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124 UnCruise Alaska Cruise Reviews

Our cruise started in Juneau. Our cabins were very adequate. Spacious for storage and comfortable for sleeping. The ships crew kept them clean and anything you needed they were happy to comply. Dining was perfect. we had buffet and seated ... Read More
Our cruise started in Juneau. Our cabins were very adequate. Spacious for storage and comfortable for sleeping. The ships crew kept them clean and anything you needed they were happy to comply. Dining was perfect. we had buffet and seated dining. Everything was well prepared and special request were gladly excepted. Our servers were excellent. As a matter of fact we got quite close to all of the crew. There was nothing we asked for on the ship that was not taken care of . The whole ship staff was great. There were 4 in my family. 3 of us had massages and it was worth it. Activities included. hiking, kayaking, polar bear plunge,snorkeling and paddle boards. Every evening our teens were in the dvd library or planning a board game from the lounge with other ship mates. If they weren't to tired from the day's activities. One day was a 5.5 mile hike to a lake by a glacier. So if you do the math, total was 11 miles. so awesome!!! There are always other options available. Never a dull moment. We saw a multitude of alaska wildlife. Humpback whales, sea lions, brown bear, black bear and eagles. That's only mentioning a few. You get up close and personal with everything you do. Our captain even did the polar bear plunge. And he was there for almost every activity we did when we returned to the boat to ask how it was. In my opinion it is the best cruise to take in Alaska. Don't hesitate to call and ask them questions they are so helpful. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
From first contact in planning tto departure, guests were the focus of the entire crew and Un-cruise staff. Each crew member from moment of approaching the ship until after we were safely on our way to airport did even tiny thing in a ... Read More
From first contact in planning tto departure, guests were the focus of the entire crew and Un-cruise staff. Each crew member from moment of approaching the ship until after we were safely on our way to airport did even tiny thing in a personal, friendly, competent and efficient manner. Their excitement was infectious ,,,their knowledge and acts enhanced our experiences both with the ship and its amenities as well as the real reason for small-ship cruise choice: up close, intense and personal contact with Nature and Alaska. Our dream began in 1996... life was as life would be and finally our dream became reality and began June 2013... in all respects, our deepest gratitude to Un-Cruise, front office, captain, officers, staff and crew. Words of compliment in the English language are oft over- or mis-used. Our experience with Un-cruise: superb. We look forward to at least two more trips with it. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
In June 2013 my wife and I took the Un-Cruise inner passage cruise from Sitka to Anchorage, Alaska. It was a "bucket list" item to which we had looked forward for many years. The cruise more than fulfilled our every expectation. ... Read More
In June 2013 my wife and I took the Un-Cruise inner passage cruise from Sitka to Anchorage, Alaska. It was a "bucket list" item to which we had looked forward for many years. The cruise more than fulfilled our every expectation. Of course the scenery was spectacular and endless. We had a bad case of the illness the crew described as "FOMO," "fear of missing out." It was difficult to take time out to sleep, as each turn revealed a new scenic highlight. The crew was enthusiastic about what they were doing, were endlessly patient, always ensuring the safety of the guests, and remarkably knowledgeable about the flora and fauna we encountered, both on board as the ship went out of it way to provide special views of marine wildlife, as we kayaked amidst it, and as we hiked ashore. Our days and evenings were filled with new knowledge about our surrounding, which if what we had come for, and each day we were provided with six major activity opportunities from which to choose. My only reluctance in taking the trip involved a dietary concern. The crew managed that concern magnificently and discretely, in a fashion no restaurant has ever achieved. Both the embarkation and disembarkation were handled flawlessly and with great cheer on the part of the crew, requiring minimal effort on our part. In summary, my wife and I could not recommend more highly our experience on the Un-Cruise Wilderness Explorer.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
Where do I start? The ship (Wilderness Discoverer)- We were in the Navigator level cabin. It is the least expensive and on the lowest level. It is small( about 8x10) but though snug, we found it really neat. The window opens to the sea and ... Read More
Where do I start? The ship (Wilderness Discoverer)- We were in the Navigator level cabin. It is the least expensive and on the lowest level. It is small( about 8x10) but though snug, we found it really neat. The window opens to the sea and since you are on the lowest level it means no railings blocking your view and nobody walking by you window. That means no need to draw the curtain- who cares if a whale or dolphin sees you au naturale? The crew- Just the best! So friendly and happy to help you in any way possible. The food- Omigosh- everything was perfect. We all were constantly amazed at the variety and quality of the meals. The activities- Kayaking, hiking, and fun skiff rides to glaciers and land hike areas. Also, the polar bear plunge which is a jump from the ship into 38 degree water which is a one time event near the end of the trip. We didn't partake but about 20 did and it was a blast to watch them. The fellow passengers-they were so much fun and so interesting. We were a like minded group that were looking for more than sitting with 1000 others on those giant ships. The Un-Cruise company has done their homework. The crew made the time so special. Having been told how they pick their crew, I only wish all employers would follow their technique. We did the eastern cove, 7 day trip. The weather was gorgeous-hardly any rain and many sunny days. DO NOT be fooled. We were told how unusual that is. So if you read their suggested packing tips-believe them. It will most likely rain so be ready for it. A couple of tips. Many brought their own binoculars but they must have had 15 or 20 of their own in the lounge available for the use of passengers. They have many pairs of "wellies" or rubber calf length boots. I still would advise you bring your own. Finally, I really recommend the Un-Cruise experience. It was so much fun. In case you think it was perfect- well nothing is. When filling out the initial form for the trip, one question asked if I had a special occasion occurring during the trip and was told to write it in the blank and they would have the crew celebrate it with us on board. Well, i told them my birthday was on May 21 just 3 days into the voyage and I waited each evening for "something" to be announced but it never was. After contacting Un-Cruise afterward, they apologized for the error. Failure to communicate was the reason I think. What do I remember the most? The unbelievable silence after stopping paddling our kayak in Misty Fiord. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
The views of Alaska from the boat are beautiful, but by hiking in the forests you see behind all those trees to the temperate rain forest. It is full of green growth - vines, lichen, moss, leaves and voluptuous beauty. We were able to walk ... Read More
The views of Alaska from the boat are beautiful, but by hiking in the forests you see behind all those trees to the temperate rain forest. It is full of green growth - vines, lichen, moss, leaves and voluptuous beauty. We were able to walk on glaciers, in muskeg, and enjoy wildflowers and wildlife. Our boat was small - 76 guests on board. The rooms are very simple but functionary. The sun deck was used for yoga classes in the morning and then for relaxing later in the day after activities. The boat is very basic - nothing luxurious about it! The only change I wished for was for tables and chairs to play cards or a game on. The lounge had very small cocktail tables. The food was very good, and we always had 3 choices of entree. My vegan husband was happy with his meals. The crew were absolutely the best! Always accommodating and friendly. By the end of the week it was hard to say goodbye. When we were in the middle of a hike, the expedition leader might gather us into a group and then read a poem about the wilderness. It bonded us together, and to the sacred land. In my opinion, this is the way to see Alaska. Small coves, boots on the ground, kayaking to get really close to the land. Lots of friendly people, good food, great crew, memorable experiences. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
We have sailed on a number of small expedition ships and have found this to be our preferred way of cruising. We had a wonderful first week in which the Wilderness Explorer met all of our expectations.The Wilderness Explorer did not have ... Read More
