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9 UnCruise Luxury Cruise Reviews

We wanted a small boat experience to do the Inside Passage and chose the Safari Explorer which had a capacity of only 36. Fortunately from Seattle to Ketchikan there were only 12 of us as it was the first cruise of the season, and 26 from ... Read More
We wanted a small boat experience to do the Inside Passage and chose the Safari Explorer which had a capacity of only 36. Fortunately from Seattle to Ketchikan there were only 12 of us as it was the first cruise of the season, and 26 from Ketchikan up to Juneau - this made their service even better. The staff were helpful, knowledgeable and professional in every sense. Our excursions on the skiffs and kayaks plentiful, we saw humpbacks, orcas, porpoises, seals, and grizzlies. Often there would be a choice of activities including hiking (where the pace was quite slow) and 'bush-wacking' which was fun. The food and bar service was excellent and flexible to cope with the various food requirements of the varied guests - nothing was too difficult for them. They has an extensive supply of waterproof jackets and trousers, wellingtons, and binoculars. It was expensive of course, but worth it. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We wanted to experience Alaska on a small ship. The Un Cruise Wilderness Explorer and her crew made the trip on of the GREATEST vacations of our lives. The kayaking and zodiac rides were AWESOME! Hiking was fantastic and the wildlife ... Read More
We wanted to experience Alaska on a small ship. The Un Cruise Wilderness Explorer and her crew made the trip on of the GREATEST vacations of our lives. The kayaking and zodiac rides were AWESOME! Hiking was fantastic and the wildlife viewing was all you could ask for. I saw more bears than in my last TWO trips to Alaska. As for the dining I gained a pound a day even thought we were VERY active for 3-4 hours per day. The food was amazing! The crew was highly trained and could not do enough to make sure you had a superior experience. I changed our activities several times to spend time with some of the great people we met on board and it was handled in no time by the crew. We cruised from Juneau to Sitka through the inside passages.It was an unbelievable experience. I would highly recommend this Company and ship for anyone looking for the small ship experience in Alaska! CAM Chicago Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
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
Saturday April 30th After a quick flight into Denver’s snowy airport we boarded our flight to Seattle. The flight was smooth and arrived on time. Seattle’s airport is clean and bright with lots of windows. We got our bags quickly ... Read More
Saturday April 30th After a quick flight into Denver’s snowy airport we boarded our flight to Seattle. The flight was smooth and arrived on time. Seattle’s airport is clean and bright with lots of windows. We got our bags quickly and waited for a representative to pick us up at the baggage claim area as indicated on the initial paperwork. I called the after-hours phone number (206). A woman answered and told me Steven would call us right back. He did and told us where to pick up the van. Others on the van received a text message with more specific directions. We did not. The drive was very scenic to the Crowne Plaza hotel. The driver did not say a word the entire drive. The Crowne Plaza staff was very friendly and helpful. We went to the hospitality suite and met Steven. He checked us in, recorded information from our passports, and labelled the bags. We left our “carry-on” in a specific area to keep with us for the drive to the boat, but didn’t want to carry around Seattle that afternoon. We walked down a couple of blocks to Farmer’s Market. It was an enjoyable area to view. We took lots of photos of the local flavor, ocean vistas, the Ferris wheel, ships, and colorful people. We got a quick bite to eat and arrived back at the hotel for 3:45 bus tour of Seattle. The driver was funny and informative. Seattle traffic was terrible, but it allowed time to see the sites without rushing. The tour plans changed a couple times due to road closures. The parts of Seattle we saw were charming! We met our Expedition Leader, Pamela, and boarded the Safari Quest. Captain Dano has been a captain for 30 years and with UnCruise for 6 seasons. Our trip was the first of 2016! We then met Carla, right at the gang plank. She reached out and grabbed my carry-on luggage and showed us our cabin. She was so fun and nice. We immediately loved her! There was a quick safety briefing/drill, showing us how to put on the life vest. We met the rest of the crew. Erica the Hotel Manager, Emi a Stewart, Mark the Chef, Cari and Chef in Training, Kate the Pastry Chef, Steve the Engineer, and Robb the Chief Mate. Robb is also the Safety and Medical Officer. The crew wears “uniforms” – Oxford shirts and black slacks - that make them look very professional. After meeting the crew we finished unpacking. We had cabin A2 with a large sliding glass door that was terrific to open for fresh air and