2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I joined this cruise as part of a family reunion and had no hand in picking this particular voyage. I also didn't pay for it! Nice deal! As this is my first cruise, I don't have a point of comparison and so may be unfairly ... Read More
I joined this cruise as part of a family reunion and had no hand in picking this particular voyage. I also didn't pay for it! Nice deal! As this is my first cruise, I don't have a point of comparison and so may be unfairly critical. Ship: well-designed, relaxed but somewhat luxurious feel to it. They have a great sustainability effort throughout, giving you a NatGeo water bottle with refill areas to avoid plastic bottles, no straws, etc. Ship Crew & Naturalists: everyone was friendly enough but there was something amiss regarding the large staff of ship crew and NatGeo naturalists. Everyone seemed a little tired and weary. I get that it must be a grind to welcome, host, and then bid farewell to 100 strangers week after week but they need to figure out some way to inject some energy into it or to keep their speeches to a minimum. Naturalists: there were many aboard the ship--how expensive was that? A few were terrific: Justin led fabulous nature walks; Michelle was an exception to the low-energy vibe, exuding a warm spirit and energy in addition to her great photography guidance; Jared wrangled the kids and kept things light and fun. The others fit into a sort of "I'm tired and bored with you" theme. The cruise itinerary and activities (walks, kayaking, paddle boarding) are great, though there's not as much opportunity for longer hikes on shore as I would have liked. They get you in and out of the zodiacs quickly and safely. In the evening they had presentations by naturalists and these were a little weak. Either the topic (birds of Alaska, say) wasn't of interest to me or the presentation didn't have much of a message, e.g. "I live in Alaska and how cool is that? By the way, I live in Alaska. Oh yeah, I'm from Alaska...etc." Dining was a huge fail. I love that they focus on sustainability and so offer only sustainable fish and seafood (no shrimp!). However, the experience was so bad that I wondered if the chef quit early in the journey because our first meal was by far the best one. Here's the rundown: Breakfast is a buffet with the usual eggs, sausage, bacon, oatmeal, potatoes, etc. It's fine though I would have liked to see some smoked fish on occasion (particularly on the day we had brunch instead of breakfast and lunch). Lunch is also a buffet with a good selection of salads and entrees. I really enjoyed the vegetable options which were unusual and plentiful, e.g. a nice rice salad studded with dried cherries, herb-coated cauliflower, etc. Often there was a starch on hand such as polenta or couscous which was incredibly, amazingly bland. Dinners were, overall, meager and bland--think spa food. Every soup tasted as if someone took a wonderful soup and then added gallons of water to it. The last night we had a lentil soup that was pretty good, but this was the exception. The main courses were generally very small portions. The first night I had a crispy tofu with vegetables that was great and set a high bar that every other dinner failed to meet. There was one night where I was the only diner at our table of 10 who ordered a ribeye and everyone else got the fish option. I was served a nice-sized steak (maybe 6 oz?) while everyone else got a tiny bit of fish plated with a few vegetables. We were awestruck by the audacity to serve someone 2 oz of fish and a half-cup of vegs and pretend like this was a meal. I cut my steak in half and three people dived into that half of a steak to augment their meal. I suppose we could have asked for more but it didn't occur to any of us at the time. I admire their goal to reduce food waste but they should have said at the outset that portion sizes are small and encouraged people to ask for second helpings. Because the dinners were meager, people were often hungry after the meal, which meant if there was a dessert buffet, early birds would scarf up multiple servings, leaving none for the later diners. If there wasn't a dessert buffet, then people would request the servers to bring them several desserts to fill up after the main dish. If I were doing this cruise again, then I would skip the soup at dinner and ask for one of the entrees to be served as my appetizer and then have another entree as a main course. This would result in a more filling and enjoyable meal. On hand at all times was a good espresso/cappuccino machine, good brewed coffee, and a variety of other beverages and snacks. Cocktail hour was fun with a nice spread of cheese, crackers, salami, dips, and vegetables. The bartender is superlative and makes a huge variety of cocktails with generous pours and ease. Overall, this cruise seemed a little pricey for the experience (keep in mind that it was free for me!). If I were to sail with Lindblad/NatGeo again, I would assert myself a little more in the food realm to ensure enough food and would stock up on evening activities I could enjoy in my cabin (movies on my laptop?). Because of the ship's size, there's no communal space other than the lounge in the evening, which is where the presentations happen. There is a sun deck with lounge chairs but the Alaskan weather wasn't conducive to relaxing outside. Cruise highlights included seeing whales bubble-netting to catch fish, spotting many seal lions and a few bears, sea otters, and mountain goats, and getting close to some beautiful tidal glaciers. Gorgeous scenery! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
My wife and I in our 70s, moderately fit, had a terrific time on this new ship. This adventure expedition fully met my expectations from advertising and reviews. Venture was nearly brand new and well designed for conveniently and safely ... Read More
My wife and I in our 70s, moderately fit, had a terrific time on this new ship. This adventure expedition fully met my expectations from advertising and reviews. Venture was nearly brand new and well designed for conveniently and safely getting us off the ship in zodiacs and small groups nearly every day. The food was tasty and plentiful, always with healthy options. Hotel service was excellent. The other 93 guests were all agreeable fellow adventurers. They included some grandparents, parents, and grandkids. The staff devoted lots of thought and attention to keeping-safe, educating, and amusing the kids, who bonded with new friends and eventually ate meals together. Expedition leader Sheri Bluestein and Captain Johnson did a great job. She announced her "Plan A" for the next day every evening, making the point that they would adapt plans as nature required and opportunities presented themselves. This happened several times and I had no complaints. We got to hike in near-wilderness conditions, to observe wildlife fairly closely. They turned the ship around and followed humpbacks backwards for an hour one evening to give us another look. Each excursion offered activities ranging from mild to strenuous. A team of some 10 Lindblad naturalists was always on deck spotting for wildlife, they led each zodiac cruise and hike, and were friendly and full of interesting information. I learned so much, they were easily available to me individually many times, and I miss Celso, Linda, and the others now. The emphasis on photography was a main draw for me. Five or so naturalists were certified by NatGeo. David Spiegel gave two briefings on board, one aimed more at DSLR users and one aimed at smartphone users. I learned useful stuff from both. On two photo hikes he gave us photographers an assignment to concentrate on. He loaned me an expensive zoom lens and set of binoculars, which I used the rest of the voyage. At the end of the cruise he showed a slide show of photos captured by guests, some of them stunning. Carlos