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Sail Date: August 2019
This was the trip of a lifetime for my husband and me! The knowledgeable and delightful guides, the amazing food, the diversity of the folks on board, the warm Captain and lovely crew, the comfort of our tiny cabin, the kayaking, ... Read More
This was the trip of a lifetime for my husband and me! The knowledgeable and delightful guides, the amazing food, the diversity of the folks on board, the warm Captain and lovely crew, the comfort of our tiny cabin, the kayaking, bushwhacking, skiff riding, hiking, wildlife up close, following whales up close, eagles too many to count, just everything was perfect! Worth every penny! We enjoyed two nights in Juneau after a long flight across the country. Juneau is fun and we went to Mendenhall Glacier and hiked around there - just beautiful. We went to the Museum and to the Salmon Hatchery. We were so excited to get on our boat and Uncruise made that process so easy. They took care of our bags and had them waiting for us in our cabin. We immediately started meeting all the people on our cruise and they were all so great! Just loved every minute!! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
I chose this cruise as I "really" wanted to see Alaska. We arrived in Fairbanks on 8/13/17 to begin the land portion of this Uncruise trip. Uncruise outsources their land trips and I don't remember who the company was as ... Read More
I chose this cruise as I "really" wanted to see Alaska. We arrived in Fairbanks on 8/13/17 to begin the land portion of this Uncruise trip. Uncruise outsources their land trips and I don't remember who the company was as I've thrown everything away and deleted everything from my email. Let me start by saying this entire trip including airfare from DFW for two was $22,000.00 which included trip insurance. Land trip--in a nutshell not worth the big bucks at all. The first day, 4 hour trip on the dome train, cold food followed by a 90 mile school bus ride to our lodge which took 7.5 hours in Denali Park. The bus stopped for every animal sighting where you needed high powered binoculars to see them and they were about 1 inch tall. The food at Kantishna Lodge where we stayed was horrible. Many people complained. It was cold, rainy the entire time and forget about seeing Denali. We hired a plane to fly us back to the train station. The rest of the land trip went downhill from there. Terrible food everywhere. When it's raining, nothing is pretty. Boarded Wilderness Explorer in Juneau and as usual raining. I think we were in room 325--right before you go out the back of the boat. Room smelled like urine. Employee said not much can be done about it. Room was what I expected. Food was horrible again I'm not the only one complaining. Crew was nice. If you like to kayak in the cold rain, this trip is for you. The best part of the trip was seeing whales and Aurora Borealis. Again for what this trip cost--forget about it! Large cruise ships can enter Glacier Bay for 24 hrs--only 2 allowed in per day--go on the big one. Only thing you won't be able to do is sit for a long time looking at the whales. One lady was a photographer on the trip and totally disappointed. If I ever go back to Alaska, which I won't, I would rent a car and have private small planes fly me into places for several hours. That is what we saw in Glacier Bay. Not necessary to spend 24 hours there. Again, for what this trip cost, in my opinion, not worth it at all!!!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We were looking to celebrate my mother's 70th birthday with a trip to Alaska. I have done a medium size cruise in the past and a few of the gigantic boats. Each has there pluses and minuses. I have an eleven year old boy and an eight ... Read More
We were looking to celebrate my mother's 70th birthday with a trip to Alaska. I have done a medium size cruise in the past and a few of the gigantic boats. Each has there pluses and minuses. I have an eleven year old boy and an eight year old daughter who are very active....and our family loves the water. Some of the other small companies were too expensive, so we thought we might have to do a big boat. Then a friend told us about UnCruise. It sounded absolutely perfect....and it was! If you are looking for a floating hotel room and entertainment at night, then this is not for you. If you want to see the Alaskan wildlife & scenery in an intimate way, this is it. Almost everyday you choose 2 activities - one in the morning and one in the afternoon. They always had a couple on land and a couple at sea. Guides were all great - Sarah and Karl were kid favorites (and adults too.) John also was fabulous....he knew his stuff! Meagan did a great job coming up with the itinerary that worked for the people that were onboard - which was a lot of families.....although most with older children. There was one other family with young children about our kids ages. The kids had a blast together. The ship is small enough, we never worried about them being somewhat independent. The staff was incredible with them! Food was delicious! Pastry chef was incredible! You had a buffet breakfast and lunch. Dinner you could choose a "land, sea or veggie option." They would let you do 1/2 of one and 1/2 of another too. Kids sometimes would need kid food - and they happily made some. We saw all kinds of creatures - seals and sealions popping up next to your kayaks, sea cucumbers & starfish in the crystal clear water, kelp forests, eagles are like pigeons in New York, sea otters, orcas, puffins, mountain goats, salmon jumping, minke and humpback whales, brown and black bears, lions mane jellyfish, and lots of cool birds. My family was sitting down trying to figure out how they could improve....we were coming up with that we wish we new about the porthole covers (since there was 17hours of daylight when we were there) earlier in the week. That is how perfect it was! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2017
We choose this cruise based on ship size but would choose Un Cruise again due to covering all aspects of life on board in excellent manner. The cabin beds were comfortable, allowing for sleep even chronic hip and back problems. The ... Read More
We choose this cruise based on ship size but would choose Un Cruise again due to covering all aspects of life on board in excellent manner. The cabin beds were comfortable, allowing for sleep even chronic hip and back problems. The showers were always hot. The cabin storage space was expended with the use of hanging hooks and an outside Locker for gear. The ability to adjust our own cabin heat was appreciated. The quality, variety, portion size, and availability of food was quite good. I heard the bar selection was also quite good, I do not know as I do not drink alcohol. One of the best things about Un Cruise is the quality and variety of off boat activities each morning and afternoon. The small boat size allowed us drop anchor in smaller beautiful areas. The guides are positive, knowledgeable and attentive to our safety while kayaking, snorkeling, and bushwacking. After the evening meals the guides gave presentations that were informative and even entertaining.The cycle of rest, eat, move was balanced. Ippreciated the guided morning strech on the deck. I also used the weights and exercise equipment provided. Small details such as a library, DVD's, blankets, games, blankets, and even a guitar in the gathering area made it feel like home. A picture guest and crew directory helped create cohesion. I appreciate the Un Cruise commitment to using local sources food by sustainable farming practices. Furthermore, the owner is committed to making Un Cruise having as small a environmental effect as possible. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Un-Cruise choosen to stay in USA and do a river type cruise. Beautiful scenery trip could be done by taking your own car and use ferry system, where you could be more independent.Good variety of meals were served at 7:30,12:30 and 6:30 ... Read More
