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124 UnCruise Alaska Cruise Reviews

We are used to small ship cruising having been on Small river ships and National Geographic Lindblad several times. We thought we would try this company and were incredibly disappointed. The food was the worst. They give you very small ... Read More
We are used to small ship cruising having been on Small river ships and National Geographic Lindblad several times. We thought we would try this company and were incredibly disappointed. The food was the worst. They give you very small portions first off. One egg omelets, served overcooked and dry or oatmeal. If you wanted something different they somehow forgot to bring it to you. Lunch and dinner was no different. Meats that were tough, vegetarian dishes that lacked imagination and sauces that were bland and discusting to boot. The off shore activities were geared toward young able bodied people. The bulk of the guests were over 55 so lots of them had no choice but to stay aboard ship and be bored. I went on one all day hike. They took us on a 12 mile hike! Mid way in the hike, we were warned if we wished to bail out, they would take everyone back as well. In other words there was no bail outs allowed. Most of could hardly walk the next day. Our cruise was supposed to have a naturalist on board. She was a just students paying off her loan. She knew quite a bit about very little and hung out with 4 guests the entire 7 days. The bar is open though, morning noon and night. Free alcohol all day and night. It made for some very drunk guests. Boredom makes people drink a lot. In short, do not waste your time or money on the Un Cruise Alaska cruise. Read Less
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 ... 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
Sail Date June 2017
AMAZING - 5 days off the grid and Alaska was cool too. UnCruise adventures was like being on an excursion for 7 days. We stopped in every inlet and saw Sea Otters, Sea Lions, bears, Bald eagles, and humpback whales. We hiked, kayaked and ... Read More
AMAZING - 5 days off the grid and Alaska was cool too. UnCruise adventures was like being on an excursion for 7 days. We stopped in every inlet and saw Sea Otters, Sea Lions, bears, Bald eagles, and humpback whales. We hiked, kayaked and watched nature pass. We didn't once stopped at one of those cruise owned ports. We had a park ranger on board that provided tons of information and perspective. Food and Service were exceptional! - Staff of two cooked meals for 30+ people in a room about 4x4; choices were abundant making a decision your only problem. Staff rotated chores on the ship and even the captain would help you on and off the ship during excursions. If you ever get the chance to go to Alaska consider Uncruise Adventures. As we pulled back into civilization I dread the thought of getting back on the grid. ^5 to the staff; they really make the trip exceptional! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
The small boat experience of the UnCruise Safari Endeavour exceeded our dreams! From the moment the owner of the cruise line , Dan Blanchard, spoke to our group before boarding until we departed a week later, everything was top notch! Our ... Read More
The small boat experience of the UnCruise Safari Endeavour exceeded our dreams! From the moment the owner of the cruise line , Dan Blanchard, spoke to our group before boarding until we departed a week later, everything was top notch! Our cabin was #317, yes, it is small. But the only time you will be in the cabin is to shower, dress, and sleep. And it's plenty big enough for that. The best part of the cabin is the view every time you open a curtain or walk out the door! From Captain Shep, to expedition leader Kent, the guides, the wait staff, bartenders, small craft tenders, and definitely the chef and his staff, the love their job and it shows! One of the really neat things was everyone being in the lounge around 5:30 for happy hour and to hear about the activities of the next day! When everyone had selected their activities an announcement would be made that dinner was ready and we all made our way to the dining room. No pushing and shoving like the big cruise ships, very civilized. This was our first cruise with UnCruise, but it won't be our last! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We wanted a small boat experience to do the Inside Passage and chose the Safari Explorer which had a capacity of only 36. Fortunately from Seattle to Ketchikan there were only 12 of us as it was the first cruise of the season, and 26 from ... Read More
We wanted a small boat experience to do the Inside Passage and chose the Safari Explorer which had a capacity of only 36. Fortunately from Seattle to Ketchikan there were only 12 of us as it was the first cruise of the season, and 26 from Ketchikan up to Juneau - this made their service even better. The staff were helpful, knowledgeable and professional in every sense. Our excursions on the skiffs and kayaks plentiful, we saw humpbacks, orcas, porpoises, seals, and grizzlies. Often there would be a choice of activities including hiking (where the pace was quite slow) and 'bush-wacking' which was fun. The food and bar service was excellent and flexible to cope with the various food requirements of the varied guests - nothing was too difficult for them. They has an extensive supply of waterproof jackets and trousers, wellingtons, and binoculars. It was expensive of course, but worth it. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Just returned from the 4/17-29/17 "Famed Passages of Discovery" cruise from Seattle to Alaska. Can't begin to say how incredible it was. The small ship experience let us get to know everyone on board, including the entire ... Read More
