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124 UnCruise Alaska Cruise Reviews

In 2013, My Mother-in-Law called me and said we are taking the entire family to Alaska for their 50th Wedding Anniversary but they wanted me to research the cruiseline options because they didn't want a big ship and you we had gone ... Read More
In 2013, My Mother-in-Law called me and said we are taking the entire family to Alaska for their 50th Wedding Anniversary but they wanted me to research the cruiseline options because they didn't want a big ship and you we had gone on a small cruise line before. I was thrilled and terrified as my husbands family (His sister and her husband their two kids and our two kids plus our in-laws all have very different interests and I wasn't sure how this was going to work. The small cruise line we had sailed before was Star Clipper but they don't sail in Alaska. A bit of Internet reach turned up Un-Cruise adventures and specifically their Kids in Nature cruise. It was perfect!!! My husband, 11-year old twin nieces, and my 12 year old son love challenging hikes. My 15 year old daughter hates anything too physically challenging but loves to find a quiet inspiring spot to curl up and work on the novel she has been writing since she was 13. I just love Nature. My Mother-in-law loves anthropology, shopping, and any awe inspiring site. My father-in law loves photography. My brother-in-law loves to find a quiet spot to read and my sister in law just goes with it all. Needless to say Un-Cruise had something for everyone. Choose your level of difficulty for hikes and physical activities. A terrific Child Wrangler (not a baby sitter!) but a head camp counselor who helped arrange social activities for the kids and made the activities interesting and fun. Amazing scenery for those that preferred to just hang out. Polar bear plunges for my action adventure junkies. Plenty of great photography! The crew is warm and approachable. The owner of the line met us at the end and genuinely wanted to know if we had a good time. The sites we saw where amazing. The guides phenomenal. Compared with Star Clipper the ship isn't as elegant. Think floating wilderness lodge vs. elegant but the action adventure was awesome! And every shore excursion is included. The craft beer was lovely. The food isn't gourmet but its plentiful and wholesome and hits the spot after a day of adventure. No one goes hungry. The animals are amazing! Bear, salmon, sea otters, moose star fish, Whales and more whales! Glaciers are a spiritual experience. You get up close and personal. We also did the land excursion to Denali. It was terrific but a bit too short would have liked it to be a day or two longer. I would definitely do this again but come to the experience that this is floating wilderness adventure lodge vs. elegant pampered cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
It's Spring 2015 and I simply cannot let the season escape without finally writing my review on the trip of a lifetime, that I was madly planning this time last year... The hubby and I came into an unexpected gift of money and ... Read More
It's Spring 2015 and I simply cannot let the season escape without finally writing my review on the trip of a lifetime, that I was madly planning this time last year... The hubby and I came into an unexpected gift of money and wanted to do something we could remember the person by, and would never have normally would have done...and I found it in and astonishing adventure on board the Safari Endeavor!! We booked the July 14, 2014 week long Discoverers' Glacier Country Un-Cruise out of Juneau, AK. That week in particular had a wonderful Marine Biology host, Jackie Hedgpeth who truly added to the already highly educated and informative staff on board. We were greeted on board on embarkation day by all the staff from our awesome lady Captain, Jenna Stevens down to dining and cabin crews. All folks on the Endeavor rolled up their sleeves and helped out any given time/day on launching kayaks in the morning to being nature guides in the afternoons..many enjoyed multiple roles..our evening table server, would be an expedition assistant leader the following day on a hike or kayak excursion. We truly got to know all the staff... who consistently and constantly reached above and beyond the call of duty to make sure, all on on board were welcomed, comfortable and got the utmost they wanted out of their daily/weekly adventures!!! Every evening in the Lounge all ...84....yes I said that ...84 passengers!!! joined together enjoyed our all inclusive bar libations while listening to talks from the Naturalist or crew on tomorrows upcoming adventures.. Let's stop for a moment and discuss that passenger number. Yes..only 84 passengers on board, what a phenomenon in the Cruise world!! This small ship cruising allowed for the unimaginable development of some great friendships on board...some folks we still keep in touch with to date, a year later! Folks from all over the Globe were on board..from England, Wales, Australia and all over the US. And on a personal note..2nd couple we met were form my hometown in Penna..small world! The staff and crew we got to know as well and shared many a story and photos on our nightly talks in the Lounge of the ship's adventures from the day. Can't tell you the camaraderie that developed over shared hikes, kayaking moments, whale sightings, glacier hikes...on and on to many to describe with the staff, crew and fellow passengers. Back to adventures!!! ....each evening the Expedition Guide would offer tomorrow's listing of adventures passengers can choose to participate in...both AM and afternoon varieties or, all day: from really tame walkabouts on the shore line, to glacier hikes, to half or full day kayaking, to half or full day hikes into wilderness. The hubby, a Georgia Exterra trail series runner was looking for full on daily wilderness adventures..I on the other hand enjoyed the luxury the ship had to offer as well as accomplishing a fine mix of mild AM adventures such as guided group Glacier hikes to afternoon kayaking along the shoreline. I eventually built up my adventure seeking skills to partake in the Hubby's regular all day adventure "crew" on an exciting all day, 8hr hike to a Glacier Lake that no other ship or passenger group got to attain last summer! Our outstanding Expedition Guide, Connor Adams was as great Team Leader who motivated all of us, including me who was definitely in the back 'o the pack shall we say.. to kick it up and we pushed ourselves so well thru the rain forest, he got permission from the ship's Captain to continue onto Swan Lake. What a thrill to share in this accomplishment of an awesome all day hike thru stunning rain forests of SE Alaska! No bear sightings, but fresh footprints were to be had! Super proud and exhausted when we returned to the ship in time for the fun event of Polar Bear Swimming which is an all passenger adventure, if you dare! Even in July the water was cold!! Let's talk about food and drink..the food was scrumptious to say the least! Usually 2-3 entree offerings at each meal and always a veggie option for anyone who doesn't do meat, or in my case who doesn't do seafood. I know, wrong place to be.. to not partake on the super fresh local seafood offerings, but hubby enjoyed it, every meal!! The crew offered any solution if you couldn't possible find anything to eat of the menu for each meal. One lunch was all seafood and they kindly made me a grilled cheese sandwich which I happily ate... All alcohol is included and the Bartenders in the Lounge were excellent,there was a special creative drink offered each evening as well as a full bar. Never failed on service or tastes.. 12 tables I believe, 8 along the viewing windows to catch the ever changing sea/landscape and view wildlife passing by and 4 center round tops were in the dining room. Which lends itself to enjoying getting to know all the passengers or eventually for us, we sought out our favorite group of new friends from England, Penna., NC and NY and shared our adventures of the day! The only complaint I would have about dining is you had to get down there fast at mealtime or the window tables would be taken! Not that you couldn't see but it was cool to be up close. Admiral Cabin....#202. Since it was a gift of money that drove this once in a lifetime adventure cruise, the hubby went full on every day adventure excursions and I went for one of the top of the line larger cabins! Quiet, just off the lounge, low traffic hallway and steps away.. in the jammies to get a morning coffee in the lounge... Comfy bed, wonderful private large viewing window(Upper deck cabins have windows along the outside walkways and passengers sd kinda bothersome), teeny tiny bathroom for us tall folks but super minor detail as you are so busy each and everyday in this Alaskan wonderland..no bothers. Wonderful cabin service on a daily basis if you want service or not...minimal required for us. One of the most outstanding features of the cruise was the desire of the Crew and Captain to offer ever possibility to educate us on, as well as to see, view and experience the wildlife in SE Alaska. One impossibly delightful evening, dinner was delayed as we had the show of a lifetime in front of the ship: a rainbow to the west, a pod of Orcas straight ahead and Humpback whales breaching to the right. The Captain slowed and then stopped the ship and all on board, included as always, the Crew were invited to experience the beauty of this sight. Unforgettable! The saddest day is knowing you are arriving back in Port and your disconnections with people you have gotten to know, and goodbyes are in front of you. The Crew all came out to see us off and it was bittersweet... Would love to partake in their Baja trips in the Winter to see the Humpbacks and other wildlife in a warmer climate. Same ship..same Crew..same Captain..what a dream. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
The Safari Quest and its crew are top notch in every respect. I have never experienced more competent, capable, friendly, and helpful people as this crew. They made this adventure fun and interesting. The boat has a capacity of 22, but we ... Read More
The Safari Quest and its crew are top notch in every respect. I have never experienced more competent, capable, friendly, and helpful people as this crew. They made this adventure fun and interesting. The boat has a capacity of 22, but we had 13 guests. Rooms are comfortable, if small, but small is to be expected at sea. Food was absolutely outstanding. Every dinner had a choice of seafood or meat, with plenty of alternatives for vegetarians. Dungeness crab, one night, was outstanding. Another night, we had short ribs that the chef had braised overnight for 8 hours. Best I had ever eaten. Both my wife and I ate fish or seafood most nights (and she is not a fish fan). Day trips were wonderful. We visited many glaciers, saw lots of bear, seals, sea lions, sea otters, etc. I kayaked for the first time in my life. We had a National Park Service Guide on the boat for several days in Glacier Bay. She knew her stuff and was able in to communicate facts while keeping it interesting. We saw more humpbacks than I could have imagined. They seemed to cavort just for us. That was a highlight. Nice cabin. Small, as is to be expected, shipboard. Queen bed. Bathroom is small but functional. Shower (no tub) works well. Only downside is that cabin is next to galley and one or two mornings we heard galley noise around 6. Chef commmented to us that he made efforts to be quiet in the AM, but sometimes stuff happens. I think the room was better than those below, if not as nice as the 4 A deck rooms, which have sliding glass doors that open to the sea air and more storage space. Un-Cruise, the "cruise" line, is outstanding. I would try any of their boats. The owner came aboard one night, and the obvious rapport between him and the whole crew was something to behold. He is sincere and committed to the environment. His employees are dedicated to making a trip a true pleasure. This was the trip of a lifetime. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Un-Cruise Safari Explorer..July 2014 Alaska  I have had the good fortune to have taken hundreds of pleasure trips in my life. I have taken trips that range from cruising with the Regent Line, to going down the Colorado on a raft and ... Read More
