12 Juneau UnCruise Safari Explorer Cruise Reviews

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
AMAZING - 5 days off the grid and Alaska was cool too. UnCruise adventures was like being on an excursion for 7 days. We stopped in every inlet and saw Sea Otters, Sea Lions, bears, Bald eagles, and humpback whales. We hiked, kayaked and ... Read More
AMAZING - 5 days off the grid and Alaska was cool too. UnCruise adventures was like being on an excursion for 7 days. We stopped in every inlet and saw Sea Otters, Sea Lions, bears, Bald eagles, and humpback whales. We hiked, kayaked and watched nature pass. We didn't once stopped at one of those cruise owned ports. We had a park ranger on board that provided tons of information and perspective. Food and Service were exceptional! - Staff of two cooked meals for 30+ people in a room about 4x4; choices were abundant making a decision your only problem. Staff rotated chores on the ship and even the captain would help you on and off the ship during excursions. If you ever get the chance to go to Alaska consider Uncruise Adventures. As we pulled back into civilization I dread the thought of getting back on the grid. ^5 to the staff; they really make the trip exceptional! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We have been to Alaska twice before on big ship cruises and thought a small boat cruise would be a way to see Alaska in a different way. It was awful! By the third day boredom was setting in and by the fourth day, we had come to realize ... Read More
We have been to Alaska twice before on big ship cruises and thought a small boat cruise would be a way to see Alaska in a different way. It was awful! By the third day boredom was setting in and by the fourth day, we had come to realize that each day was going to be exactly the same with the same three activities (hiking, kayaking, or a small boat tour) offered each day. We loved seeing the glaciers up close and having the chance to kayak close to one of them between the icebergs. The wilderness areas we went to pretty much looked the same so it became very repetitious. While they kept touting that this is the "true" Alaska, I beg to differ. There is so much more to Alaska than wilderness and we had a much larger overview of the state on our other cruises. We do a lot of shore excursions on the larger ships and don't just get off the ship and wander around at each port of call. The food was very gourmet but got very old because it was pretty much the same every day. There were only about 30 passengers but yet it took at least an hour for everyone to get served at lunch and dinner and we had ordered in advance! Our meals never arrived steaming hot. The early riser breakfast always consisted of some type of breakfast pastry (muffins, croissants, etc.) that were served very cold. I guess we just like simpler food because I would have given anything for a good old hamburger after a few days. We saw a lot of whales and sea otters but we've seen them before. We saw two bears at a distance and didn't even come close to a moose. The wildlife was what we came for so this was disappointing. I can't believe what we paid for this cruise and what we got in return. Anyone who can afford to do one of these cruises can afford to go on one of the luxury cruise lines (our favorite is Regent) which is a much better value. Most people on this cruise turned up their noses at being with a lot of other people on a ship but it's actually easier to get away from other people on the larger ships. You do EVERYTHING together on a ship this small which can be very interesting with the different mix of personalities. I will say that the crew was excellent. They were very knowledgeable and it was obvious they loved what they were doing. This just wasn't for us and it will take a long time to get over how much it cost and what a waste we felt it was. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Our Un-Cruise was not what we expected, but because of the Company's/staff's commitment to making our time in Alaska special, we had a remarkable vacation. Due to engine breakdown, the ship did not leave port. Sounds like the ... Read More
Our Un-Cruise was not what we expected, but because of the Company's/staff's commitment to making our time in Alaska special, we had a remarkable vacation. Due to engine breakdown, the ship did not leave port. Sounds like the making of a disaster - instead it was the beginning of an exciting adventure. Offered the option of ending the trip with total refund and future discount or the prospect of the ship being repaired and some days cruising (refunds for every day we didn't sail), we choose to stick around. Day excursions and two days at an Inn in Glazier Bay (air travel to and from, charters all at Un-Cruise's expense) allowed us to see almost everything the trip promised, even though the repairs were not completed during our stay. Bottom line, we got total refund and future discount, had a wonderful time, albeit not what we expected, met some wonderful people with whom the adversity/uncertainty bonded us as we experienced the amazing response of the crew/staff as they went all out to make our time memorable. Un-Cruise can write the book on "service recovery." Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Took my 18 yr old son for his HS graduation. We had a great time. I was aware of small boat cruises (my wife and I did over 20 years ago in Alaska) so had a pretty good idea of what to expect and the Un-Cruise team met or exceeded ... Read More