We have sailed on a number of small expedition ships and have found this to be our preferred way of cruising. We had a wonderful first week in which the Wilderness Explorer met all of our expectations.The Wilderness Explorer did not have the luxury of some of the ships we have experienced but the price was quite a bit lower and on the whole, the first week represented very good value for money. The second week however was very disappointing and I would not recommend it at all. Firstly though the advantages. During the first week, there were some good hikes and excellent opportunities for paddle boarding and sea kayaking. . The main benefits for us were the excellent staff especially those helping with the sea kayaking and the small skiffs. The staff were also quite knowledgeable and seemed to genuinely try to make the experience enjoyable for everyone. On most evenings, there was a lecture after dinner and it was interesting to hear from the staff about aspects of the environment or Another great aspect of the trip was that we were able to visit many places which would have been inaccessible to larger ships. This was a real bonus as some places such as Misty Fijords were truly spectacular. It was also wonderful to be in places where our ship was the only one to be seen and which seemed to be true wilderness areas remote from other people. The food on the ship was quite good and very plentiful. There was plenty of variety and lots of salads and vegetables. Except on the final night, all meals were served buffet style. There was also bar where it was possible to purchase cocktails and other drinks and nibblies were served before dinner. In summary, every day during the first week was filled with interesting activities, beautiful scenery and opportunities for exercise. The second week was a very different story. We had booked for the cruise in Australia and I did not realize that there was an opportunity to disembark the ship in Ketchikan. Only a third of the passengers remained on board for the second week- most of whom were other Australians. During this time we had full three days at sea where it was not possible to leave the ship at all. The ship was simply too small for this to be a pleasant experience. Additionally, our mid range cabin was very small and very cold so it was a pleasant place in which to relax. The other days, while pleasant, were spent in areas which could not be considered wilderness areas. I think that the whole week was oriented towards bringing the ship back to Seattle at the end of the season.The staff too, seemed to relax after most of the passengers left. Even on the days which were not at sea, many of the staff seemed to be not as helpful as they were during the first week and we had the feeling that they were simply wanting to finish the cruise. I can understand this as the staff must have worked incredibly hard all season and were probably ready to move on to other aspects of their lives. Finally, we were slightly annoyed that one of the staff made it very clear that a ten per cent tip would be expected at the conclusion of the trip. We know that this is common practice but it still irked. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
We experienced some of the most magnificent scenery in the world as we cruised into fjords & coves that are inaccessible to the mammoth cruise ships. In solitude, our adventure started as we watched Dawes Glacier calf as harbor seals ... Read More
We experienced some of the most magnificent scenery in the world as we cruised into fjords & coves that are inaccessible to the mammoth cruise ships. In solitude, our adventure started as we watched Dawes Glacier calf as harbor seals reefed on the floating ice quite close to our skiff. The culmination of our cruise were the towering cliffs of Misty Fjord dwarfing everything below. The stars dazzled the night sky many evenings. We were also fortunate enough to see an aurora borealis on the horizon. We kayaked, hiked beaches & forests, took skiff excursions, walked on Baird glacier & basked in the unexpected sunshine for. I am a novice kayaker, but the launch ramp from the back of the boat made entering & exiting to water very easy. Hikes were rated from 1 to 5. 1 & 2 hikes were very manageable for most of our group. Experienced hikers took the 3 - 5 treks. Snorkeling & paddle boarding were also available. For a buffet, the food was exceptional. Quality was preferred over quantity. Lots of healthy choices were offered each day at breakfast, lunch & dinner. Happy Hour appetizers were good enough to gorge yourself & skip dinner - which I did the night they served lamb. The entire cruise was a photographers dream. Every turn in the river, bay or cove revealed scenes that were even more spectacular than the last - mists enshrouding mountains, mirror images of soaring cliffs, the aurora. Eagles & sea gulls were everywhere. Groups of harbor seals & individuals were spotted. A whale surfaced & tail-flapped with great enthusiasm near kayakers on day 3. A bear was spotted on the beach from the boat. However, I was disappointed in the wildlife viewing. The orcas had headed south; the puffins were gone; I never saw an otter. We didn't get as close to some of the animals we saw as I would have liked. All in all - it was a truly unique experience that I would recommend to anyone who loves nature & the great outdoors. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
What an introduction to Cruising.... 7 days all exclusive trip on a luxury yacht around some great scenery and wildlife. 21 like minded guests on board and we have already visited some of them after the cruise. From the welcome at the ... Read More
What an introduction to Cruising.... 7 days all exclusive trip on a luxury yacht around some great scenery and wildlife. 21 like minded guests on board and we have already visited some of them after the cruise. From the welcome at the local hotel until we disembarked 7 days later, everything was friendly, professional and most welcoming. The on board staff made the trip for us; they became companions on the adventure. I know they were working hard behind the scenes to make the trip what it was; from the cooks who surprised us every meal with their culinary skills, the very knowledgeable Expedition leader (who corrected the park Ranger a few times) to the Captain who navigated us into some great isolated places. Cabins were spacious; we didn't spend much time in ours as so much to see from the decks or on the kayaks/skiff. Great nature trips; kayaking amongst icebergs, brown bears and in front of glaciers, and walking in temperate rain forests and on glaciers to name but a few... We stopped at two places; Tenakee (small coastal community) and Bartlett Cove (Glacier Bay national Park Entrance) for walks and to meet locals. We saw a few large cruise ships steaming at 18knots in Glacier Bay whilst we kayaked and followed brown bears on the shore line; definitely the best way to see the Inside Passage. We often diverted to see wildlife, including humpback whales within feet of the boat, and views to get out of bed at 6am for. We have already booked our 7 days cruise in Hawaii in Jan 2014. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
My husband and I loved our Alaskan cruise on the Safari Explorer. The Safari Explorer is a spectacular vessel. Attention was paid to every detail of the yacht. The woodwork is beautiful, the cabins are comfortable, and the tiles in the ... Read More
My husband and I loved our Alaskan cruise on the Safari Explorer. The Safari Explorer is a spectacular vessel. Attention was paid to every detail of the yacht. The woodwork is beautiful, the cabins are comfortable, and the tiles in the bathroom are heated. The beds are tempurpedic and are exceptionally comfortable. The food is truly gourmet. We had fresh fish every evening, except one and we had King crab legs that evening. My husband does not enjoy seafood and his meal was as delicious as mine. He had steak, lamb, and duck! The service at meals was spectacular. The staff learned our names and even what we liked within the first day. The complimentary wines were also very good. Our excursions were also fabulous: hiking, kayaking, and skiff tours. The expedition leaders were very knowledgeable and just delightful people. We were allowed extra time to see wildlife when needed. For example, we found some wolves and spent several hours watching them play on the beach. We were also able to see the humpback whales bubble net feed for several hours. We had very informative lectures and a couple of great movies. From the moment we boarded the yacht until disembarkation, every aspect of the trip deserves five plus stars. We enjoy small yacht cruising and American Safari is the best cruise line yet! Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
I am not a cruiser. I can think of few less appealing vacations than traveling from touristy port town to another touristy port town with 3000 of my closest friends. However, my desire to see the inside passage of Alaska beat out my desire ... Read More
