12 Juneau to Alaska UnCruise Wilderness Explorer Cruise Reviews

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 July 2018
Very impressed with Uncruise. Having sailed big cruise ships before, this was a far superior experience. Every day we saw beautiful, jaw dropping sights without another boat in sight. It was lovely to go kayaking and be completely alone in ... Read More
Very impressed with Uncruise. Having sailed big cruise ships before, this was a far superior experience. Every day we saw beautiful, jaw dropping sights without another boat in sight. It was lovely to go kayaking and be completely alone in nature and turn back and see our charming vessel anchored in a little cove. The staff were very keen and enthusiastic and tried very hard, even though not always as knowledgeable as I hoped they would be.Southeastern Alaska is a geologic marvel and a little more information such as regarding the role of glaciers in carving the landscape would have been welcome. The presentations in the evening were very not very informative despite the staff trying hard. Perhaps Uncruise could employ someone who has extensive knowledge to do the presentations and not expect the young adventure guides to perform that role. We were lucky to have days with good weather, but one windy day did prevent off the boat activities. I loved the gender equality aboard and the lack of single use plastic. The boat could use some updating. Our cabin while extremely clean( very hardworking staff) was run down and needed a complete overhaul. The beds were comfortable and bedding, while not Frette, was fresh and clean. The biggest downsides were the lounge did not have enough seating for all guests and one had to line up at mealtimes. I was very impressed however with the quality of the equipment: life jackets, kayaks, skiffs etc as well as the concern for safety. The getting in and out of skiffs and kayaks was extremely well monitored and easy. The food was good. Portions were adequate and the staff certainly took into account special requests and asked each meal if we had food allergies. I loved the waitstaff, Jonathan and Tichelle who worked really hard and were so pleasant. We did a galley tour and was amazed at the tight quarters and limited equipment. I can’t imagine how the chef, Bri was able to turn out the meals she did in that space.: Another example of the excellent employees of Uncruise. Most people onboard were very well traveled, very friendly and active. While I usually avoid open seating like the plague,on this cruise I enjoyed meeting new people and hearing their interesting travel stories. By the end of the week I had spoken to most people on board as we had either sat with them at meals, chatted over drinks or done an activity together. I recommend this cruise to people who want a more active vacation and to see parts of Alaska the big ships don’t go. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
First off let me set the tone of the reviewers, we are seasoned cruisers with over 30+ cruises including 5 in Alaska along with a three month Alaska road trip in an RV traveling the main land. We are 59 & 61, together over 45 years ... Read More
First off let me set the tone of the reviewers, we are seasoned cruisers with over 30+ cruises including 5 in Alaska along with a three month Alaska road trip in an RV traveling the main land. We are 59 & 61, together over 45 years and still working. I consider us “Budget Cruisers”, so this trip is way out of our normal affordability. The boat has a capacity of 74. This trip there were 38 people, so a small group which did lend to a very positive experience. The week aboard the Wilderness Explorer was called “Alaska's Fjords & Glaciers”. This is the first year that Uncruise started this early, about four weeks earlier than usual. They called this the “May Awakening”. The boat is small, intimate and cozy. Easy to move around and get to and from staterooms to anywhere on the boat within a minute. The kayak launching system lends itself to ease of entering and exiting the water. To use the skiffs, there was always a crew member inside and outside the skiff to assist in boarding. The food was top notch and well presented. Three dinner options daily, meat, fish or vegetarian meal. Portions at first appear small, but were adequate for most diners. Don't be afraid to ask for half & half meals. Lunches were buffet as was breakfast. Each afternoon around 3, there were cookies and coffee available and on some evenings, appetizers were offered in the lounge before dinner. Lastly, the bar was well stocked with awesome bartender and plenty of suggestions to be had. Activities for the most part were broken up to morning and afternoon events, with a return in time for lunch and dinner. This trip, the activities included kayaking, bushwhacking, skiff tours, snorkeling, paddle boarding and beach walks. Two of the afternoons were onboard the main boat to whale and nature watch. There is no way to compare this cruise with any of the many cruises we have taken. Up to now, the passenger numbers have ranged from a low of 2,000 to a high 6,000 with average sailing cost around $500 to $700 per person. One of our future cruises will be the Galápagos Islands and Uncruise will be on our list of potential tour companies. If interested, I have pictures and YouTube clips of the cruise including the snorkeling part. In addition, there is also a detailed review of day to day that includes our travel from Boston to a long layover in Seattle. Feel free to email me any questions about our trip or any of our trips to dpstimmler@gmail.com. Happy Sailings! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This was our second Un-cruise trip to Alaska. We chose Un-cruise as we wanted a small ship and to have the opportunity for skiff rides, kayaking and hiking. For us it was all about seeing the natural sites and wildlife. The trip began ... Read More
