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24 UnCruise Fitness Cruise Reviews

We heard about UnCruise from a couple who wanted to take an Alaska adventure cruise with other couples. We collectively decided that we wanted to “experience” Alaska, rather than just “see” Alaska. We are all 60+ men and women who ... Read More
We heard about UnCruise from a couple who wanted to take an Alaska adventure cruise with other couples. We collectively decided that we wanted to “experience” Alaska, rather than just “see” Alaska. We are all 60+ men and women who enjoy moderate outdoor activities. This cruise exceeded our expectations in every way! We arrived a couple of days early to adjust to time change and see Sitka. Departure was smooth as silk. The expedition guides were extremely helpful and knowledgeable, not to mention just plain friendly. They really love what they do. A variety of outings each day allowed us to choose the level of activity we wanted. Want to kayak? Done. How about hiking? Done. Want to ride in a skiff to see some sea lions? Done. Go see a glacier up close and personal? Done. Whale watching? Done. The meals were outstanding and the ingredients fresh. Our bartender could create whatever your palate desired. Cabins are small, yet comfortable. Showers are tiny, so don’t drop your soap! (Note: we didn’t take this cruise to hang out in our rooms!) Our 2 days in port gave us enough time to sample local cuisine and see some sights. This adventure cruise is not for luxury seekers, but if you want to get out and experience Alaska’s natural beauty, then this is the ticket! Would we travel UnCruise again? You betcha! Karla K Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
UnCruise Hawaii Cruise Review - An Amazing Trip By Ken Montgomery, 4th time UnCruise passenger Jan 2018 The UnCruise trip from Kona to Molokai (northbound)was a wonderful trip In so many ways. We were on the Safari Explorer for 7 ... Read More
UnCruise Hawaii Cruise Review - An Amazing Trip By Ken Montgomery, 4th time UnCruise passenger Jan 2018 The UnCruise trip from Kona to Molokai (northbound)was a wonderful trip In so many ways. We were on the Safari Explorer for 7 nights. We embarked on Saturday Jan 27th, 2018. There were 33 passengers & 16 crew. There are 18 staterooms. We saw lots of whales, dolphins, turtles, Manta Rays and lots of reef fish. Every UnCruise Hawaii trip will have a different itinerary due to weather factors - mainly wind and seas. We had calm winds and seas for the most part, so we were able to stay to the original cruise plan. Itinerary Saturday embarkation day. - passengers had to get their bags to the Hapuna Prince Resort Hotel ( 45 minutes north of Kona) by 3pm. There was a gathering room in the hotel for the UnCruisers. The bags were then taken to the ship and placed in the state rooms. At 4:30 the Cruise Activity leader Travis introduced himself and gave a quick cruise briefing, then we all loaded on a bus for a 10 minute ride to the ship. We were shown to our cabins, then had the lifeboat drill and free time till dinner @ 6:30. The dinner started with the welcome aboard drink and welcome from the captain and introduction of the crew. After dinner, Travis explained tomorrow’s activities based on current weather & wind forecasts. There was a documentary or a talk about Hawaii on the cabin TV or in the lounge every night. The crew anchored the ship Saturday night off Kona. The ship had a gentle rock to it. Sunday After breakfast we got ready for our first snorkel trip - south of Kona. Great water clarity and fish. Fins and masks were given to each passenger’s approximate sizes. They had plenty of extra fins and masks in case the ones given to you didn’t fit. Your gear was stowed in lockers on the bottom deck by cabin number. We then learned how to use their skiffs for snorkeling. A fresh water shower & island punch awaited returning snorkelers. Lunch followed and we spent the afternoon positioning the boat for our evening adventure north of Kona. We saw a few whales along the way. Sunday Night - a light dinner was served at 5pm. At 6 we had a briefing about our evening snorkel trip to see Manta Rays feeding. An outside vendor brought in wetsuits for everyone, which were needed. We took the skiffs out to the location where the Rays were feeding and we broke into 5 groups with about 6 people hanging onto each surfboard. A leader would tow us around the area so the passengers just focused on looking down at the action. We saw plenty of Manta Rays, a truly amazing experience. We were in the water about 45 minutes. Even with the wetsuits, many of us were a little cold and were ready to head back to a warm shower. This was the wildlife highlight for me on the cruise followed closely by all the humpback sightings. We had snacks and deserts on board after we returned and had our showers. Monday - 2 major activities. In the morning we went snorkeling at Captain Cook’s monument. In the afternoon we visited Kona where you could go on a guided walking tour, do an outrigger ride or just go shopping. In the evening