24 UnCruise Wilderness Explorer Cruise Reviews

We heard about UnCruise from a couple who wanted to take an Alaska adventure cruise with other couples. We collectively decided that we wanted to “experience” Alaska, rather than just “see” Alaska. We are all 60+ men and women who ... Read More
We heard about UnCruise from a couple who wanted to take an Alaska adventure cruise with other couples. We collectively decided that we wanted to “experience” Alaska, rather than just “see” Alaska. We are all 60+ men and women who enjoy moderate outdoor activities. This cruise exceeded our expectations in every way! We arrived a couple of days early to adjust to time change and see Sitka. Departure was smooth as silk. The expedition guides were extremely helpful and knowledgeable, not to mention just plain friendly. They really love what they do. A variety of outings each day allowed us to choose the level of activity we wanted. Want to kayak? Done. How about hiking? Done. Want to ride in a skiff to see some sea lions? Done. Go see a glacier up close and personal? Done. Whale watching? Done. The meals were outstanding and the ingredients fresh. Our bartender could create whatever your palate desired. Cabins are small, yet comfortable. Showers are tiny, so don’t drop your soap! (Note: we didn’t take this cruise to hang out in our rooms!) Our 2 days in port gave us enough time to sample local cuisine and see some sights. This adventure cruise is not for luxury seekers, but if you want to get out and experience Alaska’s natural beauty, then this is the ticket! Would we travel UnCruise again? You betcha! Karla K Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Although the reviews of Uncruise on Trip Advisor and Cruise Critic are generally positive, our trip on the Wilderness Explorer left a lot to be desired, did not mirror the comments of previous reviews and is nothing like the brochure or ... Read More
Although the reviews of Uncruise on Trip Advisor and Cruise Critic are generally positive, our trip on the Wilderness Explorer left a lot to be desired, did not mirror the comments of previous reviews and is nothing like the brochure or the information provided to us by the travel agent. We booked this at the last minute, paid way too much-it is a poor value for the price, and are sorry we went. We have been to all 7 continents and are firm from this experience that Alaska is just not worth revisiting. I have been on a small ship like this (75 clients) for 3 weeks to Antarctica and a 15 person boat in the Galapagos for 2 weeks so I know what is possible-both of those experiences were superb. Uncruise is not a good small ship option or good value for the dollar. The Wilderness Explorer is in need of an overhaul. The rooms are small, dark and dank. The presence of sewer gas in our room and generally on our side of the ship was overwhelming. The "hotel manager", although responsive, indicated that this was an ongoing problem, could not be rectified, put a wet washcloth over the shower drain and the sink drain and gave us a bottle of Glade. Did not do the trick. Had difficult sleeping it was so overpowering. We kept the window open (it is minuscule) but it was not really much help. Spent most days (both when raining and sunny) with the door propped open but given that the source is primarily the shower and the door to the bathroom swings shut and opens out blocking the door to the room, it did not provide much relief. Over the week, many people shared their stories of sewer gas...it just shouldn't be an issue if the ships were maintained properly. Our bed was also "broken". Did not retract into a couch, making our room even smaller. But, because they dock on a Saturday around 9am and load new passengers around 4:30pm, they were unable to attempt to repair it. I would imagine it had been broken since the beginning of the season and will continue to be broken until the ship finishes its runs for the season. The activities are just ok. We enjoyed sea kayaking. Although potentially attributable to the unseasonably sunny weather, there is minimal wildlife and there are only so many things you can say about small, orange crabs so shore walks are a bust. Bushwhacking is an attempt to fill time. And the day in Wrangell is a total waste. In Wrangell, you are two hours by boat and less time by helicopter from one of the best bear sanctuaries (on a salmon stream-Anan Bear Sanctuary) and it is impossible to get there because the ship is not in port long enough. The activities in Wrangell are poor at best-brief hike, meeting at the "Chief's house", some petrogylphs (although most have been moved out to various museums so few remaining), etc. Management really needs to figure out how to offer a excursion to the Anan Bear Sanctuary on a regular basis-they have done it before when they were required to spend more time in Wrangell due to ship repairs. It might be the only wildlife anyone sees if it could be arranged. The food was very mediocre. At most meals, fellow table guests were trying to determine what ingredients that were in today's meal had been served in another form the previous day. Ignore the descriptions in the brochure-those are laughable. And although the chef does a good job with the space she has, even the scrambled eggs are terrible. The staff is good. Most are enthusiastic (but they are being paid) and helpful. They are knowledgeable although sometimes in esoteric subjects that have nothing to do with what you are seeing (but that may be because you are not seeing anything). The ship has one large meeting area which is basically the bar. There are no places on the ship that you can get out of your room and not have to sit among hordes of people who are also trying to get out of your room. Finally, they "share" with you that many people have asked about tipping. Our dinner table had a wonderful laugh about that-no one had asked about tipping before it was brought up. They encourage $250 per person, which is essentially, $50 a day per person. We thought that was high although it is getting split among everyone on the ship. We came to the conclusion that it was probably around $750 per ship employee for the week (some employees are exempted-captain, hotel manager, chef, chief guide, etc.). That lead us to believe they were not being paid particularly well. So, beware the tipping that isn't really optional and they are not upfront about in their brochures. In summary, choose another ship, ask questions about the last time it was FULLY overhauled-not just had a coat of paint slapped on it. And ask what they typically see in terms of animals. We asked all those questions and got satisfactory answers. Our travel agent is relaying our disappointment to their sales rep, but as much as we are glad that he is getting the feedback, it doesn't make our trip any better. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
