We originally booked an Alaska cruise with Oceania, but it was from Vancouver to San Francisco, making any significant excursions to Denali National Park or Fairbanks difficult. Our agent recommended a Regent Seven Seas cruise ending in Anchorage and then a land package through another travel company. When I went to their site, I found Un-Cruise, and having enjoyed hotel barge cruises in France, we decided that a small ship approach would be something we might enjoy. We did a seven-day cruise from Ketchikan to Juneau.
Here's the deal. If you want butler service, formal dinners, gigantic cabins, and lots of excursions, this is not the ship for you. If you want to see Alaska (or one of the other Un-Cruise destinations) up close and personal, this is the way to do it.
We watched the 145-foot, 36-passenger Safari Explorer pull into port in Ketchikan early in the morning on our departure day. It was docked alongside four gigantic cruise ships and the difference was stunning. We gathered at the Cape Fox Lodge in the late afternoon for a welcome session with our shipmates and an introduction to the Tlinglit tribal culture from one of the elders of the tribe. We boarded a small bus to go to the dock. We were greeted by most of the 15-person crew, including the delightful Captain Mike Bennett. A crew member showed us to our room and our luggage was there waiting for us.
Our cabin was in the Master category, the smallest onboard. It included a queen-size bed, private bath with shower, a chair and ottoman, and plenty of storage space. There are several larger stateroom categories on the ship including ones with sitting areas, king-size beds, and Jacuzzi tubs. We had no problems with our smallish stateroom, especially since the common areas were very comfortable places to hang out.