I am not a cruiser. I can think of few less appealing vacations than traveling from touristy port town to another touristy port town with 3000 of my closest friends. However, my desire to see the inside passage of Alaska beat out my desire to never cruise again. I am so glad that we did this. I recently did a 1 week Eastern Coves itinerary with my wife, and 2 sons ages 8 and 5. We were initially scheduled on a "family" cruise, but the dates were changed by the company, so we ended up on the regular cruise. Everything about our trip was truly fantastic. The staff on the boat from the hotel staff, kitchen staff, expedition leaders, and crew were amazing. Particular props go to Kathleen who took such good care of us in the dining room, and Chef JO who was so kind to create alternative meals for our kids. The food was surprisingly delicious and plentiful. Every day held unique expeditions in incredibly beautiful locations. The expedition staff was professional, safety oriented, well informed, and very fun! Annie the head of the expedition staff made sure that my family was placed in appropriate expeditions for our kids. Kristin was particularly wonderful with our boys and even got our older son out on a paddle board and encouraged him to do a "polar plunge". Alison, Mark, and Liz were great as well. Capt. Dano was great. Our family connected with Chief Mate Jeff, who is a whale biologist. We spend many hours with him in the bridge, learning about all kinds of marine mammals. He is an extraordinary fund of knowledge, and his enthusiasm was infectious. On 2 nights our boat ended up surrounded by humpbacks surfacing at sunset, truly a marvelous and majestic experience. Our kids got out of bed, and we watched from our 200 level room as the whales surfaced so close it felt like we could reach out and touch them. During our one port stop at Wrangell, we went to the Anan Creek Bear Observatory and saw 15 black bears and 6 grizzlies. We watched them feed off of spawning salmon in Anan Creek. We greatly enjoyed kayaking, hiking, paddleboarding, and the many wildlife encounters. On our first day in Windham Bay, we were observing a black bear from a few hundred yards (safely across a river) when an humpback surfaced and "blew" about a 300 yards offshore. It was truly awe inspiring. Alaska is an amazing place, and Innersea Discoveries is an incredibly well run operation from booking to disembarkation. The crew was wonderful, safety oriented, and fun. Our fellow travelers were adventurous and from all over the world. They were interesting and fun people, and the uncruise was quite informal. The rooms were clean and comfortable, but we didn't spend much time in them because we were so busy adventuring out into the Alaskan wilderness. I can no longer say I will never cruise again, as we will likely take another trip with Innersea in the future. Our kids want to go back next year! They have been sad because they miss all their new friends from the boat. Thanks Kristin, Jeff, Kathleen, Jo (and your great staff), Annie, Alison, Liz, Mark, Dano, Michael, Katherine, Blythe, Alex, Paul, Derek, Celia, Heather, Emily, Dain. If I forgot to mention anyone, I am sorry because you are all wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
My husband and I have traveled widely but never taken a cruise- we were always turned off at the prospect of mega-ships, crowds, long lines, activities that didn't interest us, and nickel-and-dime extra fees for everything. We ordered ... Read More
My husband and I have traveled widely but never taken a cruise- we were always turned off at the prospect of mega-ships, crowds, long lines, activities that didn't interest us, and nickel-and-dime extra fees for everything. We ordered Innersea Discoveries' DVD on Alaska and were sold within 3 minutes of viewing it. We were not disappointed. Here's what we experienced. Embarking/Disembarking: remarkably fast. Not impressed with "hospitality suites" at either end, which were really a large, chaotic meeting room with coffee and water available and a lot of people and luggage sitting around. Your fellow passengers: a smart, down-to-earth, curious group of people. Occasional references to their day jobs (or previous jobs) led you to believe there were some pretty high-powered people in the crowd, but no one flaunts anything here. Age ranges all over the board, average age probably 40 with some seniors (especially grandparents in family groups) and enough teenagers to keep a poker game going for most of the trip. The kids were wonderful- clearly the parents who had chosen this expedition knew their kids were they type who would enjoy the adventures. One intrepid 10-year old boy made the "polar plunge" off the ship 3 times. Things you can borrow from their supplies at no charge: insulated metal water bottles, hiking sticks, binoculars, boots. The boots are worn only with socks; bring some heavy wool ones. I didn't own hiking boots and these were perfect for climbing in and out of streams and occasionally sinking ankle-deep into muskeg (soft, spongy peat). A good pair of hiking boots would have been waterlogged and muddy. The snorkeling expedition includes the use of a well-protected wet suit appropriate for use in Alaska. Locally themed books and a wide variety of movie DVDs are also available to borrow in the lounge. A hair dryer is in each room. Food: Finally, after seeing way too many menus on land in Alaska where everything was fried and a vegan would starve, on board our ship there were plentiful portions of food that was truly good in both senses: made from fresh ingredients, and with enough options for people who wanted to eat healthy. One lunch was fresh-baked pita bread, curried chickpeas, Greek salad, chicken souvlaki, and tzatziki, a wonderful Greek sauce made with yogurt, dill and cucumber. Dessert was ginger-chocolate cookies. There were always some type of hors d'oeuvres at cocktail hour; once there were hot pretzels, which apparently required most of the crew to put together the night before. Another time there were oysters purchased from local vendors who came on the boat and talked about their work. They were available raw or grilled (with the captain manning the grill). Staterooms: Our room was the cheapest class on the ship; it was on the lowest level but still above the waterline with a nice-sized window. We realized that the two floors above us had rooms with windows facing out onto public walkways, which meant that if you wanted privacy you had to close your curtains. Our floor had only a tiny rail running around the outside of the ship with a handbar running up above it for crew use. It was, however, on the same level as the engine so a little noisier. We liked where we were and were happy to find that everything important fit into the room, or on hooks outside, or in the lockers up top where we stored the PFDs (personal flotation devices) for kayaking, our boots and our rain gear. The area under the bed also provides generous storage for a suitcase. Because the ship is small, everything was close by and there were no elevators. Our room was so convenient to everything we never even used one of the few public restrooms. Weather: unpredictable. We got much better weather than average on our trip, which was the second week in July. When we left Ketchikan it was miserable and rainy. We rarely saw those conditions after that and had a couple of days of full sunshine and air temps in the 50s. A couple of times the captain changed plans slightly to get into an area with better weather or to stay longer than planned if the area was sunny. I was out in shorts and a light jacket on the paddleboard one day and was fine. You really do need to pack layers to prepare for anything. Include a pair of sandals or flip-flops for getting around the ship; they're very informal on board but do require footwear in the lounge. My husband brought a parka and never used it; the day we went out near the glaciers in skiffs, we just loaded up all our other layers, including rain gear, and were comfortable. Activities: my husband and I have very different fitness levels- he's 15 years older and has a bit of a balance problem- and we both had a great time. I did just about everything in the promotional material- guided kayak tour, independent kayaking, paddleboarding, snorkeling dressed like Jacques Cousteau in heavy neoprene, hiking in caves and around boulders and logs, skiff tours. My husband took the lighter hikes, skiff tours and kayaking. This is all apparently quite dependent on weather, so we were blessed. The staff was pretty accommodating; they ended up going out with 3 different groups for snorkeling due to high interest. If there's something you REALLY want to make sure you do, let them know before they make up the schedule the night before. They're very good about describing difficulty levels, in detail so you get a good idea of whether it fits your own skill and fitness level. Extras: almost nothing is extra. The snorkeling was $30 per person and an overnight campout was $150 but had no takers. Alcohol is reasonable. Espresso is $2. Just about everything else is included. Staff: an amazing group of people, passionate about Alaska and about the ship. All mingled with the