21 UnCruise Safari Quest Cruise Reviews

We were 14 happy people on the Safari Quest Seattle to Seattle. Fabulous crew catered to our individual and collective interests. We had several rainy days, but the gear provided kept us warm and dry. Guides were very knowledgeable ... Read More
We were 14 happy people on the Safari Quest Seattle to Seattle. Fabulous crew catered to our individual and collective interests. We had several rainy days, but the gear provided kept us warm and dry. Guides were very knowledgeable about the places we visited. All were cheerful, helpful, and fun. Highly recommend the company, this ship, and the itinerary. We were invited along on this trip to celebrate a friend's birthday. Ten of us were part of the party. Two other couples booked independently, but we were all friends - like family - soon after we left Seattle. The crew made all of us feel welcome, and encouraged us to mix. Food was exceptional - quality, variety, presentation all memorable. Cook always provided a vegetarian option. We especially enjoyed the fish options for dinner, although pork and beef entrees were excellent too. A special shout out to the bartender and service staff - always mixing up new drinks. Wine selections impressive. A great time. Barbara and Chuck from Minnesota Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This was our second trip with UnCruise so our expectations were very high as we had a wonderful cruise the first time. Every aspect of the Yachter’s Paradise cruise was exceptional. We were picked up at the airport in Seattle and ... Read More
This was our second trip with UnCruise so our expectations were very high as we had a wonderful cruise the first time. Every aspect of the Yachter’s Paradise cruise was exceptional. We were picked up at the airport in Seattle and transported to the Crowne Plaza downtown. Refreshments were provided as we waited but most of us explored the downtown area until we left for the Safari Quest mid-afternoon that was berthed at Pier 69. We were greeted with champagne. After a safety briefing we departed for Victoria. Dinner was filet mignon and/or salmon. Both were cooked perfectly. The quality and consistency of food was exceptional, both the entrees and desserts. This was an inclusive trip which, in Victoria, included High Tea at the Empress Hotel. On our departure we were treated to 6 humpback whales. On Monday we took the skiffs out at Skookumchuck rapids where we saw harbor seals, sea lions, oyster catchers and bald eagles among other seabirds. I can’t say enough about the Expedition Leader, Maria. We’ve been on several cruises that have included a naturalist. Maria was the most knowledgeable, not only regarding wildlife but the areas we explored. She really made this trip special. Princess Louisa Inlet was amazing with rock walls that climb a mile straight up from the water. With on board kayaks and two skiffs, we were out on the water most days exploring the area and searching for wildlife. The cabins were on the small side but did include a TV for watching DVDs, a private bath with heated floor, closet, dresser and night stand. Our cabin was in a Mariner stateroom on the lower level. We would not hesitate to book another trip with UnCruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
I am an experienced cruiser but this was my smallest ship (boat?) to date. We had 19 passengers, served by a crew/staff of 10. Just looking at the picture of Safari Quest tells a lot. Service was extraordinary. By the end of day 2, we ... Read More
I am an experienced cruiser but this was my smallest ship (boat?) to date. We had 19 passengers, served by a crew/staff of 10. Just looking at the picture of Safari Quest tells a lot. Service was extraordinary. By the end of day 2, we knew every fellow passenger and all the crew on a first name basis. Many of the waters transited are protected, but not all. I expected a lot more motion, but Safari Quest is quite stable. We were offered motion-sickness medicine the first night, and that was the only time I used it. I'm not aware of anyone who had seasickness the entire trip. The itinerary (Yachters' Paradise) was wonderful. A typical day has some hiking, touring ashore, kayaking or cruising in the early morning or evening. Some stops were at charming places with people, like Victoria BC and Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands. Others were beautiful and pristine sites like Princess Louisa Inlet where the only other humans were on a small pleasure boat or two. You can take a skiff if you don't want to kayak. You can also paddleboard if you like (no experience required!). This part of the world (Seattle, San Juan Islands, etc.) has a rainy reputation, but we didn't see rain until the last day. Hikes could be muddy with rain, but we didn't experience that. Dress is casual. Period. Even High Tea in Victoria. Don't bring anything fancy unless it's for before or after the cruise. Makes packing easy. Jeans were my best attire item, as I didn't have "high-performance tech fabrics" that some passengers sported. Life onboard is excellent, from dinig to accommodations to public spaces. I'll comment on the cabin in the cabin review. Don't look for Broadway productions or a casino! All in all, I was very favorably impressed and I'm already planning my next Un-Cruise adventure. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
For many, the Un-Cruise experience begins with being fetched at the airport. This was our second Un-Cruise adventure and we have yet to experience that, as our first was in home town Portland and to reach this Seattle departure we enjoyed ... Read More
For many, the Un-Cruise experience begins with being fetched at the airport. This was our second Un-Cruise adventure and we have yet to experience that, as our first was in home town Portland and to reach this Seattle departure we enjoyed a train ride north. All assemble at the designated hotel, generally the Crowne Point in downtown Seattle, which is in a fine location. Its big recommendation? Location. Other than that, it’s just an average hotel with above average prices. The hospitality room is staffed by a fellow called Steven who is very helpful and deserves a raise. Why? On disembarkation day there was a communication glitch which put us back at the hotel instead of in a cab to the train station. I told Steven I was not thrilled and his only question was “What can I do to make this right?” He got four of us an Uber SUV within two minutes and off we went. Great problem-solver. I mention that because he deserves a pat on the back, but more important because it is typical of the attitude of every Un-Cruise crew member we encountered on our fantastic week. They look for ways to make your experience better. From the hotel, our group of 19 passengers was taken to the ship via a one-hour bus tour of Seattle which was nice enough. The driver talked nonstop, trying to be both informative and funny. Some people loved it. Personally, I thought it was annoying. (But people say the same about me, so there you go.) At the ship, the entire crew turned out to bring us on board and show us to our cabins. My wife and I had cabin A4, with a large sliding glass door that we would enjoy for hours once we got to some spectacular scenery. The cabin was comfortable and quiet – other than the engine noise when underway and the clatter of the anchor chain now and then. But neither was a bother. Right away, we met pretty much the entire crew except Rob, the second mate, who was asleep as he would be driving the boat that night. Our crew of 10 included seven women – Captain Denee Blanchard, hotel manager Erica Van Ausdal, expedition leader Pam Navis, chef Kerri Eckels, pastry chef (!) Kate Fujimoto and stewards Courtney Landon and Carla Minnichofer – and three men – chief mate Dirk Boschek, second mate Rob McDougall and engineer Steve Eagleston. It didn’t seem to matter a whole lot what a crew member’s job was, as they all pitched in to help one another and each was willing to tackle a passenger’s request no matter how complex or trivial. Or help without asking. When my camera went for a short swim and failed to work despite my having cleaned the contacts and dried it to within an inch of its life, engineer Steve raced down to the engine room and returned with a baggie of rice and packet of desiccant. A night in the baggie and the camera was good to go. In the lounge and dining room, Carla, Courtney and Erica soon learned our preferences and anticipated our wishes. Capt. Denee grew up messing about with boats and inspired confidence despite her tender years. Talk to her in the wheelhouse and she'll gladly explain boat operations, navigation, all sorts of seafaring stuff. The multi-talented Pam is an expert sailor, a naturalist, a gifted story teller, intimately knows the areas into which we sailed and is a fine musician to boot. One passenger asked “Is there anything this woman can’t do?” The thing about the crew, though, is they all seem to enjoy each other and love what they are doing. It’s a happy ship. A word about the food. I’ve been on several cruise ships and never have I eaten so well as on Safari Quest. I hope Kerri decides to stay and stay, for she’s a magician. She takes often simple, often local ingredients and produces meals that would do a restaurant anywhere proud. We were looking for a way to adopt her. Kate gave us not only extraordinary desserts, but out of this world rolls. This is not a place to lose weight. Each day begins with “early riser” coffee/tea, fresh fruit and yogurt and pastries at 0630, with a full breakfast at 0730 or later, depending on the day’s schedule. Days include looking for wildlife while cruising, the chance to kayak or paddle board, skiff rides, hikes, sightseeing if in port, or just hanging out on the boat. The day draws down with happy hour aboard or ashore around 5:30 or so, dinner, then a gathering in the lounge to share stories of the day and discuss the next day’s activities. On our cruise, passengers seemed to range in age from mid-50s to late 70s. Some were quite athletic, some were not but were game to try anything, some just enjoyed skiff rides, some hung out on the boat. All were personable, boon companions. Pam, the expedition leader, made sure to include all – no matter how outgoing or how shy – in activities, in conversation, and in the photos she shot all week long. Probably the favorite spot of just about everyone was that beautiful place as far north and as remote as we got – Princess Louisa Inlet. It is spectacular. No, spectacular is something of an understatement. You can see photos, you can hear descriptions, but until you see it for yourself you won’t truly appreciate it. My wife and I have signed up for a third Un-Cruise trip, destination unknown at this point. It could well be a repeat of this one; it was that good. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Saturday April 30th After a quick flight into Denver’s snowy airport we boarded our flight to Seattle. The flight was smooth and arrived on time. Seattle’s airport is clean and bright with lots of windows. We got our bags quickly ... Read More