Un-Cruise Safari Explorer..July 2014 Alaska  I have had the good fortune to have taken hundreds of pleasure trips in my life. I have taken trips that range from cruising with the Regent Line, to going down the Colorado on a raft and sleeping in tents, as well as skiing at numerous upscale resorts. I’ve have hiked New Zealand and also biked with Backroads, helicopter hiked with Tauck in the Canadian Rockies and have had many more exciting and varied travel experiences, but my Un-Cruise adventure on the Safari Explorer was the worst trip I have ever taken and the least value for the money spent. Discoverer’s Glacier Country was sold as a luxury trip. My expectations of luxury aboard an exploration ship were not the same as they would be on a large cruise ship, but I found nothing luxurious about this experience. The cabin interior was unimaginative and colorless, the duvet lumpy, the towels might have been larger, fluffier and more abundant. There was nothing in the space that could not have been upgraded. We were requested to use each towel for as many days as possible, which I did, but I was a single in a cabin. Had there been two of us it would have been far from luxurious to shower and dry my hair with a single bath towel. Food portions were small but that was okay as we spent half the day doing nothing while the ship was in motion. Food flavor is a matter of individual taste but the presentation on a luxury experience should be lovely and professional appearing. Dinner looked as though I had plated it myself....in a hurry. The lectures were nearly non existent, dull and certainly the speakers could not compare to the educators on other exploration ships. I must add that two members of the crew were outright rude to me, without any provocation and with no reaction from me. On the positive side, this line attracted well traveled, outgoing, interesting and friendly passengers. The only luxury item on this trip was the inclusion of wine and liquor. To really be impressed by Un-Cruise one would have to be drunk.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
My husband and I decided to mark our 50th birthdays with a trip to Alaska and this cruise (Discoverers' Glacier Country) was recommended highly by his folks. We liked the sound of it because we believed in a small-ship setting ... Read More
My husband and I decided to mark our 50th birthdays with a trip to Alaska and this cruise (Discoverers' Glacier Country) was recommended highly by his folks. We liked the sound of it because we believed in a small-ship setting we'd have more opportunity for close encounters with the landscape and wildlife. This turned out to be true. The cabins are extremely comfortable and spacious enough for a week's worth of luggage and gear. The view from our cabin's windows was always spectacular. While there is no TV or Internet reception available, there is a decent DVD library (if you have time and energy to use it after a day full of adventures). Common areas are well kept and cozy. The bar is well stocked, and you can help yourself if there's no crew available. The food was fine. It didn't blow us away, but it wasn't bad by any means. Service around meals was great in that choices were always available and special requests were smilingly honored. Servings were small to moderate, which I actually think is great. We had no trouble getting seconds if we were really hungry. Sometimes it took a while for tables to get served (which made a lot of sense when we saw later how food had to get from the kitchen in the lower level to the dining room level by dumbwaiter), but we weren't in any hurry. Life on board: We took advantage of a yoga class offered each morning before breakfast on the top deck. A beautiful way to start the day. After breakfast, the itinerary for the day is announced, including options for the day's activities. Typically there are activities available after breakfast and after lunch, such as hikes, kayaking, and skiff rides. Depending on itinerary, there might be pre-dinner or after-dinner activities. Generally you don't have to sign up; just show up. Throughout the day, wildlife and other unusual sightings are announced on the PA system so you can go out to view them if you wish. There is a hot tub on the top deck, which gets quite a bit of use. The exercise equipment, also on the top deck, is minimal but adequate. One free massage is included with the cruise, which was a great amenity. With only 18 cabins, the Safari Explorer is geared toward satisfying guests in all respects. When we expressed a desire for more independent hiking so our birdwatching would not slow down other guests, we were offered a crew member who would accompany us at whatever speed we wished (truly independent hiking not being an option because of the potential for bear encounters). The crew are aware that most guests are really interested in wildlife such as whales, dolphins, and bears, so activities are sometimes shifted around in order to satisfy this interest. For example, one morning that a hike had been scheduled, a pod of orca was spotted nearby. Instead of hiking, all the guests boarded two skiffs and followed the orca for a few hours, which was an amazing experience. Nobody missed the hike. We had a lot of amazing experiences on this cruise, partly as a result of the setting and pure luck but also because the Safari Explorer crew got us where we needed to be and provided guidance. For example, we watched bears catching salmon outside a hatchery; we witnessed humpback whales bubble-netting; and we kayaked to a glacier and watched (and felt!) it calve right in front of us. Service and accommodation of guests was really impressive. Even though Un-Cruise Adventures provides guests with a detailed packing list in advance, many items, such as rain gear, rubber boots, mosquito repellent, and water bottles, were freely available for guests to borrow. We always felt well taken care of. We could not have had a better trip. The Safari Explorer gets our highest recommendation. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
My husband and I took the Wilderness Discoverer from Ketchikan to Juneau last week. We’d taken this ship and this itinerary two years before, so we knew what it would be like and were looking forward to it! In many ways, it was even ... Read More
My husband and I took the Wilderness Discoverer from Ketchikan to Juneau last week. We’d taken this ship and this itinerary two years before, so we knew what it would be like and were looking forward to it! In many ways, it was even better the second time. We were blessed with the same wonderful weather as last time but the caprices of nature (especially in Alaska) and the Captain’s ability to divert to more interesting places that aren’t on the itinerary mean that every trip is different. Embarkation and debarkation: Fast and smooth due to the small vessel size. They offer a "hospitality suite" at either end, but it's basically a large, windowless conference room with tables, chairs and just coffee and water supplied. Don't plan on spending a lot of time in them. Both Juneau and Ketchikan have plenty of places to explore and the Cape Fox lodge is a good choice for a leisurely lunch. The ship: A good, solid vessel bought from American Safari Cruises after their bankruptcy and thoroughly refurbished. Staterooms are small and unpretentious (those on the top deck are larger), with plenty of hooks inside and outside for hanging things up. View windows are good-sized with effective blackout curtains. 200-level rooms are much closer to the noises of the engine and the anchor; we stayed in 300-level this year and there was a difference. Most of the 200- level is taken up by the lounge, the main indoor public area. It’s a good size for the passenger capacity; it never felt crowded except a meal times (a bit). There are also outdoor decks that are open; the fantail on 400 is the largest, and has some exercise equipment (partly sheltered by a clear plastic curtain on one side). Morning yoga and afternoon stretch classes (both free) are held here daily. When the ship is at anchor, the 200 stern deck has kayaks and paddleboards available to anyone. I’ve never had to wait for a kayak. You’re free to explore within some pretty reasonable boundaries the crew will tell you (they don’t want you out of sight of the boat and you aren’t permitted to beach the boat and go ashore). Ship stability: very good. I've probably got average susceptibility to seasickness; I can't handle deep-se fishing in the gulfstream without meds- but on both cruises we had significant rocking only at night (presumably traveling in more open waters) and I found it very relaxing. It helped me sleep! Dramamine is available for free if they think it will be turbulent. The food: I love their philosophy on food. This is not a 24/7 moving feast and no one is trying to out-eat or out-drink anyone else. The food is very good, well-prepared from as many fresh ingredients as possible. Salads were always a variety of greens; I’m not sure I ever saw iceberg lettuce. A typical menu is shown. Breakfast and lunch is buffet style; dinner is served plated. There were always good vegetarian selections. If you didn’t like anything on the menu, the staff were very accommodating in making you something else. Excursions: This is my favorite part of UnCruise. Every night they tell you about the available excursions the next day. They can be guided kayak trips, skiff excursions, bushwhacking hikes, easier shore hikes… something for everyone. The staff is very clear about the demands of each excursion so you can choose something that suits your abilities and interests. No extra charges except the snorkeling which was all of $35. (That included use of a lot of expensive wet-suiting plus snorkel and fins.) While the snorkeling was in water temps in the low 40s, it was pretty interesting. I saw a lot of beautiful sea stars, some ribbon worms, a few jellyfish (no danger- I was padded), a couple of anemones and a nudibranch. We were in the water a little over an hour. Make sure your wet suit is just short of being too tight. My first cruise, I got one that was a little looser and the layer of water between my body and the suit was too much for my body heat to warm up. This time the suit was tighter and I was a lot more comfortable. That layer of water should be THIN! I also loved the bushwhacking hikes- this is pretty much virgin forest. Another hike led to El Capital Cave (there was a series of elevated ramps and steps up the mountain on that one), where the rangers told me only about 500 people per year visit. Note that the ship supplies rubber boots. Bring your own if you want, but we were fine on both trips using boots from the ship’s supply, with heavy wool socks. Whales: This isn't Sea World, so no one can promise that whales will jump up in front of your camera on cue, but this crew knows where to find them and has the flexibility to stop where they are and enjoy them. Thursday night on this cruise, we were in the middle of a group of whales creating a bubble net to trap fish. They were on all sides of the boat, floating and then diving. I even got a picture of an orca. It was far away but hey, it was my first orca. They kept the boat in the area till 11:15 PM so we could make the most of it. The crew: UnCruise must hire very carefully. The crew are uniformly helpful and the ones who guide the excursions generally have advanced degrees in fields such as marine biology. They are passionate about Alaska. Sarah, our guide on one hike, was just thrilled to encounter this leopard-spotted sea slug and cooed at it and petted it till its little eye stalks emerged. Folding your jammies into animal shapes is not in their job description. Explaining how glaciers recede is! They were exceptionally helpful when my husband needed medical attention for a flare-up of gout. The good news was that it was the day before we were scheduled to be in port at a small town (Klawock). The request was promptly relayed to the captain, who found the name of the local medical center and gave me the number. It was a short walk from the dock and my husband got the attention and meds he needed (after an inexpensive taxi trip to the Whale’s Tail Pharmacy in Craig, the next town- all part of the adventure). We were back on the ship before the group that had taken the tour of Klawock returned, although one passenger later said the crew had told him they NEVER leave anywhere without all of their passengers. We were glad we didn’t have to test that. Your fellow passengers: This is a group that’s doing pretty well in order to spend this much on a vacation, but no one is trying to impress anyone else. I’m sure most of the group had bling, bespoke suits and ballgowns at home, but we don’t want to drag them with us on vacation. The stateroom doors didn’t even lock. We mostly met smart, curious people who were as interested as we were in our surroundings. One night before dinner I heard an animated conversation about some unfamiliar animal droppings a group had seen on the trail; based on its apparent contents (seeds, fruits) they were trying to figure out what kind of animal it was. Our kind of people! Finally, for those of you who are trying to reconcile the “spending your kids’ inheritance” prices and the unpretentious nature of the vessel, here are a few things to note. The ship is a US-flagged vessel. They pay their crew by US standards and are subject to US laws. On our first cruise, 3 out of the 25 crew members were licensed captains. We liked that. Second, you are not an income stream. Nearly every on-board activity and offshore excursion is covered by the stated cost. (Exceptions: massages, alcohol and specialty coffees, and the snorkeling excursion I took). Our total for uncovered amounts, which included my snorkeling excursion as well as our alcohol bill, was $121 before gratuities. The latter are voluntary (5-10% is suggested) and NOT added automatically to your bill. They do not get kickbacks from stores in port (too few passengers, only one stop was in an actual town, pop. 845). They provide funding for park rangers at El Capitan caves and for lecturers for the mostly-Tlingit village of Klawock. UnCruise is aimed at a very non-traditional section of the cruise market and we’re happy to see that they’re expanding their reach to cruises in Hawaii, Baja, Washington State and the Glapagos (in the near future). For us and for many people, this is the way to cruise! Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Before I launch into an “ Oh my god – it was wonderful! “ style review, I would like to offer a brief back ground detailing how I eventually ended up on this truly fabulous cruise. Two years ago I decided that for my birthday I ... Read More
