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15 Juneau to Alaska UnCruise Wilderness Discoverer Cruise Reviews

This was the trip of a lifetime for my husband and me! The knowledgeable and delightful guides, the amazing food, the diversity of the folks on board, the warm Captain and lovely crew, the comfort of our tiny cabin, the kayaking, ... Read More
This was the trip of a lifetime for my husband and me! The knowledgeable and delightful guides, the amazing food, the diversity of the folks on board, the warm Captain and lovely crew, the comfort of our tiny cabin, the kayaking, bushwhacking, skiff riding, hiking, wildlife up close, following whales up close, eagles too many to count, just everything was perfect! Worth every penny! We enjoyed two nights in Juneau after a long flight across the country. Juneau is fun and we went to Mendenhall Glacier and hiked around there - just beautiful. We went to the Museum and to the Salmon Hatchery. We were so excited to get on our boat and Uncruise made that process so easy. They took care of our bags and had them waiting for us in our cabin. We immediately started meeting all the people on our cruise and they were all so great! Just loved every minute!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I chose this cruise as I "really" wanted to see Alaska. We arrived in Fairbanks on 8/13/17 to begin the land portion of this Uncruise trip. Uncruise outsources their land trips and I don't remember who the company was as ... Read More
I chose this cruise as I "really" wanted to see Alaska. We arrived in Fairbanks on 8/13/17 to begin the land portion of this Uncruise trip. Uncruise outsources their land trips and I don't remember who the company was as I've thrown everything away and deleted everything from my email. Let me start by saying this entire trip including airfare from DFW for two was $22,000.00 which included trip insurance. Land trip--in a nutshell not worth the big bucks at all. The first day, 4 hour trip on the dome train, cold food followed by a 90 mile school bus ride to our lodge which took 7.5 hours in Denali Park. The bus stopped for every animal sighting where you needed high powered binoculars to see them and they were about 1 inch tall. The food at Kantishna Lodge where we stayed was horrible. Many people complained. It was cold, rainy the entire time and forget about seeing Denali. We hired a plane to fly us back to the train station. The rest of the land trip went downhill from there. Terrible food everywhere. When it's raining, nothing is pretty. Boarded Wilderness Explorer in Juneau and as usual raining. I think we were in room 325--right before you go out the back of the boat. Room smelled like urine. Employee said not much can be done about it. Room was what I expected. Food was horrible again I'm not the only one complaining. Crew was nice. If you like to kayak in the cold rain, this trip is for you. The best part of the trip was seeing whales and Aurora Borealis. Again for what this trip cost--forget about it! Large cruise ships can enter Glacier Bay for 24 hrs--only 2 allowed in per day--go on the big one. Only thing you won't be able to do is sit for a long time looking at the whales. One lady was a photographer on the trip and totally disappointed. If I ever go back to Alaska, which I won't, I would rent a car and have private small planes fly me into places for several hours. That is what we saw in Glacier Bay. Not necessary to spend 24 hours there. Again, for what this trip cost, in my opinion, not worth it at all!!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
As many have said before in the small vs. large cruise discussions, small cruises really are a lot more flexible, and the captain has a lot of leeway in deciding where to go based on weather and wildlife sightings, etc. That is a huge ... Read More
As many have said before in the small vs. large cruise discussions, small cruises really are a lot more flexible, and the captain has a lot of leeway in deciding where to go based on weather and wildlife sightings, etc. That is a huge advantage, in my opinion. Also, everybody on staff worked SO hard--guides, dining hall people, etc. What I really came to dislike, however, was the relentless upselling that seemed to be happening constantly. No matter what was happening your guide was constantly telling you how GREAT it all was. "Aren't we lucky! Isn't this FANTASTIC!" when in fact it was pouring rain and for some reason no bears appeared in what was supposed a bear-heavy area. Then the day we started out we had to endure a long motivational talk by the company president that probably did contain SOME interesting information, but which got buried under the infomercial type of atmosphere. Likewise on our last night at the "captain's dinner" were we told that that he had some important information for us -- and then passed us to another recorded infomercial from the owner and THEN we had to endure more upselling about how we could earn discounts by purchasing credits beforehand, etc. etc. It was really a turnoff. The other thing is that, while they certainly provided us with activities, nothing is terribly strenuous. Most people were probably in their 50s and 60s --- that being said, there were plenty of people in their 50s who were pretty athletic and it was difficult being confined on a boat for a week without access to exercise that was a little more strenuous than what was on offer. I think I if Un-Cruise could offer at least a couple of activities during the week that were a little more challenging physically it would help out people there who are fit and used to being more active. I know my husband, who runs several miles a day, was going crazy at the relative inactivity. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