guests and answered questions; most made presentations on their area of expertise (intertidal marine life, salmon, etc.) or gave tours of their area (the engine room, the kitchen). The Chief Mate managed the entire project of taking the decrepit vessel bought from a bank that had foreclosed on it and left it sitting in the water for 5 years, retrofitting it for the kind of travel they wanted to provide. She participated in a lot of the manual labor and showed pictures of the work as it progressed. The pastry chef shares his recipes. The bridge was open to guests at any time. While each crew member had a specific job description, they all pitched in and did what was necessary. Four of the crew (besides the captain) had licenses that qualified them to pilot the ship. Some had multiple degrees in areas such as marine biology. Stability: I've probably got average susceptibility to seasickness and was fine. One night I woke up vaguely queasy, reminded myself we were on a boat, and went back to sleep. I heard later we'd gone through some swells. One night rough weather was expected and a bowl full of packets of motion-sickness pills was set out on the bar, leading to a few joking reminiscences about parties in the 1980s. They ended up going on the lee side of islands to minimize turbulence; I felt the motion and had taken the pills but it was like being rocked to sleep. Wildlife: one group saw a bear and 3 cubs; the rest of us saw mostly moose and bear droppings but no moose or bear! That's nature, though. If you want animals to come out and pose for you, go to the zoo. We saw plenty of whales, bald eagles, otters, a few porpoises, a variety of birds, and sea lions. I could write a whole 'nother paragraph on the beautiful wildflowers and the awe-inspiring rock formations. We will do this again. If you want a cruise where someone will fold your jammies into animal shapes every night you will be disappointed. If you want someone with a relevant degree to show you phytoplankton under a microscope or answer your questions about marine mammals, this is the ship for you. One of the grandparents said near the end of the trip that taking this trip with the grandkids was the best decision they ever made. We've already put a deposit down for the Juneau-to-Ketchikan itinerary for 2014.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
We have travelled extensively as a family and wanted to see Alaska, but in an active setting where we could hike and interact with nature. We did not want to sit and eat, get formally dressed for dinner, but we wanted excellent, healthy ... Read More
We have travelled extensively as a family and wanted to see Alaska, but in an active setting where we could hike and interact with nature. We did not want to sit and eat, get formally dressed for dinner, but we wanted excellent, healthy food options with appropriate portions. The trip was arranged through Margret Propper multi-year Travel and Leisure award winning cruise travel agent. All of the above wishes were satisfied. Additionally, pretty all-inclusive, enthusiastic and knowledgable guides, excellent crew on the boat. By the way, we travelled on Wildeness Explorer, which is not an option above. We cruised through Glacier National Park, picking up Andrew, the National Service Park Ranger for a couple of days. He was superb and gave an excellent presentation about himeself and the mission of the Glacier Park. We had yoga, lots of activities including snorkeling in a wet suit. Pictures and experiences were stupendous. ALso great was the fact that the passengers on our cruise included individuals with similar objectives ie those who wished to do so could relax, but the activities were available for those who wanted them. We got an experience that was tailored to our needs including AM yoga that started with 1/2 hour session that extended to full hour at the end. Fully professional group. Have, in fact, put a deposit for another cruise with this line without planning to do so as I am so impressed by this company. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
We have never "cruised." We are self-support river trippers, boaters, back country skiers, etc. So our idea of a vacation is getting away from people. We wanted to see Alaska's Inside Passage but we didn't want to do a ... Read More
We have never "cruised." We are self-support river trippers, boaters, back country skiers, etc. So our idea of a vacation is getting away from people. We wanted to see Alaska's Inside Passage but we didn't want to do a self-support kayak trip because we wanted to see as much as we could in a short period of time. So we chose to get our first "cruise" experience (and I hesitate to even use that word because this was an adventure not a cruise), by boarding with Inner Sea Discoveries. We left from Ketchikan and ended in Juneau, Alaska. In between we tied up to one dock at Klowack Village - hardly a town - but full of culture and generational stories. I mentioned we liked to get away from people on vacation. So you can imagine my own surprise when, upon reflection, one of the best parts of this trip were THE PEOPLE! Most people were fantastic (and it's likely there are always some complainers and folks who will not be happy - for example, the lawyer interview on this site.) The Capt. (a whale naturalist and marine biologist) was fantastic. The crew (which included marine biologists) were "in the know" and kind and engaging. When we left, I felt like I was leaving summer camp and my new set of good friends. I am sure I will see some of them and some of the great passengers we befriended again. The food was TOO good! I wanted to lose weight on this trip...NOT. The excursions were fantastic and provided options for different desires of activities and different levels of fitness. The wildlife was abundant - eagles everywhere, whales (which Capt. Jeff just knew how to find), sea lions (so playful), seals, bears, sea otters (I want one), all sorts of delight for birders....the list goes on. And then there is Alaska in all its glory that words won't do justice to...unless you are Muir. In the end, for me, life is about connection. This experience was full of connection - to the open space that is Alaska, to the wonder that is nature, to the untamed wild under and over the sea, and to the people on board that boat. This was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, as all experiences typically are...there will never be a recreation of that week...but I'm hoping to create new experiences on other Inner Sea adventures in the future. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
I work in the hospitality industry in a vacation destination, and InnerSeas Discovery takes the cake on anyone I've ever worked with!! From the moment we started planning to when the captain hugged us all goodbye as we disembarked, I ... Read More
I work in the hospitality industry in a vacation destination, and InnerSeas Discovery takes the cake on anyone I've ever worked with!! From the moment we started planning to when the captain hugged us all goodbye as we disembarked, I cannot say enough great things! The boat was well laid out and very comfortable (sleeps 60 ... I think we had 56 total on board), with lots of amenities. The cabins were more spacious than I expected (although it's still a boat cabin!), they had lectures pertaining to the area (geology, wildlife) after dinner each evening, plenty of games and cards, friendly bartender and amazing stewards. The food was the most amazing food (this sentiment was shared by all 16 in our group!)and the alcoholic drinks very very reasonably priced. I saw another review that said it wasn't for people under 60, and I would disagree. The boat was a great 'jumping off' point and mode of transportation, but we were very active every day. Every day we had options to do something: kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, hiking, skiff tours, snorkling, overnight camping, yoga class, and on and on. And if you wanted to stay on the boat, sit in the hot tub or take a nap, no problem! I would agree that the majority of people on the boat were 45+ in age, but everyone was active. I can't think of a better way to see South East Alaska or a better company to do it with! Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
We sailed with Innersea Discovervies in June of 2012 on their Ketchikan to Juneau route as a family of three with a 12 year old girl. We are an active family that does not typically select group vacations of any sort, including cruises. ... Read More