A First time cruise for me and taking my 12yr old grandson made the week SPECIAL! The crew was super friendly and helpful; the food extraordinary and always different;the scenery spectacular and we had the most beautiful weather- ... Read More
A First time cruise for me and taking my 12yr old grandson made the week SPECIAL! The crew was super friendly and helpful; the food extraordinary and always different;the scenery spectacular and we had the most beautiful weather- unexpected!! We saw glaciers up close the 1st day. We kayaked and went out on skiffs to learn about the environment from our knowledgeable guides. We hiked to a lake thru amazing terrain.We saw whales and seals and eagles! And finally our last day saw a bear!! Our captain took the boat in so close to waterfalls we could feel the spray! But most fun for my grandson was paddle boarding w/ a friend- they finally were able to do headstands on the boards! And the water wasn’t so cold when they fell in! The guests were welcomed on the Bridge, and I was fascinated to learn amongst the crew were 6 registered captains!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Weather is a huge factor on any trip, and is very unpredictable in Alaska. We were lucky to have mostly cloudy but dry weather with only a few sprinkles one day of the 7. We are an active retired couple who had avoided big cruise ships ... Read More
Weather is a huge factor on any trip, and is very unpredictable in Alaska. We were lucky to have mostly cloudy but dry weather with only a few sprinkles one day of the 7. We are an active retired couple who had avoided big cruise ships since a conference I attended years ago aboard a Carnival ship visiting Key West and Cozumel. Since then, we had enjoyed a 4-day, 400-passenger ship river cruise on the Yangtze as part of a China tour, and an even smaller (28 passenger) riverboat voyage on the Mekong. We bike, kayak and hike and travel to see new places and meet people, not to overeat, gamble and drink aboard a floating city. We found more than 70 other passengers of mixed age groups on board the Wilderness Explorer who were "our kind of people", on our full-capacity early July Glaciers and Fjords Alaska cruise with UnCruise. We loved and appreciated the crew and how hard they work, enjoyed the fresh and attentively-prepared food, and the opportunity to get up close and personal with nature in SW Alaska's inside passage after a 2-week small group land tour (much more affordable) to points further north and east through G-Adventures (also recommended). We did see quite a variety of wildife on land and sea (even a few bears) though not at close-enough range to spot without binoculars and zoom lenses. I agree with some of the other reviews that some longer and more physically vigorous excursions would be welcomed by some of the more active passengers, also that the ship's interiors are getting a bit worn and outdated and could do with an overhaul. We didn't participate in the "polar plunge" but enjoyed watching others jump into the icy water, including an 80-something-year-old patriarch of a large extend-family multi-generational group. With full capacity, our ship was a bit crowded at times especially the (only) lounge/bar area, where there was insufficient seating for the nightly gathering to reserve the next days' excursions. Our cabin was fine, small but with efficient use of the space including a murphy bed that raised up into the wall while a sofa took its' place. The ventilation system was a bit noisy, and generators constantly running so no at-sea peace and quiet like I recalled from some youthful times aboard a small sailing yacht. There were DVD's in the small shelf library, but no DVD-player in our cabin, we speculated that we would have had to request them to be played on a central system, but never asked since we had brought books to read. Alcohol, including a special bartender's "drink of the day", using premium liquors and fresh fruit juices, was included and unlimited but no one seemed to obviously overindulge. Since our consumption is typically limited to one beer a day, I would prefer to pay separately for drinks with a reduction in cruise fare or less lofty gratuities expected. Those came as kind of a shock as they were triple ($500 for the week compared to $25/day) the set-rate gratuity we're being charged by Windstar on an upcoming Caribbean cruise we have booked. It sort of tainted our final day farewell experience, raising suspicions that they are underpaying the crew and expecting them to make it solely on the gratuities. I would rather they price the cruise higher and pay them a decent wage, but perhaps they're reluctant to do that due to already being high-priced compared to other cruises. But it's a significant amount to be added-on unexpectedly, and the way it was handled on our ship (maybe not always the case?) was pretty tacky, in my opinion, as everyone is checked-out at the bar register on the last day, waiting in line to pay your tab, with the gratuity added on, ringing up the amount you tell them in full view of others in line and verbally confirming the amount in an audible voice, as if to shame anyone who might want to tip anything less than the $500. We had already planned to tip more than for the Windstar cruise considering the excursion guides (who on other cruises would be separately tipped individually) were part of the crew sharing in the total gratuity, not solely the ship's hotel, kitchen, cleaning and wait staff. However, our choice would have been perhaps double the amount, not triple. My preference would have been to tip each excursion guide separately from the ship's crew, since we liked some guides much more than others. This handling of the gratuity and pressure/obligation to tip so lavishly unfortunately tainted our overall UnCruise experience. I wondered if it was a company policy, that particular ship or that particular crew who quoted such a high suggested amount and had decided they could be more assured of getting it by collecting it so very publicly? I won't say we would not do another UnCruise adventure (especially if they start offering Antarctica or the Amazon), but it won't be our automatic go-to cruise line without investigating what else (among smaller-ship, more casual and active cruises--a segment that I hope will grow considerably beyond the limited choices now available) our internet searches and friends' recommendations might turn up for the same destination. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Very impressed with Uncruise. Having sailed big cruise ships before, this was a far superior experience. Every day we saw beautiful, jaw dropping sights without another boat in sight. It was lovely to go kayaking and be completely alone in ... Read More