viewing. The cabin was quite quiet. We never heard our neighbors, or anyone in the hall, or in the bridge. There is a closet in the room, two large, deep drawers under the bed and a couple hooks on the wall. Also under the bed are two large storage areas. We easily kept our luggage, carry-ons, camera bag, shoes and extra pillows underneath. We had two nightstands with two shelves. Lamps were on the stands as well as a bright overhead ceiling light. In the bathroom are four deep shelves with a lip at the end so things don’t slide out. There was a countertop around the sink large enough to hold a tray of two glasses, and a box of Kleenex. On the clean, fresh bed are lists of other passengers’ names as well as the crew. Also, there were binoculars, and two water canteens. The bed was comfortable with plenty of pillows to choose. Extra fuzzy blankets are on the bed too. They could have more hooks, especially when you came in with wet clothes. We did view a cabin on the lower level and they had a 4 drawer dresser. There is a TV in every cabin. We were busy every evening until 10:00ish so we didn’t have time to watch any of the DVD’s (movies) we brought. Leaving the harbor and going through the locks was remarkable. It is amazing how they drop the level of the water, in just a few minutes, to reach the correct level on the other side. A real engineering marvel! Dinner was DELIGHTFUL! A wonderful fresh green salad. Choice of filet, salmon, or a vegetarian dish with asparagus and potatoes. The filet was tender, the salmon moist. For dessert we had a chocolate cake, chocolate mousse with chocolate ganache extravaganza!! It was topped with coconut, nuts, and raspberries; very rich and delectable. The daily schedule for the next day is discussed in the lounge after dinner. The crossing was smooth. We slept like baby harbor seals. Sunrise was brilliant! Cresting above the peaks to the East and slowly hitting the snow-capped mountain tops to the West. Clam water with bobbing fishing boats completed the scene. Sunday May 1st The day started (6:30AM) with a delicious yogurt with fresh fruit, blueberry scones and assorted teas and coffee. At 7:30 the main breakfast served a Chef’s special of Tomato Frittata with herbs and sausage. Also always available is omelet, eggs, pancakes, baked oatmeal, or bagel and lox. The UnCruise fleet works with the Monterey Bay Aquarium and their “Seafood Watch” program. They only use (cook) seafood and fish that are farmed and fish responsibly, and are not over-fished, or in the way they are caught. Our ordered meals of eggs, bacon, and toast came very fast. We left the boat to go through a series of security screening with Canadian border guards. The Safari Quest docks in a secure, patrolled section of the harbor. It was very safe. We walked to the Empress Hotel to view their beautiful gardens and architecture. It is under construction right now, but still very stately. We walked through the hotel and out the back door which is right across the street from the Royal BC Museum. It was magnificent. A real treat! We did get a reservation for High Tea at the famous Tea Room of the Empress so we walked back there. It was very, very nice. Their tea was the finest I had ever tasted. Lunch was served on a three tiered plate in the middle of the beautifully set table. The first layer had finger sandwiches, second scones and the top mini cakes and tarts. All were absolutely delicious. The layer chocolate dessert was NOT as good as last night’s dessert on the boat. Afterwards the group split up. We had enough time to walk to Fisherman’s Wharf. The harbor seals were slapping the water to gain your attention for treats. The wharf is beautiful. Those that live there are very lucky. Their houses had gorgeous flower boxes and unique art around their brightly painted boat houses. We did not try and of the food, as we had just eaten, but lines were forming at some of the popular places. The boat left the dock on time. On the way out of the harbor we saw eagles, white sided dolphins in the distance, otters, seals, and deer on an island. Another fantastic dinner with lamb, cod, vegetable polenta. For dessert a caramelized pineapple tarts. The anchorage was in calm, secluded, peaceful waters – Buccaneer Bay. Monday May 2nd We cruised to Skookumchuck Rapids and did a skiff tour to explore the intertidal areas. Saw beautiful bright purple and orange sea stars, sea urchins, anemones, and rocks underwater. Highlight was the eagles and seals. The skiff (Zodiac boat) got right up on top of the rocks near the shore or hovered in place to watch the seals. It was a lot of fun. The crew was on the back deck of the Safari Quest to help us get in and out of the skiff. Lunch was terrific… again! We cruised up Jervis Inlet and entered Malibu Rapids Beyond we could see Princess Louisa Inlet, where we would anchor for the night. The Indians called it Suivoolot which means sunny and warm. We did have sunny and warm conditions this day. In route we saw over a dozen eagles. Two flying very close to the boat. We were transfixed watching them; we forgot to raise our cameras to take a photo!! The crew all day could