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.
Great cabin, well insulated (no noise from other cabins heard), quality appointments. Good storage space, lots of pillows, flat screen TV and DVD player, Ipod docking station. Heated tile floors in bathrooms, fluffy towels. All cabins go directly to outdoors, so if you see a whales, all you do is pop outside.