Un-Cruise choosen to stay in USA and do a river type cruise. Beautiful scenery trip could be done by taking your own car and use ferry system, where you could be more independent.Good variety of meals were served at 7:30,12:30 and 6:30 or picnic lunches to go. Activities are 2 per day and they use sign up sheet in evening and post in AM. Three levels of activities each with a guide. The staff are English speaking, college educated or above, enthusiastic thru out the whole week, Un-Cruise can be very proud of the staff we had on board, they and the Captain made the trip what it was. Would have like to have more activities. Bring book/games for inbetween times. Did watch for wildlife, not skunked but not as many whates as I thought we would see. Rooms are small even though we had a Pathfinder room, your entrance door is heavey metal and slides open, stepping out onto deck. I would opt. for twin beds in lower area as Pathfinder not worth extra cost, also noisy with anchors and laundry storage area, people above. Not a place to get much rest.. At least with twin beds one has a place to sit and stretch out instead of climbing over. Our bathroom had a real smell to it until used for a few days, get new towels each day as they don't dry well. They base out of Crowne Plaza in Seattle, we came in day ahead and paid for transportation/another hotel that we didn't need to do if we would have had Un-Cruise info ahead of time. Called them 25 times for info about trip, very frustrating. Need for better communication! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We had never been to the Seattle area and wanted to see as much of the area as possible. The Un-Cruise from Seattle was an excellent way to see this area. Each day we would be at anchor near a different island. In the evenings after ... Read More
We had never been to the Seattle area and wanted to see as much of the area as possible. The Un-Cruise from Seattle was an excellent way to see this area. Each day we would be at anchor near a different island. In the evenings after dinner, we would hear about the next days' activities. We could sign-up for any of about 3-4 different excursions. Normally, 2 of the excursions were hikes. We always took the longer hike. We also did several kayak excursions. There was no cost for any of the excursions. All were lead by guides from the ship. The ship is an excursion-style boat that holds fewer than 100 passengers. For our trip, there were about 45 passengers. The ship is showing some age and the cabins are on the small size (we had one of the 4 largest cabins). Luckily, you do not spend a lot of time in the cabins. Common areas were very nice for viewing wildlife. Also, the captain allows full passenger access to the bridge. It was awesome to sit up front and see the scenery from the bridge. Captain and his crew were very nice. Dining was at a set time and the dining room could accommodate everyone easily. There were 3 entree selections in the evening, one a vegetarian entree. Food was very good. Breakfast and lunch were served buffet style. I had no complaints about the food. This is a cruise that active people will enjoy. There is no entertainment on board. The entertainment is watching for wildlife as you cruise around the islands. One day we saw a pod of about 7-8 orcas. On this ship, the captain could stop and give us time to watch. During the day, we would be transported to shore and lead on the best hikes of each island. There is no way we could have covered 1/2 as much ground on our own. We saw whales, eagles, otters, porpoises, and hundreds of different birds. Highlights were: Orca sightings, hikes, new friends, Un-Cruise staffers. Also - the weather was beautiful all week!! Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
As many have said before in the small vs. large cruise discussions, small cruises really are a lot more flexible, and the captain has a lot of leeway in deciding where to go based on weather and wildlife sightings, etc. That is a huge ... Read More
As many have said before in the small vs. large cruise discussions, small cruises really are a lot more flexible, and the captain has a lot of leeway in deciding where to go based on weather and wildlife sightings, etc. That is a huge advantage, in my opinion. Also, everybody on staff worked SO hard--guides, dining hall people, etc. What I really came to dislike, however, was the relentless upselling that seemed to be happening constantly. No matter what was happening your guide was constantly telling you how GREAT it all was. "Aren't we lucky! Isn't this FANTASTIC!" when in fact it was pouring rain and for some reason no bears appeared in what was supposed a bear-heavy area. Then the day we started out we had to endure a long motivational talk by the company president that probably did contain SOME interesting information, but which got buried under the infomercial type of atmosphere. Likewise on our last night at the "captain's dinner" were we told that that he had some important information for us -- and then passed us to another recorded infomercial from the owner and THEN we had to endure more upselling about how we could earn discounts by purchasing credits beforehand, etc. etc. It was really a turnoff. The other thing is that, while they certainly provided us with activities, nothing is terribly strenuous. Most people were probably in their 50s and 60s --- that being said, there were plenty of people in their 50s who were pretty athletic and it was difficult being confined on a boat for a week without access to exercise that was a little more strenuous than what was on offer. I think I if Un-Cruise could offer at least a couple of activities during the week that were a little more challenging physically it would help out people there who are fit and used to being more active. I know my husband, who runs several miles a day, was going crazy at the relative inactivity. Read Less
32 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
There is something very special about cruising the Inside Passage, especially on a smaller ship, however I wondered do these smaller ships really take advantage of their smaller size. We are from Australia, so seeing humpback whales is ... Read More
There is something very special about cruising the Inside Passage, especially on a smaller ship, however I wondered do these smaller ships really take advantage of their smaller size. We are from Australia, so seeing humpback whales is not unusual, we saw a number of them in Alaska, but always some distance away and only the backs, they are still majestic and beautiful but sightings were not regular nor close. We saw an Orca once and at quite a distance, like, pretty much a spec. I agree with one of the other reviews re the upselling - especially the Captains Dinner, when to be honest, I didn't even notice the Captain, other than at the beginning when he introduced his team. Listening to the Video and being told how easy and at a reduced cost it would be to book the next cruise sounded desperate. Send us the info later!! Nobody was really interested at that time. This holiday gets such rave reviews that I will be considered the negative naysayer, but here goes anyway. There are many pro's for this cruise, but a number of con's also: The guests were all delightful, interesting and engaging. A lot of them quite fit and I really enjoyed an impromptu yoga class by the gorgeous Meghan on the deck in glorious sunshine as we travelled along. A truly magical day. The Bushwhacking was great if you love Lichen and other plants, but it got quite tedious after that. Having said that, I was in the very lucky group of people that witnessed a bear catching salmon in the river, it was about 40 metres away from us and a truly amazing sight, if for nothing else the trip was worth it just for that. Nobody else saw a bear, even in the distance, other than this sighting. The kayaking was really enjoyable, especially when guided by Sarah W, she seemed to be able to get the right amount of talking happening, she was informative but also happy for the landscape and environment to speak for itself. The food was certainly above average and the pasty chef was amazing. Biscuits and cakes were delicious. The guides were all extremely well read and informed, they knew their stuff. Skiff rides through the glacier ice in Icy Strait were truly amazing. I agree with a previous review though, that at times I was stir crazy for some hard exercise. On the second day the Captain advised us that there was a "stowaway", which was a gastro bug, effecting largely the crew. This made eating anything a lottery. To their credit they did seem to get it contained, before about Wednesday when an awful flu went through the ship. I found the ship to be quite grubby even when cleaned. The windows needed to be opened more and it needs the carpets and fabrics updating badly. It felt like a harbour for disease. Even a number of the crew looked like they could do with a good scrub. This could also be due to the fact that it was the second last cruise of the season and it just needed a good clean. The open bridge policy was a joke. The Captain had zero personality. I realise he has a large responsibility but I didn't like the way he was to the passengers or a couple of his crew. I think the bridge should be closed if the people up there cant be friendly. I realise it would be tedious being asked the same old questions, but if that's the policy at least do it well. The safety drill was ridiculous as was the way a false alarm was conducted. Accidents are unlikely and just as well as they would not have coped. The expectation of a large tip at the end might be expected in the USA, but those of us not from the States found it quite a high expectation of approx. $500 per cabin. Just be aware and factor it into the cost. The guides/crew/hospitality all worked extremely hard, although some had definitely had enough by this stage of the season. Would I do another Un-Cruise - Im just not sure. It was great on so many levels, but really I give most of the credit to the wonderful state of Alaska more than anything else. Would I recommend you to do this cruise with Wilderness Discoverer - yes. Just go with eyes opened. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