Just returned from the 4/17-29/17 "Famed Passages of Discovery" cruise from Seattle to Alaska. Can't begin to say how incredible it was. The small ship experience let us get to know everyone on board, including the entire expedition team. All wonderful, enthusiastic, adventurous people. The mountains, waterfalls, and wildlife were beautiful. Enjoyed the hikes, boat tours, kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling, polar plunge, ...... all tailored to the group. You could choose from many options to meet your level of desired activity. The itinerary was altered to get the best weather. The UnCruise team was very impressive - especially noticed how well everyone was treated. It is a rare cruise that allows the team to stop what they are doing and photograph and observe wildlife when they are present, even if that means dinner will have to wait. The entire team was also personally introduced on the first day and thanked by the captain on the last night. The team worked together to get what needed to be done completed - not unusual to see the captain down on the EZ dock pulling your kayak in. He provided the nighttime entertainment one night by singing with his guitar. We had a wonderful stretch of weather - less rain in April than usual. Would love to go on another UnCruise adventure - biggest question is which one should be next. Highly recommend!!!! Cabins are very small (and bathroom is the smallest I've ever seen), but we didn't spend any time in there other than to sleep. Not too much evening entertainment, but by then everyone was too tired to do much and headed to bed. Not too much fitness equipment on ship, but plenty of off-ship hiking, kayaking, and paddleboarding available. This was a "wellness/fitness" cruise so we had added yoga, fitness classes and discussions of nutrition that aren't normally included. Given the space limitations, it was impressive what fitness activities could be done on board. If you like the spa treatments, formal nights, casino, shopping, city tours, or entertainment of more traditional cruises, this is NOT the cruise for you, but if you prefer seeing the unspoiled wilderness & native wildlife with a few adventurous people, this is DEFINITELY the way to go. All excursions and alcoholic beverages are included in the price. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
I was looking for an adventure cruise on a small ship with a focus on glaciers and wildlife. Weather in Sept was wet, cold, rough and windy. We saw almost no wildlife - 2 bears on a beach 3/4 of a mile away and only humpback whales from a ... Read More
I was looking for an adventure cruise on a small ship with a focus on glaciers and wildlife. Weather in Sept was wet, cold, rough and windy. We saw almost no wildlife - 2 bears on a beach 3/4 of a mile away and only humpback whales from a considerable distance - literally nothing else. Food was excellent, crew was very accommodating. The owner of the cruise line was on board and altogether too much of a presence in a number of respects. On days when we saw very little, kayaked around the ship for lack of something to do, they got everyone together in the evening and raved about what a fantastic day we had had. Well no it was cold, windy and we saw very little. They could not help the weather, obviously, but they tried to hard to pump up everyone when it would have be wiser to just not make ridiculous comments about the day that simply did not apply. Read Less
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
Sail Date September 2016
We wanted an adventure experience and we got just that. It was fantastic; we bushwhacked, kayaked, skiff boat excursions, visited a salmon fishery and were up close and personal with the Bears. The staff and crew were first rate, everyone ... Read More
We wanted an adventure experience and we got just that. It was fantastic; we bushwhacked, kayaked, skiff boat excursions, visited a salmon fishery and were up close and personal with the Bears. The staff and crew were first rate, everyone was knowledgeable, helpful, entertaining and felt like family by the end of the week. The food was excellent, rooms small but nice, comfortable and very clean. The land package before the cruise was just as excellent and did not disappoint. For a trip of a lifetime; Un Cruise made it a lasting memory to enjoy for ever. One unique feature is that if nature is showing her face, like 20 plus whales feeding,the boat will stop and let you enjoy the sweet surprise. We also experienced the Northern Lights. We departed from Juneau which is a beautiful city to explore and enjoy and cruised the inside passage and returned to Juneau which was perfect for us. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This was our first experience with any type of cruise. We chose the small boat because we heard that we would be able to go to areas not normally allowed of the big cruise ships. We were not disappointed! The cabins were very nice and ... Read More
