32 UnCruise Safari Explorer Cruise Reviews

All in all we had a lot of fun. No matter, in hindsight about one week after disembarkation in Hawaii, I remain less than satisfied with the overall experience. The Un-Cruise Adventures aboard the Safari Explorer was my second small cruise ... Read More
All in all we had a lot of fun. No matter, in hindsight about one week after disembarkation in Hawaii, I remain less than satisfied with the overall experience. The Un-Cruise Adventures aboard the Safari Explorer was my second small cruise experience and it ranks a very distant second behind the other. The ship was great. The passengers were great. The crew was good. That said, I was very unsatisfied with both the quality and quantity of food and beverages; mediocre. The breakfast service was very plain and meager too. I feel the same way about the lunch service. As for the dinner service, it was average at best. The choices offered were few and they were hardly sophisticated or creative dishes. And, again, the helpings were rather scanty with no seconds offered. The so called bakery chef or cook had little to offer of any real merit. There was a good choice of quality drinks made available provided there was someone working the bar. On the other hand, the rooms were lovely and the room-service was good. It seems that either our schedule or the captain did not allow passengers with enough free time at our ports of call. By the way, the captain of the ship struck me as a rather arrogant chap. He was long winded. Also, the captain was quick to synchronize and lecture his passengers on a wide range of things. There was nothing discreet or deferential about him. Also, he came to shamelessly promote additional cruises on his line of ships, which I thought was in poor taste.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We took off in the Safari Explorer out of Juneau for a 7 night visit to Glacier country during the first week in August. We visited Glacier Bay National Park where we spent 2 days with a park ranger on board , Icy Strait, Chicago and ... Read More
We took off in the Safari Explorer out of Juneau for a 7 night visit to Glacier country during the first week in August. We visited Glacier Bay National Park where we spent 2 days with a park ranger on board , Icy Strait, Chicago and Baranoff Islands ,Frederick Sound, Ford terror and Endicott Arm. This was an expedition ship designed to see wildlife close and personal.We saw and followed humpback whales , sea lions, seals, sea otters, bears, bald eagles, puffins, and other birds, and saw the start of the salmon run. We took hikes in hardly touched forests and filmed bears catching salmon for dinner;kayak by glaciers with snow covered mountains for background. For those who wanted a more relaxed activity, there were the skiffs who took us on tours of the various islands and inlets. We saw the calving of Ward glacier. One day we practically followed humpback whales most of the day and saw bubbling feeding, and mother and calf breaching in front of our ship. The cabins were very comfortable and spacious for a 36 passenger ship. The staff and the service were top notch. All the meals and afternoon appetizers prepared by Nate the chef were 4 star all the way. On our arrival at Glacier Bay park, the basket full of King Crabs was waiting for us and we had them for dinner that night. All liquor was included in the cruise so at around 5 pm we started gathering by the full bar for cocktails. If the crew was busy, we fixed our own drinks. This is the cruise to take to Alaska. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
My husband and I loved our Alaskan cruise on the Safari Explorer. The Safari Explorer is a spectacular vessel. Attention was paid to every detail of the yacht. The woodwork is beautiful, the cabins are comfortable, and the tiles in the ... Read More
My husband and I loved our Alaskan cruise on the Safari Explorer. The Safari Explorer is a spectacular vessel. Attention was paid to every detail of the yacht. The woodwork is beautiful, the cabins are comfortable, and the tiles in the bathroom are heated. The beds are tempurpedic and are exceptionally comfortable. The food is truly gourmet. We had fresh fish every evening, except one and we had King crab legs that evening. My husband does not enjoy seafood and his meal was as delicious as mine. He had steak, lamb, and duck! The service at meals was spectacular. The staff learned our names and even what we liked within the first day. The complimentary wines were also very good. Our excursions were also fabulous: hiking, kayaking, and skiff tours. The expedition leaders were very knowledgeable and just delightful people. We were allowed extra time to see wildlife when needed. For example, we found some wolves and spent several hours watching them play on the beach. We were also able to see the humpback whales bubble net feed for several hours. We had very informative lectures and a couple of great movies. From the moment we boarded the yacht until disembarkation, every aspect of the trip deserves five plus stars. We enjoy small yacht cruising and American Safari is the best cruise line yet! Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