Saturday April 30th After a quick flight into Denver’s snowy airport we boarded our flight to Seattle. The flight was smooth and arrived on time. Seattle’s airport is clean and bright with lots of windows. We got our bags quickly and waited for a representative to pick us up at the baggage claim area as indicated on the initial paperwork. I called the after-hours phone number (206). A woman answered and told me Steven would call us right back. He did and told us where to pick up the van. Others on the van received a text message with more specific directions. We did not. The drive was very scenic to the Crowne Plaza hotel. The driver did not say a word the entire drive. The Crowne Plaza staff was very friendly and helpful. We went to the hospitality suite and met Steven. He checked us in, recorded information from our passports, and labelled the bags. We left our “carry-on” in a specific area to keep with us for the drive to the boat, but didn’t want to carry around Seattle that afternoon. We walked down a couple of blocks to Farmer’s Market. It was an enjoyable area to view. We took lots of photos of the local flavor, ocean vistas, the Ferris wheel, ships, and colorful people. We got a quick bite to eat and arrived back at the hotel for 3:45 bus tour of Seattle. The driver was funny and informative. Seattle traffic was terrible, but it allowed time to see the sites without rushing. The tour plans changed a couple times due to road closures. The parts of Seattle we saw were charming! We met our Expedition Leader, Pamela, and boarded the Safari Quest. Captain Dano has been a captain for 30 years and with UnCruise for 6 seasons. Our trip was the first of 2016! We then met Carla, right at the gang plank. She reached out and grabbed my carry-on luggage and showed us our cabin. She was so fun and nice. We immediately loved her! There was a quick safety briefing/drill, showing us how to put on the life vest. We met the rest of the crew. Erica the Hotel Manager, Emi a Stewart, Mark the Chef, Cari and Chef in Training, Kate the Pastry Chef, Steve the Engineer, and Robb the Chief Mate. Robb is also the Safety and Medical Officer. The crew wears “uniforms” – Oxford shirts and black slacks - that make them look very professional. After meeting the crew we finished unpacking. We had cabin A2 with a large sliding glass door that was terrific to open for fresh air and viewing. The cabin was quite quiet. We never heard our neighbors, or anyone in the hall, or in the bridge. There is a closet in the room, two large, deep drawers under the bed and a couple hooks on the wall. Also under the bed are two large storage areas. We easily kept our luggage, carry-ons, camera bag, shoes and extra pillows underneath. We had two nightstands with two shelves. Lamps were on the stands as well as a bright overhead ceiling light. In the bathroom are four deep shelves with a lip at the end so things don’t slide out. There was a countertop around the sink large enough to hold a tray of two glasses, and a box of Kleenex. On the clean, fresh bed are lists of other passengers’ names as well as the crew. Also, there were binoculars, and two water canteens. The bed was comfortable with plenty of pillows to choose. Extra fuzzy blankets are on the bed too. They could have more hooks, especially when you came in with wet clothes. We did view a cabin on the lower level and they had a 4 drawer dresser. There is a TV in every cabin. We were busy every evening until 10:00ish so we didn’t have time to watch any of the DVD’s (movies) we brought. Leaving the harbor and going through the locks was remarkable. It is amazing how they drop the level of the water, in just a few minutes, to reach the correct level on the other side. A real engineering marvel! Dinner was DELIGHTFUL! A wonderful fresh green salad. Choice of filet, salmon, or a vegetarian dish with asparagus and potatoes. The filet was tender, the salmon moist. For dessert we had a chocolate cake, chocolate mousse with chocolate ganache extravaganza!! It was topped with coconut, nuts, and raspberries; very rich and delectable. The daily schedule for the next day is discussed in the lounge after dinner. The crossing was smooth. We slept like baby harbor seals. Sunrise was brilliant! Cresting above the peaks to the East and slowly hitting the snow-capped mountain tops to the West. Clam water with bobbing fishing boats completed the scene. Sunday May 1st The day started (6:30AM) with a delicious yogurt with fresh fruit, blueberry scones and assorted teas and coffee. At 7:30 the main breakfast served a Chef’s special of Tomato Frittata with herbs and sausage. Also always available is omelet, eggs, pancakes, baked oatmeal, or bagel and lox. The UnCruise fleet works with the Monterey Bay Aquarium and their “Seafood Watch” program. They only use (cook) seafood and fish that are farmed and fish responsibly, and are not over-fished, or in the way they are caught. Our ordered meals of eggs, bacon, and toast came very fast. We left the boat to go through a series of security screening with Canadian border guards. The Safari Quest docks in a secure, patrolled section of the harbor. It was very safe. We walked to the Empress Hotel to view their beautiful gardens and architecture. It is under construction right now, but still very stately. We walked through the hotel and out the back door which is right across the street from the Royal BC Museum. It was magnificent. A real treat! We did get a reservation for High Tea at the famous Tea Room of the Empress so we walked back there. It was very, very nice. Their tea was the finest I had ever tasted. Lunch was served on a three tiered plate in the middle of the beautifully set table. The first layer had finger sandwiches, second scones and the top mini cakes and tarts. All were absolutely delicious. The layer chocolate dessert was NOT as good as last night’s dessert on the boat. Afterwards the group split up. We had enough time to walk to Fisherman’s Wharf. The harbor seals were slapping the water to gain your attention for treats. The wharf is beautiful. Those that live there are very lucky. Their houses had gorgeous flower boxes and unique art around their brightly painted boat houses. We did not try and of the food, as we had just eaten, but lines were forming at some of the popular places. The boat left the dock on time. On the way out of the harbor we saw eagles, white sided dolphins in the distance, otters, seals, and deer on an island. Another fantastic dinner with lamb, cod, vegetable polenta. For dessert a caramelized pineapple tarts. The anchorage was in calm, secluded, peaceful waters – Buccaneer Bay. Monday May 2nd We cruised to Skookumchuck Rapids and did a skiff tour to explore the intertidal areas. Saw beautiful bright purple and orange sea stars, sea urchins, anemones, and rocks underwater. Highlight was the eagles and seals. The skiff (Zodiac boat) got right up on top of the rocks near the shore or hovered in place to watch the seals. It was a lot of fun. The crew was on the back deck of the Safari Quest to help us get in and out of the skiff. Lunch was terrific… again! We cruised up Jervis Inlet and entered Malibu Rapids Beyond we could see Princess Louisa Inlet, where we would anchor for the night. The Indians called it Suivoolot which means sunny and warm. We did have sunny and warm conditions this day. In route we saw over a dozen eagles. Two flying very close to the boat. We were transfixed watching them; we forgot to raise our cameras to take a photo!! The crew all day could not have been more accommodating. They served drinks to everyone, no matter which deck they were on. They found you whether you were in the bridge, on the lower decks or sunbathing up top. Up and down the steps all day. They really do work very hard. Countless thin waterfalls cascaded down the steep mountain side into the water below. All around us, on both sides, the waterfalls tumbled down steep cliffs. At the end of the inlet is Chatterbox Falls. A large, thunderous waterfall that was sending out so much water over the rocks the mist covered the area. Those who ventured into the cloud of water were showered and soaked within seconds, but invigorated beyond words. We were transported over to land and walked a short distance through fern and moss covered forest on a boardwalk. The crew not only cleared the spider webs from the trail they had been setting up our “happy hour” in the octagonal pavilion – even building a fire. Drinks, snacks and hordurves were served as we sat around the fire and listened to the crew’s beautiful voices and hidden talents. A few passengers joined in when they knew the song. The sunlight started to creep behind the tall 7,000’ cliffs and shadows ascended on the falls. Friendly faces greeted us as we got back on board as the lounge filled up with drink orders and memories of the day. I noticed clouds floating in as they are the first ones we have seen on days. Dinner was served at 6:30PM.Pork, fish, and a vegetable dish. Dessert was fun as well as delicious – deconstructed s’mores. The graham crackers as well as the marshmallow were homemade!! Tuesday May 3rd After 8AM breakfast we kayaked to Chatterbox Falls and surrounding waterfalls in the inlet. A little drizzle started this morning but it didn’t damper the spirits of the kayakers. The trip was exhilarating to the base of one of the powerful waterfalls. They did provide rain pants and jackets to those that didn’t bring them. The kayak life vest was much more comfortable to wear than the other one. The crew was GREAT helping us get in and out of the kayaks. Teaching us how to paddle and show the distress signal. Afterwards the crew had hot chocolate and coffee with Bailey’s or Jameson Irish Whiskey. AND, of course, whipped cream! Lunch at Noon with the regular choices and the Chef’s special of focaccia bread, roasted chicken sandwich. The dressing on the salad, again, was wonderful. Mark really knows how to blend ingredients to perfection. Dessert