This was our first experience with any type of cruise. We chose the small boat because we heard that we would be able to go to areas not normally allowed of the big cruise ships. We were not disappointed! The cabins were very nice and ours had a sliding door that opened on to the deck. I would not recommend spending the extra money on this type, since there was no added value for the door. Also, because we had no cross ventilation, none of the clothes that got wet were able to dry during the whole cruise (and these were NOT cotton clothes). Everything else in the cabin worked great. The guided trips were fantastic, especially dropping anchor next to a glacier and then kayaking closer. The whale watching was not a disappointment, as we saw quite a few whales. Some even swam just yards from the boat. Another favorite was the snorkeling. Obviously we needed to use their wet suits because the water temperature was 34 degrees. But I never got cold. Unfortunately, there was only one 45 - minute chance to perform this activity and we paid $35 to rent the suit. Very expensive for just the one time. They should have scheduled more snorkeling activities. The crew was extremely friendly and went out of their way to make sure you had what you needed. Megan was a fantastic leader for all of the activities and Dawn was a great guide, who knew quite a bit about many things. The food was excellent, definite fine restaurant quality. Breakfast and lunch were buffet style while the dinner was slightly more formal sit down. For dinner each night you could choose a meat, seafood, or vegetarian. What we didn’t realize until the last couple of days was that you could order half and half. And we didn’t know this until a fellow passenger ordered it. This was not publicized. All in all, we had a great time and will certainly book another cruise in the future. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Although the accommodations are not luxurious, they were comfortable and adequate. The adventure was unbelievable! We spent little time in the room and most of our daytime hours were off the boat. We kayaked, hiked, went on skiff tours and ... Read More
Although the accommodations are not luxurious, they were comfortable and adequate. The adventure was unbelievable! We spent little time in the room and most of our daytime hours were off the boat. We kayaked, hiked, went on skiff tours and snorkeling was available. We saw humpback and orca whales, bald eagles, puffins, bears and even the Northern Lights!!! Unbelievable beauty and breathtaking experiences being so close to calving glaciers, misty islands, amazing tide pools and feeding bears. The staff was so enthusiastic and informed that it was contagious. I felt VERY safe all the time whether on the boat or kayaking or hiking. The food was terrific, varied and abundant and the on board staff so helpful and cheerful. There were games, movies and a bar for down times. The other guest were from all over the US and world and so much fun to hang out with. I would go again without any hesitancy! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
My husband and I always wanted to go to Alaska but we DIDNT want to be on a 2000 person ship where people got dressed up to stand in line for a buffet dinner, look at glaciers and breathtaking sites from half a mile away, and be held ... Read More
My husband and I always wanted to go to Alaska but we DIDNT want to be on a 2000 person ship where people got dressed up to stand in line for a buffet dinner, look at glaciers and breathtaking sites from half a mile away, and be held captive on the ship except for occasional outings for tourist stops. We wanted to be on a ship where we sit and have plated dinners, where by the end of the week we actually knew everyone on the ship, and most importantly, where we "experience" Alaska close up. Un-Cruise exceeded our expectations in every way. Every day we were able to chose from kayaking, skiff tours, hiking, beach walks on glaciers and more (polar plunge for the brave ones which ended up being 1/3 of the people). It wasn't fancy it was a true Alaska experience. We didn't bring high heels we brought hiking boots. The food was 5 star every night with a choice of meat, fish, or vegetarian, with a homemade dessert and a full bar open from lunch if you wanted to sit in the hot tub with a beer, through the entire evening. Every evening there were fabulous lectures from naturalists giving talks about native bird life, fish, bears, and how the weather changes are effecting Alaska. The crew was highly educated and treated each guest as if they were family. Our safely was their number one priority and they kept every guest healthy and safe through the entire week. When we disembarked the ship the entire staff lined up on the dock to shake our hands and thank us by name for joining them. We have already signed up to join Un-Cruise for a return in 2018. Can't wait. Read Less
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
Sail Date August 2016
We wanted to experience Alaska on a small ship. The Un Cruise Wilderness Explorer and her crew made the trip on of the GREATEST vacations of our lives. The kayaking and zodiac rides were AWESOME! Hiking was fantastic and the wildlife ... Read More
