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Safari Voyager Activities

4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating
12 reviews
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Editor Rating
Dori Saltzman
Cruise Critic Contributor

Entertainment & Activities

Most UnCruise entertainment options focus on the itinerary itself with little onboard activities to keep you busy.

Shore Excursions

Excursions, both to shore or strictly in/on the water are included in your cruise fare, and you'll typically have two a day, with lots of choice including several hikes and at least one skiff ride. (Be aware, if you're cruising from Costa Rica to Panama, your last day might be excursionless depending on when the boat's appointment at the Panama Canal is. Even on sailings with a late appointment time, your excursion will most likely be limited to a one-hour walk through a small coastal town.)

Activities & Entertainment

  • Bow Viewing Area
  • Bushwacks
  • Crew Shows
  • Enrichment Lectures
  • Inclusive Shore Excursions
  • Kayaking
  • Lounge
  • Nightly Briefings
  • Shoreline hikes
  • Stand-Up Paddleboarding
  • Strenuous hikes
  • * May require additional fees

    On days in which hikes are offered, there will always be three options, ranging from easier to hardest -- there isn't actually an "easy" walk, but there will always be one that is easier than the other two. The hardest walk, referred to as the "charger" might not always have a high level of difficulty but could simply be much longer than the others. For most hikes you'll want a good pair of hiking boots; sneakers could be too slippery and you don't want to fall in the middle of the tropical rainforest. Hiking poles are available for use during hikes.

    Other excursion options can include a skiff ride, kayaking, snorkeling and paddleboarding. (The Costa Rican-heavy itineraries offer less water-based activity than the Panama itinerary.)

    All shore landings throughout the cruise are water landings, meaning you'll need to take an inflatable boat (called a skiff) from the boat to shore, and then enter the water before wading to shore. Entry into and out of the skiffs onboard Safari Voyager is fairly straightforward. The three skiffs are stored on the EZ Dock fantail, which can be raised above the water level for easy loading and unloading, though during rough surf you'll probably need deckhands to help you on and off. You'll receive skiff instructions on day one and whenever the crew think you need a recap.

    Day and Evening Entertainment

    Entertainment onboard Safari Voyager is limited to a single movie channel on your in-cabin TV though it mostly played documentaries. There's a small DVD movie library for use in your cabin; a handful of board games in the lounge; and relaxing in the lounge with a drink, reading a book or talking to new friends. 

    Enrichment is offered daily both through guided excursions with knowledgeable guides and one to two daily presentations onboard the ship by the same guides. You'll learn about the flora, fauna and geology of the region you're sailing through, as well as a bit about the history of the Panama Canal. The four to five guides are ever present and more than happy to answer questions throughout your sailing.

    You'll see plenty of wildlife on Safari Voyager. On our Costa Rica to Panama sailing, we spotted howler, white-faced capuchin and spider monkeys, plus three- and two-fingered sloths, toucans, a snake and toad engaged in a life or death struggle (the snake was most definitely winning), dolphins and whales, plus lots of fish (and the rare shark or turtle sighting) during snorkels.

    Always follow the directions of your guide when setting out on hikes; on one of our walks, several hikers (including this reviewer) ignored the warning signs from an aggravated alpha male of a troop of white-faced capuchin monkeys and ended up being chased down the path until he was satisfied we were well out of his territory.

    All cruisers are outfitted with a pair of binoculars to help with animal sightings, and some of the guides carry a scope for up-close viewing. (We learned that if you hold your camera up to the scope lens you can get National Geographic-style wildlife photographs, and no one needs to know you cheated.) For marine animal viewings while the ship is underway, an underwater camera shows everything clearly.

    Safari Voyager has one lounge onboard, located on Deck 3. The comfortable space has a bar at the back with six bar stools. The bar serves a selection of cocktails, wines, beers and soft drinks. (If you're partial to a particular soft drink, you can call UnCruise ahead of your sailing and the crew might be able to stock the bar with it.)  There's also a DIY coffee machine with settings for coffee, cafe con leche, latte, cappuccino and espresso (all in decaf varieties as well); you can use the machine for hot water and there are several varieties of tea. There's also a water machine, which cruisers are encouraged to use to fill their water bottles as often as possible.

    Also toward the back is a shelf with a small selection of Costa Rican and Panamanian nature and photo books, plus a selection of board games including Boggle, Risk, Rummikub and Scattergories, along with decks of cards and a handful of kids games.

    The bulk of the lounge is filled with round wooden tables with room for four to six people, paired with wicker chairs and benches, all with light cranberry-colored cushions.  The nightly cocktail and after-dinner lectures are held here, and cruisers sometimes congregate in the area on sailing afternoons.

    At the front of the ship on Deck 2 port (left) side is the Nook, a tiny alcove of space with two armchairs and an ottoman, perfect for reading if you want someplace a bit quieter than the lounge.

    Outdoor recreation on Safari Voyager comes in the form of off-ship fun in the sun including snorkeling, kayaking and paddleboarding. However, these options are only offered on select days during scheduled stops. Both snorkeling and kayaking might take place from the beach (necessitating a skiff ride to the beach first) or directly into the water -- kayaks via the EZ Dock launch platform and snorkeling after a short skiff ride to the spot chosen by the guides.

    There's not much else in the way of recreation onboard Safari Voyager. There is a small sun deck on Deck 4 with tables and chairs; you'll also find places to sit at the front and back of Deck 3 and the front of Deck 2. You can walk the perimeter of Deck 3; about 20 laps equals one mile.

    Even though you'll find a so-called "expedition desk" in the middle of the hallway on Deck 2, there's often no one there; you can peek your head into the tiny office next door or head up to the lounge where a crewmember or two can usually be found. In the same area of Deck 2 is the boat's small shop (really just a display case), stocked with UnCruise-branded T-shirts, hats, expedition shirts and rain jackets, as well as sarongs, locally sourced jewelry and wet bags.

    There's no laundry service onboard but you will find a small spinner on Deck 2, which you can use to spin dry your wet swimwear before hanging on the sun deck to dry off completely. After a half day of snorkeling the Deck 4 sun deck is usually ringed with people's wet gear hanging in the sun to dry.

    Spa & Fitness

    Though Safari Voyager has no spa facility onboard, all passengers are offered a free 30-minute massage as part of their cruise experience. Most massages are scheduled for the late afternoon so as not to conflict with any of the shoreside (or in-water) activities. Passengers indicate their interest -- or disinterest -- in receiving the free massage and the two massage therapists onboard schedule the appointments over the course of the week to ensure everyone gets a massage.

    Fitness equipment is limited to yoga mats for daily sunrise morning classes, plus two ellipticals, two stationary bikes and a few free weights outdoors on Deck 4 (all covered in case of inclement weather).

    For Kids

    UnCruise does not allow children younger than 8 on its sailings. When kids are onboard, the crew will work with parents to come up with some activities for them, though generally kids on a Safari Voyager sailing will do most of the same activities as the adults. The chef might also make more child-friendly meals. There are no kids' club facilities or babysitting onboard.

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