Before I launch into an “ Oh my god – it was wonderful! “ style review, I would like to offer a brief back ground detailing how I eventually ended up on this truly fabulous cruise. Two years ago I decided that for my birthday I wanted to go whale watching; also I have always wanted to visit Alaska having seen the documentaries and been in awe of the place, so I started a search to see whether it was possible to do both at the same time. I didn’t know exactly what I did want, but I knew exactly what I didn’t want. The thought of a large cruise ship with thousands of people on board stopping for shopping in ports at every available opportunity, having to fight my way through crowds to get anywhere, and having to dress up for dinner made me feel nauseous. A few years ago my boss went on a small ship cruise to Baha to see grey whales, and I knew this was the type of thing that I would be comfortable with, so the search began and I narrowed it down to four companies, but eventually chose Uncruise. Their website is full of excellent information, photos and videos, and when I eventually pick myself up off the floor after seeing their prices (let’s be realistic about it!) I eventually decided these were the people I wanted to go with. We chose the luxury cruise on the Safari Endeavour as my husband and I are not the active outward bounds type, but we still wanted some activity options. We booked the cheapest cabin available and resigned ourselves to the fact that we would be living in a small cupboard for a week. A few months before the cruise I received the final paperwork, and a kit list. Not being the very out-doors type I didn’t have very much of the required equipment for this cruise and I couldn’t afford to spend loads of money on stuff I would only wear for one week, so I improvised with pretty much everything. Something that isn’t explained very well on the website is that as soon as you board the ship all passengers are issued with any waterproof essential kit they might need; wellingtons, a pair of waterproof trousers that fit over the top of your other trousers and a water proof coat if you don’t have one, so please don’t rush out any buy loads of stuff as all the essentials you need are available to you free of charge. Two of the most useful items I took with me were thermal leggings and thermal t-shirts, both purchased from E Bay at a very low cost. The leggings were very comfortable under the water poof trousers, which are not quite so comfortable over jeans or hiking trousers, and the thermal t-shirts I wore during all activities under another t-shirt, fleece/sweat shirt, and coat. I wore 3-4 layers most days. Also, when I received the pre-cruise paperwork I discovered that a gratuity for the crew of 5-10% of the total cruise cost would be expected – please be aware of this, as it does add to the overall cost of your cruise. Sunday 27 July arrived, and we walked down to the harbour in Juneau and saw the Safari Endeavour sitting waiting for us. The welcome we received from the crew was so enthusiastic it nearly knocked me over, and the first wonderful surprise was our cabin. It was not a small cupboard as I had expected, but two full size single beds with the space between being a little wider than the doorway. The beds were high enough to have a large storage area underneath for boots, shoes and luggage. Towards the back of the cabin was a good sized table and opposite was the private bathroom with corner shower and decent quality toiletries in a wall mounted dispenser. This was a small bathroom, but well designed. The whole of the rear wall was wardrobes and large deep drawers, so there was more than enough storage space for all your stuff. The meals on board ship are served at 7.30am, 12.30pm and 7.00pm respectively, and there is no flexibility surrounding these meal times; you understand why after being introduced to the staff and crew who are going to be spending the week looking after you. There are a choice of activities every morning and afternoon, and the activities are basically hard, medium and easy depending on your personal fitness level and what you would enjoy doing. To be able to organise all these activities for 84 guests the crew need to have everyone available at exact times and their level of multi-tasking and organisation is exceptional. You are given the details of the next day’s events and activities at 6.00pm in the lounge before dinner the previous day. If you are not able to get to the lounge the PA system is also in your cabin so you never miss any announcements. Your chosen activity time is then posted in the lounge at breakfast time the next day, and it is announced through the PA system 10 minutes before it is due to start, so you have enough time to get ready and assemble at the requested point. The food is excellent quality, but the portion sizes were smaller than I expected; I have always had really large meals when previously visiting America. The chef tells you each day what the choice of meals for the following day will be; there is a meat, fish and vegan or vegetarian dish as required. I did initially think I might get hungry but they work on the little-and-often strategy; there is a basket of cereal bars in the lounge at all times to pick at as you walk past, which are very welcome if you are going off the boat on an activity, or have just returned from one. In the afternoon there were large trays of freshly baked cookies in the lounge, and at 6.00pm; Cocktail hour in the lounge, a long table was laid out with lovely nibbles, which were very popular. All meals are served slowly, and wine and water is topped up all the time. Because of this I did not get hungry at all. “ A plan to deviate from “ is the theme of the cruise. Whilst a cruise route is set initially, the weather is Alaska is very unpredictable and therefore fast changes have to be made at very short notice. There had been an earthquake a few days before we arrived, and because of this one of the places we were trying to get to was blocked with icebergs, so the plan deviated. If any wildlife is sighted, or the captain gets informed of anything of interest the ship with change course. The emphasis is on seeing the very best wildlife and wilderness Alaska has to offer, and every possible opportunity is taken to achieve this. The crew are very hands-on when it comes to ensuring you have the best possible time; we were encouraged to try kayaking and after taking their beginners lesson we went out several times on our own and loved it. All guests are encouraged to get off the boat in one way or another and see the real beauty of Alaska, and I always felt very safe with the activities crew in whatever I was doing. There is however one instance I would mention to them. I had fallen behind on a walk at Glacier Point and ended up walking alone for some time. Having been warned about the dangers of brown bears and moose in the woods I did become a little afraid, so please be mindful of the slower members of your group. I met some wonderful people on this cruise from all different walks of life, and one of the things I liked the most was the “equal” attitude of the crew. Everyone got exactly the same smile and lovely warm attitude from all the crew irrelevant of who you were, where you were from, and what you did for a living. On the sad day when we had to disembark and say a very fond farewell to the wonderful crew and captain Jenna, as we walked back down the pier into Juneau a very unassuming gentleman approached us and asked if we had enjoyed ourselves. We assured him we had, and he told us he owned the company. I was a little shocked by this, as I really didn’t expect the owner of Uncruise to be waiting on Juneau pier to talk to us? If you were the actual owner of Uncruise, your cruises are the most amazing experience ever. I will definitely cruise with you again one day, as I had the most wonderful, memorable, exciting time ever.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
My wife and I had a spectacular time on the Discoverers' Glacier Country itinerary this summer. The intimate small ship experience was wonderful - a chance to really get to know a group of like-minded adventurers. The crew was ... Read More
My wife and I had a spectacular time on the Discoverers' Glacier Country itinerary this summer. The intimate small ship experience was wonderful - a chance to really get to know a group of like-minded adventurers. The crew was fantastic - from the captain to the adventure guides to the stewards, everyone made you feel welcome, and it seemed like they really enjoyed being there and helping the guests have a great vacation. This is an itinerary for people who like nature more than visiting the casino and rushing through cheesy gift shops at a bunch of touristy ports. Every day you wake up in a new and beautiful place with lots of options for activities from relaxing on the ship to fairly strenuous hikes and kayak trips. I'm much more of an outdoorsy and active person than my wife is, and we were both able to find activities to suit our interests every day. Everyone is there to see the beauty of Alaska, and more than once a meal ground to a halt - in a good way - when a whale was spotted and everyone moved from their tables to the windows to get a better look. Speaking of the food, the "gourmet" food was generally quite good but a little uneven - a burnt roast here, an overcooked piece of fish there. The servers were charming and friendly, but courses could take a long time to come out, and occasionally they forgot to serve a course to our table! On the plus side, every meal had a selection of entrees, plus they would bend over backwards to accommodate you. My wife and I have some dietary restrictions but never had a problem because the kitchen was so adaptable. I also have to give the servers some credit - they also serve as the cabin stewards - how they have the energy serve three meals, make up the rooms, and do other tasks - and do it all with a smile - is beyond me. Our cruise was one where a naturalist was on board. She was not only highly knowledgeable, she was also a hoot! That was another plus. This was a great trip and I would recommend this itinerary to anyone without hesitation.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
We have enjoyed several Big Boat cruises in the past - but never again. UnCruise Adventure's Safari Endeavour accommodates 85 passengers and before you finish your week, you'll know most of them by first name - we even got ... Read More
