1. Home
  2. Cruise Destinations
  3. Alaska Cruises
  4. Alaska Cruise Reviews

117 Juneau to Alaska Cruise Reviews

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
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
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
From the moment we boarded the Safari Explorer to the time we reluctantly left, we were carefully and joyfully taken care of. The ship is like a personal yacht;all wood and beautiful fittings, the staff is attentive, funloving and totally ... Read More
From the moment we boarded the Safari Explorer to the time we reluctantly left, we were carefully and joyfully taken care of. The ship is like a personal yacht;all wood and beautiful fittings, the staff is attentive, funloving and totally devoted to your every whim and every effort is made to help you see the very best Alaska has to offer. Cabins are well appointed with nice furniture, special details like Tempurpedic beds and Ipod docking stations, flat screen TVs and heated bathroom floors. The staff knows your name by the end of the first day, AND all your habits and wishes. From then on, you only need to think of what you want and it is there. But don't think of this as a stuffy or pretentious cruise - this crew is young, energetic and devoted to fun times too. And the food, well, it is amazing-fresh, creative and delicious. First rate naturalists and others help you learn about the wildlife and place that is Alaska. The ship is outfitted with two great "skiffs", hard bottomed zodiac-type crafts that are easy to board and ride in (even older seniors will feel comfortable) and a whole fleet of also easy-to-use kayaks . The Explorer is a small ship so she can do just about anywhere, but with these two smaller craft you can personally explore the coves, shoreline and inlets that will dominate your itinerary. Want to see a glacier up close? This program has NO port calls and for the most part you will see no other people during your week. The itinerary is soft- meaning if you see whales, you stop and enjoy them. If you see a bear on shore, the ship stops so you can view it. But if you want to see the REAL Alaska, that is what you want. This cruise is not cheap; you can certainly go with one of the Big ships and do it cheaper. But they never get up close and personal with whales, eagles, bears (a safe distance away) and other wildlife. They never anchor in a beautiful cove at night. They never have hot chocolate delivered to their kayak while they paddle around a glacier. Suffice to say , it was a great week. Read Less
Sail Date July 2009
All 33 passengers gathered in a reception room at the Goldbelt Hotel in Juneau on the day of our sailing. Bags were tagged and left there for transfer to the ship. Sandie was the American Safari representative at the reception room, and ... Read More
All 33 passengers gathered in a reception room at the Goldbelt Hotel in Juneau on the day of our sailing. Bags were tagged and left there for transfer to the ship. Sandie was the American Safari representative at the reception room, and she offered a wealth of knowledge about the Juneau area, as well as what to expect onboard the ship. Our fellow passengers were a mix of ages and nationalities, with a primary age range of 50-70. There were four younger people on our particular cruise, between 20-40 years of age, but no children. Most of the passengers were US residents, but we also had passengers from the UK, Australia, and Canada. Mid-afternoon we all boarded a bus for a short trip to Mendenhall Glacier, which is located just north of Juneau. We stayed at the visitor center for about an hour and a half, viewing the glacier and the local wildlife. There were several black bears, a bald eagle, porcupines, and assorted other wildlife present, with most located less than 20 feet away. There is an elevated walkway that permits safe viewing of the bears from this short distance as they caught salmon from a small creek. It is also noteworthy that this was our only "organized excursion" during the entire trip. By 5:30pm we were back in Juneau and it was time to board the Safari Explorer, which was docked directly across the street from the Goldbelt Hotel. The crew of 16 people met us at the dock, and each of them took one travel group on board and showed them to their cabin. Our crew person was Megan - the first officer. The crew was all American, by the way, and generally a very well educated and well spoken group. Boarding took all of 20 minutes, during which we dropped our hand bags in our cabin and found that all of our luggage was already there, and then it was off to the lounge for beverage of choice and hors d'oeuvres. By 6:30pm we had cast off and were departing Juneau for