not have been more accommodating. They served drinks to everyone, no matter which deck they were on. They found you whether you were in the bridge, on the lower decks or sunbathing up top. Up and down the steps all day. They really do work very hard. Countless thin waterfalls cascaded down the steep mountain side into the water below. All around us, on both sides, the waterfalls tumbled down steep cliffs. At the end of the inlet is Chatterbox Falls. A large, thunderous waterfall that was sending out so much water over the rocks the mist covered the area. Those who ventured into the cloud of water were showered and soaked within seconds, but invigorated beyond words. We were transported over to land and walked a short distance through fern and moss covered forest on a boardwalk. The crew not only cleared the spider webs from the trail they had been setting up our “happy hour” in the octagonal pavilion – even building a fire. Drinks, snacks and hordurves were served as we sat around the fire and listened to the crew’s beautiful voices and hidden talents. A few passengers joined in when they knew the song. The sunlight started to creep behind the tall 7,000’ cliffs and shadows ascended on the falls. Friendly faces greeted us as we got back on board as the lounge filled up with drink orders and memories of the day. I noticed clouds floating in as they are the first ones we have seen on days. Dinner was served at 6:30PM.Pork, fish, and a vegetable dish. Dessert was fun as well as delicious – deconstructed s’mores. The graham crackers as well as the marshmallow were homemade!! Tuesday May 3rd After 8AM breakfast we kayaked to Chatterbox Falls and surrounding waterfalls in the inlet. A little drizzle started this morning but it didn’t damper the spirits of the kayakers. The trip was exhilarating to the base of one of the powerful waterfalls. They did provide rain pants and jackets to those that didn’t bring them. The kayak life vest was much more comfortable to wear than the other one. The crew was GREAT helping us get in and out of the kayaks. Teaching us how to paddle and show the distress signal. Afterwards the crew had hot chocolate and coffee with Bailey’s or Jameson Irish Whiskey. AND, of course, whipped cream! Lunch at Noon with the regular choices and the Chef’s special of focaccia bread, roasted chicken sandwich. The dressing on the salad, again, was wonderful. Mark really knows how to blend ingredients to perfection. Dessert was individual carrot cakes. No one left a crumb on their plate. It was still raining, so most of us decided to stay on board to get to the Malibu Lodge tour. One person took the skiff, with other crew members, to tour the shore on their way to the lodge. That afternoon I went down to the lounge to get hot tea, as I was chilled. Carla asked if she could get me an extra blanket. How thoughtful! Erica asked if she could make me the cup of tea. That is just a small example of the type of crew they have on the Safari Quest. About half of us went on shore for the tour of Malibu Lodge. Steve drove the skiff to the dock of the Club. The captain asked Steve if he would come back on board, just to have one more crew, in case of an emergency going through the rapids. We were very impressed with the safety measures they take. After checking out the course through the rapids and checking it twice, we were ready to go through the rapids. First Mate Robb took the wheel and without any problems we got through the rapids. Good job! There is also a satellite phone on board for emergencies. They also periodically check in with the Coast Guard as their position and intentions of course. This is just a little bit of the behind the scenes to ensure our safe passage through the inlets. The walking tour of Malibu Lodge was interesting. It is a beautiful complex. Dinner was served at 6:30PM. Duck, scallops, and a wonderful chocolate lava cake. The cake was rich, but not sweet. The chocolate they use is fantastic! Tonight we head to Harmony Islands for the night. Wednesday May 4th It was a cool, sunny morning in Harmony Islands. My husband was not feeling well this morning. Erica and Emi asked if they could bring him something to eat. Pamela told me a story about a passenger that never left the boat. He said that 51 weeks out of the year he is on land, but this one week he was on a boat with food, drinks and service. I think it was her way of making me feel better. So nice! She also said that she could find a crew member to kayak with me if I wanted. I decided to join the group and go skiffing around the islands and view the 800’ waterfall. First, we drove south to a smaller island. We saw eagles, seals, and sea lions that slipped into the water as we approached. The eagles soared high about, land on the tops of trees, view us for a while and then fly off. We spotted a black bear on shore eating oysters. He almost looked like a black rock, he was so still. It took a few steps and was engulfed into the dense forest. The Dogwood trees were in bloom along the shore. Pam whipped the boat at full speed back to the Safari Quest, where delicious hot chocolate with whipped cream and Grand Mariner