was individual carrot cakes. No one left a crumb on their plate. It was still raining, so most of us decided to stay on board to get to the Malibu Lodge tour. One person took the skiff, with other crew members, to tour the shore on their way to the lodge. That afternoon I went down to the lounge to get hot tea, as I was chilled. Carla asked if she could get me an extra blanket. How thoughtful! Erica asked if she could make me the cup of tea. That is just a small example of the type of crew they have on the Safari Quest. About half of us went on shore for the tour of Malibu Lodge. Steve drove the skiff to the dock of the Club. The captain asked Steve if he would come back on board, just to have one more crew, in case of an emergency going through the rapids. We were very impressed with the safety measures they take. After checking out the course through the rapids and checking it twice, we were ready to go through the rapids. First Mate Robb took the wheel and without any problems we got through the rapids. Good job! There is also a satellite phone on board for emergencies. They also periodically check in with the Coast Guard as their position and intentions of course. This is just a little bit of the behind the scenes to ensure our safe passage through the inlets. The walking tour of Malibu Lodge was interesting. It is a beautiful complex. Dinner was served at 6:30PM. Duck, scallops, and a wonderful chocolate lava cake. The cake was rich, but not sweet. The chocolate they use is fantastic! Tonight we head to Harmony Islands for the night. Wednesday May 4th It was a cool, sunny morning in Harmony Islands. My husband was not feeling well this morning. Erica and Emi asked if they could bring him something to eat. Pamela told me a story about a passenger that never left the boat. He said that 51 weeks out of the year he is on land, but this one week he was on a boat with food, drinks and service. I think it was her way of making me feel better. So nice! She also said that she could find a crew member to kayak with me if I wanted. I decided to join the group and go skiffing around the islands and view the 800’ waterfall. First, we drove south to a smaller island. We saw eagles, seals, and sea lions that slipped into the water as we approached. The eagles soared high about, land on the tops of trees, view us for a while and then fly off. We spotted a black bear on shore eating oysters. He almost looked like a black rock, he was so still. It took a few steps and was engulfed into the dense forest. The Dogwood trees were in bloom along the shore. Pam whipped the boat at full speed back to the Safari Quest, where delicious hot chocolate with whipped cream and Grand Mariner awaited us. I was surprised when I took off my waterproof pants the chill in the air. They worked great to shield my legs from the wind chill on the skiff. Lunch was great! A salad with grilled prawns, green beans, artichoke, deviled egg, olives, tomatoes, fingerling potatoes with herbs, and a key lime tart! Yum!! A couple minutes after lunch we were transferred to Jedidiah Island. The walk was wonderful. Old fern filled evergreen forests change to sunny meadows. The old house, barn and surrounding buildings still stand. The house is perched on a hill overlooking a magnificent view of a gorgeous bay with large rocks, trees, and a beach of oyster shells. A quick skiff ride back to happy hour and dinner. Are we eating again? At dinner we had the Chef in Training, Cari. We noticed the difference right away. Short ribs, salmon were not as tasty as Chef Mark’s. Dessert was a terrific Tiramisu tart. Beautiful presentation and we think the best dessert so far! Thursday May 5th Anchor up at 6:30AM to try to beat the wind. We set sail through the Strait of Georgia. I took an early breakfast then up to the bridge for wildlife watch. Besides beautiful islands, narrows and other boats there wasn’t a reason to get the cameras out. Lunch was at Noon as we docked in Ganges. We walked out through security and got to shop for a quick hour before boarding our bus for a tour of Salt Springs with Jason. We got to see this beautiful island, a goat cheese farm, and a short hike up the coast. The goat farm was interesting with delicious samples of their cheeses, jams, chutney, olives and creamsicles. The hike along the coast was spectacular. As we were resting at one of the scenic points, an eagle landed in a nearby tree. He let us take a couple of photos before flying off across a bay and screeching to his mate. We arrived back at the harbor with enough time to visit a couple more shops in town before they closed. Before dinner we got a tour of the engine room. We were surprised it was larger than we thought and very clean. The water treatment was interesting. Dinner was served at 7:30PM. Choices were a moist chicken breast, perfectly cooked cod filet and in honor of Cinco de Maya, a vegetarian cheese empanada. For dessert we had a 3 layer cake with fresh berries. It was so rich. After dinner there was story telling by Captain Dano – a true treat!! Also, magic tricks, jokes, but no singing. It was fun. You could venture into town if you wanted, as we were parked at the dock all night. There was a sign out and sign in board if you left the ship. Friday May 6th I can’t believe it is Friday. But, looking forward to getting back in the USA! Customs went smoothly in Friday Harbor. We gathered in the lounge after breakfast. The agent came on board and checked out everyone’s passport. She asked us what we purchased then welcomed us back! We then were ready for the tour of San Juan Island. The first stop was of a lighthouse and State Park. The walk was beautiful down to the coastline and then across to the lighthouse. We later found out that this spot is one of the BEST places in the world to view Orcas! Down the road was a lavender farm and Alpaca Farm. We didn’t have time to see the National Park, which was disappointing to me, but stopped at Roche Harbor. We got to the Whale Museum with enough time to view before lunch back on board the boat. The museum had a lot of “hands on” displays. Lunch was at 1PM. Pork tenderloin sandwich or roasted eggplant. Again, the salad was very good. Dessert was Pecan Bar. After lunch it was back up top to watch for wildlife. I did not spot any whales in the many hours I looked through the binoculars. There were plenty of different types of birds, if you are a birder. We did come alongside a fellow Quest boat. It was fun to watch them do the Polar Plunge. Dinner was SPECTACULAR!!!! A tasting extravaganza!! First was Salmon roe with cucumber au jus. The first course was parsnip soup with roasted parsnips. Second course was halibut with finger length potatoes. Third course was NY strip steak, mushrooms, Brussel sprouts. Dessert was a wonderful lemon and ricotta cheese cake with pistachio shortbread crust. After dinner we received our luggage tags for tomorrow’s disembarkation. White was for the airport people; yellow for the hotel transfer. We also had the opportunity to check out our tab. 7% to 10% of cabin rate is standard for a tip. Some gave less, some gave more. We hope that more gave more. The crew is worth every percent you give them. The slide show was outstanding. The music was great and photos even more so. It was fun to relive the wonderful memories of an awesome cruise in a few short minutes. We are very lucky to be able to compare this cruise (and crew) with many we have taken. This cruise and especially this crew is by far the BEST! The crew works extremely hard to ensure you have a terrific time. Even while we were at breakfast the last morning, they tidied up our stateroom. We had requested two things before we sailed. One was a special juice and the other a specific soda. They provided both without making it seem like an inconvenience. Other cruise lines have informed us that “this” is the juice they serve, or “this” is the brand of soda they have. It meant the world to us that they made a special effort to get those specific things for us. It showed us early on that they cared! Thank you so much Safari Quest!! Saturday May 7th The final breakfast was as good and fast as the others. The special was vanilla pancakes that were so fluffy. It was served with fresh berry compote. My eggs were cooked to perfection (over easy), as well as my toast. While at breakfast they loaded our luggage onto awaiting buses. The crew lined up on the pier to wish each and every one of us a safe journey and thanked us for cruising with them. We in turn thanked them profusely for the terrific week we had. They are special!! Every one of them made our week the most memorable, fun, and special experience imaginable. One bus drove to the airport, the other to the hotel’s hospitality room. Traffic was light and we arrived at the airport in 45 minutes. It was sad to leave such a pretty city and the best cruise line, UnCruise, behind. We will be on another UnCruise as soon as we can! BUT, I do not think that another crew can surpass the Safari Quest’s crew! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
As a resident of Southern California and a regular visitor to Seattle, I've spent time in the San Juan Islands and up and near Vancouver/Victoria. I had heard about the Princess Louisa Inlet and decided this was the year to explore. ... Read More