There is something very special about cruising the Inside Passage, especially on a smaller ship, however I wondered do these smaller ships really take advantage of their smaller size. We are from Australia, so seeing humpback whales is ... Read More
There is something very special about cruising the Inside Passage, especially on a smaller ship, however I wondered do these smaller ships really take advantage of their smaller size. We are from Australia, so seeing humpback whales is not unusual, we saw a number of them in Alaska, but always some distance away and only the backs, they are still majestic and beautiful but sightings were not regular nor close. We saw an Orca once and at quite a distance, like, pretty much a spec. I agree with one of the other reviews re the upselling - especially the Captains Dinner, when to be honest, I didn't even notice the Captain, other than at the beginning when he introduced his team. Listening to the Video and being told how easy and at a reduced cost it would be to book the next cruise sounded desperate. Send us the info later!! Nobody was really interested at that time. This holiday gets such rave reviews that I will be considered the negative naysayer, but here goes anyway. There are many pro's for this cruise, but a number of con's also: The guests were all delightful, interesting and engaging. A lot of them quite fit and I really enjoyed an impromptu yoga class by the gorgeous Meghan on the deck in glorious sunshine as we travelled along. A truly magical day. The Bushwhacking was great if you love Lichen and other plants, but it got quite tedious after that. Having said that, I was in the very lucky group of people that witnessed a bear catching salmon in the river, it was about 40 metres away from us and a truly amazing sight, if for nothing else the trip was worth it just for that. Nobody else saw a bear, even in the distance, other than this sighting. The kayaking was really enjoyable, especially when guided by Sarah W, she seemed to be able to get the right amount of talking happening, she was informative but also happy for the landscape and environment to speak for itself. The food was certainly above average and the pasty chef was amazing. Biscuits and cakes were delicious. The guides were all extremely well read and informed, they knew their stuff. Skiff rides through the glacier ice in Icy Strait were truly amazing. I agree with a previous review though, that at times I was stir crazy for some hard exercise. On the second day the Captain advised us that there was a "stowaway", which was a gastro bug, effecting largely the crew. This made eating anything a lottery. To their credit they did seem to get it contained, before about Wednesday when an awful flu went through the ship. I found the ship to be quite grubby even when cleaned. The windows needed to be opened more and it needs the carpets and fabrics updating badly. It felt like a harbour for disease. Even a number of the crew looked like they could do with a good scrub. This could also be due to the fact that it was the second last cruise of the season and it just needed a good clean. The open bridge policy was a joke. The Captain had zero personality. I realise he has a large responsibility but I didn't like the way he was to the passengers or a couple of his crew. I think the bridge should be closed if the people up there cant be friendly. I realise it would be tedious being asked the same old questions, but if that's the policy at least do it well. The safety drill was ridiculous as was the way a false alarm was conducted. Accidents are unlikely and just as well as they would not have coped. The expectation of a large tip at the end might be expected in the USA, but those of us not from the States found it quite a high expectation of approx. $500 per cabin. Just be aware and factor it into the cost. The guides/crew/hospitality all worked extremely hard, although some had definitely had enough by this stage of the season. Would I do another Un-Cruise - Im just not sure. It was great on so many levels, but really I give most of the credit to the wonderful state of Alaska more than anything else. Would I recommend you to do this cruise with Wilderness Discoverer - yes. Just go with eyes opened. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
I realize i am the naysayer on these guys, Perhaps i believed the brochures too much as UnCruise is still pretty "cruise" like in many ways. the impression given by their marketing is that this cruise is a chance to get close ... Read More