We wanted to experience Alaska on a small ship. The Un Cruise Wilderness Explorer and her crew made the trip on of the GREATEST vacations of our lives. The kayaking and zodiac rides were AWESOME! Hiking was fantastic and the wildlife viewing was all you could ask for. I saw more bears than in my last TWO trips to Alaska. As for the dining I gained a pound a day even thought we were VERY active for 3-4 hours per day. The food was amazing! The crew was highly trained and could not do enough to make sure you had a superior experience. I changed our activities several times to spend time with some of the great people we met on board and it was handled in no time by the crew. We cruised from Juneau to Sitka through the inside passages.It was an unbelievable experience. I would highly recommend this Company and ship for anyone looking for the small ship experience in Alaska! CAM Chicago Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
My kids had a great time, this was their first cruise, so they had no other comparisons. I was expecting more for $20,000 (4 of us)- like linen changes, portion sizes of dinner more than 4oz and special occasion celebrations as shown in ... Read More
My kids had a great time, this was their first cruise, so they had no other comparisons. I was expecting more for $20,000 (4 of us)- like linen changes, portion sizes of dinner more than 4oz and special occasion celebrations as shown in brochure. It is one of the few cruises that you can lose weight, many choices of activities. The staff was wonderful and we enjoyed getting close to nature. I think this cruise line is a great idea for parents with teenagers because there is no internet and the kids get unplugged and do some physical activity out in nature. The evening presentations were also very educational. Kids entertained themselves with board games, books and binoculars (looking at whales and other animals). The staff worked hard to make everyone's trip enjoyable. I would recommend this trip for people, who are willing and able to get off of the boat and are up for adventure. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We were looking for something in a small boat cruise that included lots of moderate to strenuous outdoor physical activity and as up-close to geography and wildlife as possible. The Un-Cruise "Exploring Muir's Wilderness" ... Read More
We were looking for something in a small boat cruise that included lots of moderate to strenuous outdoor physical activity and as up-close to geography and wildlife as possible. The Un-Cruise "Exploring Muir's Wilderness" fit the bill to a T. From no-hassle check in to the nice touch of their delivering our luggage to the airport after debarkation (leaving us time to dally/shop in town for several hours before catching their shuttle to join it for airport for check-in), the administration was practiced, hospitable and generous. We got to see whales breaching, sea lions roaring, sea otters doing that cute on-their-back swimming thing, both black and grizzly bears from a safe distance, glaciers up close and calving, more bald eagles than anyone would want to try to count, and on and on. Their recommended equipment listing was spot on - don't short-change its elements, as you'll need it all by cruise end. Hiking -"Bush-whacking" they call it - into the forest, off-trail, was great, as was kayaking around islands and along shorelines. "Meandering" ashore was nature walk interesting, but more demanding than some cruisers anticipated - don't go if you have trouble with mobility, as there's not enough to occupy on board ship, and the whole ethos is diving into the locale. We were lucky in the weather, and we didn't expect luxury accommodations (as some reviewers obviously did - we weren't there for the froufrou, but for the get out and explore). My wife scores it as the hands down best vacation we've ever taken (I've got to think some more before I score it above Paris, but it's certainly close). We both agree that the best part, and what made it really stellar, was the crew. Every member, bar none, seemed genuinely pleased to be there and thrilled that we'd decided to join them. They were also interesting, intrepid in the outdoors, remarkably well educated, eager to share their extensive knowledge of the state/wildlife/geography/flora/fauna, and honest to admit if they didn't know (and then immediately track down someone who did!). The lounge was comfortable, the meals excellent (meat/fish/veg or combine them entrees every dinner, and best-ever breakfast bacon - don't miss that!). The rooms were a bit Spartan (albeit with more storage than we expected), but cleaned daily spotless and daily re-despotted. If you're looking for a small ship outdoorsy getaway, you'll find you only use them to sleep/change/bathe - there's plenty of out-of-room to do. Overall, accommodations were nicer than the two previous small-ship cruises we've taken (on other cruise lines). A single complementary massage per passenger and two available hot tubs were welcome after some of the activities. Their "Plan-free" claim is not license to freelance - and in the Alaskan wilderness, letting hikers or kayaks go off on their own would be downright dangerous - this is not Disneyland or Monaco - but is flexible to adjust to weather, avoid other cruise ships, react to reports of interesting wildlife activity nearby, etc. The only negative I can even imagine is that Alaska's so enormous, there's no way to cover it, and the week we were onboard was limited to the southern Inside Passage, so you'll need to go beyond it to see the northern bulk of the state. As for meeting the advertised criteria, nothing negative to report at all - even the martinis were beyond excellent. If the above is what you're looking for, I'd certainly recommend it heartily! Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Two of us traveled at the end of June, from Sitka to Juneau. There were approximately 70 people on board. We liked a lot of the activities (such as kayaking, hiking, skiff rides, shore walks, etc.), ecological and scientific ... Read More