As a resident of Southern California and a regular visitor to Seattle, I've spent time in the San Juan Islands and up and near Vancouver/Victoria. I had heard about the Princess Louisa Inlet and decided this was the year to explore. This was my 3rd Un-Cruise, a company I love and remain very loyal to. I was skeptical about the small size of this vessel and the 22 guests onboard knowing I really enjoy 50 - 75 people on these small ships. I was in for a big surprise. I had a blast. The very small group allows you to really bond and jump from summer camp for adults (which has been my larger small ship experience ~ vessels under 100 guests) to bonding as a family of strangers. The group consisted of a varied age group from 50 to 80. Since it was September (and my favorite time to take off to avoid lots of kids), I knew the age group would be older. The great thing about these kinds of cruises if that you get to know everyone very quickly. Those of us who are high energy, very adventurous and want to exert energy found ourselves being cheered on by those who have either had their day in the sun or simply don't want an overly physical trip. It's all available here. Embarkation was a breeze. Be at the designed hotel is downtown Seattle by the assigned time, go to the hospitality suite, ditch your luggage and transfer to the ship. Easy-breezy. The hotel is located in the heart of all that can be found on foot downtown. A ten minute walk to Pike's Place Market, a three minute walk to the Nordstrom mothership and a 15 minute walk to the REI flagship store. Lots to do and see if you arrive early and have the full day to explore. The vessel is small but very clean and well assigned. The bar was stocked with high end spirits (Belvedere vodka thank you very much) and some very good wine. I would recommend the Bridge Deck. The cabins are spacious and have French balconies. The cabins on the main deck open directly into the dining room and the cabins on the cabin deck do not have any porthole or balcony only bridge lights. They are still worth it, believe me. I talked with everyone on board about their accommodations. You get to know everything in a group this small. Within a very short time after embarkation you realize you have found a jewel and the feeling is that you have your own privately chartered yacht. It is a spectacular experience. Meals are served in the dining room at set hours. Pick a table, order, enjoy. The one HUGE perk for me is that they are very conscious of waste and no meal is ever super-sized. For me, the ultimate cruise turn off are large buffet lines with plates piled to the ceiling being hauled by generously proportioned guests. With a focus on nature, nature lovers and outdoor sports, most of the guests on Un-Cruise are somewhat health conscious so the portion size of all meals encourages healthy eating. If you wish for a 2nd serving, it is yours for the asking. I never saw anyone go for it. As with all Un-Cruise itineraries, the day is set by wildlife. If you encounter a pod of humpbacks or orcas, you will stay with the pod to allow maximum viewing without encroaching on nature. Un-Cruise is VERY observant and respectful of proximity to these amazing creatures and respectful of their place in our oceans. We witnessed day boats following dangerously close to a pod but maintained our required distance and still had a spectacular viewing. I am an adrenaline junkie so getting out and about on a kayak is my favorite experience in the Pacific Northwest. We had 4 days of kayaking with ample time to get a great workout and then some. There were also hikes and a campfire with singing thrown in for good measure. Sounds cheesy? It wasn't at all. The success of any cruise is dependent on two things. Your perspective and ability to be flexible and the crew's ability to insure you have a great trip. Un-Cruise excels in this area. I booked late in the process but one of the onboard crew saw my name on the manifest (I sailed with her last year on the Endeavour) thought it could be me and remembered I love ruby red grapefruit juice and vodka. Voila, imagine my surprise when I was greeted with my favorite drink. Heaven on the high seas!! Our EL "Exploration Leader" was great. She knew her stuff about the area we were headed to and the flora and fauna we came across. She was also very savvy in quickly sizing up those of us that would require a little more adrenaline stimulation and insured that we got our time out in nature. It was a perfect blend of time spent burning calories and being one with nature. The crown jewel of the itinerary is the Princess Louisa Inlet. It is truly spectacular and not easy to access. It is also well worth the effort to get to. Since it is accessible through a very narrow channel and tide-dependent, large cruise ships cannot reach it. That's a huge plus. The pristine nature of the whole experience is a testament to its accessibility. You may have a few private yachts anchored but you are virtually in your own little world and it's beautiful. This is the place for west coasters who think they've seen it all, love nature and yachting. Again, the private yacht experience comes in to play here. The exclusivity of it makes it that much more enjoyable. In summary, this was a really great vacation. Lots to see, do and experience with some very cool new friends. Well worth the price to have the feeling of your own private yacht, to wake up at the base of Chatterbox Falls in the Princess Louisa inlet, to be in waters with some of the ocean’s most beautiful creatures and to have them put on a private show all for you. Very few people will ever experience this honor. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We started in Juneau, southbound to Seattle with a total of 16 'Safari Questers' on board and nine crew. From the first night it was one lifetime experience after another. We saw pods of Humpback whales on numerous occasions, ... Read More
We started in Juneau, southbound to Seattle with a total of 16 'Safari Questers' on board and nine crew. From the first night it was one lifetime experience after another. We saw pods of Humpback whales on numerous occasions, with one pod feeding in an awesome display of power. An Orca swam next to us for a short distance (at night so no photos other than the one planted in the memory bank). We were also accompanied by dolphins, eagles and the 'skiffers' caught and captured a bear on digital video and DLSR still as it was fishing a very short distance from our intrepid travellers. Two successive nights of the northern lights and the Big Dipper planted mid photo screen whilst two 'Questers' had a lazy hot-tub as the photographers did there work. Great trips ashore in Petersburg, Wrangell, Ketchikan and Friday Harbor, sadly as the big ships AKA floating hotels were leaving. My wife was stopped by a long line of returnees in Ketchikan and told "there's a queue" you'll have to wait in line; said "excuse me, not for our ship" and continued to our birth. A multi talented terrific crew, enjoyable company with all our fellow 'Questers' superb sailing by all helmsmen/women, wonderful activities (skiffing, canoeing, hiking, photography, FUN AND MORE FUN) a great room with lots of under king sized bed storage and lots to do or nothing if that was your fancy. Got the brochure and planning our next small ship cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Full disclosure, this was our fourth Alaska cruise with Un-Cruise Adventures and our second aboard the Safari Quest. There were 18 guests and nine crew - nice ratio! We love to un-cruise because it is the difference between looking at ... Read More
Full disclosure, this was our fourth Alaska cruise with Un-Cruise Adventures and our second aboard the Safari Quest. There were 18 guests and nine crew - nice ratio! We love to un-cruise because it is the difference between looking at Alaska from a big cruise ship and actually experiencing Alaska by paddling in kayaks or riding in skiffs among the glacial ice floes and other areas, hiking instead of calling on ports and buying trinkets, being treated like royalty by the fun, knowledgeable and guest-oriented crew who work their tails off to create an extremely memorable experience. Expedition Leader Brock Munson is well-versed in all things Alaska and knows how to make sure you are having a good time. Oh - the food! Chef Joe on this cruise produced the 5-star quality meals to which we'd become accustomed on our previous trips, and pastry chef Tori tempted us with her sinfully delicious treats and desserts that were worth hours on the treadmill when we returned home. Our steward/bartender Jade created a "drink of the day" which we could enjoy or choose anything else from the bar. Remember, this is an all-inclusive cruise, the best kind! No buffet line; all plated meals, three a day with beautiful table settings and napkins folded differently each time. Oh, how we love to un-cruise! Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
My wife and two daughters just returned from a cruise on the Safari Quest beginning in Seattle and cruising North in the San Jauns, Puget Sound, Straits of Juan de Fuca and all the way to Princess Louisa Inlet. We were very lucky as the ... Read More
My wife and two daughters just returned from a cruise on the Safari Quest beginning in Seattle and cruising North in the San Jauns, Puget Sound, Straits of Juan de Fuca and all the way to Princess Louisa Inlet. We were very lucky as the weather was spectacular for the entire trip and the waters were calm. On the NEGATIVE side, the itinerary is nice but lacks substance and activity. Much of your day is spent steaming to the next port or attraction and that means a lot of down time. The sites and scenery are wonderful and mesmerizing but little time to look for mammals and sea creatures. The visit to Ganges Harbor is a waste of time. Friday Harbor is nice and we would have liked more time there. Princess Louisa Inlet in the highlight of the trip and yet we only spent one night and one morning there because it is so far North. The cabins on the first and second decks are small as you would expect but very nice and recommended. The beds are comfortable, the bathrooms adequate and each has a very large double sliding glass door. The lower level (below the water line) cabins, four (4) of them, are not adequate and somewhat dangerous. There is really only one way out, a steep spiral stair, and no windows. They are hot and noisy. They put three handicap persons in three of the rooms which was very dumb. Because of the location of these rooms and the difficulty to exit them they should really canvas the possible guests and be sure to place them above the lower deck or not accept them at all. Also, the cruise line should greatly discount these rooms. On the plus side, the crew, the food and the service were wonderful. There were 18 passengers on board and a crew of 10, Captain, First Mate, Cruise Director, Hotel Manager, Engineer, two cooks, and three stewards. We never wanted for anything and the food was plentiful. Drinks were included and always available. I can't say enough about the crew; they made the trip. The cook, SinGyn, was a character and served gourmet meals out of a very small galley kitchen. The Cruise Director, Lia, was very knowledgeable, professional, personable but not very accessible. She was always there when it was time to be there and always did her job very well but she did not mix with the passengers very well unlike Emily, Monica and Holly who were always talking with us and joking with us. Lia did a very good job, don't get me wrong, she just needs to loosen up a bit. Overall I would give the ship a 4.5 out of 5, the lower cabins a 2. I would give the crew a 5, the itinerary a 3.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