I realize i am the naysayer on these guys, Perhaps i believed the brochures too much as UnCruise is still pretty "cruise" like in many ways. the impression given by their marketing is that this cruise is a chance to get close ... Read More
I realize i am the naysayer on these guys, Perhaps i believed the brochures too much as UnCruise is still pretty "cruise" like in many ways. the impression given by their marketing is that this cruise is a chance to get close to nature with hikes, free kayaking and such. But your are kept on a pretty tight leash and the nature/adventure experience very limited. all in all the animal experiences were disappointing. Here are things that really ticked us off. 1) they will not announce animal sitings during or immediately before meal times so as to not disrupt service. As a result most of the boast missed the only Steller Sea lions we saw on the cruise. We saw them but i feel bad for the foreign visitors who may never get to see these huge marine animals. 2) they will not announce animal sitings if they feel it will delay a departure. This time most of the boat missed the only bears as one group saw them but were not allowed to alert the rest of the boat. 3) They keep much further away than the day boats (whom are observing the legal limit). so their brochure photos of whales near the boat must be a rarity. If your primary goal is to see wild life you would do far better to take the ferry between these small ports and then day trips out from each port. Also, if you are an active person then this is not the trip for you. Kayaking is only allowed in the immediate vicinity of the boat and all "hike" are really walks with them all being less than a mile. I am sure they have their reasons for all of this, but know what to expect and take the advice above if you are seeking something different. On the plus side, the ships crew are uniformly great and bend over backwards to help with any request. The Captain is excellent and the open bridge policy outstanding. Strangely the expedition leaders are a mixed bunch, some good, some poor. I am not sure why their hiring policies result in a great crew but a inconsistent expedition team (but they do). Many people love uncruise. but then many people love Carnival cruise. For the nature buff neither are the people to go with. For the cost of this cruise you could organize an outstanding personal adventure. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2014
We just returned from a 7 night cruise on the Wilderness Discoverer. Words cannon describe our wonderful experience. The accomodations were perfect. The food outrageously delicious. The crew was wonderful in every way possible. If you want ... Read More
We just returned from a 7 night cruise on the Wilderness Discoverer. Words cannon describe our wonderful experience. The accomodations were perfect. The food outrageously delicious. The crew was wonderful in every way possible. If you want to see Alaska -- this cruise is the best way to do it. You hit the towns the big cruise ships go to (Juneau, Wrangell, Kechikan) -- but more importantly you see the "real" Alaska -- bears, harbor seals, bald eagles, whales, Northern Lights (we saw at night on our cruise -- the captain made an annoucement about 11pm for anyone wanting to see it), and so much more. We were able to go where the large cruise ships cannot -- into the inner coves and passage ways. I was blown away by the talent and knowledge of our expedition leaders. We were also impressed by the way safety is woven into everything on board. When we disembarked at the end we waved goodbye to the crew (they knew everyone by name!!). That was the best vacation we ever had!!! Can't wait to plan the next Un-cruise adventure. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2014
My husband and I took the Wilderness Discoverer from Ketchikan to Juneau last week. We’d taken this ship and this itinerary two years before, so we knew what it would be like and were looking forward to it! In many ways, it was even ... Read More
My husband and I took the Wilderness Discoverer from Ketchikan to Juneau last week. We’d taken this ship and this itinerary two years before, so we knew what it would be like and were looking forward to it! In many ways, it was even better the second time. We were blessed with the same wonderful weather as last time but the caprices of nature (especially in Alaska) and the Captain’s ability to divert to more interesting places that aren’t on the itinerary mean that every trip is different. Embarkation and debarkation: Fast and smooth due to the small vessel size. They offer a "hospitality suite" at either end, but it's basically a large, windowless conference room with tables, chairs and just coffee and water supplied. Don't plan on spending a lot of time in them. Both Juneau and Ketchikan have plenty of places to explore and the Cape Fox lodge is a good choice for a leisurely lunch. The ship: A good, solid vessel bought from American Safari Cruises after their bankruptcy and thoroughly refurbished. Staterooms are small and unpretentious (those on the top deck are larger), with plenty of hooks inside and outside for hanging things up. View windows are good-sized with effective blackout curtains. 200-level rooms are much closer to the noises of the engine and the anchor; we stayed in 300-level this year and there was a difference. Most of the 200- level is taken up by the lounge, the main indoor public area. It’s a good size for the passenger capacity; it never felt crowded except a meal times (a bit). There are also outdoor decks that are open; the fantail on 400 is the largest, and has some exercise equipment (partly sheltered by a clear plastic curtain on one side). Morning yoga and afternoon stretch classes (both free) are held here daily. When the ship is at anchor, the 200 stern deck has kayaks and paddleboards available to anyone. I’ve never had to wait for a kayak. You’re free to explore within some pretty reasonable boundaries the crew will tell you (they don’t want you out of sight of the boat and you aren’t permitted to beach the boat and go ashore). Ship stability: very good. I've probably got average susceptibility to seasickness; I can't handle deep-se fishing in the gulfstream without meds- but on both cruises we had significant rocking only at night (presumably traveling in more open waters) and I found it very relaxing. It helped me sleep! Dramamine is available for free if they think it will be turbulent. The food: I love their philosophy on food. This is not a 24/7 moving feast and no one is trying to out-eat or out-drink anyone else. The food is very good, well-prepared from as many fresh ingredients as possible. Salads were always a variety of greens; I’m not sure I ever saw iceberg lettuce. A typical menu is shown. Breakfast and lunch is buffet style; dinner is served plated. There were always good vegetarian selections. If you didn’t like anything on the menu, the staff were very accommodating in making you something else. Excursions: This is my favorite part of UnCruise. Every night they tell you about the available excursions the next day. They can be guided kayak trips, skiff excursions, bushwhacking hikes, easier shore hikes… something for everyone. The staff is very clear about the demands of each excursion so you can choose something that suits your abilities and interests. No extra charges except the snorkeling which was all of $35. (That included use of a lot of expensive wet-suiting plus snorkel and fins.) While the snorkeling was in water temps in the low 40s, it was pretty interesting. I saw a lot of