Navarro is also a diver and one evening showed video he had shot underwater to show us what we were missing. James Biscardi produced a professional customized video chronicle of us on this particular voyage and we are glad I bought a copy. We saw humpback whales breaching, blowing, and even bubble-net feeding. A talk by the engaging Dr. Chris Szabo, who lives in the wilderness to study humpbacks and joined the ship for a day, was a fascinating major highlight for me. I also enjoyed author, storyteller, and folksinger Kim Heacox and Kari Ames, Tlingit cultural interpreter. She told me all the others are mispronouncing the tribal name as CLINK-IT. They say TH-LING-GIT. We got close to Stellar sea lions and sea otters by zodiac. They found brown bears feeding on a distant shore but I did not get a good look at any bears this time. Seabirds but not many land birds besides eagles. My top objective was to see tidewater Alaskan glaciers in person before they all melt. I'm glad we didn't wait another year. We saw several from a quarter-mile away. In Glacier Bay the National Park ranger pointed out that Margerie Glacier now ends on land on its right side, and that in a couple of years it might not be a tidewater glacier any more. The ranger and the entire team managed subtly to remind us what our carbon pollution is destroying without stirring up any arguments from climate change skeptics (if there were any). We were told that Lindblad is buying offsets to compensate for the ship's own emissions. On our last day, South Sawyer Glacier produced a dramatic large calving event for us, which was both exciting and a bit sad. Two guests with disabilities paid to come along with friends knowing they would not be able to board the zodiacs and participate in the most engaging parts of the voyage. Yet to their great credit, on the last day Sheri and her team noticed, reserved a zodiac just for these two, and went to extra trouble to help them get off the ship to visit South Sawyer Glacier from the water like everyone else. This year Alaska has been extremely dry and warm. We got drizzle on only one day in Petersburg. We did not need all the duplicate garments we brought in case of soaking, but we had followed their packing advice and would do so in the future. We used insect repellant and were never bothered by mosquitos. This expedition was expensive but fully worth the cost to me. I also admire Lindblad and NatGeo for respecting nature as they go. I'd love to go again with this warm, expert team. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Lindblad and National Geographic do an amazing job! We had a family of 17 with several young children. Everyone on the ship went out of their way to make sure we were all having an amazing time. The hotel manager was constantly asking what ... Read More
Lindblad and National Geographic do an amazing job! We had a family of 17 with several young children. Everyone on the ship went out of their way to make sure we were all having an amazing time. The hotel manager was constantly asking what food he could make for the kids. The pastry chef is truly gifted and an anniversary cake he made was one of the best cakes I have ever eaten. The naturalist on board taught us all so much and I am amazed at how much my kids learned. I am in awe at the knowledge and passion of all crew on board. They made you want to learn more and see more. The accommodations were wonderful as well. The cabins are well thought out. Plenty of storage, comfortable beds and spacious bathrooms. We don’t have a single negative thing to say. We hope to take more Lindblad vacations in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Our fiftieth wedding anniversary gift to ourselves. My husband and I visited Alaska (on a BIG ship) almost 20 years ago. We wanted to take a small ship cruise to a less traveled “path”. The NatGeo quest was perfect! We invited our ... Read More
Our fiftieth wedding anniversary gift to ourselves. My husband and I visited Alaska (on a BIG ship) almost 20 years ago. We wanted to take a small ship cruise to a less traveled “path”. The NatGeo quest was perfect! We invited our son and his family, including two young children, (ages 7 and 9) to join us. It was a great family time and the childrens activities helped us all make lifelong memories. We are still young enough to participate in many of the memory-making activities such as kayaking, long hikes in the woods, float plane trips over the glaciers, shore excursions and coastal walks to find sea, bears, eagles, sea lions and otters, and watching whales dazzle us with their antics, and the humpbacks were bubble-feeding.. What a treat. We are members of the Nature Conservancy, which of course, is tirelessly working to protect the land, air, water, and endangered and threatened wildlife. This trip emphasized the need for all of us to become stewards of the planet and to be more involved to keep it clean. Many of the things we saw on this trip are no longer on the on the endangered species lists. I think our grandchildren will remember this vacation for a very long time, maybe their entire lifetime. I know my husband and i will certainly never forget it. The dining staff was extremely attentive to the children. They prepared special “kid meals” like grilled cheese, pizza, pasta and they even had a ‘Movie night” . Parents And kids loved that. The dinner service was a bit less attentive- not to say the food was not good. For the most part, it was delicious. The one problem we had was that the food was often not hot when it was brought to the table. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Whale sightings 6 of 7 days, excellent food and service, magnificent views up close of mountain goats, a wolf, hundreds of sea lions, otters, eagles and flocks of birds. Local seafood served as one choice in varied dishes at lunch and ... Read More
Whale sightings 6 of 7 days, excellent food and service, magnificent views up close of mountain goats, a wolf, hundreds of sea lions, otters, eagles and flocks of birds. Local seafood served as one choice in varied dishes at lunch and dinner. Crew was on target, baggage in our room when we arrived onboard after a morning at Mendenhall Glacier to have lunch onboard. We saw multiple types of glaciers. Presentations onboard for identifying whales readily and their habits. Also information from Alaskan native tribe and National Forest Service about what we would see in the 2 days in Glacier Bay. Stops in small towns were different and varied in their purpose. Train available to Yukon up the path taken by miners thru White Pass. Kayaks, rafting, who could want more? Accommodations were spacious, and food too often available as snacks between meals. Hors d’oeuvres and cocktails each afternoon, wine and beer with meals. Services were personalized and consistent. We added an extra day to wander and absorb the flavor of Juneau before boarding which was a good decision. Tracy’s Crab Shack in Juneau is a must for King Crab like a local! Leaving was smooth transition in early morning with assistance of crew to make early flights necessary to get to East Coast. Small ship experience was so much better than what my friends had on larger ships that have less access to places where we went. Now looking for another bucket list destination. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Could not fault the operation of this cruise that included pickups from airport and hotel. With only 69 passengers and 29 crew members we were pampered with excellent organisation and wonderful food. The wildlife performed admirably ... Read More