We sailed with Innersea Discovervies in June of 2012 on their Ketchikan to Juneau route as a family of three with a 12 year old girl. We are an active family that does not typically select group vacations of any sort, including cruises. However, it seemed like a cruise was the best way to experience Alaska, so we decided on this small boat cruise. We were a bit anxious in advance, but the cruise exceeded our expecations in every way. The crew was friendly, engaging and very knowledgable about the Alaska wildlife and ecosystems. We took part in active activies virtually every day including kayaking, snoreling, hiking, stand up paddleboarding, caving, and nature tours. All activies except snorkeling were included in the cruise price, adn the add on cost for snorkeling was minimal($40). The atmosphere was very laid back, and all the guests (only 60 on board)were interested in participating in the activities. Our daughter had a great time despite being one of the only kids on board. The guides were very good with her and she loved the attention. The kitchen even made her special meals if requested. The food was excllent as a whole, but at times was a bit too fancy for our non seafood eating daughter, though we enjoyed it. We highly recommend this cruise line for any adventuresome family looking for an interactive and hands-on way to discover Alaska. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
In September, 2011, we took the most amazing cruise aboard the Wilderness Adventure, Innersea Discoveries. The cruise from Juneau to Ketchikan took us into the eastern coves of Alaska's Inside Passage. The ship accommodates only 60 ... Read More
In September, 2011, we took the most amazing cruise aboard the Wilderness Adventure, Innersea Discoveries. The cruise from Juneau to Ketchikan took us into the eastern coves of Alaska's Inside Passage. The ship accommodates only 60 passengers. Being so small, the Wilderness Adventurer can go where the big ships cannot. Can you say," Up close and personal"? At one waterfall, we got so close we could feel the spray. I cannot say enough about the fantastic crew. On such a small ship, the crew is critically important. They seemed to really like each other and worked together very well. The excursion guides were personable, very knowledgeable, and concerned for our safety. Cabins were super for a small ship. There was plenty of room for all our gear. All had a big view window that actually opened for the delightful fresh air. Outside the cabins, there are hooks in the hallway for clothing that got wet on the "adventures". Dress code was strictly casual. The public rooms were comfortable and functional. The bar was well stocked, and the bartender was splendid. Dining was open seating, and food was served buffet style for all meals. The chefs were very skilled, offering a marvelous variety of foods, something different every meal. Lunch and dinner offered main dishes of fish, meats, and vegetarian selections. The breakfast buffet was huge. How did the chefs do that in that tiny galley? The "adventures" included guided hikes of varying difficulty, kayaking, paddle boarding, rides in inflatable skiffs, and snorkeling. Even rainy days did not discourage us, especially since we have not seen rain in Texas in many months. ? If one did not want to go out, there was always the hot tub and sauna on the sun deck, games in the lounge, a relaxing massage, and so many photo ops from the decks. The only port was Petersburg, an interesting Little Norway. The rest of the time, we stopped in bays and secluded places for our adventures. The object was not to see ports, but to see wilderness! Several times, visitors came aboard to talk about various subjects, or the guides talked about their areas of expertise. There were TV's in the lounge and cabins, and interesting documentaries were played each day. How does one describe such beautiful, awe inspiring scenery and wildlife? We got very close to Sawyer Glacier. The Misty Fjords were a highlight. Near a lighthouse, whales came to visit and even breached for us! Eagles abounded. I have barely scratched the surface of this wonderful adventure. My husband and I are devoted fans of small ship cruising. We adore the intimacy, the opportunity to get to know the passengers and crew, and not fighting huge lines as on the big ships. I highly recommend Innersea Discoveries. Check 'em out. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
We booked this cruise because the website promised it was unlike others - it was an "uncruise". The brochure promised that there would only be "up to 49 guests", and that the trip could be highly active ("Whether ... Read More
We booked this cruise because the website promised it was unlike others - it was an "uncruise". The brochure promised that there would only be "up to 49 guests", and that the trip could be highly active ("Whether you are looking for moderate activity or vigorous, extended and challenging outdoor pursuits, we can tailor most any expedition to suit your skill level.") We are in our 30s and moderately active, so this sounded ideal for us. Upon going to the embarkation point, we discovered that almost all of our fellow passengers were considerably older than us. The median age would have been well into the 60s. That would have been fine, except the promised activities did not eventuate. Neither the original not an amended itinerary supplied shortly before the trip were complied with, and every change was to the detriment of active passengers. For example, on Day 2, the first full day of the trip, the amended itinerary promised to "Push your senses and your muscles with the exhilarating combination of sea kayaking and trekking. Or ride a skiff to the same shore and take a relaxing walk on a trail that boasts a 350-foot elevation gain." The amended itinerary promised a much watered down version, to "Push your senses kayaking, trekking, riding a skiff, or trying your luck at stand-up paddle boarding." What actually happened is that we were unable to do any offship activities whatsoever -- aside from an extremely tame and pedestrian small boat ride to look at Baird Glacier. In other words, the rigorous physical activities promised went from being considerable, to being mild, to being entirely non-existent. Day 3 provides an even more outrageous example of bait and switch with regard to the physicality of the activities on offer. The original itinerary promised that we would "Take on the exposed terminal moraine of the Baird Glacier Trail, until you reach the top of the glacier itself. Enjoy a long guided kayak excursion from Scenery Cove to Cascade Creek and then treat yourself to a short trek on one of the several scenic Cascade Creek trails." This time the revised itinerary added something which sounded even more rigorous and strenuous than the original: in addition to the walk on Baird Glacier, it promised that we could "Choose guided kayaking and a lush forest trek on one of the scenic Cascade Creek trails. Or go big on the 5-mile hike to the glacially-fed and rarely visited Patterson Lake for spectacular kayaking." What actually happened is that there was no guided kayaking. No lush forest trek on a Cascade Creek trail. And no 5 mile hike to, and kayak at, Patterson Lake. None of these promised activities actually happened at all. Instead, we got a visit to Baird Glacier which, despite being advertised as the "fast" hike option, was far slower than any hike I have gone on since I was a small child. And instead of any of the rigorous, interesting, challenging activities outlined in the original and revised itineraries, we were permitted only a "free", unguided paddle within very narrow parameters, no particular destination, and unchanging scenery. On Day 4, once again the offerings did not live up to the promises previously made. All slots in the so-called "fast" hike had been taken by other passengers on the evening of Day 3 before we had an opportunity to put our own names down. As the thought of a hike even slower than the expedition to Baird Glacier was untenable to us, we requested Kirsten to make more slots available, or to arrange for an activity more suited to our energy levels to be added. She angrily told us that it was not possible, and that the existing offerings were sufficient. This was a striking contrast to the brochure's glossy promises: "Whether you are looking for moderate activity or vigorous, extended and challenging outdoor pursuits, we can tailor most any expedition to suit your skill level."|"One of the primary features of our "un-cruises" is our ability to cater to individual needs, so whatever it is you desire, please don't hesitate to ask."| "No matter what you are interested in, InnerSea Discoveries' goal is to provide you with as many opportunities as possible to challenge yourself in the outdoors while also making it extremely easy to enjoy moments or hours of escape and relaxation. The choice and pace are all yours." The offerings on the cruise were so poor that in the end we ended up abandoning ship part way through when the boat reached Wrangell. I am writing this review to warn others about the possibility of extraordinary changes to their itineraries if they book this trip. There are clauses in the contract that purport to allow this kind of itinerary change. If you're younger and active, BEWARE - what is promised isn't necessarily what you get. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
I had the wonderful opportunity of cruising on the Wilderness Discoverer in July 2011, with my husband and 22 year old very athletic son. In one word: AWESOME We were able to participate in various levels of activities every day. We ... Read More
