Close your eyes and form a picture in your mind about cruising.
You likely see buffets, swimming pools, a lido deck filled with sun loungers and frolicking families working on their sunburns and having a good time. You’ll be watching shows in the theater, dancing in the lounges and playing in the casino. You’re sharing your vacation with thousands of passengers.
It certainly can be a memorable and enjoyable time.
Now, scrap all that. UnCruise Adventures’ sailings look nothing at all like your standard cruise. That’s just the way the line wants it, too. UnCruise offers expeditions that represent some of the most exciting and bucket-list filled adventures you can imagine. I have sailed with UnCruise Adventures four times, and each voyage has been filled with action-packed days spent in gorgeous destinations.
These trips are about getting outside to pursue challenging and fun physical activities while exploring the places you visit with just dozens of fellow cruisers.
If you are looking for something a bit different, a way to commune with nature and enjoy scenery and the outdoors with like-minded travelers who also value active adventures, you would enjoy these expeditions.
UnCruise Adventures is the ideal cruise line for you if . . .
You Like to Stay Active
UnCruise Adventures trips focus on wellness and fun activities that keep you moving. I have sailed with the line in Alaska, Washington’s San Juan Islands, Costa Rica and Panama to transit the canal and on the Columbia and Snake rivers in Washington and Oregon on the “Rivers of Adventure” itinerary.
Each time, I took full advantage of the full slate of activities. This means rising early for yoga classes or to use the outdoors gym (actually an up-top space with a small complement of equipment). This is a good way to prepare the body for the day’s excursions, which could be kayaking alongside harbor seals at Protection Island off Washington’s coast or hiking six miles to a secret hot springs on a remote island in Alaska.
The week is just packed with adventures designed and led by expert guides who share your passion for nature and responsible eco-tourism. These friendly folks quickly become your best friends as you discover your destination together.
Ships carry kayaks and standup paddleboards, and some destinations allow you to enjoy paddle sessions off the back of the ship’s marinas — and from the SS Legacy’s mobile launch platform, Sea Dragon.
You Love the Outdoors
The line sails in the natural wonderlands of Alaska, Coastal Washington and the San Juan Islands, the Columbia and Snake Rivers, Costa Rica and Panama, Hawaii, Mexico’s Sea of Cortes and the Galapagos. These destinations offer brilliant waterways that give access to channels, gulfs, bays, islands, mountains, valleys and beaches.
Activities are focused on getting off the ship to spot wildlife, go hiking, biking, snorkeling, on skiff tours, bushwacking and more. UnCruise designs activities to suit all abilities in each port stop. In Panama and Costa Rica, we spent time snorkeling around a tiny islet and hiking in rainforest to spot at least four kinds of monkeys. In Alaska, skiff tours brought us jaw-droppingly close to Dawes Glacier in the Endicott Arm Fjord. Icebergs bobbed within reach as we heard the cracking glacier and thunderous crash of the ice chunks dropping into the water.
You Prefer Small Groups
UnCruise Adventures has a fleet of nine ships that carry between 22 and 90 passengers. The ships have a simple layout that is easy to navigate, and you get to enjoy a large lounge space with your fellow cruisers who quickly form bonds over exciting days ashore. Each evening offers a cocktail hour featuring fresh hot appetizers and cookies baked onboard. After dinner, guides and guest speakers offer presentations that explore culture, history or natural aspects of the region.
On almost every night on each cruise I have experienced, passengers have chosen to retire early to their cabins, typically before 10 p.m. You have to rest up to start all over again early the next day.
You Like a Simple, Hassle-Free Trip
While service is outstanding on an UnCruise trip, you won’t be pampered or cruising in luxurious accommodations. The ships are built for function, and they will seem quite austere if you are used to spacious, shiny new vessels with all kinds of fancy furnishings and wide-open spaces.
Rooms will have small beds and bathrooms, but the payoff is a small-ship experience where you are steps away from the edge of the vessel in any direction to take in the surrounding sights and sounds. In Alaska, I regularly saw whales, eagles and icebergs just a few feet from my bed.
UnCruise trips include transfers, meals locally sourced food highlighting the tastes of the region, excursions, yoga classes, drinks (including beer, wine and spirits) and half-hour massages (on select ships).
Our trip on the Columbia and Snake Rivers on SS Legacy also included free bike rentals to use on our own during a stop in Richland, Washington.
Ships features a library of books, DVDs (for in-cabin viewing) and games to enjoy at your leisure. Most ships have hot tubs, which I found to be the perfect way to rejuvenate my body after our adventures ashore.
So, you can see that there is a lot to like about an expedition journey with UnCruise, which definitely offers a voyage unlike any mass-market cruise.
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