I realize i am the naysayer on these guys, Perhaps i believed the brochures too much as UnCruise is still pretty "cruise" like in many ways. the impression given by their marketing is that this cruise is a chance to get close to nature with hikes, free kayaking and such. But your are kept on a pretty tight leash and the nature/adventure experience very limited. all in all the animal experiences were disappointing. Here are things that really ticked us off. 1) they will not announce animal sitings during or immediately before meal times so as to not disrupt service. As a result most of the boast missed the only Steller Sea lions we saw on the cruise. We saw them but i feel bad for the foreign visitors who may never get to see these huge marine animals. 2) they will not announce animal sitings if they feel it will delay a departure. This time most of the boat missed the only bears as one group saw them but were not allowed to alert the rest of the boat. 3) They keep much further away than the day boats (whom are observing the legal limit). so their brochure photos of whales near the boat must be a rarity. If your primary goal is to see wild life you would do far better to take the ferry between these small ports and then day trips out from each port. Also, if you are an active person then this is not the trip for you. Kayaking is only allowed in the immediate vicinity of the boat and all "hike" are really walks with them all being less than a mile. I am sure they have their reasons for all of this, but know what to expect and take the advice above if you are seeking something different. On the plus side, the ships crew are uniformly great and bend over backwards to help with any request. The Captain is excellent and the open bridge policy outstanding. Strangely the expedition leaders are a mixed bunch, some good, some poor. I am not sure why their hiring policies result in a great crew but a inconsistent expedition team (but they do). Many people love uncruise. but then many people love Carnival cruise. For the nature buff neither are the people to go with. For the cost of this cruise you could organize an outstanding personal adventure. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
We just returned from a 7 night cruise on the Wilderness Discoverer. Words cannon describe our wonderful experience. The accomodations were perfect. The food outrageously delicious. The crew was wonderful in every way possible. If you want ... Read More
We just returned from a 7 night cruise on the Wilderness Discoverer. Words cannon describe our wonderful experience. The accomodations were perfect. The food outrageously delicious. The crew was wonderful in every way possible. If you want to see Alaska -- this cruise is the best way to do it. You hit the towns the big cruise ships go to (Juneau, Wrangell, Kechikan) -- but more importantly you see the "real" Alaska -- bears, harbor seals, bald eagles, whales, Northern Lights (we saw at night on our cruise -- the captain made an annoucement about 11pm for anyone wanting to see it), and so much more. We were able to go where the large cruise ships cannot -- into the inner coves and passage ways. I was blown away by the talent and knowledge of our expedition leaders. We were also impressed by the way safety is woven into everything on board. When we disembarked at the end we waved goodbye to the crew (they knew everyone by name!!). That was the best vacation we ever had!!! Can't wait to plan the next Un-cruise adventure. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Recently retired from teaching, we chose this un-cruise because of the opportunity to get into Alaska, not just see it. The Discoverer has 72 cabins, comfortable public areas, sun deck with seating and fitness equipment. Appeared that the ... Read More
Recently retired from teaching, we chose this un-cruise because of the opportunity to get into Alaska, not just see it. The Discoverer has 72 cabins, comfortable public areas, sun deck with seating and fitness equipment. Appeared that the ages of the participants ranged from late 30's to 70's. There were no children on this trip. We had been in Backcountry Denali for a week and arrived in Juneau to board the Wilderness. Our luggage was stowed on board by staff, we embarked meeting the captain and staff as we were shown to our rooms. Welcome cocktails, safety practice completed and supper. Meals were served at specified times, breakfast and lunch buffet and dinner plated and served. Dinner had 3 entree choices which you made during the day. Evening social hour provided snacks and a special drink. The bar was complete and the bartender well trained and personable. The chef and his staff were amazing. From Lamb chops, duck, smoked trout, crab, and various other beef and fish selections, we were amazed at every meal. Morning and afternoon activities were scheduled the day prior, as we motored in the inner reaches. Kayaking alone or guided, hiking in the Tongass forest or to glaciers, strolling the shores, touring in the sciffs, bushwhacking, paddle boarding, morning yoga, snorkeling, polar plunge - always led by experts so the experience was complete. All equipment was provided on the boat. There was a library in the public area, trivia contests in the evening, films, and time to get to know your traveling companions. We disembarked in Ketchikan, our luggage was taken to a hotel for us, we checked in to confirm our flight times, were provided with beverages and snacks, and we had the day to explore. Upon return to the hotel, our luggage was transported to the airport and we were checked in and motored also. This trip was all we had hoped for and more. It is for active explorers who want to get out and see.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
My husband and I and 3 friends went on an Un-Cruise Adventures Inner Reaches of the Eastern Coves of Alaska --small ship cruise on July 27 to August 3 of 2013. We cruised from Juneau to Ketchikan aboard the ship named Wilderness ... Read More