awaited us. I was surprised when I took off my waterproof pants the chill in the air. They worked great to shield my legs from the wind chill on the skiff. Lunch was great! A salad with grilled prawns, green beans, artichoke, deviled egg, olives, tomatoes, fingerling potatoes with herbs, and a key lime tart! Yum!! A couple minutes after lunch we were transferred to Jedidiah Island. The walk was wonderful. Old fern filled evergreen forests change to sunny meadows. The old house, barn and surrounding buildings still stand. The house is perched on a hill overlooking a magnificent view of a gorgeous bay with large rocks, trees, and a beach of oyster shells. A quick skiff ride back to happy hour and dinner. Are we eating again? At dinner we had the Chef in Training, Cari. We noticed the difference right away. Short ribs, salmon were not as tasty as Chef Mark’s. Dessert was a terrific Tiramisu tart. Beautiful presentation and we think the best dessert so far! Thursday May 5th Anchor up at 6:30AM to try to beat the wind. We set sail through the Strait of Georgia. I took an early breakfast then up to the bridge for wildlife watch. Besides beautiful islands, narrows and other boats there wasn’t a reason to get the cameras out. Lunch was at Noon as we docked in Ganges. We walked out through security and got to shop for a quick hour before boarding our bus for a tour of Salt Springs with Jason. We got to see this beautiful island, a goat cheese farm, and a short hike up the coast. The goat farm was interesting with delicious samples of their cheeses, jams, chutney, olives and creamsicles. The hike along the coast was spectacular. As we were resting at one of the scenic points, an eagle landed in a nearby tree. He let us take a couple of photos before flying off across a bay and screeching to his mate. We arrived back at the harbor with enough time to visit a couple more shops in town before they closed. Before dinner we got a tour of the engine room. We were surprised it was larger than we thought and very clean. The water treatment was interesting. Dinner was served at 7:30PM. Choices were a moist chicken breast, perfectly cooked cod filet and in honor of Cinco de Maya, a vegetarian cheese empanada. For dessert we had a 3 layer cake with fresh berries. It was so rich. After dinner there was story telling by Captain Dano – a true treat!! Also, magic tricks, jokes, but no singing. It was fun. You could venture into town if you wanted, as we were parked at the dock all night. There was a sign out and sign in board if you left the ship. Friday May 6th I can’t believe it is Friday. But, looking forward to getting back in the USA! Customs went smoothly in Friday Harbor. We gathered in the lounge after breakfast. The agent came on board and checked out everyone’s passport. She asked us what we purchased then welcomed us back! We then were ready for the tour of San Juan Island. The first stop was of a lighthouse and State Park. The walk was beautiful down to the coastline and then across to the lighthouse. We later found out that this spot is one of the BEST places in the world to view Orcas! Down the road was a lavender farm and Alpaca Farm. We didn’t have time to see the National Park, which was disappointing to me, but stopped at Roche Harbor. We got to the Whale Museum with enough time to view before lunch back on board the boat. The museum had a lot of “hands on” displays. Lunch was at 1PM. Pork tenderloin sandwich or roasted eggplant. Again, the salad was very good. Dessert was Pecan Bar. After lunch it was back up top to watch for wildlife. I did not spot any whales in the many hours I looked through the binoculars. There were plenty of different types of birds, if you are a birder. We did come alongside a fellow Quest boat. It was fun to watch them do the Polar Plunge. Dinner was SPECTACULAR!!!! A tasting extravaganza!! First was Salmon roe with cucumber au jus. The first course was parsnip soup with roasted parsnips. Second course was halibut with finger length potatoes. Third course was NY strip steak, mushrooms, Brussel sprouts. Dessert was a wonderful lemon and ricotta cheese cake with pistachio shortbread crust. After dinner we received our luggage tags for tomorrow’s disembarkation. White was for the airport people; yellow for the hotel transfer. We also had the opportunity to check out our tab. 7% to 10% of cabin rate is standard for a tip. Some gave less, some gave more. We hope that more gave more. The crew is worth every percent you give them. The slide show was outstanding. The music was great and photos even more so. It was fun to relive the wonderful memories of an awesome cruise in a few short minutes. We are very lucky to be able to compare this cruise (and crew) with many we have taken. This cruise and especially this crew is by far the BEST! The crew works extremely hard to ensure you have a terrific time. Even while we were at breakfast the last morning, they tidied up our stateroom. We had requested two things before we sailed. One was a special juice and the other a specific soda. They provided both without making it seem like an inconvenience. Other cruise lines have informed