4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
... and maybe our last - unless we can come up with another one that equals this in the following ways: - small (40 passengers) - amazing crew (couldn't be friendlier or more caring and helpful) - focusing on wildlife (stopping ... Read More
... and maybe our last - unless we can come up with another one that equals this in the following ways: - small (40 passengers) - amazing crew (couldn't be friendlier or more caring and helpful) - focusing on wildlife (stopping for whales, otters, bears, etc) - allowing lots of on-shore time for walking or exploring or taking part in cultural experiences - very good meals in modest portions (no huge buffet pig-outs with accompanying waste) - many special excursions available only to this cruise line - the bridge was often open. Captain Eric, Charlie and all were welcoming and informative whenever they had guests. - special talks and performances were short and worth attending, all focused on enhancing the day's (or the next day's) experiences. - the ship, a catamaran, was mostly stable and even this landlubber was able to develop sea legs most of the time - every time we encountered a gigantic ship with its thousands of no-name passengers, we felt very lucky: most crew knew and used our first names! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
We have cruised to Alaska several times on larger ships, but decided to try the Lindblad/National Geographic cruise because we have taken others of their cruises and loved them - and because we wanted to go where the bigger ships can't go ... Read More
We have cruised to Alaska several times on larger ships, but decided to try the Lindblad/National Geographic cruise because we have taken others of their cruises and loved them - and because we wanted to go where the bigger ships can't go and do what the larger groups can't do. We were not disappointed. What sets Lindblad/National Geographic apart for me is its emphasis on adventure, its excellent group of knowledgeable naturalists, its lectures and presentations about the places and the things to be seen and experienced, and the opportunities offered to guests to explore the destinations with guides to explain and to help every step of the way. Every trip we have been on has also had at least one National Geographic photographer on board who talks about his/her (always interesting) photography career, offers tips about photographing whatever the destination might be - and helps everyone on board who wants some advice about cameras, picture taking and picture processing. The destinations are carefully selected before the cruise and changed if need be due to weather conditions or because something really interesting is happening somewhere that shouldn't be missed. The activities and excursions are excellent. On this trip, there were plenty of opportunities to hike, to ride in Zodiacs (known here as Dibs) to get even closer to the wildlife or the interesting glaciers and shorelines, to ride bikes, to flightsee, to kayak or even for the brave to swim in the waters of Alaska - and all guests are led or accompanied by naturalists and guides who provide information and assistance (if need be) all along the way. There are no casinos or cabaret shows on board and no need to dress up for any occasion, which appeals to us very much, but may not appeal to others. The rooms on this ship are very small, but we did manage to find a space for everything we brought. The beds (twins) are comfortable but small; I wasn't sure how someone much over 6-feet tall would be able to sleep comfortably. The food was very good. The customer service was terrific. The staff, as on all trips we have taken, have been friendly, knowledgeable and very helpful. The only opportunity for exercise on board besides walking around the ship is to use one of three exercise machines, which are located on the top deck, which is essentially outside, which can be tough in the rain, the wind or the cold. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
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 and many other bird and ... 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
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
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
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
If you are looking for an Alaskan cruise where you dress for dinner, and have shows and casinos, this cruise is NOT for you! If you want to see all the things you associate with Alaska, then I say "Welcome aboard!" On our 11-day ... Read More