I had the wonderful opportunity of cruising on the Wilderness Discoverer in July 2011, with my husband and 22 year old very athletic son. In one word: AWESOME We were able to participate in various levels of activities every day. We opted for the long day hikes and kayaking experiences. Care was taken to provide fairness in signing up for the activities one chose. The bottom line, there were no bad choices to make, as the inner passage is so beautiful, we never once wished we were doing anything other than what each moment awarded us. Unfortunately, there was a couple in their 30's on the cruise who appeared to some passengers to perhaps be in it for the free ride. On day one, they made it well known to fellow passengers that one of them was a lawyer, and that there were breaches in the contract. It appeared as though nothing would please them. They were travelling around the world, and one could not help but wonder if they didn't find contractual breaches throughout their world tour. It is a shame, as they totally missed the boat on this one. To have not taken in the beauty and awe of Alaska's inner passage, and to not have appreciated all the crew's enthusiasm, friendliness, and help is a shame. It is their loss. Kudos to the captain for not dropping them off in the wilderness. Don't let one review keep you from the AWESOME adventure on Inner Seas Discoveries. My family would do it again in a heartbeat. There is something for everyone of all ages and activity levels. Don't miss it! Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
As a former CruiseWest Alaska fan, I've been looking for a replacement. My travel agent recommended that I try InnerSea Discoveries. I had a reasonably nice time on this cruise but I am not sure I will try this company again. ... Read More
As a former CruiseWest Alaska fan, I've been looking for a replacement. My travel agent recommended that I try InnerSea Discoveries. I had a reasonably nice time on this cruise but I am not sure I will try this company again. Highlights of cruise: 8 hour fishing excursion, caught a 3-foot long King Salmon. We also saw a humpback whale so close that it went under the (very small) fishing boat! Whale biologist came on board and showed us videos from whale "critter cams" including whales feeding. Humpback whale came right up to the side of the ship and rolled over while feeding. I got a great picture. Hundreds of eagles on a rock outcropping and feeding - the captain said he had never seen that many eagles in one place, ever. Visit to Klawock with delightful native teens as tour guides and getting to see a totem carver at work. Zodiac trip to see the sea lions, who followed the boat very closely and playfully. Zodiac trip close to a glacier and seals spy hopping on bergy bits near the ship. Met some interesting and very nice people. Great hot tub on observation deck. Comfortable cabin (I had a bigger one all to myself with an outside entry) Good wine selection Outstanding bartender Excellent massage therapist Things I didn't like: The staff was somewhat disorganized. That may be because this was the inaugural season. For example, we had to draw names for the fishing trip because there were only 4 spaces and 6 people wanted to go. There was no warning of this and the couple that didn't get picked wasn't happy. I would have been really unhappy if I had not been picked. The camping trip was full before the ship sailed, even though I tried to book a space by phone with the cruise line ahead of time - they said I had to do it on the ship but when I tried that it was already full. I was really unhappy that there was no PA announcement system to tell us about wildlife. On the last night we had whales feeding all around the ship and didn't know until someone went on deck after dinner and came back to tell us. Many of the activities offered were too strenuous for me and a couple sounded dangerous. On the days when we were anchored in coves for these activities there wasn't much to do unless you wanted to kayak or paddle board near the ship. I spent most of one reading - which was fine but I was really there to see wildlife and scenery. The most disappointing part was the food. It was just OK and I think we were hampered by the fact that we were in the wilderness most of the time and had no ports to get supplies. I did think some of the choices were strange - on the day when the naturalists talked about the negatives of fish farming, they server tilapia - a farmed fish - for dinner. We had rough seas the first night, they passed out pills which helped and recommended that we go to bed. The rest of the voyage was calm. Overall it was a nice experience but not outstanding. I enjoyed my extra days in Ketchikan and Juneau more than some of the days during the cruise. If you are a very active person and like to kayak or do bushwhacking (hiking with GPS and no trail) this would be a great cruise for you. I am more into photography, moderate exercise and spending time in the smaller cities in southern Alaska. I have selected a different cruise line for this year's Alaska trip. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
The American Safari cruise was everything we hoped it would be. Our cabin was very comfortable. We were impressed with the thoughtfully placed storage in every possible nook and cranny. Public areas were efficient, very comfortable, and ... Read More
The American Safari cruise was everything we hoped it would be. Our cabin was very comfortable. We were impressed with the thoughtfully placed storage in every possible nook and cranny. Public areas were efficient, very comfortable, and had the most up-to-date equipment. The crew was outstanding in almost every respect. The only (minor) disappointment to us was the fitness instructor who included more chanting than exercise in her yoga class. Perhaps she was a great masseuse but we didn't try it. The wide variety of food was outstanding and beautifully presented. After crabs were caught in a trap left in the water overnight they became one of the hors d'oeuvres during the social hour. The two expedition leaders were knowledgeable and competent and were quick to point out the wildlife (too numerous to count) and everything else we were seeing. The captain and his sailing crew made every effort to get up close to where the action was - we saw many whales, porpoises, bears, soaring eagles and scores of migratory birds, etc. And if something really interesting was spotted, the engines were idled so we could make the most of the experience. Every day our travelers were in kayaks or skiffs to get right up close to the natural beauty of Alaska where the sights and sounds of those calving glaciers were thrilling. While we were in Glacier Bay National Park a park ranger was aboard the ship to enhance our visit. Almost everyone took part in a couple of interesting shore excursions. On a couple of evenings I even fished off the tail-end of the boat after anchoring which I hadn't done in about 20 years - caught 4 fish. Though the engines of the Safari Explorer were somewhat noisy it was a small price to pay. The engines were off at night while the ship was anchored in a cozy bay so everyone slept well. In summary, we will always remember this cruise and wouldn't hesitate to travel again with American Safari. Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
From the moment we boarded the Safari Explorer to the time we reluctantly left, we were carefully and joyfully taken care of. The ship is like a personal yacht;all wood and beautiful fittings, the staff is attentive, funloving and totally ... Read More
From the moment we boarded the Safari Explorer to the time we reluctantly left, we were carefully and joyfully taken care of. The ship is like a personal yacht;all wood and beautiful fittings, the staff is attentive, funloving and totally devoted to your every whim and every effort is made to help you see the very best Alaska has to offer. Cabins are well appointed with nice furniture, special details like Tempurpedic beds and Ipod docking stations, flat screen TVs and heated bathroom floors. The staff knows your name by the end of the first day, AND all your habits and wishes. From then on, you only need to think of what you want and it is there. But don't think of this as a stuffy or pretentious cruise - this crew is young, energetic and devoted to fun times too. And the food, well, it is amazing-fresh, creative and delicious. First rate naturalists and others help you learn about the wildlife and place that is Alaska. The ship is outfitted with two great "skiffs", hard bottomed zodiac-type crafts that are easy to board and ride in (even older seniors will feel comfortable) and a whole fleet of also easy-to-use kayaks . The Explorer is a small ship so she can do just about anywhere, but with these two smaller craft you can personally explore the coves, shoreline and inlets that will dominate your itinerary. Want to see a glacier up close? This program has NO port calls and for the most part you will see no other people during your week. The itinerary is soft- meaning if you see whales, you stop and enjoy them. If you see a bear on shore, the ship stops so you can view it. But if you want to see the REAL Alaska, that is what you want. This cruise is not cheap; you can certainly go with one of the Big ships and do it cheaper. But they never get up close and personal with whales, eagles, bears (a safe distance away) and other wildlife. They never anchor in a beautiful cove at night. They never have hot chocolate delivered to their kayak while they paddle around a glacier. Suffice to say , it was a great week. Read Less