beautiful sea stars, some ribbon worms, a few jellyfish (no danger- I was padded), a couple of anemones and a nudibranch. We were in the water a little over an hour. Make sure your wet suit is just short of being too tight. My first cruise, I got one that was a little looser and the layer of water between my body and the suit was too much for my body heat to warm up. This time the suit was tighter and I was a lot more comfortable. That layer of water should be THIN! I also loved the bushwhacking hikes- this is pretty much virgin forest. Another hike led to El Capital Cave (there was a series of elevated ramps and steps up the mountain on that one), where the rangers told me only about 500 people per year visit. Note that the ship supplies rubber boots. Bring your own if you want, but we were fine on both trips using boots from the ship’s supply, with heavy wool socks. Whales: This isn't Sea World, so no one can promise that whales will jump up in front of your camera on cue, but this crew knows where to find them and has the flexibility to stop where they are and enjoy them. Thursday night on this cruise, we were in the middle of a group of whales creating a bubble net to trap fish. They were on all sides of the boat, floating and then diving. I even got a picture of an orca. It was far away but hey, it was my first orca. They kept the boat in the area till 11:15 PM so we could make the most of it. The crew: UnCruise must hire very carefully. The crew are uniformly helpful and the ones who guide the excursions generally have advanced degrees in fields such as marine biology. They are passionate about Alaska. Sarah, our guide on one hike, was just thrilled to encounter this leopard-spotted sea slug and cooed at it and petted it till its little eye stalks emerged. Folding your jammies into animal shapes is not in their job description. Explaining how glaciers recede is! They were exceptionally helpful when my husband needed medical attention for a flare-up of gout. The good news was that it was the day before we were scheduled to be in port at a small town (Klawock). The request was promptly relayed to the captain, who found the name of the local medical center and gave me the number. It was a short walk from the dock and my husband got the attention and meds he needed (after an inexpensive taxi trip to the Whale’s Tail Pharmacy in Craig, the next town- all part of the adventure). We were back on the ship before the group that had taken the tour of Klawock returned, although one passenger later said the crew had told him they NEVER leave anywhere without all of their passengers. We were glad we didn’t have to test that. Your fellow passengers: This is a group that’s doing pretty well in order to spend this much on a vacation, but no one is trying to impress anyone else. I’m sure most of the group had bling, bespoke suits and ballgowns at home, but we don’t want to drag them with us on vacation. The stateroom doors didn’t even lock. We mostly met smart, curious people who were as interested as we were in our surroundings. One night before dinner I heard an animated conversation about some unfamiliar animal droppings a group had seen on the trail; based on its apparent contents (seeds, fruits) they were trying to figure out what kind of animal it was. Our kind of people! Finally, for those of you who are trying to reconcile the “spending your kids’ inheritance” prices and the unpretentious nature of the vessel, here are a few things to note. The ship is a US-flagged vessel. They pay their crew by US standards and are subject to US laws. On our first cruise, 3 out of the 25 crew members were licensed captains. We liked that. Second, you are not an income stream. Nearly every on-board activity and offshore excursion is covered by the stated cost. (Exceptions: massages, alcohol and specialty coffees, and the snorkeling excursion I took). Our total for uncovered amounts, which included my snorkeling excursion as well as our alcohol bill, was $121 before gratuities. The latter are voluntary (5-10% is suggested) and NOT added automatically to your bill. They do not get kickbacks from stores in port (too few passengers, only one stop was in an actual town, pop. 845). They provide funding for park rangers at El Capitan caves and for lecturers for the mostly-Tlingit village of Klawock. UnCruise is aimed at a very non-traditional section of the cruise market and we’re happy to see that they’re expanding their reach to cruises in Hawaii, Baja, Washington State and the Glapagos (in the near future). For us and for many people, this is the way to cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
Recently retired from teaching, we chose this un-cruise because of the opportunity to get into Alaska, not just see it. The Discoverer has 72 cabins, comfortable public areas, sun deck with seating and fitness equipment. Appeared that the ... Read More
Recently retired from teaching, we chose this un-cruise because of the opportunity to get into Alaska, not just see it. The Discoverer has 72 cabins, comfortable public areas, sun deck with seating and fitness equipment. Appeared that the ages of the participants ranged from late 30's to 70's. There were no children on this trip. We had been in Backcountry Denali for a week and arrived in Juneau to board the Wilderness. Our luggage was stowed on board by staff, we embarked meeting the captain and staff as we were shown to our rooms. Welcome cocktails, safety practice completed and supper. Meals were served at specified times, breakfast and lunch buffet and dinner plated and served. Dinner had 3 entree choices which you made during the day. Evening social hour provided snacks and a special drink. The bar was complete and the bartender well trained and personable. The chef and his staff were amazing. From Lamb chops, duck, smoked trout, crab, and various other beef and fish selections, we were amazed at every meal. Morning and afternoon activities were scheduled the day prior, as we motored in the inner reaches. Kayaking alone or guided, hiking in the Tongass forest or to glaciers, strolling the shores, touring in the sciffs, bushwhacking, paddle boarding, morning yoga, snorkeling, polar plunge - always led by experts so the experience was complete. All equipment was provided on the boat. There was a library in the public area, trivia contests in the evening, films, and time to get to know your traveling companions. We disembarked in Ketchikan, our luggage was taken to a hotel for us, we checked in to confirm our flight times, were provided with beverages and snacks, and we had the day to explore. Upon return to the hotel, our luggage was transported to the airport and we were checked in and motored also. This trip was all we had hoped for and more. It is for active explorers who want to get out and see.   Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2013
This cruise was to be my daughter and my last big trip together before she graduates from High School. We had some very high expectations and all were met and exceeded on this trip.  We traveled with a group of 12 Girl Scouts and parents. ... Read More
This cruise was to be my daughter and my last big trip together before she graduates from High School. We had some very high expectations and all were met and exceeded on this trip.  We traveled with a group of 12 Girl Scouts and parents. It took us all 2 years to earn the money so our expectations were very high. This trip has something for everyone the high energy girls, the adults and one member who suffers from a chronic arthritic condition. The activities were diverse enough that everyone found something to do all day long every day. Can't say enough about the Naturalists on the ship, they really knew all about the local flora and fauna as well as sea life. The girls learned so much by being immersed in the wilderness, going on kayak adventures, hiking a to a muskeg, visiting a Tlingit Village, cave exploring, seeing Dawes glacier calving and seeing all the wildlife up close was beyond our expectations. We especially liked being tucked away in a cove or up a river and not seeing anyone else but those on the ship. The food was excellent the cabins were perfect for our needs as we only slept in them, we were always away on adventure, outside viewing nature or enjoying time with all the guests from around the world. I can't say enough about our trip other than when you can get teen girls on a trip with no cell service and no internet for most of the week and no one complains you are doing something right! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2013
