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We were looking for something in a small boat cruise that included lots of moderate to strenuous outdoor physical activity and as up-close to geography and wildlife as possible. The Un-Cruise "Exploring Muir's Wilderness" fit the bill to a T. From no-hassle check in to the nice touch of their delivering our luggage to the airport after debarkation (leaving us time to dally/shop in town for several hours before catching their shuttle to join it for airport for check-in), the administration was practiced, hospitable and generous. We got to see whales breaching, sea lions roaring, sea otters doing that cute on-their-back swimming thing, both black and grizzly bears from a safe distance, glaciers up close and calving, more bald eagles than anyone would want to try to count, and on and on. Their recommended equipment listing was spot on - don't short-change its elements, as you'll need it all by cruise end. Hiking -"Bush-whacking" they call it - into the forest, off-trail, was great, as was kayaking around islands and along shorelines. "Meandering" ashore was nature walk interesting, but more demanding than some cruisers anticipated - don't go if you have trouble with mobility, as there's not enough to occupy on board ship, and the whole ethos is diving into the locale. We were lucky in the weather, and we didn't expect luxury accommodations (as some reviewers obviously did - we weren't there for the froufrou, but for the get out and explore). My wife scores it as the hands down best vacation we've ever taken (I've got to think some more before I score it above Paris, but it's certainly close). We both agree that the best part, and what made it really stellar, was the crew. Every member, bar none, seemed genuinely pleased to be there and thrilled that we'd decided to join them. They were also interesting, intrepid in the outdoors, remarkably well educated, eager to share their extensive knowledge of the state/wildlife/geography/flora/fauna, and honest to admit if they didn't know (and then immediately track down someone who did!). The lounge was comfortable, the meals excellent (meat/fish/veg or combine them entrees every dinner, and best-ever breakfast bacon - don't miss that!). The rooms were a bit Spartan (albeit with more storage than we expected), but cleaned daily spotless and daily re-despotted. If you're looking for a small ship outdoorsy getaway, you'll find you only use them to sleep/change/bathe - there's plenty of out-of-room to do. Overall, accommodations were nicer than the two previous small-ship cruises we've taken (on other cruise lines). A single complementary massage per passenger and two available hot tubs were welcome after some of the activities. Their "Plan-free" claim is not license to freelance - and in the Alaskan wilderness, letting hikers or kayaks go off on their own would be downright dangerous - this is not Disneyland or Monaco - but is flexible to adjust to weather, avoid other cruise ships, react to reports of interesting wildlife activity nearby, etc. The only negative I can even imagine is that Alaska's so enormous, there's no way to cover it, and the week we were onboard was limited to the southern Inside Passage, so you'll need to go beyond it to see the northern bulk of the state. As for meeting the advertised criteria, nothing negative to report at all - even the martinis were beyond excellent. If the above is what you're looking for, I'd certainly recommend it heartily!

Southern Alaska Up Close and Personal!

Safari Endeavour Cruise Review by Crobru

33 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2016
  • Destination: Alaska
We were looking for something in a small boat cruise that included lots of moderate to strenuous outdoor physical activity and as up-close to geography and wildlife as possible. The Un-Cruise "Exploring Muir's Wilderness" fit the bill to a T. From no-hassle check in to the nice touch of their delivering our luggage to the airport after debarkation (leaving us time to dally/shop in town for several hours before catching their shuttle to join it for airport for check-in), the administration was practiced, hospitable and generous. We got to see whales breaching, sea lions roaring, sea otters doing that cute on-their-back swimming thing, both black and grizzly bears from a safe distance, glaciers up close and calving, more bald eagles than anyone would want to try to count, and on and on. Their recommended equipment listing was spot on - don't short-change its elements, as you'll need it all by cruise end.

Hiking -"Bush-whacking" they call it - into the forest, off-trail, was great, as was kayaking around islands and along shorelines. "Meandering" ashore was nature walk interesting, but more demanding than some cruisers anticipated - don't go if you have trouble with mobility, as there's not enough to occupy on board ship, and the whole ethos is diving into the locale. We were lucky in the weather, and we didn't expect luxury accommodations (as some reviewers obviously did - we weren't there for the froufrou, but for the get out and explore).

My wife scores it as the hands down best vacation we've ever taken (I've got to think some more before I score it above Paris, but it's certainly close). We both agree that the best part, and what made it really stellar, was the crew. Every member, bar none, seemed genuinely pleased to be there and thrilled that we'd decided to join them. They were also interesting, intrepid in the outdoors, remarkably well educated, eager to share their extensive knowledge of the state/wildlife/geography/flora/fauna, and honest to admit if they didn't know (and then immediately track down someone who did!). The lounge was comfortable, the meals excellent (meat/fish/veg or combine them entrees every dinner, and best-ever breakfast bacon - don't miss that!).

The rooms were a bit Spartan (albeit with more storage than we expected), but cleaned daily spotless and daily re-despotted. If you're looking for a small ship outdoorsy getaway, you'll find you only use them to sleep/change/bathe - there's plenty of out-of-room to do. Overall, accommodations were nicer than the two previous small-ship cruises we've taken (on other cruise lines). A single complementary massage per passenger and two available hot tubs were welcome after some of the activities. Their "Plan-free" claim is not license to freelance - and in the Alaskan wilderness, letting hikers or kayaks go off on their own would be downright dangerous - this is not Disneyland or Monaco - but is flexible to adjust to weather, avoid other cruise ships, react to reports of interesting wildlife activity nearby, etc. The only negative I can even imagine is that Alaska's so enormous, there's no way to cover it, and the week we were onboard was limited to the southern Inside Passage, so you'll need to go beyond it to see the northern bulk of the state. As for meeting the advertised criteria, nothing negative to report at all - even the martinis were beyond excellent. If the above is what you're looking for, I'd certainly recommend it heartily!
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