Sail Date July 2009
All 33 passengers gathered in a reception room at the Goldbelt Hotel in Juneau on the day of our sailing. Bags were tagged and left there for transfer to the ship. Sandie was the American Safari representative at the reception room, and ... Read More
All 33 passengers gathered in a reception room at the Goldbelt Hotel in Juneau on the day of our sailing. Bags were tagged and left there for transfer to the ship. Sandie was the American Safari representative at the reception room, and she offered a wealth of knowledge about the Juneau area, as well as what to expect onboard the ship. Our fellow passengers were a mix of ages and nationalities, with a primary age range of 50-70. There were four younger people on our particular cruise, between 20-40 years of age, but no children. Most of the passengers were US residents, but we also had passengers from the UK, Australia, and Canada. Mid-afternoon we all boarded a bus for a short trip to Mendenhall Glacier, which is located just north of Juneau. We stayed at the visitor center for about an hour and a half, viewing the glacier and the local wildlife. There were several black bears, a bald eagle, porcupines, and assorted other wildlife present, with most located less than 20 feet away. There is an elevated walkway that permits safe viewing of the bears from this short distance as they caught salmon from a small creek. It is also noteworthy that this was our only "organized excursion" during the entire trip. By 5:30pm we were back in Juneau and it was time to board the Safari Explorer, which was docked directly across the street from the Goldbelt Hotel. The crew of 16 people met us at the dock, and each of them took one travel group on board and showed them to their cabin. Our crew person was Megan - the first officer. The crew was all American, by the way, and generally a very well educated and well spoken group. Boarding took all of 20 minutes, during which we dropped our hand bags in our cabin and found that all of our luggage was already there, and then it was off to the lounge for beverage of choice and hors d'oeuvres. By 6:30pm we had cast off and were departing Juneau for a protected anchorage near Glacier Bay, where the ship would anchor for the night. Unlike larger cruise ships, American Safari's small ships sail during the day and anchor at night. Sailing time often presents opportunities to see whales and other marine life, which is clearly much easier to do during daylight hours than at night. And although the ship's engines are not so loud as to prohibit sleeping, it was much nicer to sleep with them turned off for the night. American Safari's cruise philosophy is stated as "Luxury in the Pursuit of Adventure", which fits the experience we had quite well. This was definitely an expedition cruise with ample luxury in the process. Daylight hours were spent either cruising to our next destination and whale watching, or with the ship at anchor and most of us out and about in the kayaks or "Zodiak's", or out hiking in the woods with one of the two naturalists from the crew. Kayaking through the bergy ice near the face of a glacier was amazing. Pictures just don't do it justice. And while were watching a couple of young brown bears cavort along side a small stream for a few hours one morning, the crew brought mugs of hot chocolate with Godiva liquor right to our kayaks! We did make two ports of call, other than Juneau. We stopped at the Glacier Bay Lodge in Bartlett Cove on day three, where we dropped off the park ranger on our way out of Glacier Bar National Park and Preserve. We were able to use the Wi-Fi system at the lodge to check emails, as the ship does not have internet connectivity. We stopped in Petersburg on the afternoon of day four for a few hours, which is a small fishing village south of Juneau, where we went ashore and walked through the town while the ship was provisioned. Meals were always a pleasant social affair. A menu was published each day, with a single choice for breakfast and lunch, and two entree choices for dinner. If anyone wanted something different than what was on the set menu, all one had to do was ask and they cheerfully supplied you with something else that you were happy with. All of the fish was extremely fresh, and spoiled us for eating salmon in the lower 48 in the future. The chef and his galley crew did a great job of feeding us very well. Dani and her service staff did a great job of serving everyone. Any request was greeted with a smile and clear interest in satisfying your request if at all possible. It was very much like sailing on a private yacht with a group of friends. There is no dress code, no formal nights, and in fact very few rules at all. Most people dressed appropriately for expedition cruising, with active wear being the order of the day. Dinner was no exception, as whales could be spotted at any time. Meals were interrupted by whale sightings more than once, and happily so. There was a cocktail hour in the lounge before dinner each evening, during which Elaine prepared unique drinks for your pleasure, or simply supplied your old favorite with a smile. A unique daily selection of several cheese and hors d'oeuvre options were presented. This was a wonderful time to talk with everyone about their day's adventures, or simply get to know the other passengers better. The Mariner Cabins make up the bulk of available rooms. They are adequate, but just slightly on the small side. The Tempurpedic queen size beds were wonderful. All of the cabins have windows or a glass door or both that open onto the side of the ship, so there are no interior rooms. There are two larger classes of rooms, which are suites with sitting areas. The two suites on the lower deck open directly onto the lounge and dining room, and would be a good choice for people who are at all mobility impaired. The two suites on the upper deck are the nicest accommodations available. All-in-all this cruise was a wonderful experience for my wife and I, and we would sail again with American Safari without hesitation. This cruise was one of the few trips we have made where everything was as-advertised, or better. Read Less
Sail Date August 2008
This was an unbelievable 10 day adventure I have been on many cruises but have not posted reviews as I feel in the posted reviews everything that is needed to be said was already said. As there was very little info on American Safari I ... Read More
This was an unbelievable 10 day adventure I have been on many cruises but have not posted reviews as I feel in the posted reviews everything that is needed to be said was already said. As there was very little info on American Safari I wanted to post this to help others that might be considering it. While it was very expensive it was not a big a difference as one might think. If you are considering a suite on Holland America or Princess and factor in cost of drinks, bottled water, shore excursions, photos, specialty restaurants, transportation etc, it is not that much more yet what you see is so much more and what was experienced was that of once in a life time. My Review We are a family of 5, 3 kids ages 12/9/6 We flew Air Alaska from EWR to SEA and connecting to Sitka. I have no complaints flights were on time and all employees were professional and helpful. We spent 3 days and 2 nights in Sitka Prior to our cruise. Sitka is all that is posted about on these boards. A truly charming town with very friendly people where ever we went. Day 1 We arrived in Sitka at 1:30 pm checked into our hotel The West mark. American Safari had a Private transfer waiting for us at the airport. Our bags were brought to our room. The hotel was fine as a place to sleep for the night. That afternoon we wonder around the town going in and out of the many fine shops we ate at Victoria's Pour House and had some of the best King Crab legs we have ever had. Later on some of the fisherman from The Deadliest Catch came into the bar as it seemed to be their local hang out which we were not aware of as my son is a big fan of the show. Day 2 Had breakfast at a new restaurant called Level 2 that was recommended to us and the food was very good we ate dinner there as well. They have a nice lunch menu if you are visiting for the day and it is right on the main street were the cruise ships tender in. We had lunch at a small stand set up on the road to the left of the docks called Two Chicks and a Stick. It was two sisters that had fresh caught salmon from local fishermen that was skewered and you had a choice of different glazes and toppings served over rice for $8 two skewers for $15 with a drink you had to eat on the side of the road next to their trailer but it was well worth it to eat salmon that had just been caught. I highly recommend trying them. We were going on a tour the next day that was included with the cruise so we just walked around the town went to the lookout and to the Bishop's house and bought some gifts. Day 3 