we had a presentation from 2 lovely Hawaiians who told us about growing up and living in Hawaii. Monday Night - the crossing from the Big Island to Maui takes all night and can be a little rocky, but our crossing was fairly smooth. Tuesday - the morning activity consisted of a kayak trip along the south portion of Maui or a skiff boat ride exploring the coast. We saw whales before breakfast and during the kayaking trip. We returned to the ship and went whale watching off the west coast of Maui the rest of the day, seeing dozens of Humpback whales as we cruised. Following cocktail hour and dinner we had a staff presentation. Wednesday Morning - we did a skiff ride looking for whales and there were many whales putting in shows for us to enjoy. We went kayaking or paddle boarding after that. Afternoon- a tour of Lanai City where we visited their museum and explored the small town in the rain. Evening - Anchored in the lee of Lanai Thursday morning - snorkeling with turtles off Lahaina Afternoon - free time in Lahina town Friday morning / docked in Moloka’i - van tour of eastern portion of island visiting cultural sites. Optional difficult hike to waterfall with 4 stream crossings, walking sticks provided. Bug repellent provided. Very interesting story about Hawaiin culture. Friday night - went to a Panai, a Hawaiin party featuring roast pig and other traditional Hawaiin dishes at a local museum & community center with plenty of entertainment. Saturday departure- bags out by 7:30, they transported us at 8:30 to the only hotel on Molokai where we waited for a shuttle to the airport. The new UnCruise passengers were arriving here also. Best to book an early flight out of Molokai, as there is nothing left to do on Molokai. Misc Notes Crew Gratuities. UnCruise Staff recommends a $25 to $35 per day per passenger gratuity. Cell service - sometimes you have a few bars, sometimes there is no service, depending on your service provider and location. There wouldn’t be enough cell strength to use streaming services. There is no wi-fi on the ship. Laundry - there is no laundry service on the ship Shoes - water shoes are useful for getting in & off the skiffs and walking around. Sandals work for all other needs. Optional Excursions - there are no optional excursions - all activities, drinks, meals are included. The only thing you’ll ever need to pay for are Un-Cruise hats or t-shirts and the Crew Gratituities Things you should bring - [ ] 3 swim suits - so they dry in between uses. - [ ] Optional - a 3 to 5 mm wetsuit. A shorty would be fine. The water temp in January is in the mid 70’s and the snorkeling sessions were usually 45 to 60 minutes in the water, many passengers were cold without them. You can hang the wetsuit to dry on the deck on a hanger. - [ ] Rash guards are great for snorkeling, they give you sun protection and are perfect to wear under a wet suit. Buy them in any “Crazy Shirts” store in Hawaii. They even have rash guards that take on a new pattern once they are wet. They sell for about $48, long sleeves give the most protection, but are a hassle under wet suits arms. They dry very fast, so you can get by with one. - [ ] “Swimmers Ear” drops to dry out the water that stays in your ears from snorkeling. - [ ] Bring a long sleeve dry-fit t-shirt for boat trips or sitting out on the deck at night. - [ ] The ships store is very small, so bring your cold meds and cough drops in case you need them. A small tube of Vaseline in handy for minor scrapes & cuts. - [ ] Eye glass cleaner fluid and the microfiber clothes to clean them. - [ ] DVD’s that you’ve always wanted to watch. The ship has a few hundred movie DVD’s for borrowing. We like to bring documentary DVDs. Do not bring Blu-Ray DVDs, they won’t play on the stateroom equipment. - [ ] Extension chord to make plugging in all your chargers a lot easier. We only found one plug in the living area, so the extension chord was really essential. - [ ] Small flash lights for night time trips to bathroom - [ ] A secure hat for windy skiff rides. Things You May Not Need to Bring - [ ] Binoculars- the ship supplies each cabin with a large 7x50 pair of very good binoculars - [ ] Large Suntan lotion container. The shop has them on deck. Bring a small tube if you are staying a few extra days in Hawaii. - [ ] Lots of fancy camera gear. This is not really a photography cruise like Alaska and many other places are. Whale photography is particularly difficult. It’s best to enjoy the action and view the professional’s work. There are many great documentaries on whales on U-tube and on Netflix where the photography is better than 99% of photographers can do. - [ ] Water bottle- UnCruise provides cold water in the dinning room and reusable water bottles for your use. - [ ] Alcohol- all the alcohol, beer and wine are free all the time. - [ ] Shampoos & conditioner are in the shower in large dispensers, so no need to bring your own. A hair dryer is in the bathroom. - [ ] Walking sticks - the ship supplies them for the 2 hikes. They are provided by outside contractors and are not carried on the ship. - [ ] Sea sickness meds, the ship supplies them. - [ ] Fancy clothes - everyone dresses casually all the time. - [ ] Jacket - it never really got cold enough for anything above a windbreaker Summary A great trip with fun adventures. The food was very good. The wine and cocktails were excellent & plentiful and free. The crew is hardworking and talented. They even remember everyone’s names. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Safari Endeavor Alaska John Muir cruise is definitely a cruise for people who enjoy adventure, wildlife, learning, intimacy, and luxury. This is not a cruise for those who want Las Vegas type entertainment, many visits to cities and ... Read More
