers to name but a few... We stopped at two places; Tenakee (small coastal community) and Bartlett Cove (Glacier Bay national Park Entrance) for walks and to meet locals. We saw a few large cruise ships steaming at 18knots in Glacier Bay whilst we kayaked and followed brown bears on the shore line; definitely the best way to see the Inside Passage. We often diverted to see wildlife, including humpback whales within feet of the boat, and views to get out of bed at 6am for. We have already booked our 7 days cruise in Hawaii in Jan 2014. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
We have travelled extensively as a family and wanted to see Alaska, but in an active setting where we could hike and interact with nature. We did not want to sit and eat, get formally dressed for dinner, but we wanted excellent, healthy ... Read More
We have travelled extensively as a family and wanted to see Alaska, but in an active setting where we could hike and interact with nature. We did not want to sit and eat, get formally dressed for dinner, but we wanted excellent, healthy food options with appropriate portions. The trip was arranged through Margret Propper multi-year Travel and Leisure award winning cruise travel agent. All of the above wishes were satisfied. Additionally, pretty all-inclusive, enthusiastic and knowledgable guides, excellent crew on the boat. By the way, we travelled on Wildeness Explorer, which is not an option above. We cruised through Glacier National Park, picking up Andrew, the National Service Park Ranger for a couple of days. He was superb and gave an excellent presentation about himeself and the mission of the Glacier Park. We had yoga, lots of activities including snorkeling in a wet suit. Pictures and experiences were stupendous. ALso great was the fact that the passengers on our cruise included individuals with similar objectives ie those who wished to do so could relax, but the activities were available for those who wanted them. We got an experience that was tailored to our needs including AM yoga that started with 1/2 hour session that extended to full hour at the end. Fully professional group. Have, in fact, put a deposit for another cruise with this line without planning to do so as I am so impressed by this company. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
In September, 2011, we took the most amazing cruise aboard the Wilderness Adventure, Innersea Discoveries. The cruise from Juneau to Ketchikan took us into the eastern coves of Alaska's Inside Passage. The ship accommodates only 60 ... Read More
In September, 2011, we took the most amazing cruise aboard the Wilderness Adventure, Innersea Discoveries. The cruise from Juneau to Ketchikan took us into the eastern coves of Alaska's Inside Passage. The ship accommodates only 60 passengers. Being so small, the Wilderness Adventurer can go where the big ships cannot. Can you say," Up close and personal"? At one waterfall, we got so close we could feel the spray. I cannot say enough about the fantastic crew. On such a small ship, the crew is critically important. They seemed to really like each other and worked together very well. The excursion guides were personable, very knowledgeable, and concerned for our safety. Cabins were super for a small ship. There was plenty of room for all our gear. All had a big view window that actually opened for the delightful fresh air. Outside the cabins, there are hooks in the hallway for clothing that got wet on the "adventures". Dress code was strictly casual. The public rooms were comfortable and functional. The bar was well stocked, and the bartender was splendid. Dining was open seating, and food was served buffet style for all meals. The chefs were very skilled, offering a marvelous variety of foods, something different every meal. Lunch and dinner offered main dishes of fish, meats, and vegetarian selections. The breakfast buffet was huge. How did the chefs do that in that tiny galley? The "adventures" included guided hikes of varying difficulty, kayaking, paddle boarding, rides in inflatable skiffs, and snorkeling. Even rainy days did not discourage us, especially since we have not seen rain in Texas in many months. ? If one did not want to go out, there was always the hot tub and sauna on the sun deck, games in the lounge, a relaxing massage, and so many photo ops from the decks. The only port was Petersburg, an interesting Little Norway. The rest of the time, we stopped in bays and secluded places for our adventures. The object was not to see ports, but to see wilderness! Several times, visitors came aboard to talk about various subjects, or the guides talked about their areas of expertise. There were TV's in the lounge and cabins, and interesting documentaries were played each day. How does one describe such beautiful, awe inspiring scenery and wildlife? We got very close to Sawyer Glacier. The Misty Fjords were a highlight. Near a lighthouse, whales came to visit and even breached for us! Eagles abounded. I have barely scratched the surface of this wonderful adventure. My husband and I are devoted fans of small ship cruising. We adore the intimacy, the opportunity to get to know the passengers and crew, and not fighting huge lines as on the big ships. I highly recommend Innersea Discoveries. Check 'em out. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
Our cruise, which lasted 15 days, took us from Juneau Alaska northwards to Glacier Bay and then south via the Inside Passage to Seattle in Washington State USA. We have tended to cruise in the past on smaller vessels and have always ... Read More