Since I live in Hawaii I was very excited that American Safari Cruises was adding a Hawaiian itinerary to their unique yacht adventures. My friend was visiting from Vancouver and since we both love being on the water we decided to take ... Read More
Since I live in Hawaii I was very excited that American Safari Cruises was adding a Hawaiian itinerary to their unique yacht adventures. My friend was visiting from Vancouver and since we both love being on the water we decided to take this cruise, our first small-ship experience. We absolutely loved it! We flew from Honolulu to Kona and were met at the airport by a representative from American Safari Cruises and taken to the Courtyard King Kamehameha Hotel in Kailua-Kona. There they had a large meeting room available for us to store our luggage as we had a few hours to wander around the town and have lunch. At 4pm we were all taken by bus to where the Safari Explorer was docked, about a 40 minute drive. We were greeted by a very friendly crew and escorted to our stateroom on the B deck. Since we were 2 women traveling together, we had requested a room with 2 twin beds. They were a little narrower than a regular twin bed but worked out fine. We unpacked and headed down to the bar for drinks and pupus. At first we were surprised at the age of our fellow passengers which averaged about 60 yrs old. The youngest guest was 45 and the oldest was 80. This being the last cruise of the season (the Safari Explorer is now on its way to Seattle for the Alaska season, but will be back at the end of October), we only had 23 guests and 13 crew. By the end of the week we felt like family! We were up early every morning around 6:30 and enjoyed coffee and fruit on the deck, followed by yoga at 7am then full breakfast around 8:30am. The first 2 days we spent on the waters off the Kona coast which was amazing. We saw pilot whales, kayaked with dolphins, snorkelled, explored caves and inlets, and did a night snorkel with manta rays. Then we crossed over to Lanai (this was an overnight crossing and was very choppy but luckily we did not get seasick) where we had some fun water play time using the paddleboards, sailboat, kayaks, and snorkel gear. In the afternoon the skiffs took us over to Lanai city for some sightseeing. On Monday we had an amazing snorkelling experience with sea turtles off Maui, then after lunch we docked at Lahaina and went paddling on an outrigger canoe. The last 2 days were spent on Molokai for some more cultural experiences. Activities included visiting a plumeria farm and making leis, macadamia nut farm, some beach time (with an amazing lunch) and a trip to the Kalapaupa lookout. A few of the guests opted to take the mule ride to Kalapaupa that day for a tour of the settlement. Our last day we drove about an hour to Halawa Valley which was gorgeous. About half of our group then hiked to a waterfall where we had lunch. If you'd like to see my photos I have them posted at https://picasaweb.google.com/vivianthornhill/SafariExplorerCruise?authuser=0&feat=directlink Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
The American Safari cruise was everything we hoped it would be. Our cabin was very comfortable. We were impressed with the thoughtfully placed storage in every possible nook and cranny. Public areas were efficient, very comfortable, and ... Read More
The American Safari cruise was everything we hoped it would be. Our cabin was very comfortable. We were impressed with the thoughtfully placed storage in every possible nook and cranny. Public areas were efficient, very comfortable, and had the most up-to-date equipment. The crew was outstanding in almost every respect. The only (minor) disappointment to us was the fitness instructor who included more chanting than exercise in her yoga class. Perhaps she was a great masseuse but we didn't try it. The wide variety of food was outstanding and beautifully presented. After crabs were caught in a trap left in the water overnight they became one of the hors d'oeuvres during the social hour. The two expedition leaders were knowledgeable and competent and were quick to point out the wildlife (too numerous to count) and everything else we were seeing. The captain and his sailing crew made every effort to get up close to where the action was - we saw many whales, porpoises, bears, soaring eagles and scores of migratory birds, etc. And if something really interesting was spotted, the engines were idled so we