The Safari Quest and its crew are top notch in every respect. I have never experienced more competent, capable, friendly, and helpful people as this crew. They made this adventure fun and interesting. The boat has a capacity of 22, but we ... Read More
The Safari Quest and its crew are top notch in every respect. I have never experienced more competent, capable, friendly, and helpful people as this crew. They made this adventure fun and interesting. The boat has a capacity of 22, but we had 13 guests. Rooms are comfortable, if small, but small is to be expected at sea. Food was absolutely outstanding. Every dinner had a choice of seafood or meat, with plenty of alternatives for vegetarians. Dungeness crab, one night, was outstanding. Another night, we had short ribs that the chef had braised overnight for 8 hours. Best I had ever eaten. Both my wife and I ate fish or seafood most nights (and she is not a fish fan). Day trips were wonderful. We visited many glaciers, saw lots of bear, seals, sea lions, sea otters, etc. I kayaked for the first time in my life. We had a National Park Service Guide on the boat for several days in Glacier Bay. She knew her stuff and was able in to communicate facts while keeping it interesting. We saw more humpbacks than I could have imagined. They seemed to cavort just for us. That was a highlight. Nice cabin. Small, as is to be expected, shipboard. Queen bed. Bathroom is small but functional. Shower (no tub) works well. Only downside is that cabin is next to galley and one or two mornings we heard galley noise around 6. Chef commmented to us that he made efforts to be quiet in the AM, but sometimes stuff happens. I think the room was better than those below, if not as nice as the 4 A deck rooms, which have sliding glass doors that open to the sea air and more storage space. Un-Cruise, the "cruise" line, is outstanding. I would try any of their boats. The owner came aboard one night, and the obvious rapport between him and the whole crew was something to behold. He is sincere and committed to the environment. His employees are dedicated to making a trip a true pleasure. This was the trip of a lifetime. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
I'm a yachtsman and was surprised and more than pleased that the captain, mate and engineer were willing to share their knowledge and experience with me. I was quite impressed with the state-of-the-art gear they have aboard and the ... Read More
I'm a yachtsman and was surprised and more than pleased that the captain, mate and engineer were willing to share their knowledge and experience with me. I was quite impressed with the state-of-the-art gear they have aboard and the bridge team's very close attention to the task at hand. You experience professionalism at every level on Safari Quest - the hotel staff made us feel right at home. Better than at home, I have to get up and get my own drinks at home and I never offer myself a cookie. Their job looks exhausting, but they never let a passenger think that they're working at all. The fact that my wife and I are on extreme diets tells the whole story on the excellence of the chef and the pastry chef. OMG - I have no self-control when confronted with delicacies like they prepared. The meals were right-sized, too. That's pretty unusual in American restaurants. The naturalist-guide-tour-director-boat-driver-kayak-coach is a star. If I could remember half of the important stuff she taught us, my head would explode. And she's a standout at customer service, fulfilling the "mother duck" mission as well as her many other roles with style and grace. If she were your daughter, you'd be very proud. We experienced some of the most beautiful country that BC and the San Juans have to offer in comfort and style. If it weren't for the requirement to work, I'd sign up for another cruise next week.   Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
This 7 day "Un-Cruise" left from Cabo San Lucas on Jan 25, 2014. In short, it was a great cruise with a great crew, packed with lots of activities, amazing whale watching, many nature and photography talks and sunny warm weather. ... Read More
This 7 day "Un-Cruise" left from Cabo San Lucas on Jan 25, 2014. In short, it was a great cruise with a great crew, packed with lots of activities, amazing whale watching, many nature and photography talks and sunny warm weather. Un-Cruise Adventures is a new company that seems dedicated to providing great cruises with a staff of "naturalists" that are wonderful, smart, well educated people. I'll provide lots of details in this review to help the reader get prepared for the cruise. Embarkation - An Un-Cruise agent met passengers at the Cabo Airport and drove us about 25 minutes to the Hilton Hotel in the "hotel zone" between Cabo San Lucas and San Juan del Cabo. There we checked in our bags with an agent in a conference room. The room had couches and chairs and beverages. We had full use of the Hilton's amazing pool and beach front. At 4:45 pm, they loaded the 40 or so passengers onto a nice bus for a 20 minute ride to the port in San Jose del Cabo to board Voyager. A few passengers went straight to the ship from the airport. Once we boarded, we went to our cabins, did the safety drill and then we pushed off. Itinerary - The staff explained that the itinerary in the brochure was tentative and that the actual itinerary depended on weather and other factors. We did manage to do all the major activities listed in the brochure, but the islands we visited changed somewhat, which was really not significant. Activities - we were always on the lookout for marine animals and the ship would detour to watch whales or dolphins or even jumping rays. On 4 of the 6 days we snorkeled; took small boat rides to get close to sea lions or birds or something interesting like a sun-rise photo shoot; hikes both easy ones along the beach, or up the hillside a ways for some great views. There was a Burrow ride one morning, a beach fire one night after dinner, and many nature and photography talks. Whale Watching - this was the #1 thing people were interested in, so we had 2 days devoted to that. On Tuesday we did the cross Baja trip to the bay of Magdalena to watch the grey whales up close and personal. Passengers were divided into about 5 boats and went out for two hours into the bay. The whales came close, but not close enough to touch (so we'll have to go back). The whales would stick their heads out of the water to look at us. The last day of the cruise was spent cruising the southern part of the Sea of Cortez looking for whales and we saw dozens of them. Most of them were a distance away, but we saw many breaches and fluke and tail slapping. It lasted all day until we had no more light. A great day for everybody, even though we didn’t snorkel, hike or kayak. Each cabin was supplied with a large pair of binoculars (7x50), and they were vital for whale watching. We brought an extra pair in our luggage so we both could watch. Cabins - We were in cabin 204, one of the best cabins. It had a double bed, a flat screen TV and a DVD player. Not all cabins had the TV's. Some nights the activities were done by 9pm, so it was nice to watch some DVD's. We brought our own. The ship's DVD and book library was rather slim at this point. The ship as just put in service in December and they are still adding amenities. There were no iPhone docking stations in the room for music as was advertised. The storage in the cabin was adequate and the bathroom had a roomy shower. The mattress and the sheets were very good. The beds are built in and cannot be reconfigured into singles, nor can the rooms with singles be pushed together into a double, so make sure you know your room’s configuration. The A/C units gave nice cold air, but no warm air. We just turned off the A/C unit and the room warmed up. There were plenty if hooks for hanging clothes for drying out, although damp clothes did take a couple days to dry. Food & Beverages - the day started with the early riser breakfast in the bar at 6:30, full breakfast at 7:30, lunch at 12:30, snacks and happy hour at 5:30 and dinner at 6:30. All drinks, mixed drinks, wine, soft drinks were included. Frequently they would leave a bottle of Kahlua next to the self serve coffee. There was a mixed drink special creation everyday. The food ranged from good to very good. Portions were small, so you didn't overeat like most cruises. You could have a second helping if requested. Choices were limited at lunch to the special of the day or a vegetarian variant of the special. At dinner, you had 3 choices, a meat, seafood or veggy entree. Excellent wines were served with all meals. Scenery - The Sea of Cortez has many uninhibited, craggy, islands and is quite beautiful, if somewhat similar to the last island. These islands make for great sunrises and sunsets. We saw very little boat traffic and no other cruise ships during our 7 days. Weather - It hardly ever rains here in the winter. We had one day of clouds and some light rain, which made for our best sunset. The rest of the time the highs were in the 70's, with lows in 50's. As soon as the sun dropped below the mountains it was time for a sweater. The wind was the main weather variable, which dictated if kayaking was offered. Snorkeling - The ship provided everyone with full wetsuits and excellent snorkeling gear. Each room has 2 mesh bags with room numbers on them for hanging wet snorkel gear on the back of deck 2. You also hang your wet suit on room identified hangers, so you don't have to bring them into the rooms. You receive a sport Personal Flotation Device at the beginning of the cruise and you store them in lockers, so you always have the same PFD. The water was a little cold, high 60's I would guess, so the wet suit was necessary. The snorkeling spots were not the best I've ever seen, but we did snorkel with Sea Lions and Rays one day, so that was memorable to say the least. Kayaking - The kayaks were the "sit on top" versions, very easy to operate. All the launches were from shore. We always kayaked in protected coves, so there were no waves to deal with. Hiking - some of the hikes were steep with some good vertical elements. Good hiking shoes were important here. Most of the beach landings were a little wet, so wear your water shoes on the skiff and then change shoes on shore. You can leave your water shoes and PFD's at the beach. There are always crew members to make sure they are safe. They also bring water, sodas and beer to enjoy after your hike, kayak or snorkel. They also