If you are looking for an Alaskan cruise where you dress for dinner, and have shows and casinos, this cruise is NOT for you! If you want to see all the things you associate with Alaska, then I say "Welcome aboard!" On our 11-day cruise from Ketchikan to Sitka, we crossed off every item on our Alaska bucket list: Northern Lights, orcas, humpback whales, black bears, mountain goats, sea lions, puffins, glaciers calving, and more. We even had a rainbow on our last day out. Now, I know that no cruise can guarantee that you will see all of those things, but I have never been on a cruise where they tried so hard to make our experiences the very best. Note: Other Alaskan cruises seem to charge for every shore excursion; this cruise is all-inclusive. Think about that when you are comparing prices. What surprised me from the beginning was how the captain and crew, barely 4 hours after dropping off the passengers from the 11-day cruise from Sitka to Ketchikan, greeted us with so much excitement and enthusiasm - which was the tone for the entire trip. The Alaskan Dream is a catamaran-type ship, 40 passengers/ 20 cabins and, with the exception of 1 [I think], most are small with a shower/toilet combo. Don't let that deter you; everything fit in our cabin 304, and the shower curtain kept our mini-bathroom dry and gave us plenty of laughs.The food was outstanding; so good, our baker is one of three contestants going on "Cake Wars" after the cruise season! By the way, the cruise company provides each passenger with rain boots and a rain jacket and rain pants, on hooks just outside the cabins, so we didn't have to bring that stuff. The best things about the trip were the relaxed atmosphere [jeans at dinner, yea!], and the ability to stop and see whenever the opportunity presented itself. The captain would come on the intercom and say, "Folks, there's a pod of orcas around us, so we're going to stop for awhile" or "Folks, I know it's late, but if you want to put jackets on over your pajamas and come on deck, we're going to stop and watch the Northern Lights" or "We've got some black bears fishing on the shore to the left. We'll stop so you can get a good look." I feel like I was able to have a REAL Alaskan adventure. I'm ready to go again! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
MY 50th bday was to do something from my parents bucket list. They wanted Alaska cruise, I wanted to experience Alaska, not 500 to 3,000 other passengers. WHat we got was so much more than expected. By the end of our first of 11 days on ... Read More
MY 50th bday was to do something from my parents bucket list. They wanted Alaska cruise, I wanted to experience Alaska, not 500 to 3,000 other passengers. WHat we got was so much more than expected. By the end of our first of 11 days on cruise, we pretty much knew everyone on board and the staff was already picking up everyone's nuances. Captain Eric made the effort for us to see even the most difficult. Chef Brie and her crew gave us 5 star dinning while they managed to feed my very plain meat and potato husband ( a running joke onboard ). I could go on and on about the small things that each staff member did to make the trip special. Leaving was so sad. You felt like you were saying goodbye to family, passenger and crew alike. I will never go on another large cruise agin, but I'd sail with them again in a heartbeat. The ship was nice and between serving and doing things with us the staff was always cleaning. The cabins were small and cozy (be realistic if your choosing to go on a small ship) and I wanted to bring that bed and bedding home because it was so comfy! I miss that bed as much as our dessert/bakers 3:00 cookies and our bartender's awesome drinks. The ports were great as were our evening lounge info sesssions. We researched and went out on one outside excursion to a dog sled camp, which was well worth the money. Our captain even took us verses us waiting for a van to pick us up. THis is a 40 passenger ship, I wouldn't bring kids. My husband is 44 and was the youngest passenger on ship. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
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
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Right off the bat, I'll say that I would give this cruise 10 stars if I could! We couldn't have been any happier and the cruise and staff more than exceeded our expectations. There are so few reviews of this boat, that I was a little ... Read More
Right off the bat, I'll say that I would give this cruise 10 stars if I could! We couldn't have been any happier and the cruise and staff more than exceeded our expectations. There are so few reviews of this boat, that I was a little worried about what we would find when we got there. The Alaskan Dream holds about 40 passengers and is a large catamaran, which makes it fairly speedy and very maneuverable. I couldn't picture what it would be like, but it's a very smooth ride and very functionally comfortable. There is no need to sign up for any shore excursions, because everything was included. We were whale watching all the time, bear watching, bird watching, with cultural activities, hiking and city tours every day. Plus free time in town, if we chose. During our voyage, we saw tons of humpback whales, fluking, breaching and even bubble net feeding. There