Safari Endeavor Alaska John Muir cruise is definitely a cruise for people who enjoy adventure, wildlife, learning, intimacy, and luxury. This is not a cruise for those who want Las Vegas type entertainment, many visits to cities and souvenir shopping, big staterooms, and endless variety on the ship. The staff is excellent: friendly, knowledgeable, with a love for the outdoors and adventure. This quality flows down from the captain, who is a great manager--he kicks in when needed for any job onboard, while maintaining strong discipline and camaraderie among the crew. The food is excellent, though I'd like to see more variety, especially near the end of the week; however, I understand this could make planning more difficult on a small ship such as this. There are many outdoor activities: kayaking, photography, skiff tours, bushwhacking, a polar dip (!), and just plain sightseeing as you pass by one incredible scene after another. My only criticism here is that activities are rotated a little too infrequently. For instance, free kayaking should be offered more frequently, as should combination kayaking/bushwhacking. Do count on seeing incredible wildlife, such as grizzly bears, bald eagles, sea otters, and, of course, whales. And the glaciers are spectacular, many of them unavailable to other types of transportation. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We spent 5 days in Denali before flying from Anchorage to Juneau. We were aboard the Wilderness Explorer for 7 nights exploring the Inner Passage. First and foremost, my son has peanut/tree nut allergies and the chef knew ahead of ... Read More
We spent 5 days in Denali before flying from Anchorage to Juneau. We were aboard the Wilderness Explorer for 7 nights exploring the Inner Passage. First and foremost, my son has peanut/tree nut allergies and the chef knew ahead of time and had no nuts in the kitchen for the week we were on board! The pastry chef makes everything from scratch so it was such a huge joy for my son to eat what everyone else was eating. They did have nut bars for snacks but did offer to also take those away too! They clearly take all allergies very seriously and we thank them for that - traveling with allergies can be very stressful. The ship was clean and though there were 70 passengers on board, it didn't feel like it at all. The rooms could use some updating but everything was clean. We had been on La Pinta over Christmas and that ship is more updated. But, don't let that deter you! We would all go back in a heartbeat and would definitely use Uncruise again. There were excursions off the ship everyday. We went bush whacking, kayaking, on skiff rides, snorkeling (yes, in 47 degree waters with wet suits - we were fine!), hiking. We went through Glacier Bay. It is a very active cruise - perfect for our 5 teens. The grandmothers went on skiff rides or meadow walks or just watched the stunning scenery. They do have rainboots on board. I brought my daughters and mine though and the boys just got them from on board. Either way, they are a must. Every landing was a wet landing. Hiking shoes aren't needed because you really end up just wearing your rain boots because everything is so muddy. Definitely bring rain pants and a rain jacket. The waters were extremely calm so even my mother who usually gets very seasick was totally fine! The service was great all around. The guides were all very knowledgeable and likeable and all clearly love Alaska! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Just returned from the 4/17-29/17 "Famed Passages of Discovery" cruise from Seattle to Alaska. Can't begin to say how incredible it was. The small ship experience let us get to know everyone on board, including the entire ... Read More