Very impressed with Uncruise. Having sailed big cruise ships before, this was a far superior experience. Every day we saw beautiful, jaw dropping sights without another boat in sight. It was lovely to go kayaking and be completely alone in nature and turn back and see our charming vessel anchored in a little cove. The staff were very keen and enthusiastic and tried very hard, even though not always as knowledgeable as I hoped they would be.Southeastern Alaska is a geologic marvel and a little more information such as regarding the role of glaciers in carving the landscape would have been welcome. The presentations in the evening were very not very informative despite the staff trying hard. Perhaps Uncruise could employ someone who has extensive knowledge to do the presentations and not expect the young adventure guides to perform that role. We were lucky to have days with good weather, but one windy day did prevent off the boat activities. I loved the gender equality aboard and the lack of single use plastic. The boat could use some updating. Our cabin while extremely clean( very hardworking staff) was run down and needed a complete overhaul. The beds were comfortable and bedding, while not Frette, was fresh and clean. The biggest downsides were the lounge did not have enough seating for all guests and one had to line up at mealtimes. I was very impressed however with the quality of the equipment: life jackets, kayaks, skiffs etc as well as the concern for safety. The getting in and out of skiffs and kayaks was extremely well monitored and easy. The food was good. Portions were adequate and the staff certainly took into account special requests and asked each meal if we had food allergies. I loved the waitstaff, Jonathan and Tichelle who worked really hard and were so pleasant. We did a galley tour and was amazed at the tight quarters and limited equipment. I can’t imagine how the chef, Bri was able to turn out the meals she did in that space.: Another example of the excellent employees of Uncruise. Most people onboard were very well traveled, very friendly and active. While I usually avoid open seating like the plague,on this cruise I enjoyed meeting new people and hearing their interesting travel stories. By the end of the week I had spoken to most people on board as we had either sat with them at meals, chatted over drinks or done an activity together. I recommend this cruise to people who want a more active vacation and to see parts of Alaska the big ships don’t go. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
First off let me set the tone of the reviewers, we are seasoned cruisers with over 30+ cruises including 5 in Alaska along with a three month Alaska road trip in an RV traveling the main land. We are 59 & 61, together over 45 years ... Read More
First off let me set the tone of the reviewers, we are seasoned cruisers with over 30+ cruises including 5 in Alaska along with a three month Alaska road trip in an RV traveling the main land. We are 59 & 61, together over 45 years and still working. I consider us “Budget Cruisers”, so this trip is way out of our normal affordability. The boat has a capacity of 74. This trip there were 38 people, so a small group which did lend to a very positive experience. The week aboard the Wilderness Explorer was called “Alaska's Fjords & Glaciers”. This is the first year that Uncruise started this early, about four weeks earlier than usual. They called this the “May Awakening”. The boat is small, intimate and cozy. Easy to move around and get to and from staterooms to anywhere on the boat within a minute. The kayak launching system lends itself to ease of entering and exiting the water. To use the skiffs, there was always a crew member inside and outside the skiff to assist in boarding. The food was top notch and well presented. Three dinner options daily, meat, fish or vegetarian meal. Portions at first appear small, but were adequate for most diners. Don't be afraid to ask for half & half meals. Lunches were buffet as was breakfast. Each afternoon around 3, there were cookies and coffee available and on some evenings, appetizers were offered in the lounge before dinner. Lastly, the bar was well stocked with awesome bartender and plenty of suggestions to be had. Activities for the most part were broken up to morning and afternoon events, with a return in time for lunch and dinner. This trip, the activities included kayaking, bushwhacking, skiff tours, snorkeling, paddle boarding and beach walks. Two of the afternoons were onboard the main boat to whale and nature watch. There is no way to compare this cruise with any of the many cruises we have taken. Up to now, the passenger numbers have ranged from a low of 2,000 to a high 6,000 with average sailing cost around $500 to $700 per person. One of our future cruises will be the Galápagos Islands and Uncruise will be on our list of potential tour companies. If interested, I have pictures and YouTube clips of the cruise including the snorkeling part. In addition, there is also a detailed review of day to day that includes our travel from Boston to a long layover in Seattle. Feel free to email me any questions about our trip or any of our trips to dpstimmler@gmail.com. Happy Sailings! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This was my first cruise & it was perfect for me. I swore I would never go on a cruise until I heard of Uncruise. They showed me the Alaska I dreamed of. The kayaking hiking skiffing & exploring were amazing. I saw so many animals ... Read More
This was my first cruise & it was perfect for me. I swore I would never go on a cruise until I heard of Uncruise. They showed me the Alaska I dreamed of. The kayaking hiking skiffing & exploring were amazing. I saw so many animals upclose & took amazing photos. The guides were phenomenal & extremely fun, funny & knowledgeable. I learned so much & laughed all day long. I was not interested in luxury & although the boat was older It was immaculate & the service was perfect. Every crew member was eager to answer any question & fulfill every whim. The food was plentiful & delicious. I was happy that the cruise was all inclusive & therefor worry free. The passengers were like minded in their commitment to get out of their normal comfort zones which the guides were always (gently) urging us to do. I just got back & already miss the boat the crew & my fellow explorers! My only regret was that I didn't do the Polar Plunge & kayak more to improve my skills. Guess I'll have to go back! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This was our second Un-cruise trip to Alaska. We chose Un-cruise as we wanted a small ship and to have the opportunity for skiff rides, kayaking and hiking. For us it was all about seeing the natural sites and wildlife. The trip began ... Read More