cruise day 1 We went back to Victoria's for some King crab for Lunch and Had Halibut Burgers which were great, we went to the docks to see the Debra D from the Deadliest catch and take some pictures. Our tour started at 1:30 and brought us around the town, Went to the Raptor Center, Russian Church, the tot-am pole park, and then we were brought to our ship the Safari Quest. Our bags were taken from our hotel and brought to our rooms on board the ship. The Ship is a private yacht that holds a max of 22 passengers yet there were only 15 on our sailing. They do not allow children under 12 except for two sailings per season this being one. There was a family of 6 from Australia and a family of 4 from Indonesia for a total of 15 on our sailing. We got to know each other on our tour and were excited about getting to the Ship. There was a crew of 9 for our sailing all standing outside waiting to greet us and they knew all of our first names from the time we met. We were show to our rooms and gathering in the living room for Champagne and Hors d'oeures. We all gathered in the living room area and we got the run down on how things worked. We cruise during the day and go to quiet coves to Anchor at night. We got to know the crew which were just fantastic. Throughout the cruise they seemed to antic pate our needs and desires and they were met without asking and a friendly smile. We would get a talk each night about the next days activities from our on board Expedition Leader as well as a review each morning to make sure that everyone was doing what he or she wanted to. There was a Chef and a pastry chef on board. For breakfast there was pretty much anything you wanted made to order plus the chefs special of the morning. During breakfast were were told about our dinner choices there was always a fish and a meat with chicken available. You could choose one or the other or have both if you wanted. The food was all cooked to order and excellent throughout the cruise. There was Breakfast at 8ish, lunch at 12ish, Fresh Baked cookies at 3ish, Ct hour at 6ish with hors d oeuvres and dinner at 7ish. Everything was ISH due to the events that could be taking place at that time if there was something to see we would eat later. Day 2 We woke up in the heart of the inside passage. There were brown bear on the shore eating with cubs so we were off in kayaks or the skiff depending on what you wanted to observe them closer a truly amazing morning. After lunch we pulled anchor and went out to observe whales we saw Humpback first, then sea otters and porpoise riding the bow of the ship. and the we saw families of Orca, I do not know who was more excited us or the orca as they were very playful with us we say two of them fully breach which was just spectacular. We weren't sure how this day could be topped but each day we saw things that amazed us more and more it was like being on a seven day shore excursion. Day 3 We went To the town of Baranof which has 1 full time resident and some summer homes, a small general store and just more magnificent scenery. We took our skiff to the dock and went on a two mile hike up a mountain with spectacular waterfalls and vistas, we ended our hike at hot springs which we were able to go in and relax the ships crew hiked with us to point out what we were looking at and they were there at the hot springs with champagne and sparkling cider for the kids servings as we soaked in the hot springs. Back to the the hike, skiff and back to the ship were the crew would great us with hot chocolate and warm apple cider spiked if you wish. We then met up with a local fisherman at his boat met his wife and 4 kids that live on their boat all season. He talked about life as a fisherman and we were all able to ask questions and see him in action on how he does his crabbing. Our Caption then purchased crab from him which the chef made for dinner, it was just unbelievable. Day 4 We went on a beach excursion and hike on remote islands more kayaking, playing with sea lions, skiff excursions and whale watching we saw orca's again which I heard is rare. The weather was just perfect through out our cruise very Little rain and we had 4 days of sunshine. Being on a kayak looking at wildlife in the middle of nowhere by yourself with your family was just an incredible experience. Day 5 & 6 We went to Glacier bay , we started at the Glacier bay lodge we we went hiking and picked up the park ranger that would spend the next two incredible days with us. We spent hours up close watching glaciers calving. We went out on our skiff and we weaved among the icebergs. We hiked right next to a glacier and water fall. We saw mountain goat, bears eagles and more whales, we saw sea lions, puffins, and seals and we were so close to it all the ship provided binoculars to everyone but we really did not Need them as we were so close to it all. After our two days in Glacier Bay we dropped the park ranger off after dinner. Day 7 which happened to be the 4th of July, the only ones celebrating was the American crew and our family as but the other two families joined in the spirit of things. The crew decorated the ship most of us woke up late this day as we were all so tired from the busy week of non stop action and since no fire works were plain ed we figured we had seen and done it all so some relaxed in the hot tub on the top deck some watched movies from the 1,000 DVDs they had on board while others sat in the library to read a book, I was siting with the captain and my daughter on the bridge chatting with the caption as he took us to our next place to anchor and kayak. When my daughter said look at all those humpback's and then the caption said over the loud speaker we have bubble net feeding humpback's dead ahead. Everyone when to to the front of the ship the expedition leader lowered an under water mic sow that we could hear the whales communication and as the sounds get stronger they would all breach and feed yards from our ship. It was the best 4th of July fire works we had ever seen we delayed dinner for about 2 hrs just to watch the show. Day 8 we docked in Juneau and after breakfast the crew loader our bags onto our transfers and lined up to say good bye to us and for us to say good bye to our Friends that we had made while on this incredible journey. We were each given a CD with over 200 pictures that the crew had taken during the cruise of us and all that we saw, we did not get the photos of the orca breaching but they did! The ship was immaculately clean our rooms were cleaned twice a day just like on a mainstream cruise the beds were all temperdicted and we all sleep great the entire 7 nights. I would not be able to say that one crew member stood out over another they were all just perfect at giving warm friendly unstuffy professional service. Great bartenders and drinks, the whole ship was open so you could talk to to the captain while on the bridge or have a chat with the chef in the galley. For any one thinking of seeing Alaska up close or as their slogan puts it Luxury in the Pursuit of adventure I recommend this cruise without hesitation. When we left the ship we were transfers to our hotel and then we were picked up for our helicopter dog sledding tour which as others have stated is a great experience. Back home on Alaska Airlines and Back to reality. Read Less
Sail Date June 2008
The all inclusive Safari Quest experience can best be described as sharing your own private yacht with 18 of your best friends. 10 perfectly appointed cabins, lounge area with large windows for viewing, open bar, open bridge policy, ... Read More
The all inclusive Safari Quest experience can best be described as sharing your own private yacht with 18 of your best friends. 10 perfectly appointed cabins, lounge area with large windows for viewing, open bar, open bridge policy, intimate open seating dining with your on board private gourmet chef, 3 outside decks for lounging or enjoying the surrounding nature and an outdoor jacuzzi tell only part of the story of this fabulous adventure. The Inside Passage itinerary that we took from Sitka to Juneau was packed with as much or as little as one wished to do. In between fabulous meals and snoozing, kayaks were provided for individual exploring, a 12 person skiff for those who preferred to accompany the expedition leader, and plenty of easy to moderate hiking opportunities for closer inspection of the beautiful little villages or glacial displays and wilderness areas. We saw up close and personal bear, humpback whales, sea otters, porpoises, Bald eagles, sea lions, Puffins and mountain goats. The most special part of this particular choice of cruise line is that with the exception of local fishermen, we were unto ourselves along the waterways and coves of this glorious part of the country with no other commercial cruise line in sight. It was pure heaven. Demographics were well traveled professionals in their 50's and 60's. If you want a personal experience in Alaska without leaving the comforts of home, this is the BEST! American Safari also offers cruises in Baja California and Hawaii. We'll no doubt be on one of those next. Read Less
Sail Date August 2007
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