Just returned from the 4/17-29/17 "Famed Passages of Discovery" cruise from Seattle to Alaska. Can't begin to say how incredible it was. The small ship experience let us get to know everyone on board, including the entire expedition team. All wonderful, enthusiastic, adventurous people. The mountains, waterfalls, and wildlife were beautiful. Enjoyed the hikes, boat tours, kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling, polar plunge, ...... all tailored to the group. You could choose from many options to meet your level of desired activity. The itinerary was altered to get the best weather. The UnCruise team was very impressive - especially noticed how well everyone was treated. It is a rare cruise that allows the team to stop what they are doing and photograph and observe wildlife when they are present, even if that means dinner will have to wait. The entire team was also personally introduced on the first day and thanked by the captain on the last night. The team worked together to get what needed to be done completed - not unusual to see the captain down on the EZ dock pulling your kayak in. He provided the nighttime entertainment one night by singing with his guitar. We had a wonderful stretch of weather - less rain in April than usual. Would love to go on another UnCruise adventure - biggest question is which one should be next. Highly recommend!!!! Cabins are very small (and bathroom is the smallest I've ever seen), but we didn't spend any time in there other than to sleep. Not too much evening entertainment, but by then everyone was too tired to do much and headed to bed. Not too much fitness equipment on ship, but plenty of off-ship hiking, kayaking, and paddleboarding available. This was a "wellness/fitness" cruise so we had added yoga, fitness classes and discussions of nutrition that aren't normally included. Given the space limitations, it was impressive what fitness activities could be done on board. If you like the spa treatments, formal nights, casino, shopping, city tours, or entertainment of more traditional cruises, this is NOT the cruise for you, but if you prefer seeing the unspoiled wilderness & native wildlife with a few adventurous people, this is DEFINITELY the way to go. All excursions and alcoholic beverages are included in the price. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
PROS We chose this cruise because - being a small boat it get's to places the big ships can't go (max 70 passengers). We stood 30 metres off shore from calving Glaciers - wow ! The sea and land scenery were simply awesome. ... Read More
PROS We chose this cruise because - being a small boat it get's to places the big ships can't go (max 70 passengers). We stood 30 metres off shore from calving Glaciers - wow ! The sea and land scenery were simply awesome. Every day you get to chose variety of off-boat activities i.e. kayaking, skiff tours & shore excursions and rough trails. The have the best methods of launching and decking returning kayaks. The crew are likable, friendly, capable and very knowledgeable, so is the Captain. Breakfast and lunch are a very scrumptious smorgasbord, but dinner was a la carte. I found the portions very small and not being able to eat bread (a coeliac) left me hungry at night. They also gave me 3 dinners containing gluten 3 times in error and this made me ill. Of course you can stay on the boat, look at the wonderful temperate forest, mountains and occasional glacier or just read a book. But if you like adventure, especially kayaking, this is the cruise for you, but it's up to you to take part. I expected to see more wildlife, but we saw our share of bears, eagles, otters, seals and sea lions and I guess it's all down to luck. CONS Luke warm coffee and tea was a constant downer. Couldn't wait to get off the boat and get a hot tea or coffee. If you're not used to tipping e.g. Australian, English or NZ, we got a BIG shock when with 2 days to go the Capt told us we were expected to tip 15-20% of the cabin cost ! Our cabin cost was $10,000 AU which meant paying another $1,500 to $2,000 extra. OK I've tipped $150 to the cabin steward on our Hawaiian cruse but not 15% of the cruise cost. I felt this was unconscionable but our American friends assured us it was all above board in USA. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
This small ship experience is as good as it gets! This was higher priced than the big ships but twice the Alaska experience and ten times the service and included activities. Incredible wines and top shelf liquors included. We had the ... Read More
This small ship experience is as good as it gets! This was higher priced than the big ships but twice the Alaska experience and ten times the service and included activities. Incredible wines and top shelf liquors included. We had the smoothest and fastest embarkation and disembarkation ever. The owner even came on the ship the last day to say goodbye. All the crew members lines up to shake you had or give you a hug when you got off the ship. Very emotional for all the passengers. Most guests were couples of all ages and a few singles. One couple even got engaged on the ship. Young children might have been bored, but they do have special sailings to include kid activities. This was our 5th Alaskan Cruise but by far the best of all. We are going on a family Alaskan Cruise trip in a few month on a large ship but will miss the Un-Cruise experience . Un-Cruises are the very best!!!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We selected Uncruise,- Wilderness adventurer - which went up into Glacier Bay as part of the itinerary. No stops in trinket shopping towns except Juneau for embarking/disembarking. Our trip was all scenery which we wanted, and we ... Read More