This was our second Un-cruise trip to Alaska. We chose Un-cruise as we wanted a small ship and to have the opportunity for skiff rides, kayaking and hiking. For us it was all about seeing the natural sites and wildlife. The trip began with a whale getting caught in our anchor chain. The Captain and Crew were dedicated to saving the whale. NOAA and a whale expert came to help as no one had seen this before. It took over 12 hours for a successful release to occur, the result was we lost our anchor. We also lost a days activity without one complaint from a passenger, the whale was the most important thing that day. As result we went to port in Petersburg to get a new anchor. Un-Cruise arranged for us to have a walking tour of the town lead by a retired teacher with a great sense of humor. Learned about local life and fishing industry. The highlight of the trip was arranged tour with Alaska Vistas to Anan bear viewing. Situated on stream filled with salmon there is a viewing platform and a blind to watch the bears fish and interact with each other-wonderful day. The food was very good, two breakfast options one early with pastry and fruit followed by full buffet breakfast, lunch was soup, salad and sandwich or wrap buffet with homemade cookies. Evenings were plated and served with choice of meat, seafood or vegetarian. All wine and drinks are included. The crew are the best, well educated funny and very hardworking. They bring Alaska to life. The guides all had knowledge of wildlife trees and plants which made hikes and skiff tours very interesting. Had a wonderful trip and have put a deposit down for Costa Rica Panama with Un-Cruise Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We spent 5 days in Denali before flying from Anchorage to Juneau. We were aboard the Wilderness Explorer for 7 nights exploring the Inner Passage. First and foremost, my son has peanut/tree nut allergies and the chef knew ahead of ... Read More
We spent 5 days in Denali before flying from Anchorage to Juneau. We were aboard the Wilderness Explorer for 7 nights exploring the Inner Passage. First and foremost, my son has peanut/tree nut allergies and the chef knew ahead of time and had no nuts in the kitchen for the week we were on board! The pastry chef makes everything from scratch so it was such a huge joy for my son to eat what everyone else was eating. They did have nut bars for snacks but did offer to also take those away too! They clearly take all allergies very seriously and we thank them for that - traveling with allergies can be very stressful. The ship was clean and though there were 70 passengers on board, it didn't feel like it at all. The rooms could use some updating but everything was clean. We had been on La Pinta over Christmas and that ship is more updated. But, don't let that deter you! We would all go back in a heartbeat and would definitely use Uncruise again. There were excursions off the ship everyday. We went bush whacking, kayaking, on skiff rides, snorkeling (yes, in 47 degree waters with wet suits - we were fine!), hiking. We went through Glacier Bay. It is a very active cruise - perfect for our 5 teens. The grandmothers went on skiff rides or meadow walks or just watched the stunning scenery. They do have rainboots on board. I brought my daughters and mine though and the boys just got them from on board. Either way, they are a must. Every landing was a wet landing. Hiking shoes aren't needed because you really end up just wearing your rain boots because everything is so muddy. Definitely bring rain pants and a rain jacket. The waters were extremely calm so even my mother who usually gets very seasick was totally fine! The service was great all around. The guides were all very knowledgeable and likeable and all clearly love Alaska! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
My wife and I just completed an 'Inner Reaches, Western Cove', Alaska trip with a week aboard the 'Wilderness Explorer'. Simply Remarkable........We saw Orca, Humpback breaching, black bear, moose, dall's porpoise ... Read More
My wife and I just completed an 'Inner Reaches, Western Cove', Alaska trip with a week aboard the 'Wilderness Explorer'. Simply Remarkable........We saw Orca, Humpback breaching, black bear, moose, dall's porpoise and many other bird and flora life. Above our expectations, the food was good and well catered for. My wife is a Celiac (Gluten Free) and she was well looked after - thank you Uncruise. The small ship was comfortable and a family feeling was quickly felt by all aboard with thanks to a professional, dedicated team who made us feel very welcome and special. Hot showers, good heating and great service. Not to mention the daily activity choices with experienced and knowledgeable guides. What a fantastic adventure for us 'Aussies'. One we'd love to replicate in the future. Uncruise are a great alternative to the 'big ship cruises' as we were able to change course to take advantage of the wildlife and geography as events unfolded. This is a truly great experience. Do it....if you want an adventure. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
If you want to see wild Alaska up close, go with Un-Cruise. They are the best. The ever-changing and wondrous scenery ( glaciers, caves, rain forests, tidal pools, waterfalls, etc) and wildlife (whales, dolphins, bears, birds and tons of ... Read More
If you want to see wild Alaska up close, go with Un-Cruise. They are the best. The ever-changing and wondrous scenery ( glaciers, caves, rain forests, tidal pools, waterfalls, etc) and wildlife (whales, dolphins, bears, birds and tons of shoreline critters) was super, but what made this trip a once-in-a-lifetime experience was the fantastic crew, from the captain to the dinning room servers, from the engineer to the activity leaders, you could tell that each and everyone of them loved what they did and truly wanted guests to enjoy Alaska as well. Choices of daily activities ranged from guided kayak paddles, shoreline walks, and "bushwacking (i.e. no trails)" to skiff and cave tours, paddleboarding, and tours of the ships engine rooms, kitchens, and bridge. All these activities were led by very knowledgeable folks, who were able to explain the wonders of Alaska with a smile and humor. The meals were 4-star quality with at least 3 choices of which one was always fresh seafood. The ship was immactulate from stem to stern... actually saw one of the crew cleaning the metal treads on stairways between the three decks with a toothbrush! Could go on and on, bottomline... Un-Cruise is the best in every regard. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