Two of us traveled at the end of June, from Sitka to Juneau. There were approximately 70 people on board. We liked a lot of the activities (such as kayaking, hiking, skiff rides, shore walks, etc.), ecological and scientific presentations in the evening. The animals, birds and nature seen on the trip were noteworthy. Food was ok but usually rather bland. Room was small and compact, but ok. The main reason for the rating is that we got very sick towards the end of the trip, as did a number of other passengers and staff. When contacted, the cruise company just gave us the "standard" response letter, basically saying all passengers should continually wash their hands to avoid infection and taking no responsibility for any problems. A small ship such as this allows more exploration of coves and inlets, but you do pay a lot for the experience, which should not be marred by illness. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
PROS We chose this cruise because - being a small boat it get's to places the big ships can't go (max 70 passengers). We stood 30 metres off shore from calving Glaciers - wow ! The sea and land scenery were simply awesome. ... Read More
PROS We chose this cruise because - being a small boat it get's to places the big ships can't go (max 70 passengers). We stood 30 metres off shore from calving Glaciers - wow ! The sea and land scenery were simply awesome. Every day you get to chose variety of off-boat activities i.e. kayaking, skiff tours & shore excursions and rough trails. The have the best methods of launching and decking returning kayaks. The crew are likable, friendly, capable and very knowledgeable, so is the Captain. Breakfast and lunch are a very scrumptious smorgasbord, but dinner was a la carte. I found the portions very small and not being able to eat bread (a coeliac) left me hungry at night. They also gave me 3 dinners containing gluten 3 times in error and this made me ill. Of course you can stay on the boat, look at the wonderful temperate forest, mountains and occasional glacier or just read a book. But if you like adventure, especially kayaking, this is the cruise for you, but it's up to you to take part. I expected to see more wildlife, but we saw our share of bears, eagles, otters, seals and sea lions and I guess it's all down to luck. CONS Luke warm coffee and tea was a constant downer. Couldn't wait to get off the boat and get a hot tea or coffee. If you're not used to tipping e.g. Australian, English or NZ, we got a BIG shock when with 2 days to go the Capt told us we were expected to tip 15-20% of the cabin cost ! Our cabin cost was $10,000 AU which meant paying another $1,500 to $2,000 extra. OK I've tipped $150 to the cabin steward on our Hawaiian cruse but not 15% of the cruise cost. I felt this was unconscionable but our American friends assured us it was all above board in USA. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
If you want to see Alaska from the ship's railing twenty stories above the water or from the inside of the ship's casino, then take a big ship cruise. You may see whales, porpoise, or sea lions in the water but simply wave ... Read More
If you want to see Alaska from the ship's railing twenty stories above the water or from the inside of the ship's casino, then take a big ship cruise. You may see whales, porpoise, or sea lions in the water but simply wave goodbye to them as you and your 3000 fellow passengers sail on by so you don't show up late at your next port of call to buy overpriced trinkets and jewerly. UNCRUISE has smaller vessels to enhance the Alaska experience. Their largest vessel accommodates 88 passengers. "Passenger" is really an unfair descriptions for UNCRUISE guests because we were much more than passengers, we were full participants in the nature experience. UNCRUISE is considered a soft adventure cruise because the description is totally accurate. UNCRUISE believes you really cannot experience or fully appreciate the wild beauty of the 49th state unless you are actually along the ship railing only 20 feet from the water so you can actually feel and smell the spray of the sixty foot humpback whale cruising within 50 feet of the ship. Get on a zodiac skiff and be able to get close to the incredible majestic glaciers. Reach over the side and pick up crystal blue glacier ice. Knowledgeable guides took us into the woods and described the flora and fauna so you get an education along with the experience of being in wild pristine nature. We saw black bears with baby cubs on the shore. We were so close we didn't need binoculars to determine that the