My husband and I and 3 friends went on an Un-Cruise Adventures Inner Reaches of the Eastern Coves of Alaska --small ship cruise on July 27 to August 3 of 2013. We cruised from Juneau to Ketchikan aboard the ship named Wilderness ... Read More
My husband and I and 3 friends went on an Un-Cruise Adventures Inner Reaches of the Eastern Coves of Alaska --small ship cruise on July 27 to August 3 of 2013. We cruised from Juneau to Ketchikan aboard the ship named Wilderness Discoverer. The cruise definitely exceeded our expectations. We had been on a Cruise West cruise in 2010 before Cruise West ceased operating due to the economy. That cruise to Glacier Bay was wonderful but the Un-Cruise experience was even better (better food and more off ship activities). Because the Un-Cruise ships are small (Wilderness Discoverer accommodates 76 passengers and 28 crew) we were able to access small coves and waterways for a very memorable experience in Alaska's untouched areas. The ship was very clean. The staterooms are small but very comfortable. There is room under the beds to store soft sided luggage and a floor to ceiling cupboard with shelves for clothes and items you unpack. The private bathroom with shower that is in the stateroom is very small but manageable. It was hot on several of the days we were traveling and we were very pleased that the ship has AC and a control panel in each room (it also has heating which we did not need). The food was outstanding and the chef eagerly accommodated my food allergies. The crew members were extremely friendly, helpful and knowledgeable . We thoroughly enjoyed the off-ship expedition activities (all are included in the cost of the cruise) which were extremely varied and included things like kayaking, paddle boarding, skiff tours, hikes, snorkeling, swimming (for the braver travelers) etc. The expedition leader was very knowledgeable and accommodated passengers of all ages and physical abilities in the activities off the ship--as did her expedition crew members. The captain and expedition leader worked together to provide the best experience for passengers and were flexible with regard to the schedule and ship course, for example, making changes so passengers could spend more time viewing whales and bears and other animals or going to coves where animals had been sighted by other ships. We enthusiastically recommend Un-Cruise Adventures! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2013
From the time we embarked until journeys end this really was a great experience. On arrival at ship we were greeted by a large number of the crew, introduced to our cabin boy/girl and escorted to our small but certainly adequate ... Read More
From the time we embarked until journeys end this really was a great experience. On arrival at ship we were greeted by a large number of the crew, introduced to our cabin boy/girl and escorted to our small but certainly adequate accommodation. We would recommend that if you are travelling with a spouse or partner forgo the double bed for twin as access to one side is a little awkward. As it was a small ship it did not take us long to familiarise what was where. There were only 50 odd passengers on this trip (max is about 60-70) so becoming known to many was easy. Although the meals menu was limited there was always ample and for those who had special needs there appeared to be no problems. The wait staff were most attentive, polite and it was not long that everybody was on first name terms. Although there was an itinerary this did not seem to have much credence . It did not take long the cruise to get knick named the "Issh Cruise" . If whales or other wildlife were spotted the captain's willingness to alter course/timetables to suit passengers was very flexible, as were where we anchored, excursions and times ashore . There was always something to do when we anchored, kayaking,paddle boarding,shore excursions,guided skiff excursions Most of these were guided but often there was the opportunity to venture (on he water) on your own with the knowledge that you were always under surveillance and help was always close by I always believed that the success of any cruise depends largely on the attitude of the crew. Our crew were exquisite.Their ability to please, coupled with their knowledge and attitude radiated a feeling that they really loved their job and all aboard were one family. Special mention must be made about Alison and Phil (two of our excellent on-shore guides) Alison for her flora and fauna knowledge and Phil for the slideshow he compiled during the cruise and presented on the final night Another good thing about this cruise is that (apart from the traditional US tipping culture) there were no hidden costs,-Dvd's use,binocular use, gumboot use,kayaks,paddle boards, ALL excursions etc. were free. A big bonus for us was the absence of regimentation, and not being treated as just a number which we have found so common on some of the larger ships The ability of the small ship (draft only 7ft.)to go where other cruise ships were unable to venture was also a bonus -even to the extent that we had a"beach party"! Disembarkation was well organised ,to the extent that our baggage was forwarded on to our hotel Apart from getting a tummy bug (medication was free)this was a most memorable cruise. Well done to all concerned!   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2013
Where do I start? The ship (Wilderness Discoverer)- We were in the Navigator level cabin. It is the least expensive and on the lowest level. It is small( about 8x10) but though snug, we found it really neat. The window opens to the sea and ... Read More
Where do I start? The ship (Wilderness Discoverer)- We were in the Navigator level cabin. It is the least expensive and on the lowest level. It is small( about 8x10) but though snug, we found it really neat. The window opens to the sea and since you are on the lowest level it means no railings blocking your view and nobody walking by you window. That means no need to draw the curtain- who cares if a whale or dolphin sees you au naturale? The crew- Just the best! So friendly and happy to help you in any way possible. The food- Omigosh- everything was perfect. We all were constantly amazed at the variety and quality of the meals. The activities- Kayaking, hiking, and fun skiff rides to glaciers and land hike areas. Also, the polar bear plunge which is a jump from the ship into 38 degree water which is a one time event near the end of the trip. We didn't partake but about 20 did and it was a blast to watch them. The fellow passengers-they were so much fun and so interesting. We were a like minded group that were looking for more than sitting with 1000 others on those giant ships. The Un-Cruise company has done their homework. The crew made the time so special. Having been told how they pick their crew, I only wish all employers would follow their technique. We did the eastern cove, 7 day trip. The weather was gorgeous-hardly any rain and many sunny days. DO NOT be fooled. We were told how unusual that is. So if you read their suggested packing tips-believe them. It will most likely rain so be ready for it. A couple of tips. Many brought their own binoculars but they must have had 15 or 20 of their own in the lounge available for the use of passengers. They have many pairs of "wellies" or rubber calf length boots. I still would advise you bring your own. Finally, I really recommend the Un-Cruise experience. It was so much fun. In case you think it was perfect- well nothing is. When filling out the initial form for the trip, one question asked if I had a special occasion occurring during the trip and was told to write it in the blank and they would have the crew celebrate it with us on board. Well, i told them my birthday was on May 21 just 3 days into the voyage and I waited each evening for "something" to be announced but it never was. After contacting Un-Cruise afterward, they apologized for the error. Failure to communicate was the reason I think. What do I remember the most? The unbelievable silence after stopping paddling our kayak in Misty Fiord. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2013
The views of Alaska from the boat are beautiful, but by hiking in the forests you see behind all those trees to the temperate rain forest. It is full of green growth - vines, lichen, moss, leaves and voluptuous beauty. We were able to walk ... Read More