This was our second Un-cruise trip to Alaska. We chose Un-cruise as we wanted a small ship and to have the opportunity for skiff rides, kayaking and hiking. For us it was all about seeing the natural sites and wildlife. The trip began with a whale getting caught in our anchor chain. The Captain and Crew were dedicated to saving the whale. NOAA and a whale expert came to help as no one had seen this before. It took over 12 hours for a successful release to occur, the result was we lost our anchor. We also lost a days activity without one complaint from a passenger, the whale was the most important thing that day. As result we went to port in Petersburg to get a new anchor. Un-Cruise arranged for us to have a walking tour of the town lead by a retired teacher with a great sense of humor. Learned about local life and fishing industry. The highlight of the trip was arranged tour with Alaska Vistas to Anan bear viewing. Situated on stream filled with salmon there is a viewing platform and a blind to watch the bears fish and interact with each other-wonderful day. The food was very good, two breakfast options one early with pastry and fruit followed by full buffet breakfast, lunch was soup, salad and sandwich or wrap buffet with homemade cookies. Evenings were plated and served with choice of meat, seafood or vegetarian. All wine and drinks are included. The crew are the best, well educated funny and very hardworking. They bring Alaska to life. The guides all had knowledge of wildlife trees and plants which made hikes and skiff tours very interesting. Had a wonderful trip and have put a deposit down for Costa Rica Panama with Un-Cruise Read Less
Sail Date August 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
Sail Date June 2017
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
Sail Date August 2016
PROS We chose this cruise because - being a small boat it get's to places the big ships can't go (max 70 passengers). We stood 30 metres off shore from calving Glaciers - wow ! The sea and land scenery were simply awesome. ... Read More
PROS We chose this cruise because - being a small boat it get's to places the big ships can't go (max 70 passengers). We stood 30 metres off shore from calving Glaciers - wow ! The sea and land scenery were simply awesome. Every day you get to chose variety of off-boat activities i.e. kayaking, skiff tours & shore excursions and rough trails. The have the best methods of launching and decking returning kayaks. The crew are likable, friendly, capable and very knowledgeable, so is the Captain. Breakfast and lunch are a very scrumptious smorgasbord, but dinner was a la carte. I found the portions very small and not being able to eat bread (a coeliac) left me hungry at night. They also gave me 3 dinners containing gluten 3 times in error and this made me ill. Of course you can stay on the boat, look at the wonderful temperate forest, mountains and occasional glacier or just read a book. But if you like adventure, especially kayaking, this is the cruise for you, but it's up to you to take part. I expected to see more wildlife, but we saw our share of bears, eagles, otters, seals and sea lions and I guess it's all down to luck. CONS Luke warm coffee and tea was a constant downer. Couldn't wait to get off the boat and get a hot tea or coffee. If you're not used to tipping e.g. Australian, English or NZ, we got a BIG shock when with 2 days to go the Capt told us we were expected to tip 15-20% of the cabin cost ! Our cabin cost was $10,000 AU which meant paying another $1,500 to $2,000 extra. OK I've tipped $150 to the cabin steward on our Hawaiian cruse but not 15% of the cruise cost. I felt this was unconscionable but our American friends assured us it was all above board in USA. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
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
Sail Date September 2015
The crew was fantastic. The sights were awe inspiring. We saw bald eagles, stellar sea lions, whales, sea otters, moose, bear and many more animals. The fellow explorers were friendly and fun. Tried stand-up paddle boarding for first time, ... Read More
The crew was fantastic. The sights were awe inspiring. We saw bald eagles, stellar sea lions, whales, sea otters, moose, bear and many more animals. The fellow explorers were friendly and fun. Tried stand-up paddle boarding for first time, it was great. No complaints at all. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Un-Cruise Adventures does an outstanding job providing a real Alaskan expedition geared to a wide range of interests and athletic ability. I have been on nine other cruises, all ships with at least 200 people. None had the same ... Read More