black spots on the shore weren't a muskrat or beaver. Since UNCRUISE doesn't have a set time table to be in the next port of call they have flexibility to ensure you take full advantage as wildlife appears. This was quite an advantage for us as we saw a pod of orca whales ahead of our vessel. The captain shut down the engines a safe distance from the whales in hopes that they would come towards us. The sight we saw was incredible as the pod of 12 orcas moved steadily toward us. They came within 20 feet of the vessel and breached the water and spy hopped for over 20 minutes. They seemed like they were putting on a once in a life time show just for us. Because of the flexiblity in schedule the captain was able to stay right there and provide enough time to really take in the full splendor of those beautiful creatures. Try doing that on a mega cruise ship. Even if the ship had the flexibilty to stop, it would take over a mile to fully stop. The orcas would have been long gone. I'm not knocking large cruise ships but they're not for me. The large cruise ships are great for many people who enjoy extragant floorshows and a casino, but you really miss so much of the true Alaska experience. If you love delicious locally sourced fresh seafood and produce you will really be impressed with the food options on UNCRUISE. The scratch made pastries are unbelievable. I really believe one of the best things about the UNCRUISE experinence is the crew. You will never experience a more attentive, caring, and professional crew. After the very first day they will know you by name. They will know what you drink and how you like your coffee. It is a personal relationship with the crew and your shipmates. I have taking three cruises with UNCRUISE and at the end of each and every one new relationships have been forged and precious memories created. What else can I say, UNCRUISE is the best. Read Less
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
Sail Date June 2016
We have been to Alaska twice before on big ship cruises and thought a small boat cruise would be a way to see Alaska in a different way. It was awful! By the third day boredom was setting in and by the fourth day, we had come to realize ... Read More
We have been to Alaska twice before on big ship cruises and thought a small boat cruise would be a way to see Alaska in a different way. It was awful! By the third day boredom was setting in and by the fourth day, we had come to realize that each day was going to be exactly the same with the same three activities (hiking, kayaking, or a small boat tour) offered each day. We loved seeing the glaciers up close and having the chance to kayak close to one of them between the icebergs. The wilderness areas we went to pretty much looked the same so it became very repetitious. While they kept touting that this is the "true" Alaska, I beg to differ. There is so much more to Alaska than wilderness and we had a much larger overview of the state on our other cruises. We do a lot of shore excursions on the larger ships and don't just get off the ship and wander around at each port of call. The food was very gourmet but got very old because it was pretty much the same every day. There were only about 30 passengers but yet it took at least an hour for everyone to get served at lunch and dinner and we had ordered in advance! Our meals never arrived steaming hot. The early riser breakfast always consisted of some type of breakfast pastry (muffins, croissants, etc.) that were served very cold. I guess we just like simpler food because I would have given anything for a good old hamburger after a few days. We saw a lot of whales and sea otters but we've seen them before. We saw two bears at a distance and didn't even come close to a moose. The wildlife was what we came for so this was disappointing. I can't believe what we paid for this cruise and what we got in return. Anyone who can afford to do one of these cruises can afford to go on one of the luxury cruise lines (our favorite is Regent) which is a much better value. Most people on this cruise turned up their noses at being with a lot of other people on a ship but it's actually easier to get away from other people on the larger ships. You do EVERYTHING together on a ship this small which can be very interesting with the different mix of personalities. I will say that the crew was excellent. They were very knowledgeable and it was obvious they loved what they were doing. This just wasn't for us and it will take a long time to get over how much it cost and what a waste we felt it was. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We wanted to see Alaska, but are not fans of big cruise ships, nor did we want an extreme nature cruise. This cruise fit the bill. Nice size, nice crew, interesting passengers. Beautiful scenery. I would highly recommend. ... Read More