The views of Alaska from the boat are beautiful, but by hiking in the forests you see behind all those trees to the temperate rain forest. It is full of green growth - vines, lichen, moss, leaves and voluptuous beauty. We were able to walk on glaciers, in muskeg, and enjoy wildflowers and wildlife. Our boat was small - 76 guests on board. The rooms are very simple but functionary. The sun deck was used for yoga classes in the morning and then for relaxing later in the day after activities. The boat is very basic - nothing luxurious about it! The only change I wished for was for tables and chairs to play cards or a game on. The lounge had very small cocktail tables. The food was very good, and we always had 3 choices of entree. My vegan husband was happy with his meals. The crew were absolutely the best! Always accommodating and friendly. By the end of the week it was hard to say goodbye. When we were in the middle of a hike, the expedition leader might gather us into a group and then read a poem about the wilderness. It bonded us together, and to the sacred land. In my opinion, this is the way to see Alaska. Small coves, boots on the ground, kayaking to get really close to the land. Lots of friendly people, good food, great crew, memorable experiences. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2012
I am not a cruiser. I can think of few less appealing vacations than traveling from touristy port town to another touristy port town with 3000 of my closest friends. However, my desire to see the inside passage of Alaska beat out my desire ... Read More
I am not a cruiser. I can think of few less appealing vacations than traveling from touristy port town to another touristy port town with 3000 of my closest friends. However, my desire to see the inside passage of Alaska beat out my desire to never cruise again. I am so glad that we did this. I recently did a 1 week Eastern Coves itinerary with my wife, and 2 sons ages 8 and 5. We were initially scheduled on a "family" cruise, but the dates were changed by the company, so we ended up on the regular cruise. Everything about our trip was truly fantastic. The staff on the boat from the hotel staff, kitchen staff, expedition leaders, and crew were amazing. Particular props go to Kathleen who took such good care of us in the dining room, and Chef JO who was so kind to create alternative meals for our kids. The food was surprisingly delicious and plentiful. Every day held unique expeditions in incredibly beautiful locations. The expedition staff was professional, safety oriented, well informed, and very fun! Annie the head of the expedition staff made sure that my family was placed in appropriate expeditions for our kids. Kristin was particularly wonderful with our boys and even got our older son out on a paddle board and encouraged him to do a "polar plunge". Alison, Mark, and Liz were great as well. Capt. Dano was great. Our family connected with Chief Mate Jeff, who is a whale biologist. We spend many hours with him in the bridge, learning about all kinds of marine mammals. He is an extraordinary fund of knowledge, and his enthusiasm was infectious. On 2 nights our boat ended up surrounded by humpbacks surfacing at sunset, truly a marvelous and majestic experience. Our kids got out of bed, and we watched from our 200 level room as the whales surfaced so close it felt like we could reach out and touch them. During our one port stop at Wrangell, we went to the Anan Creek Bear Observatory and saw 15 black bears and 6 grizzlies. We watched them feed off of spawning salmon in Anan Creek. We greatly enjoyed kayaking, hiking, paddleboarding, and the many wildlife encounters. On our first day in Windham Bay, we were observing a black bear from a few hundred yards (safely across a river) when an humpback surfaced and "blew" about a 300 yards offshore. It was truly awe inspiring. Alaska is an amazing place, and Innersea Discoveries is an incredibly well run operation from booking to disembarkation. The crew was wonderful, safety oriented, and fun. Our fellow travelers were adventurous and from all over the world. They were interesting and fun people, and the uncruise was quite informal. The rooms were clean and comfortable, but we didn't spend much time in them because we were so busy adventuring out into the Alaskan wilderness. I can no longer say I will never cruise again, as we will likely take another trip with Innersea in the future. Our kids want to go back next year! They have been sad because they miss all their new friends from the boat. Thanks Kristin, Jeff, Kathleen, Jo (and your great staff), Annie, Alison, Liz, Mark, Dano, Michael, Katherine, Blythe, Alex, Paul, Derek, Celia, Heather, Emily, Dain. If I forgot to mention anyone, I am sorry because you are all wonderful. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2012
My husband and I have traveled widely but never taken a cruise- we were always turned off at the prospect of mega-ships, crowds, long lines, activities that didn't interest us, and nickel-and-dime extra fees for everything. We ordered ... Read More
My husband and I have traveled widely but never taken a cruise- we were always turned off at the prospect of mega-ships, crowds, long lines, activities that didn't interest us, and nickel-and-dime extra fees for everything. We ordered Innersea Discoveries' DVD on Alaska and were sold within 3 minutes of viewing it. We were not disappointed. Here's what we experienced. Embarking/Disembarking: remarkably fast. Not impressed with "hospitality suites" at either end, which were really a large, chaotic meeting room with coffee and water available and a lot of people and luggage sitting around. Your fellow passengers: a smart, down-to-earth, curious group of people. Occasional references to their day jobs (or previous jobs) led you to believe there were some pretty high-powered people in the crowd, but no one flaunts anything here. Age ranges all over the board, average age probably 40 with some seniors (especially grandparents in family groups) and enough teenagers to keep a poker game going for most of the trip. The kids were wonderful- clearly the parents who had chosen this expedition knew their kids were they type who would enjoy the adventures. One intrepid 10-year old boy made the "polar plunge" off the ship 3 times. Things you can borrow from their supplies at no charge: insulated metal water bottles, hiking sticks, binoculars, boots. The boots are worn only with socks; bring some heavy wool ones. I didn't own hiking boots and these were perfect for climbing in and out of streams and occasionally sinking ankle-deep into muskeg (soft, spongy peat). A good pair of hiking boots would have been waterlogged and muddy. The snorkeling expedition includes the use of a well-protected wet suit appropriate for use in Alaska. Locally themed books and a wide variety of movie DVDs are also available to borrow in the lounge. A hair dryer is in each room. Food: Finally, after seeing way too many menus on land in Alaska where everything was fried and a vegan would starve, on board our ship there were plentiful portions of food that was truly good in both senses: made from fresh ingredients, and with enough options for people who wanted to eat healthy. One lunch was fresh-baked pita bread, curried chickpeas, Greek salad, chicken souvlaki, and tzatziki, a wonderful Greek sauce made with yogurt, dill and cucumber. Dessert was ginger-chocolate cookies. There were always some type of hors d'oeuvres at cocktail hour; once there were hot pretzels, which apparently required most of the crew to put together the night before. Another time there were oysters purchased from local vendors who came on the boat and talked about their work. They were available raw or grilled (with the captain manning the grill). Staterooms: Our room was the cheapest class on the ship; it was on the lowest level but still above the waterline with a nice-sized window. We realized that the two floors above us had rooms with windows facing out onto public walkways, which meant that if you wanted privacy you had to close your curtains. Our floor had only a tiny rail running around the outside of the ship with a handbar running up above it for crew use. It was, however, on the same level as the engine so a little noisier. We liked where we were and were happy to find that everything important fit into the room, or on hooks outside, or in the lockers up top where we stored the PFDs (personal flotation devices) for kayaking, our boots and our rain gear. The area under the bed also provides generous storage for a suitcase. Because the ship is small, everything was close by and there were no elevators. Our room was so convenient to everything we never even used one of the few public restrooms. Weather: unpredictable. We got much better weather than average on our trip, which was the second week in July. When we left Ketchikan it was miserable and rainy. We