My husband and I and 3 friends went on an Un-Cruise Adventures Inner Reaches of the Eastern Coves of Alaska --small ship cruise on July 27 to August 3 of 2013. We cruised from Juneau to Ketchikan aboard the ship named Wilderness Discoverer. The cruise definitely exceeded our expectations. We had been on a Cruise West cruise in 2010 before Cruise West ceased operating due to the economy. That cruise to Glacier Bay was wonderful but the Un-Cruise experience was even better (better food and more off ship activities). Because the Un-Cruise ships are small (Wilderness Discoverer accommodates 76 passengers and 28 crew) we were able to access small coves and waterways for a very memorable experience in Alaska's untouched areas. The ship was very clean. The staterooms are small but very comfortable. There is room under the beds to store soft sided luggage and a floor to ceiling cupboard with shelves for clothes and items you unpack. The private bathroom with shower that is in the stateroom is very small but manageable. It was hot on several of the days we were traveling and we were very pleased that the ship has AC and a control panel in each room (it also has heating which we did not need). The food was outstanding and the chef eagerly accommodated my food allergies. The crew members were extremely friendly, helpful and knowledgeable . We thoroughly enjoyed the off-ship expedition activities (all are included in the cost of the cruise) which were extremely varied and included things like kayaking, paddle boarding, skiff tours, hikes, snorkeling, swimming (for the braver travelers) etc. The expedition leader was very knowledgeable and accommodated passengers of all ages and physical abilities in the activities off the ship--as did her expedition crew members. The captain and expedition leader worked together to provide the best experience for passengers and were flexible with regard to the schedule and ship course, for example, making changes so passengers could spend more time viewing whales and bears and other animals or going to coves where animals had been sighted by other ships. We enthusiastically recommend Un-Cruise Adventures! Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
Where do I start? The ship (Wilderness Discoverer)- We were in the Navigator level cabin. It is the least expensive and on the lowest level. It is small( about 8x10) but though snug, we found it really neat. The window opens to the sea and ... Read More
Where do I start? The ship (Wilderness Discoverer)- We were in the Navigator level cabin. It is the least expensive and on the lowest level. It is small( about 8x10) but though snug, we found it really neat. The window opens to the sea and since you are on the lowest level it means no railings blocking your view and nobody walking by you window. That means no need to draw the curtain- who cares if a whale or dolphin sees you au naturale? The crew- Just the best! So friendly and happy to help you in any way possible. The food- Omigosh- everything was perfect. We all were constantly amazed at the variety and quality of the meals. The activities- Kayaking, hiking, and fun skiff rides to glaciers and land hike areas. Also, the polar bear plunge which is a jump from the ship into 38 degree water which is a one time event near the end of the trip. We didn't partake but about 20 did and it was a blast to watch them. The fellow passengers-they were so much fun and so interesting. We were a like minded group that were looking for more than sitting with 1000 others on those giant ships. The Un-Cruise company has done their homework. The crew made the time so special. Having been told how they pick their crew, I only wish all employers would follow their technique. We did the eastern cove, 7 day trip. The weather was gorgeous-hardly any rain and many sunny days. DO NOT be fooled. We were told how unusual that is. So if you read their suggested packing tips-believe them. It will most likely rain so be ready for it. A couple of tips. Many brought their own binoculars but they must have had 15 or 20 of their own in the lounge available for the use of passengers. They have many pairs of "wellies" or rubber calf length boots. I still would advise you bring your own. Finally, I really recommend the Un-Cruise experience. It was so much fun. In case you think it was perfect- well nothing is. When filling out the initial form for the trip, one question asked if I had a special occasion occurring during the trip and was told to write it in the blank and they would have the crew celebrate it with us on board. Well, i told them my birthday was on May 21 just 3 days into the voyage and I waited each evening for "something" to be announced but it never was. After contacting Un-Cruise afterward, they apologized for the error. Failure to communicate was the reason I think. What do I remember the most? The unbelievable silence after stopping paddling our kayak in Misty Fiord. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
The views of Alaska from the boat are beautiful, but by hiking in the forests you see behind all those trees to the temperate rain forest. It is full of green growth - vines, lichen, moss, leaves and voluptuous beauty. We were able to walk ... Read More