We selected Uncruise,- Wilderness adventurer - which went up into Glacier Bay as part of the itinerary. No stops in trinket shopping towns except Juneau for embarking/disembarking. Our trip was all scenery which we wanted, and we observed every species of wildlife we hoped to see: humpbacks, orcas, see otter, harbor seal, seals, bald eagles, puffins, brown bear, mountain goat, deer, various birds, and more. We saw several glaciers and calving. Weather was much better than usual with virtually no rain, and we wore everything from full winter gear to shorts and T shirts on deck. We were able to do a several short hikes, sea kayaking, skiff rides, snorkeling, and the obligatory polar plunge near a glacier. It is true that there is a lot of camaraderie among the guests and crew. Meals were EXCELLENT, and better than expected. Fun happy hour with orderves each night before dinner, when we also signed up for next day's activities. I highly recommend Uncruise for Alaska, and believe it is a far better experience than on a big cruise ship. We have been on 4 prior big boat cruises. On deck were some work out equipment (bikes and ellipticals which were quite worn), but it is a harsh environment - glad they at least had that. Binoculors in rooms and all over the ship. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We are not leisure cruisers, but this adventure cruise captured our imaginations. The size of the ship, the destination and the activities were all appealing to us, and the cruise was certainly not a disappointment. Our cabin was basic ... Read More
We are not leisure cruisers, but this adventure cruise captured our imaginations. The size of the ship, the destination and the activities were all appealing to us, and the cruise was certainly not a disappointment. Our cabin was basic but adequate with plenty of hot water. Even tho it was above the engine, once under way our sleep was not disturbed. All staff were great from the hotel staff and kitchen staff to the tour guides and crew. Activities for all levels of fitness were catered for from shore walks and skiff tours to kayaking, hiking, bushwacking and even snorkelling. The scenery was spectacular! Cities of Juneau and Sitka had a frontier feel and were interesting to explore. food was extremely good with a choice of main courses and the bar offered a great variety of beers and wines. Would thoroughly enjoy this type of cruise for the active traveller. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
I continue to relive this trip six weeks later. It was a wonderful experience. I shared a room with my adult daughter and it was comfortable. We controlled the heat which was very nice. The beds were great. We were in 213 and kept our ... Read More
I continue to relive this trip six weeks later. It was a wonderful experience. I shared a room with my adult daughter and it was comfortable. We controlled the heat which was very nice. The beds were great. We were in 213 and kept our curtains open almost all the time because we didn't want to miss any views. The guests ranged in age from 16 to four young-at-heart people in their eighties. Many of us were adults with adult children, which made the trip extra special. The entire crew was outstanding and set the tone for an exceptionally enjoyable experience. The companionship among guests seemed unusually congenial. The food was excellent - all meals and hors d'oeuvres. Early breakfast was served in the lounge and consisted of cold food. Regular breakfast was in the dining room and featured hot items and delicious choices and all you could eat. Smiling wait staff were there to refill coffee, clear dishes and offer anything one could want. Lunch always included a green salad along with hot items. The dinners were spectacular. NOT meat and potatoes. There were three choices - meat, fish and vegetarian. And you could order 1/2 and 1/2 for those of us who couldn't decide which delectable meal to choose. Alcohol was reasonably priced. A daily special cocktail was offered for $5.00 and was delicious. The activities were varied, well described, fun and for many enough of a challenge so we felt proud of ourselves for participating. There were first time kayakers, snorkelers and polar plungers. Basic requirements were to be able to climb stairs, get in an inflatable and have a good attitude. The more rigorous activities were longer hikes and a 6.5 mile kayak. Perhaps a more strenuous hike would have appealed to some. The guides for all activities were helpful and informative and so pleasant. Every evening following dinner a guide presented an organized lecture. Our last night we had a very fun and funny contest hosted by the guides. One reviewer commented on the noise of the engines and generators. It did exist, and one table in the dining room was pretty loud. However while sleeping the generators were white noise and when the diesels started in the morning it was a reassuring sound. We kept our window open every night and slept very well. If your desire is to see SE Alaska up close, unspoiled and uncrowded, book with Un-Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