Took my 18 yr old son for his HS graduation. We had a great time. I was aware of small boat cruises (my wife and I did over 20 years ago in Alaska) so had a pretty good idea of what to expect and the Un-Cruise team met or exceeded expectations in just about every way. This is all about seeing Alaska while being comfortable, not a luxury cruise. So every day there are activities like hiking, kayaking, and skiff tours, but also means some afternoons of riding on the boat cruising to the next great place. We were lucky as weather was perfect so we were able to sit up on top deck and read (or nap) in the beautiful sun. And of course we got to see the whole assortment of sea critters up close and learn alot along the way. Kayaking less than 1/2 mile from Dawe's glacier around harbor seals is awesome also. We had all ages and the crew did a great job to make hikes, kayaking, and activities available and interesting for all. If you want to get close to nature this is a great cruise - but there is never any guarantee on what weather will bring or whether the animals will "cooperate" and be ready for viewing. That's all part of it. If you want to be entertained, you probably should look harder if this is what you want. The crew was fantastic - a total of 15 people to manage the like of 36 of us for the week, and from Captain Rod and his team managing the ship, to the daily activities Jill and Alex organized, to the fantastic meals from Joe/Kiley, the team gave 110% and always appeared very happy to do so every day. It probably helps that we had a great bunch of people on board and I enjoyed the opportunity to meet and talk with all of them along the way. Was a great week and highly recommend this ship / destination for anyone looking for this kind of adventure cruise! Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
My husband and I decided to mark our 50th birthdays with a trip to Alaska and this cruise (Discoverers' Glacier Country) was recommended highly by his folks. We liked the sound of it because we believed in a small-ship setting ... Read More
My husband and I decided to mark our 50th birthdays with a trip to Alaska and this cruise (Discoverers' Glacier Country) was recommended highly by his folks. We liked the sound of it because we believed in a small-ship setting we'd have more opportunity for close encounters with the landscape and wildlife. This turned out to be true. The cabins are extremely comfortable and spacious enough for a week's worth of luggage and gear. The view from our cabin's windows was always spectacular. While there is no TV or Internet reception available, there is a decent DVD library (if you have time and energy to use it after a day full of adventures). Common areas are well kept and cozy. The bar is well stocked, and you can help yourself if there's no crew available. The food was fine. It didn't blow us away, but it wasn't bad by any means. Service around meals was great in that choices were always available and special requests were smilingly honored. Servings were small to moderate, which I actually think is great. We had no trouble getting seconds if we were really hungry. Sometimes it took a while for tables to get served (which made a lot of sense when we saw later how food had to get from the kitchen in the lower level to the dining room level by dumbwaiter), but we weren't in any hurry. Life on board: We took advantage of a yoga class offered each morning before breakfast on the top deck. A beautiful way to start the day. After breakfast, the itinerary for the day is announced, including options for the day's activities. Typically there are activities available after breakfast and after lunch, such as hikes, kayaking, and skiff rides. Depending on itinerary, there might be pre-dinner or after-dinner activities. Generally you don't have to sign up; just show up. Throughout the day, wildlife and other unusual sightings are announced on the PA system so you can go out to view them if you wish. There is a hot tub on the top deck, which gets quite a bit of use. The exercise equipment, also on the top deck, is minimal but adequate. One free massage is included with the cruise, which was a great amenity. With only 18 cabins, the Safari Explorer is geared toward satisfying guests in all respects. When we expressed a desire for more independent hiking so our birdwatching would not slow down other guests, we were offered a crew member who would accompany us at whatever speed we wished (truly independent hiking not being an option because of the potential for bear encounters). The crew are aware that most guests are really interested in wildlife such as whales, dolphins, and bears, so activities are sometimes shifted around in order to satisfy this interest. For example, one morning that a hike had been scheduled, a pod of orca was spotted nearby. Instead of hiking, all the guests boarded two skiffs and followed the orca for a few hours, which was an amazing experience. Nobody missed the hike. We had a lot of amazing experiences on this cruise, partly as a result of the setting and pure luck but also because the Safari Explorer crew got us where we needed to be and provided guidance. For example, we watched bears catching salmon outside a hatchery; we witnessed humpback whales bubble-netting; and we kayaked to a glacier and watched (and felt!) it calve right in front of us. Service and accommodation of guests was really impressive. Even though Un-Cruise Adventures provides guests with a detailed packing list in advance, many items, such as rain gear, rubber boots, mosquito repellent, and water bottles, were freely available for guests to borrow. We always felt well taken care of. We could not have had a better trip. The Safari Explorer gets our highest recommendation. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Un-Cruise Safari Explorer..July 2014 Alaska  I have had the good fortune to have taken hundreds of pleasure trips in my life. I have taken trips that range from cruising with the Regent Line, to going down the Colorado on a raft and ... Read More
Un-Cruise Safari Explorer..July 2014 Alaska  I have had the good fortune to have taken hundreds of pleasure trips in my life. I have taken trips that range from cruising with the Regent Line, to going down the Colorado on a raft and sleeping in tents, as well as skiing at numerous upscale resorts. I’ve have hiked New Zealand and also biked with Backroads, helicopter hiked with Tauck in the Canadian Rockies and have had many more exciting and varied travel experiences, but my Un-Cruise adventure on the Safari Explorer was the worst trip I have ever taken and the least value for the money spent. Discoverer’s Glacier Country was sold as a luxury trip. My expectations of luxury aboard an exploration ship were not the same as they would be on a large cruise ship, but I found nothing luxurious about this experience. The cabin interior was unimaginative and colorless, the duvet lumpy, the towels might have been larger, fluffier and more abundant. There was nothing in the space that could not have been upgraded. We were requested to use each towel for as many days as possible, which I did, but I was a single in a cabin. Had there been two of us it would have been far from luxurious to shower and dry my hair with a single bath towel. Food portions were small but that was okay as we spent half the day doing nothing while the ship was in motion. Food flavor is a matter of individual taste but the presentation on a luxury experience should be lovely and professional appearing. Dinner looked as though I had plated it myself....in a hurry. The lectures were nearly non existent, dull and certainly the speakers could not compare to the educators on other exploration ships. I must add that two members of the crew were outright rude to me, without any provocation and with no reaction from me. On the positive side, this line attracted well traveled, outgoing, interesting and friendly passengers. The only luxury item on this trip was the inclusion of wine and liquor. To really be impressed by Un-Cruise one would have to be drunk.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
We took off in the Safari Explorer out of Juneau for a 7 night visit to Glacier country during the first week in August. We visited Glacier Bay National Park where we spent 2 days with a park ranger on board , Icy Strait, Chicago and ... Read More
We took off in the Safari Explorer out of Juneau for a 7 night visit to Glacier country during the first week in August. We visited Glacier Bay National Park where we spent 2 days with a park ranger on board , Icy Strait, Chicago and Baranoff Islands ,Frederick Sound, Ford terror and Endicott Arm. This was an expedition ship designed to see wildlife close and personal.We saw and followed humpback whales , sea lions, seals, sea otters, bears, bald eagles, puffins, and other birds, and saw the start of the salmon run. We took hikes in hardly touched forests and filmed bears catching salmon for dinner;kayak by glaciers with snow covered mountains for background. For those who wanted a more relaxed activity, there were the skiffs who took us on tours of the various islands and inlets. We saw the calving of Ward glacier. One day we practically followed humpback whales most of the day and saw bubbling feeding, and mother and calf breaching in front of our ship. The cabins were very comfortable and spacious for a 36 passenger ship. The staff and the service were top notch. All the meals and afternoon appetizers prepared by Nate the chef were 4 star all the way. On our arrival at Glacier Bay park, the basket full of King Crabs was waiting for us and we had them for dinner that night. All liquor was included in the cruise so at around 5 pm we started gathering by the full bar for cocktails. If the crew was busy, we fixed our own drinks. This is the cruise to take to Alaska. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
My 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
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
Safari Explorer Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 5.0 4.4
Entertainment 3.0 3.3
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.2
Family 3.5 4.2
Shore Excursion 4.5 4.2
Enrichment 4.0 4.4
Service 5.0 4.5
Value For Money 4.0 4.0
Rates 5.0 4.3

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