People hearing the term Un-Cruise for the first time may wonder just what exactly is an un-cruise? The answer – an Un-Cruise is the cruise ship experience everyone can enjoy! If you like boats or nature an uncruise could become the vacation of a lifetime for you.
Love the big cruise ships? Then odds are you’d love an uncruise too. You still get to go on a ship and visit different places. It’s a smaller ship, but the service is more personal and the itinerary includes places the big ships just can’t go. Meals come with excellent food and a better chance of getting to know your fellow passengers since there aren’t too many of them. In the casual atmosphere of un-cruise vacations there’s no need to dress up for dinner.
Hate the big cruise ships? An Un-Cruise could be the perfect vacation for you. These small ships don’t hold a big crowd. The entire amount of people on board wouldn’t make the sort of line you sometimes find getting on or off a big ship. Don’t like crowded touristy ports? Any port stops along the way take place in small towns or quaint villages where no big ship would fit.
The un-cruise sails cove to cove with daily stops in wild areas where passengers get off the boat to hike, kayak, take skiff tours on small boats, or maybe even snorkel or take a turn on a stand-up paddle board. Itineraries are flexible and may deviate from the published schedule for things like weather or wildlife sightings.
Unrushed, uncrowded, unbelievable uncruises come in three different options. Expedition vessels take adventure minded passengers out to experience the wilds with active exploration discovering whatever nature has to offer. Luxury in the pursuit of adventure describes the small ships and yachts which provide a complete vacation with more plush accommodations, upscale amenities, cultural experiences and included massage, wine/beer/spirits plus adventure activities.
Heritage cruises provide a different sort of un-cruise on an old fashioned style steamer. River cruises with the crew dressed in period costumes follow a path taken by early explorers to America’s west coast. With an emphasis on history, the ship stops in ports with interesting things to see including forts, museums, and wineries.
Un-Cruise vessels range in length from 120 to 232 feet and hold anywhere from 22 to 88 guests. Summertime brings a wide variety of ship choices in Alaska, with several itineraries to choose from. Or take a break from cold winter weather with an un-cruise to the unspoiled beauty of the warm wilds of places like Hawaii or the Sea of Cortez. In between try a cruise in the Pacific Northwest or choose a river cruise down the Snake or Columbia rivers.
The adventure guides onboard have a wealth of knowledge in various subjects about the places visited. Some have degrees in things like geology, botany, or marine biology. If they don’t know the answer to passenger’s questions immediately they’re happy to do some research to satisfy people’s curiosity.
Some cruises have theme itineraries with knowledgeable guest hosts and activities or excursions centered on themes involving things like craft beer, marine biology, photography or the explorations of Lewis & Clark .
Wildlife sightings happen frequently on an un-cruise. The ships sail through wild places, often dropping anchor to take passengers out in small skiffs to view the surrounding area.
These small vessels bring guests to see some marvelous things never seen by passengers on large ships. Surrounded by magnificent icebergs in Alaska’s LeConte Fjord, we could touch and even taste one.
Alaskan itineraries sometimes include bear sightings. Commonly viewed wildlife includes a variety of birds as well as seals or sea lions. Un-Cruisers often see whales during their cruise. On our last un-cruise we saw deer, raccoons, and otters too.