My husband and I always wanted to go to Alaska but we DIDNT want to be on a 2000 person ship where people got dressed up to stand in line for a buffet dinner, look at glaciers and breathtaking sites from half a mile away, and be held ... Read More
My husband and I always wanted to go to Alaska but we DIDNT want to be on a 2000 person ship where people got dressed up to stand in line for a buffet dinner, look at glaciers and breathtaking sites from half a mile away, and be held captive on the ship except for occasional outings for tourist stops. We wanted to be on a ship where we sit and have plated dinners, where by the end of the week we actually knew everyone on the ship, and most importantly, where we "experience" Alaska close up. Un-Cruise exceeded our expectations in every way. Every day we were able to chose from kayaking, skiff tours, hiking, beach walks on glaciers and more (polar plunge for the brave ones which ended up being 1/3 of the people). It wasn't fancy it was a true Alaska experience. We didn't bring high heels we brought hiking boots. The food was 5 star every night with a choice of meat, fish, or vegetarian, with a homemade dessert and a full bar open from lunch if you wanted to sit in the hot tub with a beer, through the entire evening. Every evening there were fabulous lectures from naturalists giving talks about native bird life, fish, bears, and how the weather changes are effecting Alaska. The crew was highly educated and treated each guest as if they were family. Our safely was their number one priority and they kept every guest healthy and safe through the entire week. When we disembarked the ship the entire staff lined up on the dock to shake our hands and thank us by name for joining them. We have already signed up to join Un-Cruise for a return in 2018. Can't wait. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Fantastic trip for our 50th wedding anniversary. Crew and staff great, friendly -local and knowledgeable, all with various outdoor backgrounds pertinent to our trip. Perfect size ship, experienced captain most accommodating when wildlife ... Read More
Fantastic trip for our 50th wedding anniversary. Crew and staff great, friendly -local and knowledgeable, all with various outdoor backgrounds pertinent to our trip. Perfect size ship, experienced captain most accommodating when wildlife or scenery was notable... stopping often for our viewing and photographing pleasure. Crew helped us learn new skills, led great shore excursions, shared native lore, and provided ample opportunities for outdoor activities. Food was delightful, plated dinners with at least 3 major entrees nightly, and buffet breakfast and lunch worked well with our relaxed "schedules". Kitchen staff offered plenty of variety and great baked goodies daily. Such a delight to be so remote and 'unplugged'; we felt our interests were completely accommodated without being overwhelmed by activities. Loved how we cruised into remote wilderness areas that larger ships cannot reach including close to glacier-calving, and skiff to locations for nature walks. Weather was fabulous although we planned for anything. We are already planning another un-cruise adventure! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Two of us traveled at the end of June, from Sitka to Juneau. There were approximately 70 people on board. We liked a lot of the activities (such as kayaking, hiking, skiff rides, shore walks, etc.), ecological and scientific ... Read More
Two of us traveled at the end of June, from Sitka to Juneau. There were approximately 70 people on board. We liked a lot of the activities (such as kayaking, hiking, skiff rides, shore walks, etc.), ecological and scientific presentations in the evening. The animals, birds and nature seen on the trip were noteworthy. Food was ok but usually rather bland. Room was small and compact, but ok. The main reason for the rating is that we got very sick towards the end of the trip, as did a number of other passengers and staff. When contacted, the cruise company just gave us the "standard" response letter, basically saying all passengers should continually wash their hands to avoid infection and taking no responsibility for any problems. A small ship such as this allows more exploration of coves and inlets, but you do pay a lot for the experience, which should not be marred by illness. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
PROS We chose this cruise because - being a small boat it get's to places the big ships can't go (max 70 passengers). We stood 30 metres off shore from calving Glaciers - wow ! The sea and land scenery were simply awesome. ... Read More
PROS We chose this cruise because - being a small boat it get's to places the big ships can't go (max 70 passengers). We stood 30 metres off shore from calving Glaciers - wow ! The sea and land scenery were simply awesome. Every day you get to chose variety of off-boat activities i.e. kayaking, skiff tours & shore excursions and rough trails. The have the best methods of launching and decking returning kayaks. The crew are likable, friendly, capable and very knowledgeable, so is the Captain. Breakfast and lunch are a very scrumptious smorgasbord, but dinner was a la carte. I found the portions very small and not being able to eat bread (a coeliac) left me hungry at night. They also gave me 3 dinners containing gluten 3 times in error and this made me ill. Of course you can stay on the boat, look at the wonderful temperate forest, mountains and occasional glacier or just read a book. But if you like adventure, especially kayaking, this is the cruise for you, but it's up to you to take part. I expected to see more wildlife, but we saw our share of bears, eagles, otters, seals and sea lions and I guess it's all down to luck. CONS Luke warm coffee and tea was a constant downer. Couldn't wait to get off the boat and get a hot tea or coffee. If you're not used to tipping e.g. Australian, English or NZ, we got a BIG shock when with 2 days to go the Capt told us we were expected to tip 15-20% of the cabin cost ! Our cabin cost was $10,000 AU which meant paying another $1,500 to $2,000 extra. OK I've tipped $150 to the cabin steward on our Hawaiian cruse but not 15% of the cruise cost. I felt this was unconscionable but our American friends assured us it was all above board in USA. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We just returned from the two week Ultimate Coves and Passages cruise with Un-Cruise on the Wilderness Explorer. I wanted to post this in an effort to help others considering sailing with Un-Cruise. Bottom line: The trip was fantastic ... Read More