We have enjoyed several Big Boat cruises in the past - but never again. UnCruise Adventure's Safari Endeavour accommodates 85 passengers and before you finish your week, you'll know most of them by first name - we even got invites to come visit their home from several. Accommodations are very comfortable - we had their basic cabin with two comfortable twin beds and private bath. Meals were EXCELLENT with several options (including vegetarian) at each meal. During the morning breakfast, you would learn about that day's meal options and make your choice. Every day, there were Morning and Afternoon adventure options ranging from high skill and exertion to more moderate walks and skiff rides. We are moderately active senior citizens and thoroughly enjoyed each activity. We had never done kayaking before but we did it here - and loved it The ship has dozens of ocean-going kayaks and has an easy-launch system that makes heading out and docking simple. Before we launched, we got lots of lessons and great tips. We enjoyed kayaking so much, we bought one after we got home. The ports of call were beyond our expectation. The ship is so small, we were able to motor right up into the channels where the glaciers live. We watched the Big Boats sit at the mouth of the channel and pass out binoculars. Once we got close to the glacier. the crew lowered kayaks and skiffs and took us even closer. We got some amazing photos. The crew was beyond attentive - they became our friends over the week and made this trip a memory we will never forget. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
Read about Un-Cruise last spring and fell in love with the "dream" of it. When my dream started becoming reality I was beyond excited... I had read and read about all the rave reviews of the cruise line... so had all kinds of ... Read More
Read about Un-Cruise last spring and fell in love with the "dream" of it. When my dream started becoming reality I was beyond excited... I had read and read about all the rave reviews of the cruise line... so had all kinds of hopes and fantasies in my head of our cruise. Un-Cruise did not disappoint!! The experiences and adventures...there's no way anyone else could offer this. I remember one night in Icy Strait we were surrounded on 3 sides of the boat by whales... everyone outside amazed and fascinated with the show they were putting on for us, baby breaching, hearing them vocalize with chirps and clicks and even one that sounded like a boat horn! During all this, I happened to look behind us and saw a large cruise ship crossing behind us... they never knew of, nor would ever be able to experience, the amazing show the whales were giving us. My husband and I both agree, there is no way we could ever go on one of those large cruise ships ever again... We learned so much, we experienced so much... it's really hard to put it all into words... The rooms are small, but seriously, you are only in there when it's time for bed. There are shelves and hooks to hang your clothes, even hooks outside to hang wet clothes (which you have a lot of!) Our only downfall we found was not enough electrical outlets. The "sho-lette" takes a bit to get use to...lol (shower / toilette combo) But we were happy with the cabin overall. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
Boarded S.S. Legacy in Juno on 6/22/14 with my father, 32 crew members and a bunch of other people I didn't know. Left the ship 7 days later sadly saying good bye to a bunch of new friends from the crew & passengers. THE ENTIRE ... Read More
Boarded S.S. Legacy in Juno on 6/22/14 with my father, 32 crew members and a bunch of other people I didn't know. Left the ship 7 days later sadly saying good bye to a bunch of new friends from the crew & passengers. THE ENTIRE CREW WAS INCREDIBLE! After sailing with Un-Cruise, I couldn't imagine sailing with anybody else. Getting to know the crew, their life stories, seeing how they were truly passionate about giving their customers an incredible sailing experience was what made this cruise an experience that I will fondly remember for the rest of my life. I was truly bummed out when we had to disembark on the last day. EVERYTHING WAS INCLUDED IN THE CRUISE PRICE. YOU DIDN'T GET NICKEL-ED & DIME-ED (probably much more) FOR DRINKS, ROOM SERVICE, PICTURES, PORT EXCURSIONS, AND ALL THE OTHER ADD-ON COSTS THAT THE BIG LINERS ARE NOTORIOUS FOR! The food was nothing short of first class. Dinners were a great time to catch up on what adventures my new friends experienced that day. Breakfasts were used to plan the days activities. You could either go on the day's adventures or chill out on the ship soaking in the jacuzzi, getting a massage, reading on deck or in your cabin. The open bar was wonderful. Every day the bar tender had his special concoction for the day at happy hour. The drinks were wonderful and it was all included in the cruise price. Wildlife viewing was phenomenal. Saw a hump back whale the first night out of port. The helmsman actually turned the ship around so we could follow the whale from a safe distance to continue watching it. See if you get that type of responsiveness from one of those huge cruise liners. The crew would regularly alter course to enhance our wildlife viewing experience. The port excursions were also wonderful. The smaller vessel meant that we could get into smaller ports than the big cruise liners. That meant that we didn't have to fight the other 10,000 + tourists that descended upon these ports when the big liners showed up. On-board entertainment was provided by "Letters from Home" and was wonderful. The crew also provided several events of story telling and poem readings. The best experience was the "open microphone night" on the 2nd to last night. It was a blast. IF YOU GO ON A CRUISE WITH SOME OTHER CRUISE LINE YOU WILL; A) MISS OUT ON THE TRIP OF A LIFETIME, B) PAY TOO MUCH, C) MISS OUT ON GETTING TO KNOW THE WONDERFUL PEOPLE WHO MAKE UP THE CREW, D) MISS OUT ON NUMEROUS WILDLIFE VIEWING OPPORTUNITIES, E) BE JUST ANOTHER HERD TOURIST AMONG THOUSANDS WHEN YOU GET INTO PORT, Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
We originally booked an Alaska cruise with Oceania, but it was from Vancouver to San Francisco, making any significant excursions to Denali National Park or Fairbanks difficult. Our agent recommended a Regent Seven Seas cruise ending in ... Read More
We originally booked an Alaska cruise with Oceania, but it was from Vancouver to San Francisco, making any significant excursions to Denali National Park or Fairbanks difficult. Our agent recommended a Regent Seven Seas cruise ending in Anchorage and then a land package through another travel company. When I went to their site, I found Un-Cruise, and having enjoyed hotel barge cruises in France, we decided that a small ship approach would be something we might enjoy. We did a seven-day cruise from Ketchikan to Juneau. Here's the deal. If you want butler service, formal dinners, gigantic cabins, and lots of excursions, this is not the ship for you. If you want to see Alaska (or one of the other Un-Cruise destinations) up close and personal, this is the way to do it. We watched the 145-foot, 36-passenger Safari Explorer pull into port in Ketchikan early in the morning on our departure day. It was docked alongside four gigantic cruise ships and the difference was stunning. We gathered at the Cape Fox Lodge in the late afternoon for a welcome session with our shipmates and an introduction to the Tlinglit tribal culture from one of the elders of the tribe. We boarded a small bus to go to the dock. We were greeted by most of the 15-person crew, including the delightful Captain Mike Bennett. A crew member showed us to our room and our luggage was there waiting for us. There were only 24 passengers on board for our week, giving us an even better chance to get to know our fellow travelers. They were mostly 50+, well-heeled folks, who are experienced travelers, and the majority were Americans. This was the ninth Un-Cruise trip for one couple so they obviously were pleased with their experiences with the line. The staff was outstanding -- personable, knowledgeable, attentive, accommodating -- and seemed genuinely interested in ensuring that the passengers had a good cruise. We had an expedition leader and an expedition guide to take us on hikes, shore walks, or skiff rides. The two young women knew a lot about the local flora and fauna and were quick to share their knowledge. The Luxury cruises have a little less emphasis on adventure, but guests were able to decide every day what they wanted to do. Some chose more strenuous or adventurous pursuits -- visiting a cave, taking a long hike, or kayaking. Others chose less strenuous shore walks, skiff rides, or stayed on board for a massage or to nap, read, talk, or work on a jigsaw puzzle. The day we spent at Dawes Glacier was spectacular for everyone, whether staying or board, paddling up close in a kayak, or viewing it from a skiff. Hearing the thunderous sound of a glacier calving and passing close by the "bergy bits" of ice, some with seals lounging on top, is an experience you'll never forget. This is not the type of cruise where you cruise all night to get to a port so you can get on a coach to go on an excursion. The ship generally travels during the day. When we encountered a pod of Orcas, the ship stopped, passengers gathered on the bow with their cameras, and our guides were there to talk to us about the whales, their behavior, where they are found, how they stick together in pods, etc. There was only one scheduled port visit during the week, in Klawock, where we toured a native tribal village in the company of several members of the tribe. They walked us through town, showed off their hand-carved wooden competition canoe, their clan meeting hall, the carving center where totem poles are made, and the park where more than 20 totems can be seen. Most nights, we anchored in an inlet or cove without any other ships in sight. The galley is staffed by a chef and a pastry chef and it's amazing how flexible they are able to be in meeting passenger food preferences. Continental breakfast is set out every morning at 6:30 am -- fresh fruits, cold cereal, oatmeal, juice, and some sort of pastry. Full breakfast is served at 8 am. The stewards come to each table and let you know what the breakfast special is that day -- for example, a spinach and Swiss cheese quiche or a Greek yogurt, fruit, and granola parfait. If you don't want the special, you can order what you want -- for example, eggs to order, bacon, and an English muffin or a bowl of oatmeal. Toward the end of breakfast, the chef comes to the dining room and describes what he has planned for lunch and dinner. Lunch was usually sandwiches, wraps, or salads and dessert. There were three courses for dinner -- usually soup or salad to start, then three choices of entree for dinner each night -- one meat, one fish, and one vegetarian, and finally dessert. The stewards would them come back to each table and ask each guest (by name by the second day on board) what they wanted for lunch and dinner. Again, they were willing to accommodate special requests. Give me a sandwich for lunch instead of the salad. Or, I'd prefer a green salad to the potatoes with my dinner entree. Mid-afternoon, the pastry chef put out a snack -- brownies, cookies, etc. At 6 pm, the passengers gathered for cocktails and there was a different appetizer each night -- crab in puff pastry, tacquitos, chips and guacamole, etc. Speaking of cocktail hour, drinks are included in your fare, unless you want something premium, like a high-end bottle of champagne or wine from the onboard "wine library." And if there isn't a steward behind the bar, passengers are welcome to mix their own drinks or pour themselves a glass of wine. Wine is served with dinner. If you don't like what they are offering, you may request something else from the bar selection. A few other things to mention about the Un-Cruise experience. There is a massage therapist/yoga instructor on the crew. She taught a yoga class on the sun deck every morning at 7 am. I really enjoyed her classes despite my lack of experience with yoga. There also is a hot tub on that deck and a dry sauna. There are lounge chairs but it was still a little early in the season for sunbathing in Alaska in late May. The ship has an open bridge policy so at any hour of the day or night, as long as the door to the bridge is open, passengers are welcome to hang out there. Several passengers from our group took to spending time on the bridge with binoculars scanning for wildlife. We saw plenty of it during our trip: orcas and humpbacks, porpoises, sea otters, seals, black and brown bears, Dall sheep, and more bald eagles and other birds that you can imagine. There is no Internet package to buy and you are not in range of cell towers for most of the trip, at least not on our itinerary. There is a flat-screen TV in the cabins but no cable TV (except for one channel showing wildlife videos and another with the daily schedule). Dress is very casual, especially since there's a fair amount of hiking and exploring on shore. Onboard, most guests stuck with "REI casual" -- fleece, hiking pants, and so on. No problem with coming to dinner in jeans and a sweatshirt. No laundry facilities are available on the ship for passenger use. That's a lot of detail, but I wish we'd known a lot of this beforehand. Bottom line? It's not an inexpensive trip, but it was worth every dollar. We would go again in a heartbeat. In fact, we put down a deposit for our next Un-Cruise before we left the ship. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Un-Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