Un-Cruise Adventures does an outstanding job providing a real Alaskan expedition geared to a wide range of interests and athletic ability. I have been on nine other cruises, all ships with at least 200 people. None had the same "adventure" focus as UnCruise. I think the cruise line fills its niche well. We flew to Juneau the day before, staying at Hotel Baranof. The next morning, we walked to the convention center where we left our luggage in the UnCruise "day room" while exploring the town. As you'd expect from a small ship with only 72 passengers, embarkation and disembarkation were uncomplicated. At disembarkation in Sitka (what an appealing town!), passengers could leave luggage at a convenient hotel. Uncruise arranged for transportation to the airport and passengers didn't have to deal with luggage. Although not a luxury cruise, the food was excellent. Buffet breakfast and lunch offered something for everyone. At dinner there were three entree choices, one vegetarian. The pastry chef created tempting desserts. Crew members were uniformly friendly and accommodating. I appreciated nice touches like water bottles available for use and good binoculars in each room and in the lounge. My teenage granddaughter relished kayaking and paddle boarding. I stuck with tamer activities. Two of our favorites were watching humpback whales up close and walking amid icebergs in a Glacier Bay "ice , garden" . The itinerary was flexible to allow for good wildlife viewing and longer stops to enjoy the beauty. Public spaces: the one indoor gathering spot cannot accommodate all passengers comfortably though this was rarely an issue. Our twin bed cabin was small but efficient (and larger than I expected). There is a separate toilet and shower; the sink is in the cabin. Advice for cruisers: take your own boots; you'll need them for water landings. There are boots to borrow, but borrowed footwear rarely fits well. I sloshed around uncomfortably. Hiking boots are unnecessary. Overall, this was an outstanding cruise except for one thing: engine noise. I knew there would be noise, but this was NOISE. While it wouldn't have been as bad in a cabin farther from the engine, there is no getting away from it in the dining room where carrying on a conversation is impossible when the engine is running. Our last morning, the engine started up at 4:30 a.m. No more sleep after that.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
This was my first time in Alaska, and I liked the concept of an 'adventure' cruise with activities other than watching the ocean go by. This was what I wanted and just what I received. Since this was my first cruise, I had lot ... Read More
This was my first time in Alaska, and I liked the concept of an 'adventure' cruise with activities other than watching the ocean go by. This was what I wanted and just what I received. Since this was my first cruise, I had lot of questions for the sales staff. They treated me courteously, got back to me with answers and helped by providing options that worked. When the time came, they followed up to make sure everything was in order. Instructions provided were clear and easy to follow. A small cruise ship, not a floating hotel, was a must for me. A desire to meet the crew and most of the passengers was also a desire. Captain 'Marce' was easy to talk to and her crew was a reflection of her very good leadership. They were all friendly, helpful, very accommodating and very easy to work with. They were knowledgeable and provided assistance on just about everything necessary to make things like kayaking (my first attempt), polar plunges, snorkeling (including thermal suits to stay warm), paddle boarding, shore hikes, whale watching and everything in between more fun than I'd hoped. Meals were casual, but very good. Choices and amounts were also very good. Activities were categorized by amounts of effort in the activity. Activity choices varied from mild (skiff rides up close and personal with calving glaciers) to endurance kayak trips or shore hiking trips. If I had it to do over again, the only thing I'd change would be to lengthen the cruise duration. And next time, I will. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
From first contact in planning tto departure, guests were the focus of the entire crew and Un-cruise staff. Each crew member from moment of approaching the ship until after we were safely on our way to airport did even tiny thing in a ... Read More
From first contact in planning tto departure, guests were the focus of the entire crew and Un-cruise staff. Each crew member from moment of approaching the ship until after we were safely on our way to airport did even tiny thing in a personal, friendly, competent and efficient manner. Their excitement was infectious ,,,their knowledge and acts enhanced our experiences both with the ship and its amenities as well as the real reason for small-ship cruise choice: up close, intense and personal contact with Nature and Alaska. Our dream began in 1996... life was as life would be and finally our dream became reality and began June 2013... in all respects, our deepest gratitude to Un-Cruise, front office, captain, officers, staff and crew. Words of compliment in the English language are oft over- or mis-used. Our experience with Un-cruise: superb. We look forward to at least two more trips with it. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
Wilderness Explorer Ratings
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