Could not fault the operation of this cruise that included pickups from airport and hotel. With only 69 passengers and 29 crew members we were pampered with excellent organisation and wonderful food. The wildlife performed admirably although the presence of a brown bear ambling along the shore in front of a glacier meant that we were unable to land as the crew were not keen on losing any passengers as bear food. The scenery is great with the John Hopkins Glacier producing some impressive calving. Apart from the voyage, a number of shore excursions added to the holiday; as did the information about the local native American tribe, the Tlingit. A couple of kayaking sessions produced som amusement as did the sight of seeing about 15 brave souls leap into the rather cold water (they never remained in very long!). The experts, full-time on board and those who joined us for specific shore excursions, provided some great talks, illustrated with slides most evenings. Our cruise was amazingly lucky as we saw the Northern Lights one evening. With such a friendly crew, it was almost like an extended family trip. We saw a number of those huge liners (floating hotels) but none were able to travel to the places that we went. This is the only real way of seeing the Inside Passage if you wish to see all the wildflife and some of the more remarkable glaciers. Full, all-weather gear and binoculars that were provided meant that we neve had to carry excess gear as we flew to Juneau from New Zealand. Having access to the bridge and with a very friendly captain added another dimension to the experience. The information provided before the cruise was very helpful as we were not sure what to expect. We both returned home full of wonderful memories of a truly great holiday. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I chose this cruise because a friend had wonderful experiences with this line and I loved the itenerary. However, I did not ask all the right questions and those I asked of the company were not answered with completeness or accurate ... Read More
I chose this cruise because a friend had wonderful experiences with this line and I loved the itenerary. However, I did not ask all the right questions and those I asked of the company were not answered with completeness or accurate knowledge of the ship. My husband is disabled and I notified the staff that we would be arriving with walker and wheelchair... no problem, they said. WRONG! The wheelchair could barely fit into the tiny, difficult elevator, there was no room service, tiny rooms, no phone to contact housekeeping for blankets or towels or special clean up needs. The staff was gracious but I had to go out of the room, wander about the ship to find some help, then request whatever we needed, clearly interrupting them from assigned tasks. This is NOT a ship for the handicapped! Fine for able bodied people who don’t mind the scheduled meals - open seating but if you miss the proper hour, you miss your meal. The staff really tried to make all better and we met a lot of nice people ( only 87 of us aboard) and the excursions were nice. Match your needs to this ship’s accommodations and you will be fine. Kudos to the staff on board who did all they could to make our lives better. Thumbs down to American Cruise Lines who could make minimal changes and market this ship to the appropriate group and solve the problems! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
A First time cruise for me and taking my 12yr old grandson made the week SPECIAL! The crew was super friendly and helpful; the food extraordinary and always different;the scenery spectacular and we had the most beautiful weather- ... Read More
A First time cruise for me and taking my 12yr old grandson made the week SPECIAL! The crew was super friendly and helpful; the food extraordinary and always different;the scenery spectacular and we had the most beautiful weather- unexpected!! We saw glaciers up close the 1st day. We kayaked and went out on skiffs to learn about the environment from our knowledgeable guides. We hiked to a lake thru amazing terrain.We saw whales and seals and eagles! And finally our last day saw a bear!! Our captain took the boat in so close to waterfalls we could feel the spray! But most fun for my grandson was paddle boarding w/ a friend- they finally were able to do headstands on the boards! And the water wasn’t so cold when they fell in! The guests were welcomed on the Bridge, and I was fascinated to learn amongst the crew were 6 registered captains!! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
This is our second cruise in Alaska. The first was a large ship cruise, which convinced us to take a small ship cruise to allow to see more of Alaska. We cruised out of Juneau, AK and returned to Juneau. The itinerary took to a couple ... Read More
This is our second cruise in Alaska. The first was a large ship cruise, which convinced us to take a small ship cruise to allow to see more of Alaska. We cruised out of Juneau, AK and returned to Juneau. The itinerary took to a couple of places that the large ships go, but mostly we went to places that the larges ship to not visit, Haines, AK, Petersburg, AK and the Lodge at Glacier Bay National Park. We flew into Juneau, AK day early so that we could do some additional whale watching with Harv and Marv's Whale Watching Tours. American Cruise Lines did extra work to ensure that our personal hotel reservation was tied to the precruise hotel, which allowed us not change hotels or rooms. Getting onboard and getting started was seamless. Our bags were in our room when we arrived. The Cabin on the American Constellation was large than the cabin on the large ship. The bathroom was also larger, with full sized shower. Dining was excellent, and while there wasn't a 24 hour buffet, no one went hungry. Onboard entertainment was local talent, from the places we stopped, so we were also able to discuss living in the remote parts of Alaska with several different people, from several different places. None of them regretted being remote. There were complimentary shore excursions, which were well planned and always accommodated everyone. There were also additional paid excursions which were on topic for Alaska. Rafting, kayaking, etc. We did not travel with children. In fact this type of small boat cruising tends to attract the senior crowd. We have already scheduled our next small ship cruise. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
This was the first trip away from our young kids and wanted to do Alaska on a small ship. I found out how new this ship was and chased it down. Here are my notes. Quest Sunday - long day to buy time to get on ship at 5:30pm, they ... Read More
This was the first trip away from our young kids and wanted to do Alaska on a small ship. I found out how new this ship was and chased it down. Here are my notes. Quest Sunday - long day to buy time to get on ship at 5:30pm, they mean it and no-one got on before then. Juneau is boring and I wouldn't stay there. Tram was cool and worth it. When we did we got a person to take us to our cabin and desctibe all the features. There was more storage and room in our cabin than in hotel room. Don’t stay at recommended hotel - small rooms, noisy (loud) heaters (boilers) and it is just old. Our cabin on the ship was so much more spacious and has a crazy amount of storage, no way to use all of the drawers and other provided spaces. Pillows and blankets are amazing. Internet doesn’t work - too high latitudes for satellite to work.. I paid and got money back as we did get some cell service in small fishing villages but latency was so high that some applications wouldn’t work. Ship is a shield, so for any coverage you have to be on deck. Tracy Arm (Transit all night) Monday AM, I was pretty excited and woke up at 4am just to look around and saw icebergs out my window and I was on deck by 4:30am - and not only one. It was so crazy pretty that I stayed on deck pretty much to lunch. Food was very good all around. I’m not that picky and I give the food a B+ all around. Something for everyone and after meeting all the guests - no one had a bad thing to say. You get briefings before dinner and after breakfast every day. They over-communicate