Recently retired from teaching, we chose this un-cruise because of the opportunity to get into Alaska, not just see it. The Discoverer has 72 cabins, comfortable public areas, sun deck with seating and fitness equipment. Appeared that the ... Read More
Recently retired from teaching, we chose this un-cruise because of the opportunity to get into Alaska, not just see it. The Discoverer has 72 cabins, comfortable public areas, sun deck with seating and fitness equipment. Appeared that the ages of the participants ranged from late 30's to 70's. There were no children on this trip. We had been in Backcountry Denali for a week and arrived in Juneau to board the Wilderness. Our luggage was stowed on board by staff, we embarked meeting the captain and staff as we were shown to our rooms. Welcome cocktails, safety practice completed and supper. Meals were served at specified times, breakfast and lunch buffet and dinner plated and served. Dinner had 3 entree choices which you made during the day. Evening social hour provided snacks and a special drink. The bar was complete and the bartender well trained and personable. The chef and his staff were amazing. From Lamb chops, duck, smoked trout, crab, and various other beef and fish selections, we were amazed at every meal. Morning and afternoon activities were scheduled the day prior, as we motored in the inner reaches. Kayaking alone or guided, hiking in the Tongass forest or to glaciers, strolling the shores, touring in the sciffs, bushwhacking, paddle boarding, morning yoga, snorkeling, polar plunge - always led by experts so the experience was complete. All equipment was provided on the boat. There was a library in the public area, trivia contests in the evening, films, and time to get to know your traveling companions. We disembarked in Ketchikan, our luggage was taken to a hotel for us, we checked in to confirm our flight times, were provided with beverages and snacks, and we had the day to explore. Upon return to the hotel, our luggage was transported to the airport and we were checked in and motored also. This trip was all we had hoped for and more. It is for active explorers who want to get out and see.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
We got lucky and found Un-Cruise Adventures online. We wanted, and got, a wonderful small-ship adventure, totally unlike the corporate behemoths of the seas that hold no appeal for us. The descriptions in the company brochure, in print and ... Read More
We got lucky and found Un-Cruise Adventures online. We wanted, and got, a wonderful small-ship adventure, totally unlike the corporate behemoths of the seas that hold no appeal for us. The descriptions in the company brochure, in print and online, are reliable. We're very experienced, non-wealthy travelers, but our only previous cruise was another small ship, 30 years ago on the Nile. (That was great too.) We splurged for this one, but the up-front cost was cushioned a bit by the all-inclusive policy (including adult beverages). The daily, up-close encounters with glaciers and all the magnificent southeast Alaska scenery, and with a great variety of wildlife, were just what we hoped for. The sea was calm, the weather better than expected, the crew absolutely terrific. Guides accompanied small groups for each excursion, offering troves of information, helpful encouragement for inexperienced kayakers and hikers, and assurances of safety. We're 60-plus, reasonably fit but not athletic, and we found the daily choices of activities perfectly suited to our abilities and interests. Kayaking up a salmon stream; hiking along a deserted beach, through back country, or up the side of a glacier; cruising on a pontoon boat accompanied by orcas.... We brought back memories to last a lifetime and hundreds of gorgeous photos. The food was of a very high standard, usually with two choices of main course at each meal (and an option to try both), impeccably served in a casual atmosphere. The chef and pastry chef came up with delicious alternatives to accommodate a friend with a restricted diet. Our fellow passengers were mostly of similar age to us, a few younger and one in his 80s, with several Australians, New Zealanders, Brits, other Europeans, and Chinese in the mix. Despite the open bar and generous pouring of wine and beer at meals, I saw no sign of bad behavior. We're eager to sail with this company again on a different itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
We took off in the Safari Explorer out of Juneau for a 7 night visit to Glacier country during the first week in August. We visited Glacier Bay National Park where we spent 2 days with a park ranger on board , Icy Strait, Chicago and ... Read More
We took off in the Safari Explorer out of Juneau for a 7 night visit to Glacier country during the first week in August. We visited Glacier Bay National Park where we spent 2 days with a park ranger on board , Icy Strait, Chicago and Baranoff Islands ,Frederick Sound, Ford terror and Endicott Arm. This was an expedition ship designed to see wildlife close and personal.We saw and followed humpback whales , sea lions, seals, sea otters, bears, bald eagles, puffins, and other birds, and saw the start of the salmon run. We took hikes in hardly touched forests and filmed bears catching salmon for dinner;kayak by glaciers with snow covered mountains for background. For those who wanted a more relaxed activity, there were the skiffs who took us on tours of the various islands and inlets. We saw the calving of Ward glacier. One day we practically followed humpback whales most of the day and saw bubbling feeding, and mother and calf breaching in front of our ship. The cabins were very comfortable and spacious for a 36 passenger ship. The staff and the service were top notch. All the meals and afternoon appetizers prepared by Nate the chef were 4 star all the way. On our arrival at Glacier Bay park, the basket full of King Crabs was waiting for us and we had them for dinner that night. All liquor was included in the cruise so at around 5 pm we started gathering by the full bar for cocktails. If the crew was busy, we fixed our own drinks. This is the cruise to take to Alaska. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
This cruise was to be my daughter and my last big trip together before she graduates from High School. We had some very high expectations and all were met and exceeded on this trip.  We traveled with a group of 12 Girl Scouts and parents. ... Read More
This cruise was to be my daughter and my last big trip together before she graduates from High School. We had some very high expectations and all were met and exceeded on this trip.  We traveled with a group of 12 Girl Scouts and parents. It took us all 2 years to earn the money so our expectations were very high. This trip has something for everyone the high energy girls, the adults and one member who suffers from a chronic arthritic condition. The activities were diverse enough that everyone found something to do all day long every day. Can't say enough about the Naturalists on the ship, they really knew all about the local flora and fauna as well as sea life. The girls learned so much by being immersed in the wilderness, going on kayak adventures, hiking a to a muskeg, visiting a Tlingit Village, cave exploring, seeing Dawes glacier calving and seeing all the wildlife up close was beyond our expectations. We especially liked being tucked away in a cove or up a river and not seeing anyone else but those on the ship. The food was excellent the cabins were perfect for our needs as we only slept in them, we were always away on adventure, outside viewing nature or enjoying time with all the guests from around the world. I can't say enough about our trip other than when you can get teen girls on a trip with no cell service and no internet for most of the week and no one complains you are doing something right! Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
Embarkation - Drop your luggage and check in at the Baranof Hotel in Downtown Juneau by 2pm. The group is led down to the ship around 5:00pm, by bus or a 10 minute walk. Good shopping is near by for you to pick up last second things like ... Read More
Embarkation - Drop your luggage and check in at the Baranof Hotel in Downtown Juneau by 2pm. The group is led down to the ship around 5:00pm, by bus or a 10 minute walk. Good shopping is near by for you to pick up last second things like another warm layer to wear under your outer jacket. If you couldn't get your bags to the hotel by 2pm, I don't think it would be a big problem, as they didn't put the bags on the bus until after 4pm. We lined up at the gangway to the ship across from the Goldbelt Hotel in downtown and went through a receiving line featuring the Captain and all of her officers. We got on the ship after 5:30 and were shown to our room, where the bags were waiting. This cruise can go to Glacier Bay first or last on the itinerary, depending on their reservation in Glacier Bay. Only a few ships are allowed in Glacier Bay each day. We went to Glacier last, even though the brochure itinerary indicates that Glacier Bay starts on Day 2. Stateroom: We had the Captain's Stateroom, which was the middle of 5 levels of staterooms. All staterooms on small boats are smaller than the rooms on larger cruise ships, but it was fine. We had adequate storage for our gear. The bathroom was small, a one person at a time arrangement. There were plenty of plugs to charge up all your stuff. There was a small flat screen in the room with a DVD player built in. The TV only carried internal channels, with the daily menus, ship position, etc. No CNN, no wifi, no cell service. No daily news headlines in a memo. You were out of touch for a week. There are no keys. When you left the room, it was unlocked. You can lock the cabin door from the inside. This presented no problem, however I wouldn't bring any valuable jewelry on this cruise. There are two locking drawers, which we didn't bother obtaining a key for. The HC/AC system worked well. Each stateroom has two robes, which were useful for trips to the jacuzzi. Each room also has a music player hung on the wall that connected to your IPhone 4S or earlier or IPod with the 10 pin connector. It played your music and charged your IPhone. We left the IPhone connected in this dock all week and played music thru it. The iPhone 5 can not dock in this device without the adaptor. Cell Service - While my iPhone was in the dock, it did receive occasional email downloads from scattered cell service picked up along the way from some small village. The signal was not strong enough to receive 3G Internet. Apparently, small towns that we pass have some cell service and emails & text messages are picked up. Your outgoing messages may take a while to get out, but they do go out eventually. So if you are really desperate for updates on stock market or sports scores, you could sign up for email or text alerts and you may get the information. Provided Gear - the ship provides each passenger with excellent rubber boots. They had most sizes. Each passenger was also offered 1st class rain gear (Helly Hanson): tops and bottoms, again for most sizes, XS to XL. Each stateroom had two aluminum water bottles that you could use in the room or take on your hikes. The ship had walking sticks for their hikes. Each room is equipped with one pair of binoculars. There were times when each person needs a pair. If you have a really unusual shoe size, you may want to bring your own rubber boots. These boots are essential, as on most of the walks you will walk in wet and muddy conditions. People wash their boots upon return from their activity and leave them outside their cabins to dry. When they make the call to go collect your boots and rain gear, move quickly to the boots to make sure you get your size. Very large and very small rain gear may run out quickly also. Dress & Laundry - there is no laundry service on the ship for passengers. You could wash your underwear in the sink and hang them on the string line in the shower. If you are going to hang something to dry, bring