us that “this” is the juice they serve, or “this” is the brand of soda they have. It meant the world to us that they made a special effort to get those specific things for us. It showed us early on that they cared! Thank you so much Safari Quest!! Saturday May 7th The final breakfast was as good and fast as the others. The special was vanilla pancakes that were so fluffy. It was served with fresh berry compote. My eggs were cooked to perfection (over easy), as well as my toast. While at breakfast they loaded our luggage onto awaiting buses. The crew lined up on the pier to wish each and every one of us a safe journey and thanked us for cruising with them. We in turn thanked them profusely for the terrific week we had. They are special!! Every one of them made our week the most memorable, fun, and special experience imaginable. One bus drove to the airport, the other to the hotel’s hospitality room. Traffic was light and we arrived at the airport in 45 minutes. It was sad to leave such a pretty city and the best cruise line, UnCruise, behind. We will be on another UnCruise as soon as we can! BUT, I do not think that another crew can surpass the Safari Quest’s crew! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Our two week trip to Hawaii was twenty years in the making and my wife and I considered all our travel options very carefully. We booked an Un-Cruise Hawaii for the week of March 5 through 12. For us, the total $9,500 fare is a ... Read More
Our two week trip to Hawaii was twenty years in the making and my wife and I considered all our travel options very carefully. We booked an Un-Cruise Hawaii for the week of March 5 through 12. For us, the total $9,500 fare is a significant amount and we came into the trip with very high expectations. I would never have imagined that our expectations would be so thoroughly exceeded and that we would finish the week so delighted with the experience. In our mid-fifties, we consider ourselves physically and intellectually active; we are not content to travel to a warm clime and spend all of our time on a beautiful beach with a book. At first glance, being on a small cruise boat/yacht might sound confining but this was not the case at all. Instead, every day was full of activities, sightseeing, and learning from the time we woke up until we fell asleep exhausted at the end of the day. That said, my “gushing” should not mask the fact that this cruise would not be for everybody. The majority of the guests were very active and if you are not able to get about easily, you may want to consider another, less physically demanding, adventure. The value proposition is largely centered on unique Hawaiian activities. Also you might not be happy with the cruise if you are not “social” but more on this aspect later. Our Yacht, the Safari Explorer carries 36 passengers and 15 crew. It is a converted research ship. The condition of the passenger common areas and cabins is very comfortable, clean and well kept. It has a full compliment of “toys” (kayaks, paddle boards, exercise equipment, DVDs, library, etc.) and nothing was wanting in that respect. The Bar was very well stocked with top shelf wine, craft beer and liquor. It should be noted that for our week, there were only 16 passengers booked- I understand this is an anomaly that occasionally happens (I tried to book other dates that were full). The following summarizes what made this cruise so wonderful. Crew: I have had the opportunity to travel on business and stay at high-end lodgings so I have a basis for comparison. The crew was by far the most exceptionally great hospitality professionals I have ever encountered. At every level, from the Captain to the stewards, they made you feel like you were “their guest” on a very warm and personal level. One example, the night we were going to have a “stormy” crossing to Hawaii, the Captain spent considerable time explaining what was going on and how it would proceed in great detail and with clear concern that all of the passengers would be as comfortable as possible. Realizing the crew gives so much of themselves every week to a different set of guests is amazing. Activities: First, there were at least two to three activities each day. These included whale and dolphin watches, snorkeling, kayaking, snorkeling with sea turtles and manta rays, yoga, massages, marine biology and cultural lectures and land excursions. Additionally, the activities were very well planned and executed. When the weather or some other factor did not work with plan A there was always a plan B & C as backup. The Expedition Leaders were incredibly well informed about the science and culture of every aspect of what we were doing. They were clearly passionate about the subjects and enjoyed sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm with us passengers. Food: We consider ourselves foodies. We have very high standards from four-star restaurants to food trucks- very, very high bar to clear on this one. I was amazed but every meal was very good to excellent. Flavorful, artfully presented, freshly cooked, and in a very appropriate proportion size (not needing to make up for a lack