I've wanted to visit Alaska for years but a traditional cruise doesn't appeal to me. I was so excited to discover Un-Cruise. It exceeded my very high expectations. The crew is friendly, funny, professional and will do anything to ... Read More
I've wanted to visit Alaska for years but a traditional cruise doesn't appeal to me. I was so excited to discover Un-Cruise. It exceeded my very high expectations. The crew is friendly, funny, professional and will do anything to make sure you have a perfect adventure. We learned to kayak, went bushwhacking, took skiff rides around huge icebergs, and watched humpback whales leap and dance. We spent much of the week a little wet and a little cold, knowing there would be a hot drink waiting for us on deck when we got back to the ship. The food was exceptional. Portions were very reasonable --not huge, but you could ask for more. Evenings were fun and sometimes educational but not heavy lectures. Passengers gather in the lounge often to drink, snack, play games, or meet. We changed tables and meal companions daily. Un-Cruise also has the advantage of being a small ship with great flexibility, so if water threatened to be rough, the captain and cruise director changed plans to give us a perfect week. I can't say enough good things about our experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
As a resident of Southern California and a regular visitor to Seattle, I've spent time in the San Juan Islands and up and near Vancouver/Victoria. I had heard about the Princess Louisa Inlet and decided this was the year to explore. ... Read More
As a resident of Southern California and a regular visitor to Seattle, I've spent time in the San Juan Islands and up and near Vancouver/Victoria. I had heard about the Princess Louisa Inlet and decided this was the year to explore. This was my 3rd Un-Cruise, a company I love and remain very loyal to. I was skeptical about the small size of this vessel and the 22 guests onboard knowing I really enjoy 50 - 75 people on these small ships. I was in for a big surprise. I had a blast. The very small group allows you to really bond and jump from summer camp for adults (which has been my larger small ship experience ~ vessels under 100 guests) to bonding as a family of strangers. The group consisted of a varied age group from 50 to 80. Since it was September (and my favorite time to take off to avoid lots of kids), I knew the age group would be older. The great thing about these kinds of cruises if that you get to know everyone very quickly. Those of us who are high energy, very adventurous and want to exert energy found ourselves being cheered on by those who have either had their day in the sun or simply don't want an overly physical trip. It's all available here. Embarkation was a breeze. Be at the designed hotel is downtown Seattle by the assigned time, go to the hospitality suite, ditch your luggage and transfer to the ship. Easy-breezy. The hotel is located in the heart of all that can be found on foot downtown. A ten minute walk to Pike's Place Market, a three minute walk to the Nordstrom mothership and a 15 minute walk to the REI flagship store. Lots to do and see if you arrive early and have the full day to explore. The vessel is small but very clean and well assigned. The bar was stocked with high end spirits (Belvedere vodka thank you very much) and some very good wine. I would recommend the Bridge Deck. The cabins are spacious and have French balconies. The cabins on the main deck open directly into the dining room and the cabins on the cabin deck do not have any porthole or balcony only bridge lights. They are still worth it, believe me. I talked with everyone on board about their accommodations. You get to know everything in a group this small. Within a very short time after embarkation you realize you have found a jewel and the feeling is that you have your own privately chartered yacht. It is a spectacular experience. Meals are served in the dining room at set hours. Pick a table, order, enjoy. The one HUGE perk for me is that they are very conscious of waste and no meal is ever super-sized. For me, the ultimate cruise turn off are large buffet lines with plates piled to the ceiling being hauled by generously proportioned guests. With a focus on nature, nature lovers and outdoor sports, most of the guests on Un-Cruise are somewhat health conscious so the portion size of all meals encourages healthy eating. If you wish for a 2nd serving, it is yours for the asking. I never saw anyone go for it. As with all Un-Cruise itineraries, the day is set by wildlife. If you encounter a pod of humpbacks or orcas, you will stay with the pod to allow maximum viewing without encroaching on nature. Un-Cruise is VERY observant and respectful of proximity to these amazing creatures and respectful of their place in our oceans. We witnessed day boats following dangerously close to a pod but maintained our required distance and still had