quick-dry stuff. Cotton underwear will take 2 days to dry and hanging space is limited in the room. No one dressed up for dinner, blue jeans and casual shirts were fine, no shorts for dinner. Most people came to dinner in their outdoorsy casual clothes. Dress for cold weather. Do not forget gloves and knit hats, they are essential. Bring sweatshirts and a warm jacket and quick-dry hiking pants. Blue jeans will take forever to dry out. Bring thick socks to wear inside the provided rubber boots. Bring a pair of hiking shoes for your everyday shoes and some flip flops to wear to the jacuzzi. Weather - The Juneau area in the summer can get brief periods of warm weather, but usually the highs are in the 60's with overcast skies and frequent light rain. While that doesn't sound too cold, out on the water it is considerably colder especially when you are on a moving boat. The temp drops even more near a glacier. The rain is usually light and a hooded raincoat will keep you fairly dry. No one used an umbrella. During the 7 days, we had 2 days of on & off light rain, one foggy day, 2 mostly sunny days and 2 cloudy days. We arrived back in Juneau in bright sunshine that lasted for 3 days. Even though it rains all the time in Juneau, you can get lucky in the summer months. According to the locals, this was the nicest summer in Juneau in 10 years. Food - Very good. Everyone eats together at specific times using open seating. You can sit with different people at each meal. There was one group of nine people that had a reserved table for all the meals, so they can accommodate groups. For dinner you have 3 choices, a meat, fish or veggie entree. For lunch & breakfast you have 2 choices. All meals are served, no buffet lines, except for one brunch that was served when the crew anticipated lots of whale watching. There is an early riser setup with bagels, muffins and oatmeal for those who want something before the 7:30 am breakfast. Portions are not large, which is nice. Compared to large ship cruises, you don't tend to overeat on this cruise. Meal times were usually 7:30 am, 12:30pm and 7:00pm. At breakfast each morning, you gave the staff your meal choice for lunch & dinner so they can prepare the food in the right amounts. You can change your mind at meal time. We often ordered a split order between 2 of the 3 entrees, which worked very well. The fish entrees were consistently excellent, fresh bakery every day, and we often cheered for the outstanding desserts. Beverages - All beer, wine, mixed drinks & soft drinks are included. There are 2 self service wine kegs open at all hours, along with coffee, hot chocolate & tea available at all hours. After dinner drinks were offered after dinner. The passengers ran the bar when staff wasn't available. Happy hour happens at 6:00pm where the crew puts out some great snacks. Wine is served with dinner. The wines were very good. Activities - Each day is different. A typical day might include a choice of 3 to 5 activities, including hiking, kayaking, boat tours on small boats, photo tours or maybe stand up paddle boarding. You pick 2 of those activities the night before and the crew does their best to schedule to give you your first two choices, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. You can do the same activity twice. The schedule is posted around 10:00pm so you can plan your next day. The ship is usually parked close enough to a glacier or land so that you have lots of scenery to enjoy on the boat if you decide to stay on board. The ship has a nice small library on Alaska and maritime wilderness topics, and plenty of DVD's to watch. There are expert talks on geology and wildlife related to Alaska. We were on a Photography cruise, so we had a professional photographer, Wolfgang, giving talks and leading photography walks and boat tours He was available to answer questions frequently and he socialized with the passengers at meals and on deck. The ship is small enough to get close to glaciers and can change course quickly to allow good viewing of whales. We changed course and schedules several times when we spotted Humpback Whales. We saw breaching, bubble net feeding, head slapping, etc. Sea otters and seals were plentiful, along with bald eagles, and birds and gulls everywhere. A few bears were sighted along the coastline, they were elusive. Hiking - The remote islands that the cruise goes to do not have trails (there are no people to cut them). Plus, the portion of the land where you walk is in tidal areas and the ground is very soft. As a result the "walks" can be quite strenuous. There are 2 kinds of walks on these shore lines, except at Glacier, where there are 3 levels of hikes: 1). The "beach walks" are across very rocky shore lines and the footing is slippery, you are watching your foot falls the entire time, thus it's hard to enjoy the scenery. The beach walks are risky, I was amazed that no one turned an ankle. You certainly couldn't get any cardio going, as you had to move slowly. I consider these walks to be moderate level, but no fun. 2). The other kind of hikes are called "Bushwhacks", where the hikers literally cut through rain forests, over soggy ground, slippery boulders, fallen trees, snap back branches. This was a strenuous walk to me (I'm not a big hiker) but the younger people on the hikes thought the Bushwhacks were only moderately difficult and lots of fun as they were blazing new trails, going where no one else had been. You need to wear your rubber boots on these walks. They are heavy, but essential. Kayaking - The ship has about 15 to 20 double kayaks, which are the "sit inside" type with "skirts". They have rudders and foot pedals for steering, which can be a little tricky to get used to. The kayaks are quite stable and fun to use. The launching & receiving deck is amazing and makes kayaking a great activity. There is always a staff member with each group of kayakers. Inexperienced kayakers had a bit of a learning curve, but no one flipped over, and most people figured it out pretty quickly. Wearing gloves really helps prevent blisters from stroking with the paddle. The ship also has a bunch of Stand Up Paddle boards, which they allow passengers to use when conditions permit. Wildlife - The crew made sure we got to see many types of wildlife on this cruise. We saw whales 3 times, eagles everyday, we saw bears from the boat a few times, salmon were jumping all over the place, we didn't see moose but we did see seals, sea lions, and otters. There were many birds to see, especially in Glacier National Park. Glacier National Park - We spent 2 days in the park. It started with a 2.5 hour stop at the visitor center which is at the Glacier Bay Lodge where there are several hiking trails. The lodge has free wifi that most people jumped on to look for important emails (they are hard to find). The Park Ranger came on board for 2 days and gave us a talk about what we were going to see in the park. We saw lots of birds and a few mountain goats during the next 6 hours on our way to the glaciers. We saw no whales and even if we did, ships cannot be within 0.5 miles of a whale compared to 100 yards in the rest of the US. We made it to the top (north end) of Glacier Bay by 8pm and stayed in front of Margerie Glacier until about 9:30 PM, then we back tracked a few miles to Reid Glacier and anchored. We had morning and afternoon activities on the second day near Reid Glacier including 3 levels of hikes, small boat tours and kayaking. The extreme hike was 5 hours, with a 1000' elevation gain. It was called the "Glacier Assault". Per Park regulations, only 12 hikers could go on any hike. There were 11 hardy hikers (plus the guide) who made this hike with no problems. At noon, the ship featured a "polar plunge" and about 12 passengers and a few crew members took a quick dip in the Glacier Bay waters (mid 40's) and all got out quickly and headed for the hot tubs. We got to see 2 glaciers at this stop. The last evening in Glacier Bay was our last on the ship and the crew did a slide show of all the pictures they took on the cruise and gave each cabin a thumb drive with all the slide show photos on them. They also took sign ups for future cruises if you gave them a $350 p/p deposit. That gave you a $1000 credit for (Heritage Cruises), a $500 credit for (Luxury Cruises) or a $250 credit for (Active Cruises) on your next cruise. You have 12 months to make the booking and 24 months to make the trip in order to use this credit. You have 45 days to call up and cancel your deposit for any reason. Every cruise offers. Discounts for booking your next cruise while still on the cruise. By cruise standards, I think this is a great deal. Photography - This is the trip for your long lenses. Photographing whales is tricky at best. You need to be ready every second with everything pre-set. You need a good camera with a high burst rate, maybe 6 to 9 frames per second. Point & Shoot cameras will not likely produce a good photo as the whales are changing position every 10th of a second. Set your camera on manual focus and pre-focus in the approximate focal plane where the whales are. Shoot in "shutter priority" with about 1/1000th of a second shutter speed and crank up your ISO to allow a high aperture number so you get a good depth of field. The ship has to stay about 100 yards from the whale, so bring out your longest lens. A tripod won't help when trying to find the whale through the long lens, the whales are moving around too much, but the fast shutter speed should eliminate some camera shake. The viewing areas on decks 2&3 get fairly tight along the rails, as everyone is shooting photos. The best place to go is the 4th deck, where you have room for a tripod. Video is a great way to capture the scenery. Still photos are great and can be very artistic, but you can pan with video and capture the immense scenery of Alaska that even a wide angle lens photo cannot. If you use the telephoto feature of a video camera, you must be on a tripod. It's impossible to get steady video clips in full zoom holding the camera in your hands. Remember to shoot in shorts clips when shooting video, 10 second clips max. It's much easier to watch that way. Never zoom while shooting. Pan very slowly. It's better to stop the video, move your camera, then start recording again. You cannot watch a fast panning video on the screen at home, you will just delete all those segments. Passengers - This was a younger crowd than you'll find on large cruise ships. The average age was about 50. Virtually everyone went on the shore excursions. The boat is not set up for wheel chairs as there are no elevators. You'll need to be able to climb stairs to take this cruise. Crew - A wonderful group of 34 hard working men & women, all with personalities and good English language skills. By the end of the week, we were like a big family. The Captain worked all the time. When we were at anchor, she was helping passengers into & out of kayaks. The Captain was happy to show you around the bridge. Disembarkation - You put your bags out by 7:30am, and go to breakfast. After eating you came back to the room to pick up your carry-ons and leave the boat to a farewell line of most of the crew. They took your bags to the airport if you were flying out that day or to the Baranof Hotel if you were not flying out that day. Buses then took passengers directly to the Baranof or to the airport if your flight was in the morning. Passengers with afternoon flights went to the Hotel, and then a later bus took them to the airport. We rented a car and stated in Juneau for 2 more nights. We did some more whale watching, did a Mendenhall River Rafting trip and explored Juneau. Avis has a rental car agency in the Goldbelt Hotel, right across from the Endeavour's dock. You can drop off the car at their airport location, with no extra charge. Misc Notes - No one seemed to get sick on this cruise unlike big ships where you hear lots of coughing after a few days. There is no ship store to buy cough medicine in case you do get a cough and you stop in no towns to go to the drug store, so bring your own just in case. You could probably get a few cough drops from fellow passengers. Summary - Small ship cruises are so different than large ship cruises. Big ship cruises are fine but small ship cruises are just amazing, everything is included and your experience is very personal, not one of thousands descending on some small town. Kayaking in Alaskan waters in front of a glacier is unforgettable. This cruise was all about adventure and getting to know fellow passengers and the great crew. Plus, there was no added costs once you boarded the ship, all excursions and drinks are included and there is no wifi to buy. We liked this cruise so much, that we have booked two more cruises with Un-Cruise. Email me if you have a question at kentennis@cox.net   Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
