Wilderness Explorer Review

93% of cruisers loved it
Wilderness Explorer

Wilderness Explorer Overview

Wilderness Explorer became the third expedition ship in Un-Cruise Adventures' fleet in 2012. Originally run as Cruise West's 86-passenger Spirit of Discovery, the ship was renovated to carry 76 passengers on Glacier Bay-oriented itineraries between Juneau and Sitka. The ship has a larger lounge than the other Un-Cruise Adventures vessels, and the cabins feel bigger, even though the square footage is similar.

If your idea of a great weekend is getting outside for a long hike or paddle, then a Wilderness Explorer cruise is perfect for you. With the company's focus on getting up-close with nature and wildlife, you'll get the most out of your trip if you take part in the ship's outdoor activities -- all of which are included in the cruise fare. You'll be joined by fellow passengers who have the latest in outdoor gear and are eager to use it. Don't bother packing dresses or collared shirts; you're more likely to wear rubber boots and rain pants.

Despite the casual atmosphere, Wilderness Explorer offers thoughtful touches onboard. Passengers will find a reasonably priced full bar, memory foam mattresses in the cabins and a special kayak launching dock designed to get even the biggest couch potatoes out on the water. Meals are served buffet-style at set times, and soda, lemonade and juice are included in the cruise price. The onboard pastry chef guarantees you'll replenish calories quickly. All cabins are above deck with outward-facing windows, perfect for enjoying Alaska's crisp mornings and late sunsets. The ship quiets down at night, primarily because people are worn out from the ample hiking, paddling and trekking opportunities -- although the hot tub gets some use. There's little in the way of organized lectures or talks, a missed opportunity considering the surroundings.

Tips can be added to your bill at the end of the cruise, and they are split evenly between the crew. The captain recommends 5 to 10 percent of your total cabin cost.

The ship summers in Glacier Bay, where a national park ranger comes onboard to provide education and interpretation, and passengers can take out human-powered watercraft to access areas closed to motorized traffic. 

16 Wilderness Explorer Reviews from our Cruise Critic Community

Start your review of Wilderness Explorer
Click to rate
ManykidsTraveler
Member Since 2017
1 review
0 forum posts
0 helpful votes
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
Martinwil
Member Since 2017
1 review
0 forum posts
0 helpful votes
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
Phishz
Member Since 2016
1 review
0 forum posts
0 helpful votes
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

16 Wilderness Explorer Reviews from our Cruise Critic Community

Start your review of Wilderness Explorer
Click to rate
ManykidsTraveler
Member Since 2017
1 review
0 forum posts
0 helpful votes
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
Martinwil
Member Since 2017
1 review
0 forum posts
0 helpful votes
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
Phishz
Member Since 2016
1 review
0 forum posts
0 helpful votes
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
Cruise Deals

UnCruise Adventures Fleet