The views of Alaska from the boat are beautiful, but by hiking in the forests you see behind all those trees to the temperate rain forest. It is full of green growth - vines, lichen, moss, leaves and voluptuous beauty. We were able to walk on glaciers, in muskeg, and enjoy wildflowers and wildlife. Our boat was small - 76 guests on board. The rooms are very simple but functionary. The sun deck was used for yoga classes in the morning and then for relaxing later in the day after activities. The boat is very basic - nothing luxurious about it! The only change I wished for was for tables and chairs to play cards or a game on. The lounge had very small cocktail tables. The food was very good, and we always had 3 choices of entree. My vegan husband was happy with his meals. The crew were absolutely the best! Always accommodating and friendly. By the end of the week it was hard to say goodbye. When we were in the middle of a hike, the expedition leader might gather us into a group and then read a poem about the wilderness. It bonded us together, and to the sacred land. In my opinion, this is the way to see Alaska. Small coves, boots on the ground, kayaking to get really close to the land. Lots of friendly people, good food, great crew, memorable experiences. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
I am not a cruiser. I can think of few less appealing vacations than traveling from touristy port town to another touristy port town with 3000 of my closest friends. However, my desire to see the inside passage of Alaska beat out my desire ... Read More
I am not a cruiser. I can think of few less appealing vacations than traveling from touristy port town to another touristy port town with 3000 of my closest friends. However, my desire to see the inside passage of Alaska beat out my desire to never cruise again. I am so glad that we did this. I recently did a 1 week Eastern Coves itinerary with my wife, and 2 sons ages 8 and 5. We were initially scheduled on a "family" cruise, but the dates were changed by the company, so we ended up on the regular cruise. Everything about our trip was truly fantastic. The staff on the boat from the hotel staff, kitchen staff, expedition leaders, and crew were amazing. Particular props go to Kathleen who took such good care of us in the dining room, and Chef JO who was so kind to create alternative meals for our kids. The food was surprisingly delicious and plentiful. Every day held unique expeditions in incredibly beautiful locations. The expedition staff was professional, safety oriented, well informed, and very fun! Annie the head of the expedition staff made sure that my family was placed in appropriate expeditions for our kids. Kristin was particularly wonderful with our boys and even got our older son out on a paddle board and encouraged him to do a "polar plunge". Alison, Mark, and Liz were great as well. Capt. Dano was great. Our family connected with Chief Mate Jeff, who is a whale biologist. We spend many hours with him in the bridge, learning about all kinds of marine mammals. He is an extraordinary fund of knowledge, and his enthusiasm was infectious. On 2 nights our boat ended up surrounded by humpbacks surfacing at sunset, truly a marvelous and majestic experience. Our kids got out of bed, and we watched from our 200 level room as the whales surfaced so close it felt like we could reach out and touch them. During our one port stop at Wrangell, we went to the Anan Creek Bear Observatory and saw 15 black bears and 6 grizzlies. We watched them feed off of spawning salmon in Anan Creek. We greatly enjoyed kayaking, hiking, paddleboarding, and the many wildlife encounters. On our first day in Windham Bay, we were observing a black bear from a few hundred yards (safely across a river) when an humpback surfaced and "blew" about a 300 yards offshore. It was truly awe inspiring. Alaska is an amazing place, and Innersea Discoveries is an incredibly well run operation from booking to disembarkation. The crew was wonderful, safety oriented, and fun. Our fellow travelers were adventurous and from all over the world. They were interesting and fun people, and the uncruise was quite informal. The rooms were clean and comfortable, but we didn't spend much time in them because we were so busy adventuring out into the Alaskan wilderness. I can no longer say I will never cruise again, as we will likely take another trip with Innersea in the future. Our kids want to go back next year! They have been sad because they miss all their new friends from the boat. Thanks Kristin, Jeff, Kathleen, Jo (and your great staff), Annie, Alison, Liz, Mark, Dano, Michael, Katherine, Blythe, Alex, Paul, Derek, Celia, Heather, Emily, Dain. If I forgot to mention anyone, I am sorry because you are all wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
We have travelled extensively as a family and wanted to see Alaska, but in an active setting where we could hike and interact with nature. We did not want to sit and eat, get formally dressed for dinner, but we wanted excellent, healthy ... Read More
We have travelled extensively as a family and wanted to see Alaska, but in an active setting where we could hike and interact with nature. We did not want to sit and eat, get formally dressed for dinner, but we wanted excellent, healthy food options with appropriate portions. The trip was arranged through Margret Propper multi-year Travel and Leisure award winning cruise travel agent. All of the above wishes were satisfied. Additionally, pretty all-inclusive, enthusiastic and knowledgable guides, excellent crew on the boat. By the way, we travelled on Wildeness Explorer, which is not an option above. We cruised through Glacier National Park, picking up Andrew, the National Service Park Ranger for a couple of days. He was superb and gave an excellent presentation about himeself and the mission of the Glacier Park. We had yoga, lots of activities including snorkeling in a wet suit. Pictures and experiences were stupendous. ALso great was the fact that the passengers on our cruise included individuals with similar objectives ie those who wished to do so could relax, but the activities were available for those who wanted them. We got an experience that was tailored to our needs including AM yoga that started with 1/2 hour session that extended to full hour at the end. Fully professional group. Have, in fact, put a deposit for another cruise with this line without planning to do so as I am so impressed by this company. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