bring beach towels and camp stools, a really well run beach program. The beach walks were fun and included some tide-pooling. Make sure you have thicker soled shoes for these walks, lots of rocks and loose sand. Photography - this cruise had a professional photographer on board, Peter West Carey, from Seattle. Peter gave photography talks and took thousands of pictures. Many of his pictures, along with a couple hundred taken by the rest of the crew were shown to us at the end of the cruise. Each cabin received a thumb drive with these pictures on it, a wonderful thing that all the Un-Cruise cruises do. Clothes - Casual clothes is the order of the day. Wear pants that you don't mind getting a little wet. Brings some sweatshirts and a light jacket as it does get cool in evening. I recommend 3 swim suits as they do take a while to dry. There is no laundry service on these small boats. The sun can get pretty intense while sitting on deck looking for whales, so bring some light weight cover ups to prevent burning. The ship provides sun block. They also put two aluminum water bottles in each room for taking on hikes. The Voyager - This 1983 vessel was refitted in 2013 in Columbia. The crew is still fine tuning things. Little things go wrong now & then and the crew makes repairs while underway. We did have one rough night at sea when we were headed north bound from Cabo to La Paz. The ship was comfortable at all other times. There are 4 pieces of cardio equipment on the upper deck for working out. Two stationary bikes and 2 elliptical machines. There are no weights to work out with. Wi-Fi - There is no wi-fi on the ship. On the trip to Magdalena Bay, there was a bathroom break in a hotel in the middle of Baja. They had free wi-fi. The password was posted at the small registration desk. This stop takes about 30 minutes, so you can get some emails downloaded and respond to some. Passengers - There was only one child and only one person in their 20's on the boat. Most passengers were between 50 & 80 and were quite capable of hiking, kayaking, and snorkeling with Sea Lions. All passengers spoke English. All passengers were very easy to talk to and were very nice. About half the passengers were from the UK. Tipping - The suggested tipping rate is 10% of the total price of the cruise. This is a lot of money, but the crew provides such great service, that they are worth it. Disembarkation - bags outside by 7:30am, then breakfast, board the bus at 8:30 for the ride to the Hilton, bags were brought into the Un Cruise waiting room. People were transferred to the airport at 10:30 or 12:30. We used the pool again and then changed into our airplane clothes and finalized the suitcases. The United check-in was mobbed, a huge line. We were in the Premier line, which still took 20 minutes to check the bags. The flight to LA was full, so everyone in line must have made it through the long line on time. Conclusion - No cruise is perfect and every time you decide to take a cruise you have to juggle many factors before picking one. The pluses for this cruise far outweighed the few minuses. Small boat cruising is significantly different from big boat cruising and it's not for everyone. It's definitely for active people. There is no ship doctor, so bring meds in case I'm happy to answer you catch a cold or a cough. The cabins are usually smaller than those on large cruise ships. Un-Cruise is a wonderful company and I hope they can continue this cruise concept as the passengers on this cruise sure seemed to love it. I'm happy to answer questions. kentennis@cox.net   Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
This was my first cruise of any kind and I'm afraid I'll have to stay with Un-Cruise for my future trips. I was on their smallest ship, the 22 passenger Quest. We were not full so there were fewer than 2 passengers for each crew ... Read More
This was my first cruise of any kind and I'm afraid I'll have to stay with Un-Cruise for my future trips. I was on their smallest ship, the 22 passenger Quest. We were not full so there were fewer than 2 passengers for each crew member. The crew was friendly, welcoming and helpful. Cabin was very comfortable; memory foam mattresses, heated floors in the bathrooms. Common areas were very spacious and homey. Activities were varied and plentiful. With a group so small, there is no need for sign-up sheets for activities. We could all kayak together if we wanted. The crew brought provisions on shore and we had happy hour at the base of Chatterbox falls with a bonfire while Monica serenaded us with Irish tunes on her fiddle. A terrific end to a most wonderful day. The food was plentiful and well prepared. You can't go hungry. Freshly baked cookies in the afternoon. Desserts with lunch as well as dinner. There was a choice of both a meat and seafood entrée at dinner, or you could have some of both. The chef had no problem satisfying special orders, whether it was for food allergies or personal preferences, he'd make it just for you. I can highly recommend Un-Cruise and can say without doubt that I will be sailing with them again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Our luxury yacht cruise on the Safari Quest through the islands of British Columbia with Un-Cruise Adventures was truly an incomparable cruise experience. The yacht is relatively small, holding only about 22 passengers along with crew, but ... Read More
Our luxury yacht cruise on the Safari Quest through the islands of British Columbia with Un-Cruise Adventures was truly an incomparable cruise experience. The yacht is relatively small, holding only about 22 passengers along with crew, but was very comfortable and roomy inside. The crew was one of the best we have ever had and provided great service, seeming to really enjoy their jobs and the cruise experience. We did have one night of really rough water when we left Seattle and there was some seasickness aboard, so be sure to take motion sickness medication if you are prone to this. The rest of the cruise was completely smooth and the weather was beautiful in the area in early April. Our cabin was very small compared to those we had experienced on large cruise ships but it was comfortable and well-designed so everything we brought was easily put away. The food was good and plentiful with three meals a day and plenty of snacks available. There was an open bar with a variety of drinks and you were welcome to get yourself a soft drink, coffee, tea, or hot chocolate at any time. The best part of the cruise was the locations as the areas were visited were just gorgeous. Every day, a variety of activities were offered; everything from kayaking on your own to group hikes and tours of the area by skiff. We had a local expert on the ship and she was wonderful about sharing information about the local flora and fauna, even plucking starfish from the rocks to show us in the skiff. We absolutely recommend this cruise to anyone who is interested in a small ship adventure in this area. It's the best way to see the beautiful islands of British Columbia. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
What an introduction to Cruising.... 7 days all exclusive trip on a luxury yacht around some great scenery and wildlife. 21 like minded guests on board and we have already visited some of them after the cruise. From the welcome at the ... Read More
What an introduction to Cruising.... 7 days all exclusive trip on a luxury yacht around some great scenery and wildlife. 21 like minded guests on board and we have already visited some of them after the cruise. From the welcome at the local hotel until we disembarked 7 days later, everything was friendly, professional and most welcoming. The on board staff made the trip for us; they became companions on the adventure. I know they were working hard behind the scenes to make the trip what it was; from the cooks who surprised us every meal with their culinary skills, the very knowledgeable Expedition leader (who corrected the park Ranger a few times) to the Captain who navigated us into some great isolated places. Cabins were spacious; we didn't spend much time in ours as so much to see from the decks or on the kayaks/skiff. Great nature trips; kayaking amongst icebergs, brown bears and in front of glaciers, and walking in temperate rain forests and on glaciers to name but a few... We stopped at two places; Tenakee (small coastal community) and Bartlett Cove (Glacier Bay national Park Entrance) for walks and to meet locals. We saw a few large cruise ships steaming at 18knots in Glacier Bay whilst we kayaked and followed brown bears on the shore line; definitely the best way to see the Inside Passage. We often diverted to see wildlife, including humpback whales within feet of the boat, and views to get out of bed at 6am for. We have already booked our 7 days cruise in Hawaii in Jan 2014. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
This was our third trip to Baja on Safari Quest. It has become our favorite cruise vessel. Large enough to find solitude, small enough to culture new relationships. The accommodations are first rate from the memory foam beds to the heated ... Read More
This was our third trip to Baja on Safari Quest. It has become our favorite cruise vessel. Large enough to find solitude, small enough to culture new relationships. The accommodations are first rate from the memory foam beds to the heated bath room floors. The A level room have a sliding door to enjoy the cool night on the Sea of Cortez. This is an all inclusive trip. Food prepared by an outstanding Chef with fresh bread and pastries made daily. Wine with all meal and drinks to relax after a long day of excursions which may include hiking, mule rides, kayaking, chasing whales and dolphin in zodiacs,swimming with sea lions or just sitting still in a pod of whales while they bubble net, tail slap, breach, spy hop and simply circle you for an hour. Adventure is always at hand. The naturalist are well educated and are willing to try anything the group wants. They and the rest of the crew may pitch in to assure you have the ultimate adventures. The captains are well acquainted with the waters and find the most that is out there and then reroute the cruise to give you time with nature. There are few if any real ports of call, just one provisioning stop. Nights are spent in quiet anchorages and afford great star gazing. Offered from December to March ensures temperate weather and usually a dry trip. You meet the most interesting fellow travelers with a wide variety of backgrounds. you get to share the bridge with the Captain and gain a whole new perspective on what it take to create the perfect cruise. As far as value, we have always looked at out expeditions as a bargain for what we got and the way we were treated. Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