We just returned from the two week Ultimate Coves and Passages cruise with Un-Cruise on the Wilderness Explorer. I wanted to post this in an effort to help others considering sailing with Un-Cruise. Bottom line: The trip was fantastic and far exceeded our expectations. We are definitely going to sail again with them. Now I must state this up front. We had rain on day one and day 14. In between we had the most gorgeous weather. The Captain said in all his years of sailing in Alaska ours had to be in the top 2 or 3 based on the weather. I say this so you know the perspective my comments are based upon. The Ship – Wilderness Explorer. We were in 309. The room had two twin beds. I’m 6’2” tall and I had to untuck the bedding on one corner for my feet to stick out. Personally it was no big deal for me and kind of comical. The shower is a typical square shower with which I had no problems. They have a removable European style shower head which makes rinsing easier. They provided a liquid shampoo and body gel dispenser in the shower. The bow sitting are is large and many passengers were there enjoying the weather. The lounge is nice as is the dining room. One issue we had every night every night was that both became very warm. The crew was willing to open windows but sometimes people complained so they were closed. The engine noise was negligible as we were so high and mid ship so it wasn’t an issue at night. We brought ear plugs but didn’t need them. The Crew – Nothing but glowing cudos for everyone. They work so hard with multiple responsibilities. The five Adventure Guides were VERY knowledgeable with every aspect of Alaska. Each evening they would give a presentation on Alaska history, geology or wildlife. Meals – This is one area I think could use some improvement. They weren’t bad but they weren’t great either. I’d give them a 5 on a 10 scale. Breakfast and lunch were served buffet style and were by far the best meals of the day. Dinner was plated and served to you. You were given a choice of a meat, seafood or vegetable entrée. If you’re expecting the French Laundry you’re going to be very disappointed. However, if you’re expecting Denney’s or IHOP you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Every morning from 6:30-7:30 there was a great continental breakfast in the lounge (regular breakfast starts at 7:30.) The continental breakfast was wonderful with fruit, fresh baked pastries and oatmeal. Adventures – Lot of fun. Most days you were able to do a morning and an afternoon activity. Each evening the Expedition Leader held “Six O’Clock News” to let use know what was happening the next day and listed the available activities which included a guided kayak trip, free paddle kayak (go on your own), paddle boarding, zodiac (inflatable boat) tour, hiking or the infamous “buskwacking”. Bushwacking is a hike in the Alaskan forest where there is no trail. You’re breaking your own trail through the brush and trees. You need to be in good shape for these and they are fun. We’ve never kayaked before and it was a breeze. These are “sea” kayaks and are virtually impossible to turn over. Photography – I’m an avid photographer and came loaded for bear (pun intened). I brought way too much. Leave the tripod at home. The ship is always moving, even when anchored. When the engine is off they still have a large generator running for power and I could feel it on my tripod legs. Do bring a monopod if you’re using a large lens to relieve your arms. 90% of my shooting was done with my 70-200 lens. While on hikes or the kayak I used my Olympus mirrorless DSLR but many had their large cameras on the kayaks. The other lens I used was my 24-105 during hikes. Bring lens cloths and cleaner. You’ll definitely need a dry bag for kayaking and riding on the zodiacs and some form of cover for shooting in drizzle and rain. Clothing: We WAY over packed here. We took clothes for one week. When the ship docks in Juno mid trip, Un-Cruise provides you a laundry bag and they have a laundry service on shore do all your laundry at no charge. There is a commercial dryer on the top deck for passenger use. We packed a lot of cold weather layers we never used. If you have rubber boots definitely take them. If not, you can rent a pair for $25 for the trip. If you have very small or large feet consider bringing your own. We brought hiking boots and shoes. Should have left the boots at home. Bring a comfortable pair of sandals or tennis shoes to wear on the boat. Bring quick dry clothing as it will get wet. We had all Columbia pants and shirts and they worked fine. Definitely bring rain gear (jacket and pants). Bring wool socks. Bring warm gloves. There were times early in the morning or on the zodiacs where warm gloves were a blessing. Bring water booties/shoes for in the kayaks. You’re feet for the most part stay dry but you don’t want you’re regular shoes getting wet by chance. Bring layers. I had a warm vest I wore under my rain jacket and that was fine. Bring t-shirts as it was warm. Misc: Leave your hiking sticks at home. They have plenty on the ship for you to use. Bring snacks (trail mix etc). There is NO internet on this cruise so be prepared. Every so often if the ship sailed near civilization you might pick up a weak signal but that rarely happened. There is a very nice library containing books on every aspect of Alaskan life and history. Great reading. Each room was provided a set of binoculars so no need to bring your own unless you really like yours. Well I hope this helps someone. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
I continue to relive this trip six weeks later. It was a wonderful experience. I shared a room with my adult daughter and it was comfortable. We controlled the heat which was very nice. The beds were great. We were in 213 and kept our ... Read More