Our cruise, which lasted 15 days, took us from Juneau Alaska northwards to Glacier Bay and then south via the Inside Passage to Seattle in Washington State USA. We have tended to cruise in the past on smaller vessels and have always selected cruises with a wild life and natural history content. From the first moment we stepped on board in Juneau to the minute we disembarked in Seattle we were treated to first class service from a friendly and attentive crew. Nothing was to much trouble from special requirements for food to making sure we had the best chance of viewing the wildlife and special assistance in making sure we as a more elderly couple had the chance to experience kyaking. The scenery throughout the trip was outstanding and the places chosen for overnight anchorages idyllic. The Captain of the vessel was excellent in managing to find spots of great natural beauty and keeping us ahead of approaching bad weather. He also managed to include stops that enabled the passengers to experience native culture which ranged from a visit to a Master Totem Pole carver in Ketchikan Alaska, a heritage museum on Prince Rupert Island BC, and a native dancing display by children in Alert Bay BC. The expedition leader / naturalist was a font of knowledge concerning both the wildlife and the glaciers we were privileged to experience. Her talks on both subjects were both interesting and a great deal of fun. What impressed us was that if she did not know the answer to a question she said so and then went to the trouble of finding out the answer. Her help to my wife in getting into and out of the kayaks enabled us to not miss out on some special experiences. The hotel and catering side of the trip was also first class the chef presented a varied menu which kept all of the passengers happy and she accommodated special requests without any problem whatsoever. The girls who looked after the cabins and the service on board were brilliant. Helpful and creative with the mixing of cocktails and the selection of wines they made you feel very special and individual whilst looking after everyone to the same high standard which contributed greatly to a happy and relaxed ship throughout the cruise. This trip was not for those on a tight budget however if you want to experience a different form of cruising and want to get away from it all and experience the wildlife, scenery and culture at a more relaxed and leisurely pace then this is the trip for you. Highly recommended! Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
We booked this cruise because the website promised it was unlike others - it was an "uncruise". The brochure promised that there would only be "up to 49 guests", and that the trip could be highly active ("Whether ... Read More
We booked this cruise because the website promised it was unlike others - it was an "uncruise". The brochure promised that there would only be "up to 49 guests", and that the trip could be highly active ("Whether you are looking for moderate activity or vigorous, extended and challenging outdoor pursuits, we can tailor most any expedition to suit your skill level.") We are in our 30s and moderately active, so this sounded ideal for us. Upon going to the embarkation point, we discovered that almost all of our fellow passengers were considerably older than us. The median age would have been well into the 60s. That would have been fine, except the promised activities did not eventuate. Neither the original not an amended itinerary supplied shortly before the trip were complied with, and every change was to the detriment of active passengers. For example, on Day 2, the first full day of the trip, the amended itinerary promised to "Push your senses and your muscles with the exhilarating combination of sea kayaking and trekking. Or ride a skiff to the same shore and take a relaxing walk on a trail that boasts a 350-foot elevation gain." The amended itinerary promised a much watered down version, to "Push your senses kayaking, trekking, riding a skiff, or trying your luck at stand-up paddle boarding." What actually happened is that we were unable to do any offship activities whatsoever -- aside from an extremely tame and pedestrian small boat ride to look at Baird Glacier. In other words, the rigorous physical activities promised went from being considerable, to being mild, to being entirely non-existent. Day 3 provides an even more outrageous example of bait and switch with regard to the physicality of the activities on offer. The original itinerary promised that we would "Take on the exposed terminal moraine of the Baird Glacier Trail, until you reach the top of the glacier itself. Enjoy a long guided kayak excursion from Scenery Cove to Cascade Creek and then treat yourself to a short trek on one of the several scenic Cascade Creek trails." This time the revised itinerary added something which sounded even more rigorous and strenuous than the original: in addition to the walk on Baird Glacier, it promised that we could "Choose guided kayaking and a lush forest trek on one of the scenic Cascade Creek trails. Or go big on the 5-mile hike to the glacially-fed and rarely visited Patterson Lake for spectacular kayaking." What actually happened is that there was no guided kayaking. No lush forest trek on a Cascade Creek trail. And no 5 mile hike to, and kayak at, Patterson Lake. None of these promised activities actually happened at all. Instead, we got a visit to Baird Glacier which, despite being advertised as the "fast" hike option, was far slower than any hike I have gone on since I was a small child. And instead of any of the rigorous, interesting, challenging activities outlined in the original and revised itineraries, we were permitted only a "free", unguided paddle within very narrow parameters, no particular destination, and unchanging scenery. On Day 4, once again the offerings did not live up to the promises previously made. All slots in the so-called "fast" hike had been taken by other passengers on the evening of Day 3 before we had an opportunity to put our own names down. As the thought of a hike even slower than the expedition to Baird Glacier was untenable to us, we requested Kirsten to make more slots available, or to arrange for an activity more suited to our energy levels to be added. She angrily told us that it was not possible, and that the existing offerings were sufficient. This was a striking contrast to the brochure's glossy promises: "Whether you are looking for moderate activity or vigorous, extended and challenging outdoor pursuits, we can tailor most any expedition to suit your skill level."