a spectacular viewing. I am an adrenaline junkie so getting out and about on a kayak is my favorite experience in the Pacific Northwest. We had 4 days of kayaking with ample time to get a great workout and then some. There were also hikes and a campfire with singing thrown in for good measure. Sounds cheesy? It wasn't at all. The success of any cruise is dependent on two things. Your perspective and ability to be flexible and the crew's ability to insure you have a great trip. Un-Cruise excels in this area. I booked late in the process but one of the onboard crew saw my name on the manifest (I sailed with her last year on the Endeavour) thought it could be me and remembered I love ruby red grapefruit juice and vodka. Voila, imagine my surprise when I was greeted with my favorite drink. Heaven on the high seas!! Our EL "Exploration Leader" was great. She knew her stuff about the area we were headed to and the flora and fauna we came across. She was also very savvy in quickly sizing up those of us that would require a little more adrenaline stimulation and insured that we got our time out in nature. It was a perfect blend of time spent burning calories and being one with nature. The crown jewel of the itinerary is the Princess Louisa Inlet. It is truly spectacular and not easy to access. It is also well worth the effort to get to. Since it is accessible through a very narrow channel and tide-dependent, large cruise ships cannot reach it. That's a huge plus. The pristine nature of the whole experience is a testament to its accessibility. You may have a few private yachts anchored but you are virtually in your own little world and it's beautiful. This is the place for west coasters who think they've seen it all, love nature and yachting. Again, the private yacht experience comes in to play here. The exclusivity of it makes it that much more enjoyable. In summary, this was a really great vacation. Lots to see, do and experience with some very cool new friends. Well worth the price to have the feeling of your own private yacht, to wake up at the base of Chatterbox Falls in the Princess Louisa inlet, to be in waters with some of the ocean’s most beautiful creatures and to have them put on a private show all for you. Very few people will ever experience this honor. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
The Safari Endeavour is the second largest ship in the Un-Cruise line with 42 cabins. We went on one previous cruise on a large cruise ship and did not enjoy it. It was large and massive, dumping 2,000 people into each port. While ... Read More
The Safari Endeavour is the second largest ship in the Un-Cruise line with 42 cabins. We went on one previous cruise on a large cruise ship and did not enjoy it. It was large and massive, dumping 2,000 people into each port. While this trip is expensive it covered all activities, there were no additional costs involved. The not-so good - the cabins are small and our shower was particularly small. It was difficult to shower without getting the floor a bit wet. The two single beds could not be moved together in our cabin (which is noted in their catalog). Housekeeping was excellent, our cabin and bedding were very clean. Everything else exceeded expectations. We could go into bays and get close to glaciers, get even closer in kayaks (and look back on the large cruise ships that could just barely enter the bay). I felt an intimate connection with the fjords and the land. In the guided kayak trips there was one leader in front and one in back. The leaders were knowledgeable and enthusiastic. The dining room was a few feet above water level and the experience of eating as you glide past waterfalls and cliffs was delightful. I liked the fact that there was one seating per meal and you could sit at any table you wanted. Activities are geared to active retired people with usually three choices each morning and afternoon: bushwhacking, kayaking and a ride on a skiff. While hiking we saw salmon swimming upstream to mate, from the skiff we saw a family of bears catching fish, and on board ship we saw whales galore. At one point there were at least 6 whales swimming around the ship. This is a cruise that allows you to be intimate with Alaska. It was a fantastic experience. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
My husband and I are not cruise people but this one ticked all our boxes. A small boat with only 60 passengers but very comfortable with great food, a fabulous crew and lots of interesting excursions. We enjoyed getting out into the ... Read More
My husband and I are not cruise people but this one ticked all our boxes. A small boat with only 60 passengers but very comfortable with great food, a fabulous crew and lots of interesting excursions. We enjoyed getting out into the Alaskan wilderness but it was made so much better by the young, energetic guides who were extremely knowledgeable but obviously loved their job too. The whole crew worked so hard at making sure that we were looked after 24/7. We saw glaciers calving; salmon running; bears feeding; and the whales! Everything was great from beginning to end. I supposed it helped that the weather was magnificent but even apart from that we're sure it would still have been lots of fun. Met some great people and really enjoyed every minute. Plenty of time to relax if you wanted to but also lots of trips onto the mainland or kayaks to really do some exploring. 5/5 from us for everything.   Read Less