I continue to relive this trip six weeks later. It was a wonderful experience. I shared a room with my adult daughter and it was comfortable. We controlled the heat which was very nice. The beds were great. We were in 213 and kept our curtains open almost all the time because we didn't want to miss any views. The guests ranged in age from 16 to four young-at-heart people in their eighties. Many of us were adults with adult children, which made the trip extra special. The entire crew was outstanding and set the tone for an exceptionally enjoyable experience. The companionship among guests seemed unusually congenial. The food was excellent - all meals and hors d'oeuvres. Early breakfast was served in the lounge and consisted of cold food. Regular breakfast was in the dining room and featured hot items and delicious choices and all you could eat. Smiling wait staff were there to refill coffee, clear dishes and offer anything one could want. Lunch always included a green salad along with hot items. The dinners were spectacular. NOT meat and potatoes. There were three choices - meat, fish and vegetarian. And you could order 1/2 and 1/2 for those of us who couldn't decide which delectable meal to choose. Alcohol was reasonably priced. A daily special cocktail was offered for $5.00 and was delicious. The activities were varied, well described, fun and for many enough of a challenge so we felt proud of ourselves for participating. There were first time kayakers, snorkelers and polar plungers. Basic requirements were to be able to climb stairs, get in an inflatable and have a good attitude. The more rigorous activities were longer hikes and a 6.5 mile kayak. Perhaps a more strenuous hike would have appealed to some. The guides for all activities were helpful and informative and so pleasant. Every evening following dinner a guide presented an organized lecture. Our last night we had a very fun and funny contest hosted by the guides. One reviewer commented on the noise of the engines and generators. It did exist, and one table in the dining room was pretty loud. However while sleeping the generators were white noise and when the diesels started in the morning it was a reassuring sound. We kept our window open every night and slept very well. If your desire is to see SE Alaska up close, unspoiled and uncrowded, book with Un-Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Pros Great, fun, responsive, accomodating crew Clean ship; flexible course; no crowds or tourist stops Good (not great) food & drink Very fun activities (Hiking, snorkeling, kayaking, animal life sightings) Park ranger ... Read More
Pros Great, fun, responsive, accomodating crew Clean ship; flexible course; no crowds or tourist stops Good (not great) food & drink Very fun activities (Hiking, snorkeling, kayaking, animal life sightings) Park ranger on board for 2 days really added alot Hot tub on bow Negatives Cabins are adequate but not as pleasant as those pictured in brochure Crew does their best to be informative but not to the level of experts on Natl Geographic tours A few small improvements would go along way (signage, food prep & presentation, pertinent videos), so sollicit more feedback from passengers Etc. Be patient as the pace of activities builds A nice balance between cost and value Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
The crew was fantastic. The sights were awe inspiring. We saw bald eagles, stellar sea lions, whales, sea otters, moose, bear and many more animals. The fellow explorers were friendly and fun. Tried stand-up paddle boarding for first time, ... Read More
The crew was fantastic. The sights were awe inspiring. We saw bald eagles, stellar sea lions, whales, sea otters, moose, bear and many more animals. The fellow explorers were friendly and fun. Tried stand-up paddle boarding for first time, it was great. No complaints at all. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Un-Cruise Adventures does an outstanding job providing a real Alaskan expedition geared to a wide range of interests and athletic ability. I have been on nine other cruises, all ships with at least 200 people. None had the same ... Read More
Un-Cruise Adventures does an outstanding job providing a real Alaskan expedition geared to a wide range of interests and athletic ability. I have been on nine other cruises, all ships with at least 200 people. None had the same "adventure" focus as UnCruise. I think the cruise line fills its niche well. We flew to Juneau the day before, staying at Hotel Baranof. The next morning, we walked to the convention center where we left our luggage in the UnCruise "day room" while exploring the town. As you'd expect from a small ship with only 72 passengers, embarkation and disembarkation were uncomplicated. At disembarkation in Sitka (what an appealing town!), passengers could leave luggage at a convenient hotel. Uncruise arranged for transportation to the airport and passengers didn't have to deal with luggage. Although not a luxury cruise, the food was excellent. Buffet breakfast and lunch offered something for everyone. At dinner there were three entree choices, one vegetarian. The pastry chef created tempting desserts. Crew members were uniformly friendly and accommodating. I appreciated nice touches like water bottles available for use and good binoculars in each room and in the lounge. My teenage granddaughter relished kayaking and paddle boarding. I stuck with tamer activities. Two of our favorites were watching humpback whales up close and walking amid icebergs in a Glacier Bay "ice , garden" . The itinerary was flexible to allow for good wildlife viewing and longer stops to enjoy the beauty. Public spaces: the one indoor gathering spot cannot accommodate all passengers comfortably though this was rarely an issue. Our twin bed cabin was small but efficient (and larger than I expected). There is a separate toilet and shower; the sink is in the cabin. Advice for cruisers: take your own boots; you'll need them for water landings. There are boots to borrow, but borrowed footwear rarely fits well. I sloshed around uncomfortably. Hiking boots are unnecessary. Overall, this was an outstanding cruise except for one thing: engine noise. I knew there would be noise, but this was NOISE. While it wouldn't have been as bad in a cabin farther from the engine, there is no getting away from it in the dining room where carrying on a conversation is impossible when the engine is running. Our last morning, the engine started up at 4:30 a.m. No more sleep after that.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
This was my first time in Alaska, and I liked the concept of an 'adventure' cruise with activities other than watching the ocean go by. This was what I wanted and just what I received. Since this was my first cruise, I had lot ... Read More