|"One of the primary features of our "un-cruises" is our ability to cater to individual needs, so whatever it is you desire, please don't hesitate to ask."| "No matter what you are interested in, InnerSea Discoveries' goal is to provide you with as many opportunities as possible to challenge yourself in the outdoors while also making it extremely easy to enjoy moments or hours of escape and relaxation. The choice and pace are all yours." The offerings on the cruise were so poor that in the end we ended up abandoning ship part way through when the boat reached Wrangell. I am writing this review to warn others about the possibility of extraordinary changes to their itineraries if they book this trip. There are clauses in the contract that purport to allow this kind of itinerary change. If you're younger and active, BEWARE - what is promised isn't necessarily what you get. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
I had the wonderful opportunity of cruising on the Wilderness Discoverer in July 2011, with my husband and 22 year old very athletic son. In one word: AWESOME We were able to participate in various levels of activities every day. We ... Read More
I had the wonderful opportunity of cruising on the Wilderness Discoverer in July 2011, with my husband and 22 year old very athletic son. In one word: AWESOME We were able to participate in various levels of activities every day. We opted for the long day hikes and kayaking experiences. Care was taken to provide fairness in signing up for the activities one chose. The bottom line, there were no bad choices to make, as the inner passage is so beautiful, we never once wished we were doing anything other than what each moment awarded us. Unfortunately, there was a couple in their 30's on the cruise who appeared to some passengers to perhaps be in it for the free ride. On day one, they made it well known to fellow passengers that one of them was a lawyer, and that there were breaches in the contract. It appeared as though nothing would please them. They were travelling around the world, and one could not help but wonder if they didn't find contractual breaches throughout their world tour. It is a shame, as they totally missed the boat on this one. To have not taken in the beauty and awe of Alaska's inner passage, and to not have appreciated all the crew's enthusiasm, friendliness, and help is a shame. It is their loss. Kudos to the captain for not dropping them off in the wilderness. Don't let one review keep you from the AWESOME adventure on Inner Seas Discoveries. My family would do it again in a heartbeat. There is something for everyone of all ages and activity levels. Don't miss it! Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
The American Safari cruise was everything we hoped it would be. Our cabin was very comfortable. We were impressed with the thoughtfully placed storage in every possible nook and cranny. Public areas were efficient, very comfortable, and ... Read More
The American Safari cruise was everything we hoped it would be. Our cabin was very comfortable. We were impressed with the thoughtfully placed storage in every possible nook and cranny. Public areas were efficient, very comfortable, and had the most up-to-date equipment. The crew was outstanding in almost every respect. The only (minor) disappointment to us was the fitness instructor who included more chanting than exercise in her yoga class. Perhaps she was a great masseuse but we didn't try it. The wide variety of food was outstanding and beautifully presented. After crabs were caught in a trap left in the water overnight they became one of the hors d'oeuvres during the social hour. The two expedition leaders were knowledgeable and competent and were quick to point out the wildlife (too numerous to count) and everything else we were seeing. The captain and his sailing crew made every effort to get up close to where the action was - we saw many whales, porpoises, bears, soaring eagles and scores of migratory birds, etc. And if something really interesting was spotted, the engines were idled so we could make the most of the experience. Every day our travelers were in kayaks or skiffs to get right up close to the natural beauty of Alaska where the sights and sounds of those calving glaciers were thrilling. While we were in Glacier Bay National Park a park ranger was aboard the ship to enhance our visit. Almost everyone took part in a couple of interesting shore excursions. On a couple of evenings I even fished off the tail-end of the boat after anchoring which I hadn't done in about 20 years - caught 4 fish. Though the engines of the Safari Explorer were somewhat noisy it was a small price to pay. The engines were off at night while the ship was anchored in a cozy bay so everyone slept well. In summary, we will always remember this cruise and wouldn't hesitate to travel again with American Safari. Read Less
Sail Date May 2010

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