In September, 2011, we took the most amazing cruise aboard the Wilderness Adventure, Innersea Discoveries. The cruise from Juneau to Ketchikan took us into the eastern coves of Alaska's Inside Passage. The ship accommodates only 60 ... Read More
In September, 2011, we took the most amazing cruise aboard the Wilderness Adventure, Innersea Discoveries. The cruise from Juneau to Ketchikan took us into the eastern coves of Alaska's Inside Passage. The ship accommodates only 60 passengers. Being so small, the Wilderness Adventurer can go where the big ships cannot. Can you say," Up close and personal"? At one waterfall, we got so close we could feel the spray. I cannot say enough about the fantastic crew. On such a small ship, the crew is critically important. They seemed to really like each other and worked together very well. The excursion guides were personable, very knowledgeable, and concerned for our safety. Cabins were super for a small ship. There was plenty of room for all our gear. All had a big view window that actually opened for the delightful fresh air. Outside the cabins, there are hooks in the hallway for clothing that got wet on the "adventures". Dress code was strictly casual. The public rooms were comfortable and functional. The bar was well stocked, and the bartender was splendid. Dining was open seating, and food was served buffet style for all meals. The chefs were very skilled, offering a marvelous variety of foods, something different every meal. Lunch and dinner offered main dishes of fish, meats, and vegetarian selections. The breakfast buffet was huge. How did the chefs do that in that tiny galley? The "adventures" included guided hikes of varying difficulty, kayaking, paddle boarding, rides in inflatable skiffs, and snorkeling. Even rainy days did not discourage us, especially since we have not seen rain in Texas in many months. ? If one did not want to go out, there was always the hot tub and sauna on the sun deck, games in the lounge, a relaxing massage, and so many photo ops from the decks. The only port was Petersburg, an interesting Little Norway. The rest of the time, we stopped in bays and secluded places for our adventures. The object was not to see ports, but to see wilderness! Several times, visitors came aboard to talk about various subjects, or the guides talked about their areas of expertise. There were TV's in the lounge and cabins, and interesting documentaries were played each day. How does one describe such beautiful, awe inspiring scenery and wildlife? We got very close to Sawyer Glacier. The Misty Fjords were a highlight. Near a lighthouse, whales came to visit and even breached for us! Eagles abounded. I have barely scratched the surface of this wonderful adventure. My husband and I are devoted fans of small ship cruising. We adore the intimacy, the opportunity to get to know the passengers and crew, and not fighting huge lines as on the big ships. I highly recommend Innersea Discoveries. Check 'em out. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
We booked this cruise because the website promised it was unlike others - it was an "uncruise". The brochure promised that there would only be "up to 49 guests", and that the trip could be highly active ("Whether ... Read More
We booked this cruise because the website promised it was unlike others - it was an "uncruise". The brochure promised that there would only be "up to 49 guests", and that the trip could be highly active ("Whether you are looking for moderate activity or vigorous, extended and challenging outdoor pursuits, we can tailor most any expedition to suit your skill level.") We are in our 30s and moderately active, so this sounded ideal for us. Upon going to the embarkation point, we discovered that almost all of our fellow passengers were considerably older than us. The median age would have been well into the 60s. That would have been fine, except the promised activities did not eventuate. Neither the original not an amended itinerary supplied shortly before the trip were complied with, and every change was to the detriment of active passengers. For example, on Day 2, the first full day of the trip, the amended itinerary promised to "Push your senses and your muscles with the exhilarating combination of sea kayaking and trekking. Or ride a skiff to the same shore and take a relaxing walk on a trail that boasts a 350-foot elevation gain." The amended itinerary promised a much watered down version, to "Push your senses kayaking, trekking, riding a skiff, or trying your luck at stand-up paddle boarding." What actually happened is that we were unable to do any offship activities whatsoever -- aside from an extremely tame and pedestrian small boat ride to look at Baird Glacier. In