This was my first time in Alaska, and I liked the concept of an 'adventure' cruise with activities other than watching the ocean go by. This was what I wanted and just what I received. Since this was my first cruise, I had lot of questions for the sales staff. They treated me courteously, got back to me with answers and helped by providing options that worked. When the time came, they followed up to make sure everything was in order. Instructions provided were clear and easy to follow. A small cruise ship, not a floating hotel, was a must for me. A desire to meet the crew and most of the passengers was also a desire. Captain 'Marce' was easy to talk to and her crew was a reflection of her very good leadership. They were all friendly, helpful, very accommodating and very easy to work with. They were knowledgeable and provided assistance on just about everything necessary to make things like kayaking (my first attempt), polar plunges, snorkeling (including thermal suits to stay warm), paddle boarding, shore hikes, whale watching and everything in between more fun than I'd hoped. Meals were casual, but very good. Choices and amounts were also very good. Activities were categorized by amounts of effort in the activity. Activity choices varied from mild (skiff rides up close and personal with calving glaciers) to endurance kayak trips or shore hiking trips. If I had it to do over again, the only thing I'd change would be to lengthen the cruise duration. And next time, I will. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
Quite simply, this trip was the best trip we have ever taken. We cruised with Un-Cruise for the first time this summer and we boarded the Wilderness Explorer for a 7 night adventure cruise that left from Juneau, went through Glacier Bay, ... Read More
Quite simply, this trip was the best trip we have ever taken. We cruised with Un-Cruise for the first time this summer and we boarded the Wilderness Explorer for a 7 night adventure cruise that left from Juneau, went through Glacier Bay, the Northern Passages, and ended in Sitka. This was our 4th cruise and our first small boat adventure cruise. After the amazing experience we had with Un-Cruise, we will not cruise with another company. We began planning a trip to Alaska about 2 years ago and we requested some promotional material from Un-Cruise. From our very first encounter with their team, it was apparent to us that they were personable, professional, and an awesome place to do business with. The small boat only held 76 passengers and there were around 50 guests which made for a great guest to staff ratio. On board our boat was a team of expedition guides that were all naturalists. Our daily activities included guided bushwhack hiking, paddle boarding, kayaking, snorkeling and skiff tours. Each night our Expedition Leader met us in the lounge to discuss the next day's available excursions. We were able to select from a list of activities and the crew made all of them available for us. Each evening, one of the expedition guides presented on an aspect of Southeast Alaska, wildlife, and Glacier Bay. They were entertaining and very informative. The wildlife that we experienced was breathtaking. We saw in excess of 20 humpback whales, we saw countless bald eagles, sea otters, sea lions, and one day we even saw a brown bear from the boat! The highlight for us was being able to see a Killer Whale come completely out of the water and breach about 50 yards off of the starboard side right outside our room! The activities were not too strenuous. They did a great job explaining the difficulty level of each activity so we weren't over matched or under matched. It was a pretty neat experience to cruise on a small boat and actually meet and visit with the captain, the first mate, and the rest of the crew. The boat had an "open bridge" policy so we were able to go into the bridge and visit with the captain and crew while we were sailing. Something that we really appreciated was that the captain and crew stopped the boat when we came upon wildlife. What an awesome experience to stop the boat and watch humpback whales in their natural habitat un-rushed, un-crowded and un-believable. Un-Cruise carries our highest recommendations. We had such an amazing time on our cruise that we put down a deposit on board to cruise again in Hawaii with Un-Cruise. J&H Little Rock, AR Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
From first contact in planning tto departure, guests were the focus of the entire crew and Un-cruise staff. Each crew member from moment of approaching the ship until after we were safely on our way to airport did even tiny thing in a ... Read More
From first contact in planning tto departure, guests were the focus of the entire crew and Un-cruise staff. Each crew member from moment of approaching the ship until after we were safely on our way to airport did even tiny thing in a personal, friendly, competent and efficient manner. Their excitement was infectious ,,,their knowledge and acts enhanced our experiences both with the ship and its amenities as well as the real reason for small-ship cruise choice: up close, intense and personal contact with Nature and Alaska. Our dream began in 1996... life was as life would be and finally our dream became reality and began June 2013... in all respects, our deepest gratitude to Un-Cruise, front office, captain, officers, staff and crew. Words of compliment in the English language are oft over- or mis-used. Our experience with Un-cruise: superb. We look forward to at least two more trips with it. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
In June 2013 my wife and I took the Un-Cruise inner passage cruise from Sitka to Anchorage, Alaska. It was a "bucket list" item to which we had looked forward for many years. The cruise more than fulfilled our every expectation. ... Read More
In June 2013 my wife and I took the Un-Cruise inner passage cruise from Sitka to Anchorage, Alaska. It was a "bucket list" item to which we had looked forward for many years. The cruise more than fulfilled our every expectation. Of course the scenery was spectacular and endless. We had a bad case of the illness the crew described as "FOMO," "fear of missing out." It was difficult to take time out to sleep, as each turn revealed a new scenic highlight. The crew was enthusiastic about what they were doing, were endlessly patient, always ensuring the safety of the guests, and remarkably knowledgeable about the flora and fauna we encountered, both on board as the ship went out of it way to provide special views of marine wildlife, as we kayaked amidst it, and as we hiked ashore. Our days and evenings were filled with new knowledge about our surrounding, which if what we had come for, and each day we were provided with six major activity opportunities from which to choose. My only reluctance in taking the trip involved a dietary concern. The crew managed that concern magnificently and discretely, in a fashion no restaurant has ever achieved. Both the embarkation and disembarkation were handled flawlessly and with great cheer on the part of the crew, requiring minimal effort on our part. In summary, my wife and I could not recommend more highly our experience on the Un-Cruise Wilderness Explorer.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
Wilderness Explorer Ratings
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