a protected anchorage near Glacier Bay, where the ship would anchor for the night. Unlike larger cruise ships, American Safari's small ships sail during the day and anchor at night. Sailing time often presents opportunities to see whales and other marine life, which is clearly much easier to do during daylight hours than at night. And although the ship's engines are not so loud as to prohibit sleeping, it was much nicer to sleep with them turned off for the night. American Safari's cruise philosophy is stated as "Luxury in the Pursuit of Adventure", which fits the experience we had quite well. This was definitely an expedition cruise with ample luxury in the process. Daylight hours were spent either cruising to our next destination and whale watching, or with the ship at anchor and most of us out and about in the kayaks or "Zodiak's", or out hiking in the woods with one of the two naturalists from the crew. Kayaking through the bergy ice near the face of a glacier was amazing. Pictures just don't do it justice. And while were watching a couple of young brown bears cavort along side a small stream for a few hours one morning, the crew brought mugs of hot chocolate with Godiva liquor right to our kayaks! We did make two ports of call, other than Juneau. We stopped at the Glacier Bay Lodge in Bartlett Cove on day three, where we dropped off the park ranger on our way out of Glacier Bar National Park and Preserve. We were able to use the Wi-Fi system at the lodge to check emails, as the ship does not have internet connectivity. We stopped in Petersburg on the afternoon of day four for a few hours, which is a small fishing village south of Juneau, where we went ashore and walked through the town while the ship was provisioned. Meals were always a pleasant social affair. A menu was published each day, with a single choice for breakfast and lunch, and two entree choices for dinner. If anyone wanted something different than what was on the set menu, all one had to do was ask and they cheerfully supplied you with something else that you were happy with. All of the fish was extremely fresh, and spoiled us for eating salmon in the lower 48 in the future. The chef and his galley crew did a great job of feeding us very well. Dani and her service staff did a great job of serving everyone. Any request was greeted with a smile and clear interest in satisfying your request if at all possible. It was very much like sailing on a private yacht with a group of friends. There is no dress code, no formal nights, and in fact very few rules at all. Most people dressed appropriately for expedition cruising, with active wear being the order of the day. Dinner was no exception, as whales could be spotted at any time. Meals were interrupted by whale sightings more than once, and happily so. There was a cocktail hour in the lounge before dinner each evening, during which Elaine prepared unique drinks for your pleasure, or simply supplied your old favorite with a smile. A unique daily selection of several cheese and hors d'oeuvre options were presented. This was a wonderful time to talk with everyone about their day's adventures, or simply get to know the other passengers better. The Mariner Cabins make up the bulk of available rooms. They are adequate, but just slightly on the small side. The Tempurpedic queen size beds were wonderful. All of the cabins have windows or a glass door or both that open onto the side of the ship, so there are no interior rooms. There are two larger classes of rooms, which are suites with sitting areas. The two suites on the lower deck open directly onto the lounge and dining room, and would be a good choice for people who are at all mobility impaired. The two suites on the upper deck are the nicest accommodations available. All-in-all this cruise was a wonderful experience for my wife and I, and we would sail again with American Safari without hesitation. This cruise was one of the few trips we have made where everything was as-advertised, or better. Read Less
Sail Date August 2008
"Three Grizzly bears are off the port side," announced Richard, a naturalist aboard the Wilderness Discoverer, ending our deep slumber at 6:10 a.m. Rushing from our cabin with cameras ready, we saw a large bear chasing two ... Read More