other words, the rigorous physical activities promised went from being considerable, to being mild, to being entirely non-existent. Day 3 provides an even more outrageous example of bait and switch with regard to the physicality of the activities on offer. The original itinerary promised that we would "Take on the exposed terminal moraine of the Baird Glacier Trail, until you reach the top of the glacier itself. Enjoy a long guided kayak excursion from Scenery Cove to Cascade Creek and then treat yourself to a short trek on one of the several scenic Cascade Creek trails." This time the revised itinerary added something which sounded even more rigorous and strenuous than the original: in addition to the walk on Baird Glacier, it promised that we could "Choose guided kayaking and a lush forest trek on one of the scenic Cascade Creek trails. Or go big on the 5-mile hike to the glacially-fed and rarely visited Patterson Lake for spectacular kayaking." What actually happened is that there was no guided kayaking. No lush forest trek on a Cascade Creek trail. And no 5 mile hike to, and kayak at, Patterson Lake. None of these promised activities actually happened at all. Instead, we got a visit to Baird Glacier which, despite being advertised as the "fast" hike option, was far slower than any hike I have gone on since I was a small child. And instead of any of the rigorous, interesting, challenging activities outlined in the original and revised itineraries, we were permitted only a "free", unguided paddle within very narrow parameters, no particular destination, and unchanging scenery. On Day 4, once again the offerings did not live up to the promises previously made. All slots in the so-called "fast" hike had been taken by other passengers on the evening of Day 3 before we had an opportunity to put our own names down. As the thought of a hike even slower than the expedition to Baird Glacier was untenable to us, we requested Kirsten to make more slots available, or to arrange for an activity more suited to our energy levels to be added. She angrily told us that it was not possible, and that the existing offerings were sufficient. This was a striking contrast to the brochure's glossy promises: "Whether you are looking for moderate activity or vigorous, extended and challenging outdoor pursuits, we can tailor most any expedition to suit your skill level."|"One of the primary features of our "un-cruises" is our ability to cater to individual needs, so whatever it is you desire, please don't hesitate to ask."| "No matter what you are interested in, InnerSea Discoveries' goal is to provide you with as many opportunities as possible to challenge yourself in the outdoors while also making it extremely easy to enjoy moments or hours of escape and relaxation. The choice and pace are all yours." The offerings on the cruise were so poor that in the end we ended up abandoning ship part way through when the boat reached Wrangell. I am writing this review to warn others about the possibility of extraordinary changes to their itineraries if they book this trip. There are clauses in the contract that purport to allow this kind of itinerary change. If you're younger and active, BEWARE - what is promised isn't necessarily what you get. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
I had the wonderful opportunity of cruising on the Wilderness Discoverer in July 2011, with my husband and 22 year old very athletic son. In one word: AWESOME We were able to participate in various levels of activities every day. We ... Read More
I had the wonderful opportunity of cruising on the Wilderness Discoverer in July 2011, with my husband and 22 year old very athletic son. In one word: AWESOME We were able to participate in various levels of activities every day. We opted for the long day hikes and kayaking experiences. Care was taken to provide fairness in signing up for the activities one chose. The bottom line, there were no bad choices to make, as the inner passage is so beautiful, we never once wished we were doing anything other than what each moment awarded us. Unfortunately, there was a couple in their 30's on the cruise who appeared to some passengers to perhaps be in it for the free ride. On day one, they made it well known to fellow passengers that one of them was a lawyer, and that there were breaches in the contract. It appeared as though nothing would please them. They were travelling around the world, and one could not help but wonder if they didn't find contractual breaches throughout their world tour. It is a shame, as they totally missed the boat on this one. To have not taken in the beauty and awe of Alaska's inner passage, and to not have appreciated all the crew's enthusiasm, friendliness, and help is a shame. It is their loss. Kudos to the captain for not dropping them off in the wilderness. Don't let one review keep you from the AWESOME adventure on Inner Seas Discoveries. My family would do it again in a heartbeat. There is something for everyone of all ages and activity levels. Don't miss it! Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
Wilderness Discoverer Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 4.3
Entertainment 3.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.1
Fitness Recreation 3.0 4.3
Family 4.0 4.3
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.3
Enrichment 3.0 4.4
Service 5.0 4.8
Value For Money 4.0 4.2
Rates 4.0 4.5

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