could make the most of the experience. Every day our travelers were in kayaks or skiffs to get right up close to the natural beauty of Alaska where the sights and sounds of those calving glaciers were thrilling. While we were in Glacier Bay National Park a park ranger was aboard the ship to enhance our visit. Almost everyone took part in a couple of interesting shore excursions. On a couple of evenings I even fished off the tail-end of the boat after anchoring which I hadn't done in about 20 years - caught 4 fish. Though the engines of the Safari Explorer were somewhat noisy it was a small price to pay. The engines were off at night while the ship was anchored in a cozy bay so everyone slept well. In summary, we will always remember this cruise and wouldn't hesitate to travel again with American Safari. Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
From the moment we boarded the Safari Explorer to the time we reluctantly left, we were carefully and joyfully taken care of. The ship is like a personal yacht;all wood and beautiful fittings, the staff is attentive, funloving and totally ... Read More
From the moment we boarded the Safari Explorer to the time we reluctantly left, we were carefully and joyfully taken care of. The ship is like a personal yacht;all wood and beautiful fittings, the staff is attentive, funloving and totally devoted to your every whim and every effort is made to help you see the very best Alaska has to offer. Cabins are well appointed with nice furniture, special details like Tempurpedic beds and Ipod docking stations, flat screen TVs and heated bathroom floors. The staff knows your name by the end of the first day, AND all your habits and wishes. From then on, you only need to think of what you want and it is there. But don't think of this as a stuffy or pretentious cruise - this crew is young, energetic and devoted to fun times too. And the food, well, it is amazing-fresh, creative and delicious. First rate naturalists and others help you learn about the wildlife and place that is Alaska. The ship is outfitted with two great "skiffs", hard bottomed zodiac-type crafts that are easy to board and ride in (even older seniors will feel comfortable) and a whole fleet of also easy-to-use kayaks . The Explorer is a small ship so she can do just about anywhere, but with these two smaller craft you can personally explore the coves, shoreline and inlets that will dominate your itinerary. Want to see a glacier up close? This program has NO port calls and for the most part you will see no other people during your week. The itinerary is soft- meaning if you see whales, you stop and enjoy them. If you see a bear on shore, the ship stops so you can view it. But if you want to see the REAL Alaska, that is what you want. This cruise is not cheap; you can certainly go with one of the Big ships and do it cheaper. But they never get up close and personal with whales, eagles, bears (a safe distance away) and other wildlife. They never anchor in a beautiful cove at night. They never have hot chocolate delivered to their kayak while they paddle around a glacier. Suffice to say , it was a great week. Read Less
Sail Date July 2009
All 33 passengers gathered in a reception room at the Goldbelt Hotel in Juneau on the day of our sailing. Bags were tagged and left there for transfer to the ship. Sandie was the American Safari representative at the reception room, and ... Read More
All 33 passengers gathered in a reception room at the Goldbelt Hotel in Juneau on the day of our sailing. Bags were tagged and left there for transfer to the ship. Sandie was the American Safari representative at the reception room, and she offered a wealth of knowledge about the Juneau area, as well as what to expect onboard the ship. Our fellow passengers were a mix of ages and nationalities, with a primary age range of 50-70. There were four younger people on our particular cruise, between 20-40 years of age, but no children. Most of the passengers were US residents, but we also had passengers from the UK, Australia, and Canada. Mid-afternoon we all boarded a bus for a short trip to Mendenhall Glacier, which is located just north of Juneau. We stayed at the visitor center for about an hour and a half, viewing the glacier and the local wildlife. There were several black bears, a bald eagle, porcupines, and assorted other wildlife present, with most located less than 20 feet away. There is an elevated walkway that permits safe viewing of the bears from this short distance as they caught salmon from a small creek. It is also noteworthy that this was our only "organized excursion" during the entire trip. By 5:30pm we were back in Juneau and it was time to board the Safari Explorer, which was docked directly across the street from the Goldbelt Hotel. The crew of 16 people met us at the dock, and