"Three Grizzly bears are off the port side," announced Richard, a naturalist aboard the Wilderness Discoverer, ending our deep slumber at 6:10 a.m. Rushing from our cabin with cameras ready, we saw a large bear chasing two smaller bears near Sandy Cove in Glacier Bay Alaska. Richard explained that a mother grizzly and her three-year-old cub were running from an amorous male. In pursuit of romance, a male often will try to kill a female's cub. As she chased her cub into some brush and out of our view, she suddenly turned and waded into the icy water staring at our small ship. Like a dog paddling in a lake, the mother grizzly swam towards our boat about 500 yards away. Richard said this was a very unusual sighting, although bears can swim great distances. Apparently the channel was too wide for her to cross. She turned away from the boat, swam back to land and lumbered away. This was one of many wilderness sightings on our seven-day cruise through Southeast Alaska. These memorable experiences make the 49th state a premier cruise destination for families. Our cruise began in the capital city of Juneau in late June. Since we cruised on the Grand Princess ten years earlier, we opted for a smaller ship to introduce our eight-year-old daughter to the last frontier. Once aboard the 72-passenger Glacier Bay Cruiseline ship, we checked out our stateroom. Cruise ship cabins are smaller than a hotel room, and this was the most compact we've seen. Imagine the sleeping arrangements inside a small camper. A mirrored door led to the toilet with a showerhead above in a closet size room. Our daughter after one look said, "This is so cool." After a smooth evening sail, we anchored off the fishing village, Petersburg. Mega-ships can't navigate its narrow passageway, so it's not touristy with T-shirt shops on every corner. A large segment of the population are descendants of the original Norwegian settlers. Some residents speak Norwegian and their houses are decorated with colorful floral motif paintings. Sharon, the ship's Children's program director led a group of us on a nature hike. We saw a pair of bald eagles, colorful starfish, sea urchins, ribbon worms, butter clams, periwinkle and crabs down by the tide line. Later while on a Salmon cannery factory tour, we watched workers cut salmon into strips in preparation for smoking. After the tour we sampled smoked salmon, salmon sausage and salmon dip spread on crackers. Before dinner, Saren, another naturalist on board alerted us to a pod of Dall porpoises on the port side of the ship. We grabbed our binoculars and enjoyed watching these playful black and white mammals frolic in the ship's wake. We awoke the next morning to another rare day of sunshine and warm weather. Surrounded by cliffs more than 2,500 feet above the water we sailed up to one of the most dramatic fjords in Alaska, Tracy Arm. Approaching our first glacier at South Sawyer Glacier, we watched harbor seals lying with their pups on ice floes and mountain goats walking along the peaks of the cliffs. Suddenly we heard the noise of a gunshot, but were informed it was the glacier cracking. A minute later the aquamarine colored ice cracked and came crashing down into the water with a huge splash. After lunch we sailed into the calm Sanford Cove for our first attempt at kayaking. While paddling we watched a group of black crows chase an eagle away from their nesting area. After breakfast, we disembarked at the historical town of Haines and walked up to Fort Seward (the only WWII Army post in Alaska). A scenic twenty-minute ferry ride took us to the old gold rush town of Skagway. Four mega-ships and two smaller cruise ships were docked in the harbor. On any day during cruise season, over 10,000 people tramp down the narrow sidewalks and streets buying gold nuggets and souvenirs. A dramatic three-hour ride on the White Pass and Yukon train took us to White Pass Summit near the U.S.- Canadian border. It was pricey, but the scenery was worthwhile. The following day we docked and hiked along the Forest loop trail to Glacier Bay Lodge. A park ranger-led an evening program and slide show on the beauty of Glacier Bay National Park. Entering Margerie Glacier and John Hopkins inlet we watched tufted puffin swam among harbor seals fed their pups. Later we followed some humpback whales and counted nearly fifty breaching out of the water. While passing the ABC islands furry sea otters floated on their backs and cracked clamshells open on their tummies. On our last day we anchored in Katlian Bay and kayaked near small islands. With the tide out we could see colorful starfish as large as a dinner plate. After a delicious Captain's dinner, we went back out into the glassy bay to watch the sunset at around 10:30 p.m. Richard gave us our last wake up call as we docked in Sitka. By 8 a.m. we shook hands and hugged the 56 passengers and 27 crewmembers who helped make our seven-day cruise one to remember. Cruising is the ultimate way to families to travel great distances in the North Pacific. The wildlife and scenery of Alaska are awe-inspiring and thought provoking for all ages. Read Less
Sail Date June 2004

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click