When we decided to go to Alaska, I was looking for a tour that would be intimate, active and real, without getting caught in touristy activities and gift shops. I also needed to find an approach that worked for both my young kids (6 and 9) ... Read More
When we decided to go to Alaska, I was looking for a tour that would be intimate, active and real, without getting caught in touristy activities and gift shops. I also needed to find an approach that worked for both my young kids (6 and 9) and my father (75). It seemed like an impossible task. Except it wasn't. We did an Un-Cruise "Luxury" cruise which threaded the needle perfectly. First, the boat is fantastic. Very comfortable, all amenities, excellent food and service, friendly staff. Barely felt a bump or wave. I have lot of unopened sea sickness meds because we never even thought about feeling woozy. We were impressed. Second, the excursions are fantastic. Each morning and afternoon they give you choices (kayak, small boat, hiking, beach walk, etc.) with various areas of focus and intensity. Even if you're not an "outdoorsy, adventurous person" you can TOTALLY do this. The guides are SOOOO knowledgeable, friendly, fun, engaging and helpful. They provide great rain gear, boots, binoculars, advice, and a TON of information. I feel like a went to graduate school in the week we were on this boat. It was VERY easy to have kids on this trip, even though it wasn't marketed as a kid or family trip. The staff engaged them, the kitchen made great kid-food for them, I always felt like they were safe, etc. I don't think I have one mediocre thing to include in this review. There's really no other way to do Alaska. I can't recommend this highly enough. My family is trying to decide which Un-cruise trip to do next. I feel like we discovered a real gem of an outfit here. Book it. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
My family of four (including two teenagers), have traveled a lot but we had never been to Alaska and wanted to see as much as we could. With only a week to explore, the Safari Endeavor was the perfect size and added a bit of luxury to our ... Read More
My family of four (including two teenagers), have traveled a lot but we had never been to Alaska and wanted to see as much as we could. With only a week to explore, the Safari Endeavor was the perfect size and added a bit of luxury to our SE Alaska action packed week. We started our trip out with two full days in Glacier Bay National Park with a forest ranger, Kailin, who offered presentations on birds and glaciers as we cruised up to the Grand Pacific and Margerie Glaciers. We were able to get up close to the scenery and wildlife with kayaks, small boat tours and hiking opportunities. The next days were filled with several activity choices with our four well trained, knowledgeable, entertaining expedition guides, Matt, Conner, Jackie and Fancy. They took about a dozen people at a time on one of the many offered excursions. Matt our expedition leader, would go over our daily choices the night before with fun and thorough descriptions and creative names such as "leg stretcher" "boulder scramble" "gentle beach stroll" to define the various levels of activity from bushwhacking to small beach strolls to climbing ON glaciers. There were also guided small boat tours, kayak tours, open kayak and open up right paddle boarding on the beautiful blue, turquoise & green calm water. In between or after excursions, we usually hit one of the two hot tubs, of course still viewing the scenery and whales! We visited seven Glaciers and had excellent presentations on whales, geology, glaciers and the abundant wildlife we viewed throughout trip. The food was scrumptious, fresh and inventive. Every day presented with an early riser breakfast, full cooked breakfast, lunch, happy hour and three choices at dinner including local seafood, a meat option and a vegetarian option followed by a dessert prepared by a pastry chef. It was all so decadent I usually opted for surf and turf. Chef Mike was happy to accommodate any requests however I can say we all enjoyed everything they put in front of us. The ship has a lounge with Jerry our bartender, happy to make fun cocktails (drinks included- even premium) and cooled with GLACIAL ICE! There are many indoor and outdoor areas to view the wildlife. Also, our Captain Jenna would change the itinerary or timing as to maximize the wildlife viewing and experience. Super knowledgeable, friendly staff and really down to earth. I honestly can't say enough good things about our experience last week. I'm still trying to process all the fun we had and the "once in a lifetime" stuff we saw in one week: countless humpback whales up close, resident and transient orcas, brown bear, Dall's porpoise, a raft of otters, harbor seals, sea lions, puffins, eagles and many other birds. It was a truly incredible life experience for the four of us. WOW!   Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
This was my first time in Alaska, and I liked the concept of an 'adventure' cruise with activities other than watching the ocean go by. This was what I wanted and just what I received. Since this was my first cruise, I had lot ... Read More
This was my first time in Alaska, and I liked the concept of an 'adventure' cruise with activities other than watching the ocean go by. This was what I wanted and just what I received. Since this was my first cruise, I had lot of questions for the sales staff. They treated me courteously, got back to me with answers and helped by providing options that worked. When the time came, they followed up to make sure everything was in order. Instructions provided were clear and easy to follow. A small cruise ship, not a floating hotel, was a must for me. A desire to meet the crew and most of the passengers was also a desire. Captain 'Marce' was easy to talk to and her crew was a reflection of her very good leadership. They were all friendly, helpful, very accommodating and very easy to work with. They were knowledgeable and provided assistance on just about everything necessary to make things like kayaking (my first attempt), polar plunges, snorkeling (including thermal suits to stay warm), paddle boarding, shore hikes, whale watching and everything in between more fun than I'd hoped. Meals were casual, but very good. Choices and amounts were also very good. Activities were categorized by amounts of effort in the activity. Activity choices varied from mild (skiff rides up close and personal with calving glaciers) to endurance kayak trips or shore hiking trips. If I had it to do over again, the only thing I'd change would be to lengthen the cruise duration. And next time, I will. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
Just returned from 12 days with Un-Cruise Adventures on S.S. Legacy, Juneau to Seattle, and cannot say enough about the onboard style, the staff, the food, and above all, the 'adventure'. With the ability to spend as much time as ... Read More
Just returned from 12 days with Un-Cruise Adventures on S.S. Legacy, Juneau to Seattle, and cannot say enough about the onboard style, the staff, the food, and above all, the 'adventure'. With the ability to spend as much time as needed in any given location, we were treated to 3 hours (!!) watching humpback whales bubble feeding in Icy Straights; we 'swam' with porpoises just off the bow; we observed pods of orca up-close; and we came eye-to-eye with two curious humpbacks who used the bottom of the ship for a good scratch. Because Un-Cruise Adventures can stop for as long as they like, whenever they like, we experienced Alaska in a way no other company can provide. Add to that the tireless attention of the crew, exceptional dining (even the vegetarian dishes were incredible), the fun character interactions with the likes of John Muir, CJ and Ethel Berry, Sargent William Sharpe, and con-man Danny McSwain, and it was truly the trip of a lifetime. Excursions and alcohol are included, with optional excursions available (bear-watching, anyone?). Be sure to join in the poker game in the Pesky Barnacle. A real highlight and a great way to get to know fellow passengers even better! Un-Cruise Adventures is the only way to TRULY cruise into the heart and spirit of Alaska. We've cruised here on one of the 'big ships', and while it was a wonderful experience, Un-Cruise Adventures gave us the ultimate in Alaskan cruising. We can't wait to return! Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
My husband and I and 3 friends went on an Un-Cruise Adventures Inner Reaches of the Eastern Coves of Alaska --small ship cruise on July 27 to August 3 of 2013. We cruised from Juneau to Ketchikan aboard the ship named Wilderness ... Read More
My husband and I and 3 friends went on an Un-Cruise Adventures Inner Reaches of the Eastern Coves of Alaska --small ship cruise on July 27 to August 3 of 2013. We cruised from Juneau to Ketchikan aboard the ship named Wilderness Discoverer. The cruise definitely exceeded our expectations. We had been on a Cruise West cruise in 2010 before Cruise West ceased operating due to the economy. That cruise to Glacier Bay was wonderful but the Un-Cruise experience was even better (better food and more off ship activities). Because the Un-Cruise ships are small (Wilderness Discoverer accommodates 76 passengers and 28 crew) we were able to access small coves and waterways for a very memorable experience in Alaska's untouched areas. The ship was very clean. The staterooms are small but very comfortable. There is room under the beds to store soft sided luggage and a floor to ceiling cupboard with shelves for clothes and items you unpack. The private bathroom with shower that is in the stateroom is very small but manageable. It was hot on several of the days we were traveling and we were very pleased that the ship has AC and a control panel in each room (it also has heating which we did not need). The food was outstanding and the chef eagerly accommodated my food allergies. The crew members were extremely friendly, helpful and knowledgeable . We thoroughly enjoyed the off-ship expedition activities (all are included in the cost of the cruise) which were extremely varied and included things like kayaking, paddle boarding, skiff tours, hikes, snorkeling, swimming (for the braver travelers) etc. The expedition leader was very knowledgeable and accommodated passengers of all ages and physical abilities in the activities off the ship--as did her expedition crew members. The captain and expedition leader worked together to provide the best experience for passengers and were flexible with regard to the schedule and ship course, for example, making changes so passengers could spend more time viewing whales and bears and other animals or going to coves where animals had been sighted by other ships. We enthusiastically recommend Un-Cruise Adventures! Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
I made a commitment to myself to visit Alaska each summer and I've been successful so far. This year was by far the best trip I've ever had. I am not a fan of the big ship concept in Alaska. I want to see and enjoy the true ... Read More