We wanted to see Alaska, but are not fans of big cruise ships, nor did we want an extreme nature cruise. This cruise fit the bill. Nice size, nice crew, interesting passengers. Beautiful scenery. I would highly recommend. The outstanding item I want to highlight was the bartender Daniel Harding. Not only a great bartender in general, his Irish Coffee was the best I have ever had! The Buena Vista in San Francisco should take lessons from Daniel! We went in May and loved watching the humpback whales. Glaciers were outstanding and we learned much about several that we got to see up close. Watched what is called caving…calving? Pretty spectacular. You are pretty remote the entire time and cell service is sparse if any. It was nice to be disconnected from civilazation! They even offer on board massage, which I passed on. Others spoke highly of the massage and even one was said to call it "a spiritual event". Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We, a group of 3 couples, took this cruise a couple weeks ago. I cannot say enough good things about this cruise line. When you compare prices of Un-Cruise cruises and the "big ship" cruises, you wonder if it could be worth the ... Read More
We, a group of 3 couples, took this cruise a couple weeks ago. I cannot say enough good things about this cruise line. When you compare prices of Un-Cruise cruises and the "big ship" cruises, you wonder if it could be worth the extra money. The answer is yes. We were on the Wilderness Adventurer. It holds 60 passengers and 25 crew. It is 4 floors. The lowest level is the crew level so we never saw that. The next level has some cabins, which is where ours were, the galley, the dining room and the bar/lounge. On the back of the boat, this is the level you get into your kayak or the skiff but you access this from stairs on the 3rd level. The 3rd level is rooms and the front bow where you can stand out and watch wildlife. The 4th level is the open deck and bridge. The back half is off limits because this is where kayaks and skiff are stored. There are 2 elipiticals and 2 stationary bikes and some weights on this level also. This cruise line is very informal. You do not need to dress up for any meals. Some nights we came in from hiking and went straight to dinner without cleaning up. There is no assigned seating. There is fruit/toast/yogurt out at 6:30am, then hot buffet breakfast at 7:30 every day. Lunch is buffet at 12 or 12:30. Cocktail hour is at 5:30 with a drink special, because the Alaska cruises do not include alcohol, and heavy appetizers. Dinner is at 6:30. During breakfast the chef tells you your dinner choices, a meat option, a seafood option, and a vegetarian option. You pick one. One night, one of our group didn't like her meal so they brought her out one of the other choices. One night I didn't like any of them, so they made me a salad to order. Cookies every day with lunch and at 3pm and a different desert every night. I am a picky eater and don't eat seafood so the food wasn't my highlight. My friends loved the food, especially the all you can eat crab night. The cabin is basic. But you aren't on this ship to be in your room. We were about 6 or so feet off the water, with a nice size window. You have a shower/toilet combo. There is a TV but it's only a couple channels of discovery type shows. We never turned ours on. The rooms only lock from the inside, not from the outside. At first, I thought that was crazy but it quickly became obvious, there is no need to worry. Both the other passengers and crew are all great people. As the week went on, more and more clothing were being hung outside the room on hooks in the hallway. Our floor of rooms had a problem with the heat, we talked to several people about it but they couldn't figure it out. We ended up sleeping with the window wide open and the door cracked to cool off. There is a big white board in the dining area. This is where the days activities are listed plus the expedition leader would tell us our options every night. Some days we all went out on skiffs, some days we all stayed on board and did some wildlife viewing from the top deck. Sometimes, the choices were kayaking or hiking or skiff. The expedition guise are all so interesting and knowledgable. Some had degrees in wildlife but others had other degrees but just love being outdoors. I learned so much from them. The best thing we did a bushwhacking hike. There was no trail, hiked over, under and through the forest. It was a blast! A bear was spotted on shore about ¼ mile from us. Luckily we never saw him on the hike, we did go see him on the skiff on the way back to the boat. There was some kind of different entertainment every night. Some were lectures, one night was crew or guests could sing, the last night was the slide show. We brought some cards with us and played cards a few nights. There are some games on board along with books and DVDs. Every room has a DVD player. The whole week was just so great, no cell phone service, no other people besides who was on our boat, and the park rangers we saw at Glacier Bay National Park. All of the guests were easy going and interesting to talk to. Most guests were probably in their 60s. Our group is aged 33-52. There were a few other 20 somethings there, all with their parents. Almost all Americans, except 2 couples from New Zealand and 2 from Australia. We loved it so much we signed up for another one on board. You get a nice discount for doing so. Wildlife we saw were humpback whales lunge feeding, they kept coming closer and closer to the boat, probably 50 or so yards away. We saw 2 orcas, 2 moose, lots of brown bears, aka as brown and fuzzies, and cubs, mountain goats, seals, sea lions, otters, Bald Eagles, puffins. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
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