which seems annoying, but was rather useful. Staff is amazing all around. I can’t say enough good things and I look for those ‘cracks in the crew’ and found none. The respect for the naturalists was crazy high from fellow crew, not to speak of the guests. Monday was Tracy Arm and zodiac tours of the glacier. They take the entire guest list and chop into groups A, B, C and D. They use that to get rid of big lines for activities. We were in group C so they call on the PA to give us a 15 minute notice of when we should head to the mud room to put on Life jacket and board the zodiacs. Max wait was 10 minutes. They clearly have this figured out. Preso’s every day after lunch and dinner by very polished naturalists who know their stuff. I was crazy tired this night and crashed hard.. Speaking to other guests which I now had a chance to socialize with - was the same. Tuesday Morning - hit the zodiacs to go see icebergs that have calved off the glacier. Sounds boring? - look at the pictures and video. Amazing morning - water perfectly still and warm. We all got amazing photo’s - walk on fire trail, banana slugs and bear skat. Then kayaking that wasn’t so interesting but good exercise. Petersburg at lunch - great sleepy fishing village. Could arrange floatplane flights. Or walking (or van) into town or taking a free bicycle which we did. Very nice stay and we had dinner while the ship pulled out of port. This was a real treat. MIT alumni group on board and a professor gave a talk on climate. Very interesting and nice people. weather turned hawaii and we had upper 70’s, sun and heat. crazy. Wish I had more t-shirts. I wore shorts to dinner 4 nights in a row. Wednesday early morning hiking - no so interesting and then kayaking, was cool but not the best. Afternoon (Wednesday) was ok hiking morning, but ‘activity watching in afternoon cruise’ which started out pretty boring, everyone looking but some sea lions. Weather was hot in the sun. Then someone in bridge saw something on the port shore - ship turned too hard and some dishes went flying(turns out that was autopilot accident) - but we found a large group of humpbacks were bubble feeding on the shoreline. They split into 2 different groups and were amazing. We had that all day where I stopped counting at 25 ‘breaches’ of the bubble fishing. Most amazing day ever. Would check most folks bucket list to see 1 or 2, but 25+. You have never seen a more satisfied group of passengers and crew that dinner. Most of us knew that was a ‘1 in a lifetime’ afternoon. I hope I can post a few photo’s. Thursday (Icy Strait) - morning hiking in a great rainforest - like walking on sponges. lots of wild flowers and such. After that taken to ‘kayak beach’ where we kayaked ‘follow the leader’ around the Idaho inlet and it was awesome. Guest MIT lecture on Climate and then zodiac rides (A, B, C & D) with real alaskan weather and saw whales, sea lions, otters, eagles taking fish…. great lunch day (turkey) Afternoon zodiac tour of the Inian islands. Amazing - saw whales, sea lions, otters and a Bald Eagle took a 1/2 fish from a sea lion thirty feet in front of our zodiac. I have a picture of that that Tom caught - amazing. took it easy and let folks take naps and slow down a bit. Great dinner and lecture after about summer solstice, some video of diving around the kayak route and Chelsey talking about seals, sea lions and Otters - awesome. Got cold and folks went to sleep. Alaska part 2 Plan for the best - you have your cold weather gear, but you have crazy storage on the Quest - don’t forget t-shirts and shorts. On my trip I left our walk weather stuff in Florida and regretted it. We had 3 days in a row where it hit upper 70’s and I was hot in the sun. I had only 1 pair of shorts and wish I had more. We had *lots* of empty drawers we could have used. Suitcases fit under the bed (easily) Video and camera My wife brought her DSLR (Canon) and they have free lenses for you to use on the ship. She borrowed a few 600mm lens and got the best whale photo’s of the trip. There are at least 2 professional photographers on the trip who will spend as much 1:1 time as you want. Take advantage of it. Star of the show is my iPhone 10 using 4K 60fps video. You can zoom like crazy and will be able to post-process great video. My MacBook air wasn’t powerful enough to do that and iCloud is setup that I needed WiFi (that doesn’t work at those latitudes - so don’t pay for it) I would let the iPhone take video if the whales are around - if you get it, great. If not - delete and try again. Don’t wait till you see them - will be too late (for bubble fishing). Same for glacier calving - I would record for 3 minutes and delete if nothing happened, but if it does - you will get most or all of it in 4K video. Clothing 1st day was cold and clear. I had bought these wind pants with a thin layer of fleece on the inside and they were killer good. My go to pants when cruising or a colder zodiac ride. Too hot for hiking when in 60 or 70’s, so I used my hiking pants and was ok to be a little cold on zodiac ride (10 minutes) and very comfortable on the hike. Front or side pockets to keep iPhone kept if very handy when something unexpected happened, which seems to be all the time Saturday We signed up for the ‘strenuous hike’ and had a good workout though the rainforest to a lake where the guides were surprised had some salmon already. I used my polarized sunglasses to get some good video on my iPhone. After we hiked back down we put on the low profile life jackets and went kayaking in this amazingly clear water. Most of the folks all agreed this was the best of the Kayaking on the trip. Good workout - back to the ship and ate a good lunch. The rest of the afternoon was cruising and looking for wildlife - most folks were tired and slept or started packing. This part of the cruise there seemed to be otters everywhere and I got my otter photo’s here. Right before dinner I was on the bow with some other folks when we saw porpoises on the bow. They rode the bow for 25 minutes and I got my iPhone out there for 4 minutes until my fingers were too cold to hold the phone. Some amazing video I need to edit when I get home. That night after dinner we did the guest slideshow. Each guest could submit 10 of their best photo’s and it was amazing what people got. Anyone could download it from 2 iMacs they had in the lounge. Was very fun. Lots of folks exchanging email addresses and the like for the rest of the evening. Also having some drinks with the crew as you have gotten to know them pretty well at this point. Last day We anchored outside Sitka. Hit the dock at 6am. 6:30am wake-up call. 7am breakfast and they wanted all bags (tagged) and put outside cabin before 7am. Most of us were on same flight from Sitka to Seattle at 2pm. There were 97 passengers. 13 were under age 18. 3 groups of families Grandparents and kids. Bunch of retirees - good group of folks. I'm 53 with wife 46 and we had a great time. Never felt crowded, but we had insane weather. Ask for tour of engine room and kitchen - very cool. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
We chose UnCruise because of a friend's recommendation and our aversion to large cruise ships and preference for adventure cruising. If what you want is floor shows, mega-restaurants, work out gyms, balconies, and relaxing cruising ... Read More
We chose UnCruise because of a friend's recommendation and our aversion to large cruise ships and preference for adventure cruising. If what you want is floor shows, mega-restaurants, work out gyms, balconies, and relaxing cruising go elsewhere. But if you have a spirit of adventure, want to actually physically do something, encounter Alaska up close AND have fabulous food, personally involved crew, very comfortable but not uber rooms, an open bar, other fun adventurous passengers then go with UnCruise. we saw orca including spyhopping, bubble feeding humpback whaes, a black bear, a large contingent of feeding grizzly bears, mountain sheep, loads of eagles, many good shore and sea birds. The glaciers were awesome and Ranger Deb taught us a lot plus being very enthusiastic. We learned about glaciation and deglaciation and revegetation in post glaciation areas. Hiking in the temperate rain forest was great. You cannot miss and any of the cruises out of Juneau chould be great Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