rarely saw those conditions after that and had a couple of days of full sunshine and air temps in the 50s. A couple of times the captain changed plans slightly to get into an area with better weather or to stay longer than planned if the area was sunny. I was out in shorts and a light jacket on the paddleboard one day and was fine. You really do need to pack layers to prepare for anything. Include a pair of sandals or flip-flops for getting around the ship; they're very informal on board but do require footwear in the lounge. My husband brought a parka and never used it; the day we went out near the glaciers in skiffs, we just loaded up all our other layers, including rain gear, and were comfortable. Activities: my husband and I have very different fitness levels- he's 15 years older and has a bit of a balance problem- and we both had a great time. I did just about everything in the promotional material- guided kayak tour, independent kayaking, paddleboarding, snorkeling dressed like Jacques Cousteau in heavy neoprene, hiking in caves and around boulders and logs, skiff tours. My husband took the lighter hikes, skiff tours and kayaking. This is all apparently quite dependent on weather, so we were blessed. The staff was pretty accommodating; they ended up going out with 3 different groups for snorkeling due to high interest. If there's something you REALLY want to make sure you do, let them know before they make up the schedule the night before. They're very good about describing difficulty levels, in detail so you get a good idea of whether it fits your own skill and fitness level. Extras: almost nothing is extra. The snorkeling was $30 per person and an overnight campout was $150 but had no takers. Alcohol is reasonable. Espresso is $2. Just about everything else is included. Staff: an amazing group of people, passionate about Alaska and about the ship. All mingled with the guests and answered questions; most made presentations on their area of expertise (intertidal marine life, salmon, etc.) or gave tours of their area (the engine room, the kitchen). The Chief Mate managed the entire project of taking the decrepit vessel bought from a bank that had foreclosed on it and left it sitting in the water for 5 years, retrofitting it for the kind of travel they wanted to provide. She participated in a lot of the manual labor and showed pictures of the work as it progressed. The pastry chef shares his recipes. The bridge was open to guests at any time. While each crew member had a specific job description, they all pitched in and did what was necessary. Four of the crew (besides the captain) had licenses that qualified them to pilot the ship. Some had multiple degrees in areas such as marine biology. Stability: I've probably got average susceptibility to seasickness and was fine. One night I woke up vaguely queasy, reminded myself we were on a boat, and went back to sleep. I heard later we'd gone through some swells. One night rough weather was expected and a bowl full of packets of motion-sickness pills was set out on the bar, leading to a few joking reminiscences about parties in the 1980s. They ended up going on the lee side of islands to minimize turbulence; I felt the motion and had taken the pills but it was like being rocked to sleep. Wildlife: one group saw a bear and 3 cubs; the rest of us saw mostly moose and bear droppings but no moose or bear! That's nature, though. If you want animals to come out and pose for you, go to the zoo. We saw plenty of whales, bald eagles, otters, a few porpoises, a variety of birds, and sea lions. I could write a whole 'nother paragraph on the beautiful wildflowers and the awe-inspiring rock formations. We will do this again. If you want a cruise where someone will fold your jammies into animal shapes every night you will be disappointed. If you want someone with a relevant degree to show you phytoplankton under a microscope or answer your questions about marine mammals, this is the ship for you. One of the grandparents said near the end of the trip that taking this trip with the grandkids was the best decision they ever made. We've already put a deposit down for the Juneau-to-Ketchikan itinerary for 2014.   Read Less
Sail Date: June 2012
We have travelled extensively as a family and wanted to see Alaska, but in an active setting where we could hike and interact with nature. We did not want to sit and eat, get formally dressed for dinner, but we wanted excellent, healthy ... Read More
We have travelled extensively as a family and wanted to see Alaska, but in an active setting where we could hike and interact with nature. We did not want to sit and eat, get formally dressed for dinner, but we wanted excellent, healthy food options with appropriate portions. The trip was arranged through Margret Propper multi-year Travel and Leisure award winning cruise travel agent. All of the above wishes were satisfied. Additionally, pretty all-inclusive, enthusiastic and knowledgable guides, excellent crew on the boat. By the way, we travelled on Wildeness Explorer, which is not an option above. We cruised through Glacier National Park, picking up Andrew, the National Service Park Ranger for a couple of days. He was superb and gave an excellent presentation about himeself and the mission of the Glacier Park. We had yoga, lots of activities including snorkeling in a wet suit. Pictures and experiences were stupendous. ALso great was the fact that the passengers on our cruise included individuals with similar objectives ie those who wished to do so could relax, but the activities were available for those who wanted them. We got an experience that was tailored to our needs including AM yoga that started with 1/2 hour session that extended to full hour at the end. Fully professional group. Have, in fact, put a deposit for another cruise with this line without planning to do so as I am so impressed by this company. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2012
We sailed with Innersea Discovervies in June of 2012 on their Ketchikan to Juneau route as a family of three with a 12 year old girl. We are an active family that does not typically select group vacations of any sort, including cruises. ... Read More
We sailed with Innersea Discovervies in June of 2012 on their Ketchikan to Juneau route as a family of three with a 12 year old girl. We are an active family that does not typically select group vacations of any sort, including cruises. However, it seemed like a cruise was the best way to experience Alaska, so we decided on this small boat cruise. We were a bit anxious in advance, but the cruise exceeded our expecations in every way. The crew was friendly, engaging and very knowledgable about the Alaska wildlife and ecosystems. We took part in active activies virtually every day including kayaking, snoreling, hiking, stand up paddleboarding, caving, and nature tours. All activies except snorkeling were included in the cruise price, adn the add on cost for snorkeling was minimal($40). The atmosphere was very laid back, and all the guests (only 60 on board)were interested in participating in the activities. Our daughter had a great time despite being one of the only kids on board. The guides were very good with her and she loved the attention. The kitchen even made her special meals if requested. The food was excllent as a whole, but at times was a bit too fancy for our non seafood eating daughter, though we enjoyed it. We highly recommend this cruise line for any adventuresome family looking for an interactive and hands-on way to discover Alaska. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2012
We have never "cruised." We are self-support river trippers, boaters, back country skiers, etc. So our idea of a vacation is getting away from people. We wanted to see Alaska's Inside Passage but we didn't want to do a ... Read More