of quality with quantity). Other Guests: We had a very enjoyable and fulfilling time getting to know the other guests. I am sure the dynamic with each cruise is probably somewhat different. In the group we were in for the week the passengers were all couples (55 or older) or pairs of friends, all professionals and not particularly diverse beyond different home locations- which included the USA, New Zealand, Australia and England. The meals are served based on a scheduled seating time and seating is family style; meaning you sit with one or two other couples. Our dynamic was such that we all very comfortably rotated around to different groupings each meal. It was a lot of fun from a social standpoint getting to know the other passengers in this manner. Additionally, you have the opportunity to interact during activities and cocktail hour. We established some relationships and are hoping to keep up with our fellow cruisers. Conclusion: The Un-Cruise is not going to be for everyone but if you consider yourself active and a foodie it is worth a serious look. We came away with a deep appreciation of the parts of Hawaii we visited and some great memories of our activities and companionship during the week. We particularly left with deep admiration and respect for the crew. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
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
We started in Juneau, southbound to Seattle with a total of 16 'Safari Questers' on board and nine crew. From the first night it was one lifetime experience after another. We saw pods of Humpback whales on numerous occasions, ... Read More
We started in Juneau, southbound to Seattle with a total of 16 'Safari Questers' on board and nine crew. From the first night it was one lifetime experience after another. We saw pods of Humpback whales on numerous occasions, with one pod feeding in an awesome display of power. An Orca swam next to us for a short distance (at night so no photos other than the one planted in the memory bank). We were also accompanied by dolphins, eagles and the 'skiffers' caught and captured a bear on digital video and DLSR still as it was fishing a very short distance from our intrepid travellers. Two successive nights of the northern lights and the Big Dipper planted mid photo screen whilst two 'Questers' had a lazy hot-tub as the photographers did there work. Great trips ashore in Petersburg, Wrangell, Ketchikan and Friday Harbor, sadly as the big ships AKA floating hotels were leaving. My wife was stopped by a long line of returnees in Ketchikan and told "there's a queue" you'll have to wait in line; said "excuse me, not for our ship" and continued to our birth. A multi talented terrific crew, enjoyable company with all our fellow 'Questers' superb sailing by all helmsmen/women, wonderful activities (skiffing, canoeing, hiking, photography, FUN AND MORE FUN) a great room with lots of under king sized bed storage and lots to do or nothing if that was your fancy. Got the brochure and planning our next small ship cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
It's Spring 2015 and I simply cannot let the season escape without finally writing my review on the trip of a lifetime, that I was madly planning this time last year... The hubby and I came into an unexpected gift of money and ... Read More
It's Spring 2015 and I simply cannot let the season escape without finally writing my review on the trip of a lifetime, that I was madly planning this time last year... The hubby and I came into an unexpected gift of money and wanted to do something we could remember the person by, and would never have normally would have done...and I found it in and astonishing adventure on board the Safari Endeavor!! We booked the July 14, 2014 week long Discoverers' Glacier Country Un-Cruise out of Juneau, AK. That week in particular had a wonderful Marine Biology host, Jackie Hedgpeth who truly added to the already highly educated and informative staff on board. We were greeted on board on embarkation day by all the staff from our awesome lady Captain, Jenna Stevens down to dining and cabin crews. All folks on the Endeavor rolled up their sleeves and helped out any given time/day on launching kayaks in the morning to being nature guides in the afternoons..many enjoyed multiple roles..our evening table server, would be an expedition assistant leader the following day on a hike or kayak excursion. We truly got to know all the staff... who consistently and constantly reached above and beyond the call of duty to make sure, all on on board were welcomed, comfortable and got the utmost they wanted out of their daily/weekly adventures!!! Every evening in the Lounge all ...84....yes I said that ...84 passengers!!! joined together enjoyed our all inclusive bar libations while listening to talks from the Naturalist or crew on tomorrows upcoming adventures.. Let's stop for a moment and discuss that passenger number. Yes..only 84 passengers on board, what a phenomenon in the Cruise world!! This small ship cruising allowed for the unimaginable development of some great friendships on board...some folks we still keep in touch