each of them took one travel group on board and showed them to their cabin. Our crew person was Megan - the first officer. The crew was all American, by the way, and generally a very well educated and well spoken group. Boarding took all of 20 minutes, during which we dropped our hand bags in our cabin and found that all of our luggage was already there, and then it was off to the lounge for beverage of choice and hors d'oeuvres. By 6:30pm we had cast off and were departing Juneau for a protected anchorage near Glacier Bay, where the ship would anchor for the night. Unlike larger cruise ships, American Safari's small ships sail during the day and anchor at night. Sailing time often presents opportunities to see whales and other marine life, which is clearly much easier to do during daylight hours than at night. And although the ship's engines are not so loud as to prohibit sleeping, it was much nicer to sleep with them turned off for the night. American Safari's cruise philosophy is stated as "Luxury in the Pursuit of Adventure", which fits the experience we had quite well. This was definitely an expedition cruise with ample luxury in the process. Daylight hours were spent either cruising to our next destination and whale watching, or with the ship at anchor and most of us out and about in the kayaks or "Zodiak's", or out hiking in the woods with one of the two naturalists from the crew. Kayaking through the bergy ice near the face of a glacier was amazing. Pictures just don't do it justice. And while were watching a couple of young brown bears cavort along side a small stream for a few hours one morning, the crew brought mugs of hot chocolate with Godiva liquor right to our kayaks! We did make two ports of call, other than Juneau. We stopped at the Glacier Bay Lodge in Bartlett Cove on day three, where we dropped off the park ranger on our way out of Glacier Bar National Park and Preserve. We were able to use the Wi-Fi system at the lodge to check emails, as the ship does not have internet connectivity. We stopped in Petersburg on the afternoon of day four for a few hours, which is a small fishing village south of Juneau, where we went ashore and walked through the town while the ship was provisioned. Meals were always a pleasant social affair. A menu was published each day, with a single choice for breakfast and lunch, and two entree choices for dinner. If anyone wanted something different than what was on the set menu, all one had to do was ask and they cheerfully supplied you with something else that you were happy with. All of the fish was extremely fresh, and spoiled us for eating salmon in the lower 48 in the future. The chef and his galley crew did a great job of feeding us very well. Dani and her service staff did a great job of serving everyone. Any request was greeted with a smile and clear interest in satisfying your request if at all possible. It was very much like sailing on a private yacht with a group of friends. There is no dress code, no formal nights, and in fact very few rules at all. Most people dressed appropriately for expedition cruising, with active wear being the order of the day. Dinner was no exception, as whales could be spotted at any time. Meals were interrupted by whale sightings more than once, and happily so. There was a cocktail hour in the lounge before dinner each evening, during which Elaine prepared unique drinks for your pleasure, or simply supplied your old favorite with a smile. A unique daily selection of several cheese and hors d'oeuvre options were presented. This was a wonderful time to talk with everyone about their day's adventures, or simply get to know the other passengers better. The Mariner Cabins make up the bulk of available rooms. They are adequate, but just slightly on the small side. The Tempurpedic queen size beds were wonderful. All of the cabins have windows or a glass door or both that open onto the side of the ship, so there are no interior rooms. There are two larger classes of rooms, which are suites with sitting areas. The two suites on the lower deck open directly onto the lounge and dining room, and would be a good choice for people who are at all mobility impaired. The two suites on the upper deck are the nicest accommodations available. All-in-all this cruise was a wonderful experience for my wife and I, and we would sail again with American Safari without hesitation. This cruise was one of the few trips we have made where everything was as-advertised, or better. Read Less
Sail Date August 2008
Safari Explorer Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 5.0 4.4
Entertainment 3.0 3.3
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.2
Family 3.5 4.2
Shore Excursion 4.5 4.2
Enrichment 4.0 4.4
Service 5.0 4.5
Value For Money 4.0 4.0
Rates 5.0 4.3

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