Thank you Jean, Andrew and the whole staff aboard the American Spirit for the BEST Alaskan experience we could ever have wished for.The Captain and deck hands gave us so much time at each of the glaciers that we had time to breathe in the ... Read More
Thank you Jean, Andrew and the whole staff aboard the American Spirit for the BEST Alaskan experience we could ever have wished for.The Captain and deck hands gave us so much time at each of the glaciers that we had time to breathe in the experience and really enjoy BEING there. He had us surrounded by Orcas at one point and was able to cut engines so we could see them up close and one even swam under the bow. The icing on the cake was the Bald Eagle perched on the top of the ice berg as we passed the last iceberg. Everyone began to suspect that they had cued the animals as we passed. MAGICAL!!! Thank you for taking such great care of our Dad and helping to get him off the ship and exploring the sights. Perfect weather was the cherry on top. I don't know how it could have been better. Loved Bill and Laura, Ranger Jenny, and Gary. The food was great - even with my quirky special diet (I believe I put on pounds). Safe travels to you all. Hope to join you again sometime. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
I chose this cruise cause it had a good itinerary. the ship was awful. small rooms, even smaller bathrooms. no entertainment for adults after 10. food was awful. no 24 hr. Pizza. no guys burgers. carnival has them both and ... Read More
I chose this cruise cause it had a good itinerary. the ship was awful. small rooms, even smaller bathrooms. no entertainment for adults after 10. food was awful. no 24 hr. Pizza. no guys burgers. carnival has them both and entertainment after the show. steep to get back on the boat. expensive excursions. tons more that i can't remember. just an awful boat with horrible food. no cigarettes for sale. no alcohol for sale. just awful. gambling every day for 10 days and you can't get a free cruise. just horrible. Bathroom shower and toilet didn't work twice. had to use bottled water. then when i asked to be reimbursed, had to yell at the guy, yuan to get me 3 bottles of water. was going to send me a pitcher. i used bottled water to shower not pitcher water. horrible. Gina our stewardess was nice. people on the boat were rude. basil, he was very nice. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We spent 5 days in Denali before flying from Anchorage to Juneau. We were aboard the Wilderness Explorer for 7 nights exploring the Inner Passage. First and foremost, my son has peanut/tree nut allergies and the chef knew ahead of ... Read More
We spent 5 days in Denali before flying from Anchorage to Juneau. We were aboard the Wilderness Explorer for 7 nights exploring the Inner Passage. First and foremost, my son has peanut/tree nut allergies and the chef knew ahead of time and had no nuts in the kitchen for the week we were on board! The pastry chef makes everything from scratch so it was such a huge joy for my son to eat what everyone else was eating. They did have nut bars for snacks but did offer to also take those away too! They clearly take all allergies very seriously and we thank them for that - traveling with allergies can be very stressful. The ship was clean and though there were 70 passengers on board, it didn't feel like it at all. The rooms could use some updating but everything was clean. We had been on La Pinta over Christmas and that ship is more updated. But, don't let that deter you! We would all go back in a heartbeat and would definitely use Uncruise again. There were excursions off the ship everyday. We went bush whacking, kayaking, on skiff rides, snorkeling (yes, in 47 degree waters with wet suits - we were fine!), hiking. We went through Glacier Bay. It is a very active cruise - perfect for our 5 teens. The grandmothers went on skiff rides or meadow walks or just watched the stunning scenery. They do have rainboots on board. I brought my daughters and mine though and the boys just got them from on board. Either way, they are a must. Every landing was a wet landing. Hiking shoes aren't needed because you really end up just wearing your rain boots because everything is so muddy. Definitely bring rain pants and a rain jacket. The waters were extremely calm so even my mother who usually gets very seasick was totally fine! The service was great all around. The guides were all very knowledgeable and likeable and all clearly love Alaska! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Although the accommodations are not luxurious, they were comfortable and adequate. The adventure was unbelievable! We spent little time in the room and most of our daytime hours were off the boat. We kayaked, hiked, went on skiff tours and ... Read More
Although the accommodations are not luxurious, they were comfortable and adequate. The adventure was unbelievable! We spent little time in the room and most of our daytime hours were off the boat. We kayaked, hiked, went on skiff tours and snorkeling was available. We saw humpback and orca whales, bald eagles, puffins, bears and even the Northern Lights!!! Unbelievable beauty and breathtaking experiences being so close to calving glaciers, misty islands, amazing tide pools and feeding bears. The staff was so enthusiastic and informed that it was contagious. I felt VERY safe all the time whether on the boat or kayaking or hiking. The food was terrific, varied and abundant and the on board staff so helpful and cheerful. There were games, movies and a bar for down times. The other guest were from all over the US and world and so much fun to hang out with. I would go again without any hesitancy! Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
My husband and I always wanted to go to Alaska but we DIDNT want to be on a 2000 person ship where people got dressed up to stand in line for a buffet dinner, look at glaciers and breathtaking sites from half a mile away, and be held ... Read More
My husband and I always wanted to go to Alaska but we DIDNT want to be on a 2000 person ship where people got dressed up to stand in line for a buffet dinner, look at glaciers and breathtaking sites from half a mile away, and be held captive on the ship except for occasional outings for tourist stops. We wanted to be on a ship where we sit and have plated dinners, where by the end of the week we actually knew everyone on the ship, and most importantly, where we "experience" Alaska close up. Un-Cruise exceeded our expectations in every way. Every day we were able to chose from kayaking, skiff tours, hiking, beach walks on glaciers and more (polar plunge for the brave ones which ended up being 1/3 of the people). It wasn't fancy it was a true Alaska experience. We didn't bring high heels we brought hiking boots. The food was 5 star every night with a choice of meat, fish, or vegetarian, with a homemade dessert and a full bar open from lunch if you wanted to sit in the hot tub with a beer, through the entire evening. Every evening there were fabulous lectures from naturalists giving talks about native bird life, fish, bears, and how the weather changes are effecting Alaska. The crew was highly educated and treated each guest as if they were family. Our safely was their number one priority and they kept every guest healthy and safe through the entire week. When we disembarked the ship the entire staff lined up on the dock to shake our hands and thank us by name for joining them. We have already signed up to join Un-Cruise for a return in 2018. Can't wait. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