The fabled Sea of Cortes along Mexico's Baja Peninsula has been heralded by Jacques Cousteau as "The Aquarium of the World" and by naturalists as "America's Galapagos." Fewer cruise lines than ever are making ... Read More
The fabled Sea of Cortes along Mexico's Baja Peninsula has been heralded by Jacques Cousteau as "The Aquarium of the World" and by naturalists as "America's Galapagos." Fewer cruise lines than ever are making extended voyages into this pristine marine wilderness, but American Safari Cruises is a notable exception. Their 22-passenger luxury yacht, Safari Quest, explores the pristine waters of this World Heritage biosphere reserve from late November through late March, and it is a remote journey worth making.Hoping to escape an unusually chilly winter, we recently boarded the Safari Quest in La Paz for an eight-day round-trip cruise on sunny Mexico's Sea of Cortes, lured by the possibility of snorkeling with sea lions and sailing alongside the largest living beings on Earth, the blue whales.The Safari Quest's 11 staterooms are those of a yacht rather than a cruise liner, far smaller but splendidly outfitted with private bathrooms, memory foam mattresses, flat-screen TV/DVDs, and, in the case of the four Captain Staterooms, sliding glass balcony doors. Three passenger decks house a dining room, salon and a fully stocked, complimentary, round-the clock bar, one of many features that set American Safari Cruises apart.On the Safari Quest cabin doors do not lock, there's no dress code whatsoever, the pilothouse is open to passengers all day and sailing is usually restricted to daylight hours, affording maximum exposure to sea life and scenery. Unlike larger cruise ships, the Safari Quest does not call on busy ports, but sticks to the waters of the National Marine Park, dropping anchor in protected island bays and deserted shoreline coves. Two exceptions are a mule ride at Bahia Aqua Verde in the company of a local ranchero (cowboy) family and a stop at Isla Coyote, an islet just 200 yards across, where members of the Cuevas family maintain their own fishing village, complete with a tiny chapel and one-room schoolhouse.American Safari Cruise's emphasis is on marine adventure—plenty of kayaks, wakeboards, snorkeling gear and wet suits on deck—and on impeccable service. We rapidly found ourselves on a first-name basis with our nine crew members and nine fellow passengers, who ranged from Lauren, an Iowan teenager enjoying a far-flung winter break with her mother, to Steve and Carol, an English couple in their seventies, drawn from Hull to tally Baja's bird population.Most days began with a skiff ride to the sandy beaches of an uninhabited island, near where we were anchored. These excursions gave us our pick of options: beach-combing, kayaking, snorkeling, or hiking with our trip leader into the cardon cactus groves and sandstone cliffs.Bird life proved particularly fecund. Steve catalogued some fifty species, including several he had never spotted anywhere else in the world. We also spent a full day in search of Baja's great leviathans, and we were rewarded with sustained encounters with several gray whales, like us wintering in the Sea of Cortes.The highlight was a swim with a sea lion colony, the boisterous residents of Los Islotes, a phantasmagoric outcropping of castle-like rocks shooting straight up out of the sea. Outfitted in wet suits, we plunged over the side of the skiff and joined a circus of young sea lions who frolicked with us shoulder to shoulder, nibbling at our snorkel gear and turning cartwheels--a close encounter of a kind none of us would forget. Then there were the meals: Belgian waffles, strawberry parfaits, taco soup, passion-fruit popsicles (paletas), prime rib, a medley of fresh local seafood and the uncorking of two fine new wines each evening. Dining with our fellow passengers became as eagerly anticipated as the day's wildlife encounters and water sports. Our Safari Quest cruise made us feel that we had welcomed a dozen new amiable friends onto our private yacht, entered the world's most remote waters and sailed together far beyond the tug of TV waves and Internet towers.American Safari Cruises offers similar high-end, soft adventure water safaris in the Hawaiian Islands, on the Columbia and Snake Rivers, and in Alaska, where one can kayak to the feet of glaciers. Group charters are also available--and endorsed by stars Kate Winslet and Emma Thompson, who recently made their own safari through the Sea of Cortes. Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
120' MotorYacht Safari Quest chartered for 8 day, 7 night extended family [meaning most of us did not know each other] cruise in Sea of Cortes, Baja California Sur, Mexico, January, 2009. Boarded at LaPaz. Disembarked at Puerto ... Read More
120' MotorYacht Safari Quest chartered for 8 day, 7 night extended family [meaning most of us did not know each other] cruise in Sea of Cortes, Baja California Sur, Mexico, January, 2009. Boarded at LaPaz. Disembarked at Puerto Escondido [near Loreto]. The yacht is a well-maintained twin-screw island of paradise. Room accommodations are well-equipped, clean and welcoming. Not particularly luxurious as some might expect on a large ship, but you don't spend time in your staterooms on this boat. Kayaks, 2 skiffs, wetsuits, snorkeling gear, water skis all provided for guests' enjoyment. Yacht is large enough for everyone to find some personal space on the upper deck equipped with lounge chairs, exercise equipment and hot tub; the bridge deck with a library and, outside, chairs looking over the stern; or the first deck with plenty of space on the bow for whale, dolphin and sea lion scouting, or at the stern with a welcoming large table and chairs. Also on the first deck is a luxurious salon with plenty of comfortable chairs, the open and very well stocked bar, and the dining room and galley. Destinations, such as Isla San Jose, Los Islotes, Isla San Francisco, Agua Verde, all offer multiple opportunities for exploration kayaking, snorkeling, hiking, swimming, exploring, and, at Agua Verde, burro excursion. The itinerary is flexible. See whales off the stern? The good captain of the yacht will turn the yacht around and idle the yacht to give everyone the opportunity to see them up close and take photos. Rough winds? Well, the yacht will just anchor in a protected cove, and the passengers will enjoy a bonfire, cocktails and hot appetizers on the beach, before returning via one of two skiffs to the yacht for dinner. Want to take a swim? Ask the captain to hook up the rope swing from the yacht's crane off the stern. If you grab it from the top deck, you are braver than me. Meals are all prepared by Executive Chef and Pastry Chef. The food is is comparable in quality, preparation and service as you would experience in a fine restaurant. Although my experience was a private party charter, I didn't know most of the people before boarding. I would not be hesitant about reserving a stateroom for my wife and me to travel with strangers on this yacht in the future. The yacht is the right size to enjoy everyone's company, but nevertheless provides personal space when that is necessary. Go on the Safari Quest and you no doubt will have a magnificent time and make new friends in your fellow passengers. By far, however, the best friends you will make will be the individual members of the crew. My personal experience was that they all were just a great bunch of responsible, [yet fun-loving, joining in the activities of the guests], individuals working seamlessly together for the ultimate enjoyment of the experience of all guests. On our charter, we had 16 passengers and 9 crew: Captain, First Mate, Engineer, Hotel Manager, Executive Chef, Pasty Chef, Naturalist who led us on shore excursions, and 2 stewards. All shared in the responsibilities of the operation of the yacht and all were just great. Now, I will note that the advertised maximum passengers for Safari Quest is 21. Unless it was all a very close-knit group of family or friends for a private charter, I've got to say I think 21 passengers might be pushing it a bit. Just my opinion. Is it pricey? Yes, no doubt about it. But if you can afford and want this type of experience, you will not be disappointed. [Don't bother if you want gambling, discos, Vegas shows, etc. that is not what this trip and this cruise line are about!] For 8 short video slideshows of our trip, go to YouTube.Com, and search either for "WJRESQ" or "SARFARI QUEST". I trust this is helpful. Read Less
Sail Date January 2009
This was an unbelievable 10 day adventure I have been on many cruises but have not posted reviews as I feel in the posted reviews everything that is needed to be said was already said. As there was very little info on American Safari I ... Read More