with to date, a year later! Folks from all over the Globe were on board..from England, Wales, Australia and all over the US. And on a personal note..2nd couple we met were form my hometown in Penna..small world! The staff and crew we got to know as well and shared many a story and photos on our nightly talks in the Lounge of the ship's adventures from the day. Can't tell you the camaraderie that developed over shared hikes, kayaking moments, whale sightings, glacier hikes...on and on to many to describe with the staff, crew and fellow passengers. Back to adventures!!! ....each evening the Expedition Guide would offer tomorrow's listing of adventures passengers can choose to participate in...both AM and afternoon varieties or, all day: from really tame walkabouts on the shore line, to glacier hikes, to half or full day kayaking, to half or full day hikes into wilderness. The hubby, a Georgia Exterra trail series runner was looking for full on daily wilderness adventures..I on the other hand enjoyed the luxury the ship had to offer as well as accomplishing a fine mix of mild AM adventures such as guided group Glacier hikes to afternoon kayaking along the shoreline. I eventually built up my adventure seeking skills to partake in the Hubby's regular all day adventure "crew" on an exciting all day, 8hr hike to a Glacier Lake that no other ship or passenger group got to attain last summer! Our outstanding Expedition Guide, Connor Adams was as great Team Leader who motivated all of us, including me who was definitely in the back 'o the pack shall we say.. to kick it up and we pushed ourselves so well thru the rain forest, he got permission from the ship's Captain to continue onto Swan Lake. What a thrill to share in this accomplishment of an awesome all day hike thru stunning rain forests of SE Alaska! No bear sightings, but fresh footprints were to be had! Super proud and exhausted when we returned to the ship in time for the fun event of Polar Bear Swimming which is an all passenger adventure, if you dare! Even in July the water was cold!! Let's talk about food and drink..the food was scrumptious to say the least! Usually 2-3 entree offerings at each meal and always a veggie option for anyone who doesn't do meat, or in my case who doesn't do seafood. I know, wrong place to be.. to not partake on the super fresh local seafood offerings, but hubby enjoyed it, every meal!! The crew offered any solution if you couldn't possible find anything to eat of the menu for each meal. One lunch was all seafood and they kindly made me a grilled cheese sandwich which I happily ate... All alcohol is included and the Bartenders in the Lounge were excellent,there was a special creative drink offered each evening as well as a full bar. Never failed on service or tastes.. 12 tables I believe, 8 along the viewing windows to catch the ever changing sea/landscape and view wildlife passing by and 4 center round tops were in the dining room. Which lends itself to enjoying getting to know all the passengers or eventually for us, we sought out our favorite group of new friends from England, Penna., NC and NY and shared our adventures of the day! The only complaint I would have about dining is you had to get down there fast at mealtime or the window tables would be taken! Not that you couldn't see but it was cool to be up close. Admiral Cabin....#202. Since it was a gift of money that drove this once in a lifetime adventure cruise, the hubby went full on every day adventure excursions and I went for one of the top of the line larger cabins! Quiet, just off the lounge, low traffic hallway and steps away.. in the jammies to get a morning coffee in the lounge... Comfy bed, wonderful private large viewing window(Upper deck cabins have windows along the outside walkways and passengers sd kinda bothersome), teeny tiny bathroom for us tall folks but super minor detail as you are so busy each and everyday in this Alaskan wonderland..no bothers. Wonderful cabin service on a daily basis if you want service or not...minimal required for us. One of the most outstanding features of the cruise was the desire of the Crew and Captain to offer ever possibility to educate us on, as well as to see, view and experience the wildlife in SE Alaska. One impossibly delightful evening, dinner was delayed as we had the show of a lifetime in front of the ship: a rainbow to the west, a pod of Orcas straight ahead and Humpback whales breaching to the right. The Captain slowed and then stopped the ship and all on board, included as always, the Crew were invited to experience the beauty of this sight. Unforgettable! The saddest day is knowing you are arriving back in Port and your disconnections with people you have gotten to know, and goodbyes are in front of you. The Crew all came out to see us off and it was bittersweet... Would love to partake in their Baja trips in the Winter to see the Humpbacks and other wildlife in a warmer climate. Same ship..same Crew..same Captain..what a dream. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
The 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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