1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Wilderness Explorer
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.

Un-Cruise far exceeded our expectations!!!

Wilderness Explorer Cruise Review by mtlycrew1

44 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2016
  • Destination: Alaska
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.
mtlycrew1’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get UnCruise Wilderness Explorer price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.