were so many whales and they were so close that Alex, our boat Marine Biologist, mentioned that the odd smell we all could smell was whale breath!! The cool thing (one of them), is that whenever we saw whales, Captain Eric would follow them for as long as it was still interesting. In addition to humpback whales, we followed several pods of Orca Whales, including babies fluking and breaching. We followed them for an hour while several big ships cruised right by. I'm sure while we were enjoying an up close and personal experience, no one on the big boat even realized what was there....it was during the dinner hour on the big boat. Our dinner was postponed until the whales were out of sight. In addition to whales, we saw Momma bears and cubs along the shoreline. Captain Eric brought the boat as close as was allowed so we could see them feeding along the shore. We also went to the Anan Bear Conservancy, which ended up being a highlight. The bears were feeding on salmon while we were watching from a deck and a blind, just a few feet from the bears. We saw beautiful waterfalls and icebergs all over Tracy Arm and Glacier Bay. We even saw a moose at Barlett Cove. In Glacier Bay, we had a National Park Ranger on board, and he was very helpful identifying the animals and birds along the way to the glaciers. We saw Crested Puffins and Horned Puffins and many other sea birds, mountain goats, sea otters and sea lions. We were lucky enough to see several glaciers calve and were, close enough to feel the wave from the ice dropping into the water. Jno, our onboard Alaskan Cultural Expert explained the history and culture of the three native groups in this part of Alaska. We saw many totems, longhouses, dancers and families. All were very proud to share their culture and to educate us on the modern practices and bringing back the language and customs. It was equally as fun and interesting as the wildlife. The boat provided binoculars, rain boots and waterproof rain suits, that we wore several times when it got really cold or wet. When we were on the boat, I would wear flannel lined hiking pants, a winter "undershirt" and a light sweater underneath my lined raincoat. When it got really cold, and it did a few times, I would put the rain suit over everything. Now granted....I'm a tourist and spent a lot of time outside. I also wore a winter hat and gloves a few times. In the towns, jeans, hiking shoes and my lined jacket were adequate....and remember, this was the end of July. This area is a temperate rainforest, so it's wet all the time. The food on the boat was spectacular, as good as any very nice restaurant. I'm gluten free and every meal was presented beautifully prepared and delicious AND gluten free. Only on one other cruise (and we've done several), was I able to get gluten free meals without a hassle. We were in cabin 102 on the main level. It was small, but adequate. By the time we got in our cabin each day, we were usually ready to nap and the bed was comfy. The shoilet is interesting and takes some getting used to, but we had plenty of laughs about it! It's a toilet/ shower combo and small, but perfectly adequate. Everyday at 3:00 there were homemade, warm cookies and at 5:30 a new cocktail of the day and appetizers. The food, crew and staff were outstanding and personal. What you won't find is a casino, TV or a Broadway show or dress up night. Only bring functional clothes, which simplifies packing!! Almost half the boat was from Australia or New Zealand, a family from UK and the rest were from all over the US. A wonderful group that we enjoyed tremendously. Go for it!! You won't regret your time on the Alaskan Dream! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
I had always wanted to see the Inside Passage, and family/friends who had gone said the only way was to go on a small ship. This ship has only 40 passengers, a full crew (chef, baker, bartender, etc. in addition to captain and his staff). ... Read More
I had always wanted to see the Inside Passage, and family/friends who had gone said the only way was to go on a small ship. This ship has only 40 passengers, a full crew (chef, baker, bartender, etc. in addition to captain and his staff). We were able to see lots of wildlife: whales, eagles, bear, moose, seals, otters, puffins, etc. and many incredible views of glaciers, mountains, icebergs and more. We had guided tours of two native villages/towns, which were both quite special, and saw many beautiful totem poles in those places, as well as Ketchikan and Sitka. We had day trips in Juneau and Wrangell. The food was always delicious, as well as the desserts (full time baker on board). A nice surprise was a bartender, who made special cocktails every day. There were kayaks available, so most of us kayaked a few times on the calm waters of the inside passage. Read Less
36 Helpful Votes
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

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