Sail Date August 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 fabled Sea of Cortes along Mexico's Baja Peninsula has been heralded by Jacques Cousteau as "The Aquarium of the World" and by naturalists as "America's Galapagos." Fewer cruise lines than ever are making ... Read More
The fabled Sea of Cortes along Mexico's Baja Peninsula has been heralded by Jacques Cousteau as "The Aquarium of the World" and by naturalists as "America's Galapagos." Fewer cruise lines than ever are making extended voyages into this pristine marine wilderness, but American Safari Cruises is a notable exception. Their 22-passenger luxury yacht, Safari Quest, explores the pristine waters of this World Heritage biosphere reserve from late November through late March, and it is a remote journey worth making.Hoping to escape an unusually chilly winter, we recently boarded the Safari Quest in La Paz for an eight-day round-trip cruise on sunny Mexico's Sea of Cortes, lured by the possibility of snorkeling with sea lions and sailing alongside the largest living beings on Earth, the blue whales.The Safari Quest's 11 staterooms are those of a yacht rather than a cruise liner, far smaller but splendidly outfitted with private bathrooms, memory foam mattresses, flat-screen TV/DVDs, and, in the case of the four Captain Staterooms, sliding glass balcony doors. Three passenger decks house a dining room, salon and a fully stocked, complimentary, round-the clock bar, one of many features that set American Safari Cruises apart.On the Safari Quest cabin doors do not lock, there's no dress code whatsoever, the pilothouse is open to passengers all day and sailing is usually restricted to daylight hours, affording maximum exposure to sea life and scenery. Unlike larger cruise ships, the Safari Quest does not call on busy ports, but sticks to the waters of the National Marine Park, dropping anchor in protected island bays and deserted shoreline coves. Two exceptions are a mule ride at Bahia Aqua Verde in the company of a local ranchero (cowboy) family and a stop at Isla Coyote, an islet just 200 yards across, where members of the Cuevas family maintain their own fishing village, complete with a tiny chapel and one-room schoolhouse.American Safari Cruise's emphasis is on marine adventure—plenty of kayaks, wakeboards, snorkeling gear and wet suits on deck—and on impeccable service. We rapidly found ourselves on a first-name basis with our nine crew members and nine fellow passengers, who ranged from Lauren, an Iowan teenager enjoying a far-flung winter break with her mother, to Steve and Carol, an English couple in their seventies, drawn from Hull to tally Baja's bird population.Most days began with a skiff ride to the sandy beaches of an uninhabited island, near where we were anchored. These excursions gave us our pick of options: beach-combing, kayaking, snorkeling, or hiking with our trip leader into the cardon cactus groves and sandstone cliffs.Bird life proved particularly fecund. Steve catalogued some fifty species, including several he had never spotted anywhere else in the world. We also spent a full day in search of Baja's great leviathans, and we were rewarded with sustained encounters with several gray whales, like us wintering in the Sea of Cortes.The highlight was a swim with a sea lion colony, the boisterous residents of Los Islotes, a phantasmagoric outcropping of castle-like rocks shooting straight up out of the sea. Outfitted in wet suits, we plunged over the side of the skiff and joined a circus of young sea lions who frolicked with us shoulder to shoulder, nibbling at our snorkel gear and turning cartwheels--a close encounter of a kind none of us would forget. Then there were the meals: Belgian waffles, strawberry parfaits, taco soup, passion-fruit popsicles (paletas), prime rib, a medley of fresh local seafood and the uncorking of two fine new wines each evening. Dining with our fellow passengers became as eagerly anticipated as the day's wildlife encounters and water sports. Our Safari Quest cruise made us feel that we had welcomed a dozen new amiable friends onto our private yacht, entered the world's most remote waters and sailed together far beyond the tug of TV waves and Internet towers.American Safari Cruises offers similar high-end, soft adventure water safaris in the Hawaiian Islands, on the Columbia and Snake Rivers, and in Alaska, where one can kayak to the feet of glaciers. Group charters are also available--and endorsed by stars Kate Winslet and Emma Thompson, who recently made their own safari through the Sea of Cortes. Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
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