We are not leisure cruisers, but this adventure cruise captured our imaginations. The size of the ship, the destination and the activities were all appealing to us, and the cruise was certainly not a disappointment. Our cabin was basic ... Read More
We are not leisure cruisers, but this adventure cruise captured our imaginations. The size of the ship, the destination and the activities were all appealing to us, and the cruise was certainly not a disappointment. Our cabin was basic but adequate with plenty of hot water. Even tho it was above the engine, once under way our sleep was not disturbed. All staff were great from the hotel staff and kitchen staff to the tour guides and crew. Activities for all levels of fitness were catered for from shore walks and skiff tours to kayaking, hiking, bushwacking and even snorkelling. The scenery was spectacular! Cities of Juneau and Sitka had a frontier feel and were interesting to explore. food was extremely good with a choice of main courses and the bar offered a great variety of beers and wines. Would thoroughly enjoy this type of cruise for the active traveller. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
I continue to relive this trip six weeks later. It was a wonderful experience. I shared a room with my adult daughter and it was comfortable. We controlled the heat which was very nice. The beds were great. We were in 213 and kept our ... Read More
I continue to relive this trip six weeks later. It was a wonderful experience. I shared a room with my adult daughter and it was comfortable. We controlled the heat which was very nice. The beds were great. We were in 213 and kept our curtains open almost all the time because we didn't want to miss any views. The guests ranged in age from 16 to four young-at-heart people in their eighties. Many of us were adults with adult children, which made the trip extra special. The entire crew was outstanding and set the tone for an exceptionally enjoyable experience. The companionship among guests seemed unusually congenial. The food was excellent - all meals and hors d'oeuvres. Early breakfast was served in the lounge and consisted of cold food. Regular breakfast was in the dining room and featured hot items and delicious choices and all you could eat. Smiling wait staff were there to refill coffee, clear dishes and offer anything one could want. Lunch always included a green salad along with hot items. The dinners were spectacular. NOT meat and potatoes. There were three choices - meat, fish and vegetarian. And you could order 1/2 and 1/2 for those of us who couldn't decide which delectable meal to choose. Alcohol was reasonably priced. A daily special cocktail was offered for $5.00 and was delicious. The activities were varied, well described, fun and for many enough of a challenge so we felt proud of ourselves for participating. There were first time kayakers, snorkelers and polar plungers. Basic requirements were to be able to climb stairs, get in an inflatable and have a good attitude. The more rigorous activities were longer hikes and a 6.5 mile kayak. Perhaps a more strenuous hike would have appealed to some. The guides for all activities were helpful and informative and so pleasant. Every evening following dinner a guide presented an organized lecture. Our last night we had a very fun and funny contest hosted by the guides. One reviewer commented on the noise of the engines and generators. It did exist, and one table in the dining room was pretty loud. However while sleeping the generators were white noise and when the diesels started in the morning it was a reassuring sound. We kept our window open every night and slept very well. If your desire is to see SE Alaska up close, unspoiled and uncrowded, book with Un-Cruise. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
The Safari Endeavour is the second largest ship in the Un-Cruise line with 42 cabins. We went on one previous cruise on a large cruise ship and did not enjoy it. It was large and massive, dumping 2,000 people into each port. While ... Read More
The Safari Endeavour is the second largest ship in the Un-Cruise line with 42 cabins. We went on one previous cruise on a large cruise ship and did not enjoy it. It was large and massive, dumping 2,000 people into each port. While this trip is expensive it covered all activities, there were no additional costs involved. The not-so good - the cabins are small and our shower was particularly small. It was difficult to shower without getting the floor a bit wet. The two single beds could not be moved together in our cabin (which is noted in their catalog). Housekeeping was excellent, our cabin and bedding were very clean. Everything else exceeded expectations. We could go into bays and get close to glaciers, get even closer in kayaks (and look back on the large cruise ships that could just barely enter the bay). I felt an intimate connection with the fjords and the land. In the guided kayak trips there was one leader in front and one in back. The leaders were knowledgeable and enthusiastic. The dining room was a few feet above water level and the experience of eating as you glide past waterfalls and cliffs was delightful. I liked the fact that there was one seating per meal and you could sit at any table you wanted. Activities are geared to active retired people with usually three choices each morning and afternoon: bushwhacking, kayaking and a ride on a skiff. While hiking we saw salmon swimming upstream to mate, from the skiff we saw a family of bears catching fish, and on board ship we saw whales galore. At one point there were at least 6 whales swimming around the ship. This is a cruise that allows you to be intimate with Alaska. It was a fantastic experience. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
I realize i am the naysayer on these guys, Perhaps i believed the brochures too much as UnCruise is still pretty "cruise" like in many ways. the impression given by their marketing is that this cruise is a chance to get close ... Read More
I realize i am the naysayer on these guys, Perhaps i believed the brochures too much as UnCruise is still pretty "cruise" like in many ways. the impression given by their marketing is that this cruise is a chance to get close to nature with hikes, free kayaking and such. But your are kept on a pretty tight leash and the nature/adventure experience very limited. all in all the animal experiences were disappointing. Here are things that really ticked us off. 1) they will not announce animal sitings during or immediately before meal times so as to not disrupt service. As a result most of the boast missed the only Steller Sea lions we saw on the cruise. We saw them but i feel bad for the foreign visitors who may never get to see these huge marine animals. 2) they will not announce animal sitings if they feel it will delay a departure. This time most of the boat missed the only bears as one group saw them but were not allowed to alert the rest of the boat. 3) They keep much further away than the day boats (whom are observing the legal limit). so their brochure photos of whales near the boat must be a rarity. If your primary goal is to see wild life you would do far better to take the ferry between these small ports and then day trips out from each port. Also, if you are an active person then this is not the trip for you. Kayaking is only allowed in the immediate vicinity of the boat and all "hike" are really walks with them all being less than a mile. I am sure they have their reasons for all of this, but know what to expect and take the advice above if you are seeking something different. On the plus side, the ships crew are uniformly great and bend over backwards to help with any request. The Captain is excellent and the open bridge policy outstanding. Strangely the expedition leaders are a mixed bunch, some good, some poor. I am not sure why their hiring policies result in a great crew but a inconsistent expedition team (but they do). Many people love uncruise. but then many people love Carnival cruise. For the nature buff neither are the people to go with. For the cost of this cruise you could organize an outstanding personal adventure. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2014