This was an unbelievable 10 day adventure I have been on many cruises but have not posted reviews as I feel in the posted reviews everything that is needed to be said was already said. As there was very little info on American Safari I wanted to post this to help others that might be considering it. While it was very expensive it was not a big a difference as one might think. If you are considering a suite on Holland America or Princess and factor in cost of drinks, bottled water, shore excursions, photos, specialty restaurants, transportation etc, it is not that much more yet what you see is so much more and what was experienced was that of once in a life time. My Review We are a family of 5, 3 kids ages 12/9/6 We flew Air Alaska from EWR to SEA and connecting to Sitka. I have no complaints flights were on time and all employees were professional and helpful. We spent 3 days and 2 nights in Sitka Prior to our cruise. Sitka is all that is posted about on these boards. A truly charming town with very friendly people where ever we went. Day 1 We arrived in Sitka at 1:30 pm checked into our hotel The West mark. American Safari had a Private transfer waiting for us at the airport. Our bags were brought to our room. The hotel was fine as a place to sleep for the night. That afternoon we wonder around the town going in and out of the many fine shops we ate at Victoria's Pour House and had some of the best King Crab legs we have ever had. Later on some of the fisherman from The Deadliest Catch came into the bar as it seemed to be their local hang out which we were not aware of as my son is a big fan of the show. Day 2 Had breakfast at a new restaurant called Level 2 that was recommended to us and the food was very good we ate dinner there as well. They have a nice lunch menu if you are visiting for the day and it is right on the main street were the cruise ships tender in. We had lunch at a small stand set up on the road to the left of the docks called Two Chicks and a Stick. It was two sisters that had fresh caught salmon from local fishermen that was skewered and you had a choice of different glazes and toppings served over rice for $8 two skewers for $15 with a drink you had to eat on the side of the road next to their trailer but it was well worth it to eat salmon that had just been caught. I highly recommend trying them. We were going on a tour the next day that was included with the cruise so we just walked around the town went to the lookout and to the Bishop's house and bought some gifts. Day 3 cruise day 1 We went back to Victoria's for some King crab for Lunch and Had Halibut Burgers which were great, we went to the docks to see the Debra D from the Deadliest catch and take some pictures. Our tour started at 1:30 and brought us around the town, Went to the Raptor Center, Russian Church, the tot-am pole park, and then we were brought to our ship the Safari Quest. Our bags were taken from our hotel and brought to our rooms on board the ship. The Ship is a private yacht that holds a max of 22 passengers yet there were only 15 on our sailing. They do not allow children under 12 except for two sailings per season this being one. There was a family of 6 from Australia and a family of 4 from Indonesia for a total of 15 on our sailing. We got to know each other on our tour and were excited about getting to the Ship. There was a crew of 9 for our sailing all standing outside waiting to greet us and they knew all of our first names from the time we met. We were show to our rooms and gathering in the living room for Champagne and Hors d'oeures. We all gathered in the living room area and we got the run down on how things worked. We cruise during the day and go to quiet coves to Anchor at night. We got to know the crew which were just fantastic. Throughout the cruise they seemed to antic pate our needs and desires and they were met without asking and a friendly smile. We would get a talk each night about the next days activities from our on board Expedition Leader as well as a review each morning to make sure that everyone was doing what he or she wanted to. There was a Chef and a pastry chef on board. For breakfast there was pretty much anything you wanted made to order plus the chefs special of the morning. During breakfast were were told about our dinner choices there was always a fish and a meat with chicken available. You could choose one or the other or have both if you wanted. The food was all cooked to order and excellent throughout the cruise. There was Breakfast at 8ish, lunch at 12ish, Fresh Baked cookies at 3ish, Ct hour at 6ish with hors d oeuvres and dinner at 7ish. Everything was ISH due to the events that could be taking place at that time if there was something to see we would eat later. Day 2 We woke up in the heart of the inside passage. There were brown bear on the shore eating with cubs so we were off in kayaks or the skiff depending on what you wanted to observe them closer a truly amazing morning. After lunch we pulled anchor and went out to observe whales we saw Humpback first, then sea otters and porpoise riding the bow of the ship. and the we saw families of Orca, I do not know who was more excited us or the orca as they were very playful with us we say two of them fully breach which was just spectacular. We weren't sure how this day could be topped but each day we saw things that amazed us more and more it was like being on a seven day shore excursion. Day 3 We went To the town of Baranof which has 1 full time resident and some summer homes, a small general store and just more magnificent scenery. We took our skiff to the dock and went on a two mile hike up a mountain with spectacular waterfalls and vistas, we ended our hike at hot springs which we were able to go in and relax the ships crew hiked with us to point out what we were looking at and they were there at the hot springs with champagne and sparkling cider for the kids servings as we soaked in the hot springs. Back to the the hike, skiff and back to the ship were the crew would great us with hot chocolate and warm apple cider spiked if you wish. We then met up with a local fisherman at his boat met his wife and 4 kids that live on their boat all season. He talked about life as a fisherman and we were all able to ask questions and see him in action on how he does his crabbing. Our Caption then purchased crab from him which the chef made for dinner, it was just unbelievable. Day 4 We went on a beach excursion and hike on remote islands more kayaking, playing with sea lions, skiff excursions and whale watching we saw orca's again which I heard is rare. The weather was just perfect through out our cruise very Little rain and we had 4 days of sunshine. Being on a kayak looking at wildlife in the middle of nowhere by yourself with your family was just an incredible experience. Day 5 & 6 We went to Glacier bay , we started at the Glacier bay lodge we we went hiking and picked up the park ranger that would spend the next two incredible days with us. We spent hours up close watching glaciers calving. We went out on our skiff and we weaved among the icebergs. We hiked right next to a glacier and water fall. We saw mountain goat, bears eagles and more whales, we saw sea lions, puffins, and seals and we were so close to it all the ship provided binoculars to everyone but we really did not Need them as we were so close to it all. After our two days in Glacier Bay we dropped the park ranger off after dinner. Day 7 which happened to be the 4th of July, the only ones celebrating was the American crew and our family as but the other two families joined in the spirit of things. The crew decorated the ship most of us woke up late this day as we were all so tired from the busy week of non stop action and since no fire works were plain ed we figured we had seen and done it all so some relaxed in the hot tub on the top deck some watched movies from the 1,000 DVDs they had on board while others sat in the library to read a book, I was siting with the captain and my daughter on the bridge chatting with the caption as he took us to our next place to anchor and kayak. When my daughter said look at all those humpback's and then the caption said over the loud speaker we have bubble net feeding humpback's dead ahead. Everyone when to to the front of the ship the expedition leader lowered an under water mic sow that we could hear the whales communication and as the sounds get stronger they would all breach and feed yards from our ship. It was the best 4th of July fire works we had ever seen we delayed dinner for about 2 hrs just to watch the show. Day 8 we docked in Juneau and after breakfast the crew loader our bags onto our transfers and lined up to say good bye to us and for us to say good bye to our Friends that we had made while on this incredible journey. We were each given a CD with over 200 pictures that the crew had taken during the cruise of us and all that we saw, we did not get the photos of the orca breaching but they did! The ship was immaculately clean our rooms were cleaned twice a day just like on a mainstream cruise the beds were all temperdicted and we all sleep great the entire 7 nights. I would not be able to say that one crew member stood out over another they were all just perfect at giving warm friendly unstuffy professional service. Great bartenders and drinks, the whole ship was open so you could talk to to the captain while on the bridge or have a chat with the chef in the galley. For any one thinking of seeing Alaska up close or as their slogan puts it Luxury in the Pursuit of adventure I recommend this cruise without hesitation. When we left the ship we were transfers to our hotel and then we were picked up for our helicopter dog sledding tour which as others have stated is a great experience. Back home on Alaska Airlines and Back to reality. Read Less
Sail Date June 2008
The all inclusive Safari Quest experience can best be described as sharing your own private yacht with 18 of your best friends. 10 perfectly appointed cabins, lounge area with large windows for viewing, open bar, open bridge policy, ... Read More
The all inclusive Safari Quest experience can best be described as sharing your own private yacht with 18 of your best friends. 10 perfectly appointed cabins, lounge area with large windows for viewing, open bar, open bridge policy, intimate open seating dining with your on board private gourmet chef, 3 outside decks for lounging or enjoying the surrounding nature and an outdoor jacuzzi tell only part of the story of this fabulous adventure. The Inside Passage itinerary that we took from Sitka to Juneau was packed with as much or as little as one wished to do. In between fabulous meals and snoozing, kayaks were provided for individual exploring, a 12 person skiff for those who preferred to accompany the expedition leader, and plenty of easy to moderate hiking opportunities for closer inspection of the beautiful little villages or glacial displays and wilderness areas. We saw up close and personal bear, humpback whales, sea otters, porpoises, Bald eagles, sea lions, Puffins and mountain goats. The most special part of this particular choice of cruise line is that with the exception of local fishermen, we were unto ourselves along the waterways and coves of this glorious part of the country with no other commercial cruise line in sight. It was pure heaven. Demographics were well traveled professionals in their 50's and 60's. If you want a personal experience in Alaska without leaving the comforts of home, this is the BEST! American Safari also offers cruises in Baja California and Hawaii. We'll no doubt be on one of those next. Read Less
Sail Date August 2007
Safari Quest Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 4.5
Dining 4.0 4.8
Entertainment 2.0 4.0
Public Rooms 3.0 5.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 4.4
Family 1.0 4.4
Shore Excursion 5.0 4.7
Enrichment 4.0 4.7
Service 3.0 5.0
Value For Money 3.0 4.7
Rates 5.0 4.2

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