I made a commitment to myself to visit Alaska each summer and I've been successful so far. This year was by far the best trip I've ever had. I am not a fan of the big ship concept in Alaska. I want to see and enjoy the true Alaska and have seen how quickly a large ship in port can disrupt the entire experience. For this reason I restrict my travels to small ships that allow me to see and do things with minimal exposure to the unnatural side of life. My trip on Un-Cruise this year was aboard one of their luxury vessels, the Safari Endeavour. I learned that their luxury yachts are named "Safari ..." and their adventure yachts are names "Wilderness ..." The ship was in excellent shape and was immaculate. The accommodations are what you would expect on a small luxury yacht, cozy yet ample, well-tended and the beds extremely comfortable. I slept like a rock. There is an iPod docking station in each cabin but no television or phone. What a concept to actually get to spend quality time with nature outside of our "connected" world. My husband's birthday occurred half-way through the trip and I was able to get cell service for a brief time to make a quick call. The crew are all very familiar with where and when cell service should be accessible. Don't expect it every day. There is room under each twin bed for storing suitcases and a large closet with lots of drawer space which was way more than I needed. I've read other comments about the small cabins and onboard noise and my only comment is that sailing with Un-Cruise is like cruising on a private yacht. You will always have smaller cabins, engine noise and moderate vibration which are normal and expected for the mode of transport. The smaller cabins more than make up for having to deal with 3,500 of your new best friends on the mega cruise ships and the engine sound actually works like white noise lulling me to sleep. The big plus was the included massage much needed after the glacier assaulted me and the two hot tubs that were the perfect spot for viewing the scenery each evening. My cabin was the closest to the hot tubs and what a plus that was. Since you are very active all day, most guests call it a night at a reasonable hour so foot traffic noise was never an issue. The hotel and dining staff proved themselves to be the most professional I have encountered on a small ship. I do not throw this out lightly. Everyone went above and beyond to insure that each and every guest had all of their needs and preferences met. They were all personable and friendly while still maintaining a professional image which is next to impossible to achieve in this environment. I was very impressed that they pulled it off. The chef was creative in her menu and the food well presented. I was really glad to see the portions sensible preventing waste. This was a first for me and left a lasting impression. Meals on the luxury ships are served off the menu in the dining room (as opposed to buffet lines) and the food was fabulous. I believe meals on the Un-Cruise adventure boats are served buffet-style. The bar staff did a great job of keeping us hydrated and smiling. They were always quick and very funny. Since the environment is cozy, we all seemed to congregate in the salon which is where the bar is located. This is the perfect place to start your morning as hand-drawn cappuccino/latte/espresso is also available from the bartender/barista. Our departure in Juneau was the sole port since our experience focused on secluded coves and unimaginable beauty. We rarely saw another ship and felt as though we alone had the Inside Passage to ourselves. This does not mean that there was ever a feeling of isolation, quite the contrary. The small ship experience affords what I aptly term summer vacation for adults although there were families onboard which added to the fun. It is a place where people come together to have a jolly good time and would be perfect for the small group that you host. For me its the perfect opportunity to get to know like-minded adventurers and share in various activities including kayaking, paddle boarding, glacier assaults and good old-fashioned hikes. Dress is very casual so ladies, you can leave the Jimmy Cs & Christian Ls at home. I dressed head to toe in REI and Ex-Officio. My one recommendation is a good pair of mucking boots although they are supplied if needed. I bought mine (Smoky Mountain Amphibian rubber-neoprene) a few years ago at a local feed store and they come in handy for wet landings on the skiff. I wore them daily. The exploration staff leading our journey were all experienced and then some and one of the exploration guides, also a college professor in Oregon, was the most knowledgeable Ive ever encountered. I learned more on this trip than all seven previous combined. They were always on hand to offer assistance or help introduce you to a new sport. New to kayaking no problem. Theres an introductory demonstration and once in the water, everyone seems to encourage and help each other. Ive kayaked for years but a simple word of encouragement to a newbie went a long way. Everyone was very active. Our Captain, Jenna Stevens, was also a surprise and she, too, left a lasting impression. She was out there pitching in with the guides getting the skiffs ready to launch always with a smile and kind word. She was available when needed and always looking out for the guests. Im not exaggerating when I say I am still in awe of everyone onboard, from the Captain on down. I have never been on a trip that I didnt hear grumbling of some sort from either guests or crew. This trip was the sole exception and it still amazes me. The entire crew set the gold standard for the cruising. Their continued efforts to insure a perfect trip did not go unnoticed by anyone. In trying to convince my friends to join me on my small ship travels I always use this comparison. If you go to the Super Bowl and have field-level tickets you are going to pay much more than if you are seated in the nose-bleed section. The same concept applies here. The small ships go where the big ships can't so obviously you will see an entirely different Alaska than they will. You actually get to see and experience the Inside Passage as opposed to watching it through your window or off your balcony. I am very protective of maintaining the dignity of this precious piece of America and being able to anchor is a secluded cove and clearly hear the sounds of nature and see bald eagles, bears, sea otters, sea lions, seals, whales and wildlife up close is indescribable. I can't recommend it enough. I've spent time in Alaska May through October and recommend July solely because three of my trips in July produced the best weather. Salmon run early July through the end of August and bear sightings on this trip were remarkable. I can't even count the number of whales we spotted. I finally made it to the 20-story high Dawes Glacier, topping my list, and what a welcome we received. A very large chunk of glacial ice broke off and not only calved but created a 375 foot high geyser for our viewing pleasure. Since we were already photographing the smaller calvings from our Zodiac, we caught the whole episode on both camera and video. Wow!!! As you can probably hear from my words, I am still awed by the trip.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
From the time we embarked until journeys end this really was a great experience. On arrival at ship we were greeted by a large number of the crew, introduced to our cabin boy/girl and escorted to our small but certainly adequate ... Read More
From the time we embarked until journeys end this really was a great experience. On arrival at ship we were greeted by a large number of the crew, introduced to our cabin boy/girl and escorted to our small but certainly adequate accommodation. We would recommend that if you are travelling with a spouse or partner forgo the double bed for twin as access to one side is a little awkward. As it was a small ship it did not take us long to familiarise what was where. There were only 50 odd passengers on this trip (max is about 60-70) so becoming known to many was easy. Although the meals menu was limited there was always ample and for those who had special needs there appeared to be no problems. The wait staff were most attentive, polite and it was not long that everybody was on first name terms. Although there was an itinerary this did not seem to have much credence . It did not take long the cruise to get knick named the "Issh Cruise" . If whales or other wildlife were spotted the captain's willingness to alter course/timetables to suit passengers was very flexible, as were where we anchored, excursions and times ashore . There was always something to do when we anchored, kayaking,paddle boarding,shore excursions,guided skiff excursions Most of these were guided but often there was the opportunity to venture (on he water) on your own with the knowledge that you were always under surveillance and help was always close by I always believed that the success of any cruise depends largely on the attitude of the crew. Our crew were exquisite.Their ability to please, coupled with their knowledge and attitude radiated a feeling that they really loved their job and all aboard were one family. Special mention must be made about Alison and Phil (two of our excellent on-shore guides) Alison for her flora and fauna knowledge and Phil for the slideshow he compiled during the cruise and presented on the final night Another good thing about this cruise is that (apart from the traditional US tipping culture) there were no hidden costs,-Dvd's use,binocular use, gumboot use,kayaks,paddle boards, ALL excursions etc. were free. A big bonus for us was the absence of regimentation, and not being treated as just a number which we have found so common on some of the larger ships The ability of the small ship (draft only 7ft.)to go where other cruise ships were unable to venture was also a bonus -even to the extent that we had a"beach party"! Disembarkation was well organised ,to the extent that our baggage was forwarded on to our hotel Apart from getting a tummy bug (medication was free)this was a most memorable cruise. Well done to all concerned!   Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
Up close and personal in Alaska. No ports, just following the wildlife, kayaking, paddle boarding and taking the zodiacs up to the shore for hiking and photography, while cruising so very close to the calving glaciers. As a seasoned ... Read More
Up close and personal in Alaska. No ports, just following the wildlife, kayaking, paddle boarding and taking the zodiacs up to the shore for hiking and photography, while cruising so very close to the calving glaciers. As a seasoned traveler with 50 cruises to date, I must say this was one of the best experiences I have had! I was initially a bit hesitant to cruise on such a small ship as I am not usually the kayak, paddle board or take long hikes type, but didn't want to do a 'big ship' for my first trip to Alaska. As the large ships cruised by at the required 8 mile distance from the glaciers, I was thrilled that we were able to sail within a mile and zodiac right up to them through the 'bergy bit' ice bergs. We had a Park Ranger onboard for two days. She was informative and well educated, taking us into small coves to find the wildlife easily. The crew was exceptional! They seemed genuinely happy and made us all feel like family from the first day. Both the Captain and the second in command were WOMEN! A first for me. An open bridge policy allowed guests to experience how the ship navigates and see the panoramic views. The ship is small and intimate, able to carry just 86 passengers. Everyone dines together and shares tables at meal time while enjoying the passing scenery from the wall to wall windows. Several times during the cruise our dinner was interrupted when whales were spotted and we all went rushing to the bow with our cameras. The chef, who is very talented, kept our meals warm until we returned. The pastry chef, who I compliment and curse at the same time because of my expanding waistline, created the most delicious cookies, scones and desserts I have ever had at sea. You cannot possible stop at just one. The panoramic view lounge at the front of the ship can seat everyone for happy hour. Our cruise was an all inclusive sailing, with drinks included. Great conversations with interesting people sparked many friendships that I think will last well past the cruise. Twin doors opening to the bow of the ship make it a great spot to watch for wildlife and step out for photographs. I was surprised to see a couple in their 80's on the ship with some mobility issues, but soon realized this ship is the best way for them to view the wildlife through the windows even though they couldn't participate in the off ship adventure activities. The cabins were minimal and small, but I found I didn't spend time there with so many things to do outside. The mattresses could have been thicker and more luxurious, as it felt like being at camp with just a mattress on a platform. The black out curtains didn't completely block the sunlight, so I woke with the sun at 4:15 am on many mornings. I was told they are looking into shades instead. That would be a welcome improvement. Drawer and closet space were ample. The bathroom was tiny, but efficient. Be prepared to truly un-connect. There is no Internet or cell coverage. A welcome change to unplug and enjoy the natural beauty for a week. Another first for me was having the entire crew lined up on the dock as we departed to say goodbye. It was touching as guests gave each crew member a hug and shared a special moment with the individuals that made it such a memorable week. The right ending to a perfect cruise and a heartwarming testimony for the cruise line. Overall, I give the Safari Endeavor a high rating and look forward to coming back to explore Mexico and Hawaii with them.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
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