I wanted to take my sons on an Alaskan cruise for the past 15 years. It finally came together this August. This was a once-iin-a-lifetime trip and we were all so excited. My sons, their wives, their child, my husband and I went on our ... Read More
I wanted to take my sons on an Alaskan cruise for the past 15 years. It finally came together this August. This was a once-iin-a-lifetime trip and we were all so excited. My sons, their wives, their child, my husband and I went on our first cruise on a "small ship". The American Cruise Line looked so great. When we turned in our paperwork, we each received a call asking if we needed anything special. We didn't ask but they offered a crib and we gladly accepted. My daughter-in-law has a gluten intolerance; they said no problem. We arrived in Juneau the night before to stay at the hotel that the cruise line arranged. They promised transportation. We waited over an hour for it. Had we not been told their was transportation, we would have taken a cab. By the time we realized this, there were no cabs. No crib for my grandson, even though it was promised multiple times. Food: It took three days and several conversations with the staff and chef to get the gluten free food. The food was fine, not excellent, not bad. I liked that they offered half portions, however, the portion size was inconsistent. My half portion was frequently the size of my husband's full portion. The rest of the trip was tainted by the shabby ship.  My room had not been completely cleaned from the previous passengers: dirty trashcans, counters and carpet. It took two more visits from staff to get it cleaned. The carpet was ripped and the mini blinds were broken so they wouldn't stay up. This was never repaired.The good news is that the rooms were roomy with enough storage space, kind of the size of a hotel room. And I liked that the windows opened. By the way, I did fill out the evaluation and asked from a call from the cruise line. I received a call from Paul who said we should have been given a "gluten free menu", and he's sorry about all of the other problems. He hopes we travel with them again. There was nothing in that response that leads me to think that the next experience would be any better.   Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2014
It's Spring 2015 and I simply cannot let the season escape without finally writing my review on the trip of a lifetime, that I was madly planning this time last year... The hubby and I came into an unexpected gift of money and ... Read More
It's Spring 2015 and I simply cannot let the season escape without finally writing my review on the trip of a lifetime, that I was madly planning this time last year... The hubby and I came into an unexpected gift of money and wanted to do something we could remember the person by, and would never have normally would have done...and I found it in and astonishing adventure on board the Safari Endeavor!! We booked the July 14, 2014 week long Discoverers' Glacier Country Un-Cruise out of Juneau, AK. That week in particular had a wonderful Marine Biology host, Jackie Hedgpeth who truly added to the already highly educated and informative staff on board. We were greeted on board on embarkation day by all the staff from our awesome lady Captain, Jenna Stevens down to dining and cabin crews. All folks on the Endeavor rolled up their sleeves and helped out any given time/day on launching kayaks in the morning to being nature guides in the afternoons..many enjoyed multiple roles..our evening table server, would be an expedition assistant leader the following day on a hike or kayak excursion. We truly got to know all the staff... who consistently and constantly reached above and beyond the call of duty to make sure, all on on board were welcomed, comfortable and got the utmost they wanted out of their daily/weekly adventures!!! Every evening in the Lounge all ...84....yes I said that ...84 passengers!!! joined together enjoyed our all inclusive bar libations while listening to talks from the Naturalist or crew on tomorrows upcoming adventures.. Let's stop for a moment and discuss that passenger number. Yes..only 84 passengers on board, what a phenomenon in the Cruise world!! This small ship cruising allowed for the unimaginable development of some great friendships on board...some folks we still keep in touch with to date, a year later! Folks from all over the Globe were on board..from England, Wales, Australia and all over the US. And on a personal note..2nd couple we met were form my hometown in Penna..small world! The staff and crew we got to know as well and shared many a story and photos on our nightly talks in the Lounge of the ship's adventures from the day. Can't tell you the camaraderie that developed over shared hikes, kayaking moments, whale sightings, glacier hikes...on and on to many to describe with the staff, crew and fellow passengers. Back to adventures!!! ....each evening the Expedition Guide would offer tomorrow's listing of adventures passengers can choose to participate in...both AM and afternoon varieties or, all day: from really tame walkabouts on the shore line, to glacier hikes, to half or full day kayaking, to half or full day hikes into wilderness. The hubby, a Georgia Exterra trail series runner was looking for full on daily wilderness adventures..I on the other hand enjoyed the luxury the ship had to offer as well as accomplishing a fine mix of mild AM adventures such as guided group Glacier hikes to afternoon kayaking along the shoreline. I eventually built up my adventure seeking skills to partake in the Hubby's regular all day adventure "crew" on an exciting all day, 8hr hike to a Glacier Lake that no other ship or passenger group got to attain last summer! Our outstanding Expedition Guide, Connor Adams was as great Team Leader who motivated all of us, including me who was definitely in the back 'o the pack shall we say.. to kick it up and we pushed ourselves so well thru the rain forest, he got permission from the ship's Captain to continue onto Swan Lake. What a thrill to share in this accomplishment of an awesome all day hike thru stunning rain forests of SE Alaska! No bear sightings, but fresh footprints were to be had! Super proud and exhausted when we returned to the ship in time for the fun event of Polar Bear Swimming which is an all passenger adventure, if you dare! Even in July the water was cold!! Let's talk about food and drink..the food was scrumptious to say the least! Usually 2-3 entree offerings at each meal and always a veggie option for anyone who doesn't do meat, or in my case who doesn't do seafood. I know, wrong place to be.. to not partake on the super fresh local seafood offerings, but hubby enjoyed it, every meal!! The crew offered any solution if you couldn't possible find anything to eat of the menu for each meal. One lunch was all seafood and they kindly made me a grilled cheese sandwich which I happily ate... All alcohol is included and the Bartenders in the Lounge were excellent,there was a special creative drink offered each evening as well as a full bar. Never failed on service or tastes.. 12 tables I believe, 8 along the viewing windows to catch the ever changing sea/landscape and view wildlife passing by and 4 center round tops were in the dining room. Which lends itself to enjoying getting to know all the passengers or eventually for us, we sought out our favorite group of new friends from England, Penna., NC and NY and shared our adventures of the day! The only complaint I would have about dining is you had to get down there fast at mealtime or the window tables would be taken! Not that you couldn't see but it was cool to be up close. Admiral Cabin....