We have never "cruised." We are self-support river trippers, boaters, back country skiers, etc. So our idea of a vacation is getting away from people. We wanted to see Alaska's Inside Passage but we didn't want to do a self-support kayak trip because we wanted to see as much as we could in a short period of time. So we chose to get our first "cruise" experience (and I hesitate to even use that word because this was an adventure not a cruise), by boarding with Inner Sea Discoveries. We left from Ketchikan and ended in Juneau, Alaska. In between we tied up to one dock at Klowack Village - hardly a town - but full of culture and generational stories. I mentioned we liked to get away from people on vacation. So you can imagine my own surprise when, upon reflection, one of the best parts of this trip were THE PEOPLE! Most people were fantastic (and it's likely there are always some complainers and folks who will not be happy - for example, the lawyer interview on this site.) The Capt. (a whale naturalist and marine biologist) was fantastic. The crew (which included marine biologists) were "in the know" and kind and engaging. When we left, I felt like I was leaving summer camp and my new set of good friends. I am sure I will see some of them and some of the great passengers we befriended again. The food was TOO good! I wanted to lose weight on this trip...NOT. The excursions were fantastic and provided options for different desires of activities and different levels of fitness. The wildlife was abundant - eagles everywhere, whales (which Capt. Jeff just knew how to find), sea lions (so playful), seals, bears, sea otters (I want one), all sorts of delight for birders....the list goes on. And then there is Alaska in all its glory that words won't do justice to...unless you are Muir. In the end, for me, life is about connection. This experience was full of connection - to the open space that is Alaska, to the wonder that is nature, to the untamed wild under and over the sea, and to the people on board that boat. This was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, as all experiences typically are...there will never be a recreation of that week...but I'm hoping to create new experiences on other Inner Sea adventures in the future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2012
I work in the hospitality industry in a vacation destination, and InnerSeas Discovery takes the cake on anyone I've ever worked with!! From the moment we started planning to when the captain hugged us all goodbye as we disembarked, I ... Read More
I work in the hospitality industry in a vacation destination, and InnerSeas Discovery takes the cake on anyone I've ever worked with!! From the moment we started planning to when the captain hugged us all goodbye as we disembarked, I cannot say enough great things! The boat was well laid out and very comfortable (sleeps 60 ... I think we had 56 total on board), with lots of amenities. The cabins were more spacious than I expected (although it's still a boat cabin!), they had lectures pertaining to the area (geology, wildlife) after dinner each evening, plenty of games and cards, friendly bartender and amazing stewards. The food was the most amazing food (this sentiment was shared by all 16 in our group!)and the alcoholic drinks very very reasonably priced. I saw another review that said it wasn't for people under 60, and I would disagree. The boat was a great 'jumping off' point and mode of transportation, but we were very active every day. Every day we had options to do something: kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, hiking, skiff tours, snorkling, overnight camping, yoga class, and on and on. And if you wanted to stay on the boat, sit in the hot tub or take a nap, no problem! I would agree that the majority of people on the boat were 45+ in age, but everyone was active. I can't think of a better way to see South East Alaska or a better company to do it with! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
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
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2011
We booked this cruise because the website promised it was unlike others - it was an "uncruise". The brochure promised that there would only be "up to 49 guests", and that the trip could be highly active ("Whether ... Read More
We booked this cruise because the website promised it was unlike others - it was an "uncruise". The brochure promised that there would only be "up to 49 guests", and that the trip could be highly active ("Whether you are looking for moderate activity or vigorous, extended and challenging outdoor pursuits, we can tailor most any expedition to suit your skill level.") We are in our 30s and moderately active, so this sounded ideal for us. Upon going to the embarkation point, we discovered that almost all of our fellow passengers were considerably older than us. The median age would have been well into the 60s. That would have been fine, except the promised activities did not eventuate. Neither the original not an amended itinerary supplied shortly before the trip were complied with, and every change was to the detriment of active passengers. For example, on Day 2, the first full day of the trip, the amended itinerary promised to "Push your senses and your muscles with the exhilarating combination of sea kayaking and trekking. Or ride a skiff to the same shore and take a relaxing walk on a trail that boasts a 350-foot elevation gain." The amended itinerary promised a much watered down version, to "Push your senses kayaking, trekking, riding a skiff, or trying your luck at stand-up paddle boarding." What actually happened is that we were unable to do any offship activities whatsoever -- aside from an extremely tame and pedestrian small boat ride to look at Baird Glacier. In other words, the rigorous physical activities promised went from being considerable, to being mild, to being entirely non-existent. Day 3 provides an even more outrageous example of bait and switch with regard to the physicality of the activities on offer. The original itinerary promised that we would "Take on the exposed terminal moraine of the Baird Glacier Trail, until you reach the top of the glacier itself. Enjoy a long guided kayak excursion from Scenery Cove to Cascade Creek and then treat yourself to a short trek on one of the several scenic Cascade Creek trails." This time the revised itinerary added something which sounded even more rigorous and strenuous than the original: in addition to the walk on Baird Glacier, it promised that we could "Choose guided kayaking and a lush forest trek on one of the scenic Cascade Creek trails. Or go big on the 5-mile hike to the glacially-fed and rarely visited Patterson Lake for spectacular kayaking." What actually happened is that there was no guided kayaking. No lush forest trek on a Cascade Creek trail. And no 5 mile hike to, and kayak at, Patterson Lake. None of these promised activities actually happened at all. Instead, we got a visit to Baird Glacier which, despite being advertised as the "fast" hike option, was far slower than any hike I have gone on since I was a small child. And instead of any of the rigorous, interesting, challenging activities outlined in the original and revised itineraries, we were permitted only a "free", unguided paddle within very narrow parameters, no particular destination, and unchanging scenery. On Day 4, once again the offerings did not live up to the promises previously made. All slots in the so-called "fast" hike had been taken by other passengers on the evening of Day 3 before we had an opportunity to put our own names down. As the thought of a hike even slower than the expedition to Baird Glacier was untenable to us, we requested Kirsten to make more slots available, or to arrange for an activity more suited to our energy levels to be added. She angrily told us that it was not possible, and that the existing offerings were sufficient. This was a striking contrast to the brochure's glossy promises: "Whether you are looking for moderate activity or vigorous, extended and challenging outdoor pursuits, we can tailor most any expedition to suit your skill level."|"One of the primary features of our "un-cruises" is our ability to cater to individual needs, so whatever it is you desire, please don't hesitate to ask."| "No matter what you are interested in, InnerSea Discoveries' goal is to provide you with as many opportunities as possible to challenge yourself in the outdoors while also making it extremely easy to enjoy moments or hours of escape and relaxation. The choice and pace are all yours." The offerings on the cruise were so poor that in the end we ended up abandoning ship part way through when the boat reached Wrangell. I am writing this review to warn others about the possibility of extraordinary changes to their itineraries if they book this trip. There are clauses in the contract that purport to allow this kind of itinerary change. If you're younger and active, BEWARE - what is promised isn't necessarily what you get. Read Less
Wilderness Discoverer Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 4.3
Entertainment 3.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.1
Fitness Recreation 3.0 4.3
Family 4.0 4.3
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.3
Enrichment 3.0 4.4
Service 5.0 4.8
Value For Money 4.0 4.2
Rates 4.0 4.5

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