#202. Since it was a gift of money that drove this once in a lifetime adventure cruise, the hubby went full on every day adventure excursions and I went for one of the top of the line larger cabins! Quiet, just off the lounge, low traffic hallway and steps away.. in the jammies to get a morning coffee in the lounge... Comfy bed, wonderful private large viewing window(Upper deck cabins have windows along the outside walkways and passengers sd kinda bothersome), teeny tiny bathroom for us tall folks but super minor detail as you are so busy each and everyday in this Alaskan wonderland..no bothers. Wonderful cabin service on a daily basis if you want service or not...minimal required for us. One of the most outstanding features of the cruise was the desire of the Crew and Captain to offer ever possibility to educate us on, as well as to see, view and experience the wildlife in SE Alaska. One impossibly delightful evening, dinner was delayed as we had the show of a lifetime in front of the ship: a rainbow to the west, a pod of Orcas straight ahead and Humpback whales breaching to the right. The Captain slowed and then stopped the ship and all on board, included as always, the Crew were invited to experience the beauty of this sight. Unforgettable! The saddest day is knowing you are arriving back in Port and your disconnections with people you have gotten to know, and goodbyes are in front of you. The Crew all came out to see us off and it was bittersweet... Would love to partake in their Baja trips in the Winter to see the Humpbacks and other wildlife in a warmer climate. Same ship..same Crew..same Captain..what a dream. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
This was our third cruise in the past 10 years. Each cruise has been with a different cruise line. This was the most disorganized and the employees did not seem very happy. Our disembarkation was a mess. The ladies at the Westin Hotel were ... Read More
This was our third cruise in the past 10 years. Each cruise has been with a different cruise line. This was the most disorganized and the employees did not seem very happy. Our disembarkation was a mess. The ladies at the Westin Hotel were at the table the day before disembarkation for check in. But the next morning there was not a table or sign indicating where we were to meet. There were 10 in our group so we all gathered in the lobby near where the table was the day before. We didn't see any Princess employees until we sent out family members to check out the lobby and they finally found one of the ladies outside where the buses were gathering. There were 2 bus loads of people in the lobby needing some reassurance that we were in the right place and we didn't get that until 10 minutes before the buses were to leave. We were supposed to have priority check-in since we were in a large suite but there were not enough princess employees to direct the crowds once we got off the bus. We ended up waiting in the long check-in line only to find out that we could have skipped that line with our priority check-in. I would say they were definitely short staffed. We enjoyed our suite and our room attendant, Ernie (Ernilito), was very helpful and always upbeat and smiling. There were some minor inconveniences like the sink was slow to drain and the tub drain stopper didn't work so we called Ernie and both times he arrived immediately assessed the problem and got the plumber out quickly to do repairs. Our bed was very comfortable although the room was a little to warm with the AC at the lowest setting and this was in Alaska! The food was very disappointing! The 14th deck buffet was confined in a very hot cramped space and we tried everything in there for two days and the food did not look appetizing and didn't taste good either. We had the same experience with the food in the Canaletto traditional dining room which was hardly edible. This dining room is difficult to access and our waiters were not friendly. Once the dining room filled up with people it turned hot and stuffy. We ended up scheduling and paying $25 for 10 of us to eat dinner in the Crown Grill one night and in Sabatinos on two other nights. Their food was better but just not the quality of food that we are accustomed to enjoying in our hometowns of Dallas and Houston, TX and Charlotte, NC. That was an extra $750 to get a few decent dinners on the ship. The best food was in the International Cafe where you could get fresh salads and sandwiches and Lattes. The entertainment was plentiful. The singers and dancers were great and the comedian was pretty good. The magic show was very dull and the theatre lights were down so low you couldn't see anything anyway and we were on the 4th row of a large theatre. One of our biggest complaints about cruising with Princess is the big push to sell jewelry and art. We were irritated to receive fliers in our mailbox everyday about jewelry and art sales and the insult comes when you arrive at the ports and find the towns are full of Princess owned jewelry shops. We enjoyed an excursion in Juneau which included a helicopter ride which landed on Mendenhall Glacier and a salmon bake which was the best food of our whole trip. Other cruisers that went into Juneau to look around said the Princess owned shops had salespeople standing outside of their shops aggressively trying to recruit buyers. These shops ruined the experience of the quaint looking town. Disembarkation was very disorganized. The employees in charge were giving us and other families who had elderly parents in wheelchairs conflicting instructions and sent us all to the wrong exit. It just sort of left us with a bad ending to the trip. I can't imagine ever wanting to go on another Princess Cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2014
We have enjoyed several Big Boat cruises in the past - but never again. UnCruise Adventure's Safari Endeavour accommodates 85 passengers and before you finish your week, you'll know most of them by first name - we even got ... Read More
We have enjoyed several Big Boat cruises in the past - but never again. UnCruise Adventure's Safari Endeavour accommodates 85 passengers and before you finish your week, you'll know most of them by first name - we even got invites to come visit their home from several. Accommodations are very comfortable - we had their basic cabin with two comfortable twin beds and private bath. Meals were EXCELLENT with several options (including vegetarian) at each meal. During the morning breakfast, you would learn about that day's meal options and make your choice. Every day, there were Morning and Afternoon adventure options ranging from high skill and exertion to more moderate walks and skiff rides. We are moderately active senior citizens and thoroughly enjoyed each activity. We had never done kayaking before but we did it here - and loved it The ship has dozens of ocean-going kayaks and has an easy-launch system that makes heading out and docking simple. Before we launched, we got lots of lessons and great tips. We enjoyed kayaking so much, we bought one after we got home. The ports of call were beyond our expectation. The ship is so small, we were able to motor right up into the channels where the glaciers live. We watched the Big Boats sit at the mouth of the channel and pass out binoculars. Once we got close to the glacier. the crew lowered kayaks and skiffs and took us even closer. We got some amazing photos. The crew was beyond attentive - they became our friends over the week and made this trip a memory we will never forget. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
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

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