Join us for an Un-Cruise through Alaska’s Glacier Country

Our itinerary on Un-Cruise Adventures' Discoverer's Glacier Country will take us through an Alaska hidden to larger ships. Illustration courtesy of Un-Cruise Adventures

Our itinerary on Un-Cruise Adventures’ Discoverer’s Glacier Country will take us through an Alaska hidden to larger ships. Illustration courtesy of Un-Cruise Adventures

I always used to be a ‘big ship’ guy. On my first trip to Alaska in 1998, I remember sailing past a very small ship on our way into Glacier Bay National Park – a remarkable fact, considering that back then, our “large” ship only measured 750 feet in length. I recall looking at this small ship, with its handful of passengers clustered around the aft deck in and amongst canoes and zodiac rafts, and thinking, “Why would you want to sail on that?”

How little I knew. Sadly, it would take me another decade to discover the beauty and magic of small-ship adventure cruising. Fortunately, I’ve been a huge fan of small ships now for several years, and I’ll be the one staring back at passengers on larger ships this summer, as I set sail on a spectacular expedition with Un-Cruise Adventures.

In late August, we'll set sail for the hidden wonders of Alaska and Glacier Bay aboard Un-Cruise Adventures' Safari Voyager. Photo courtesy of Un-Cruise Adventures

In late August, we’ll set sail for the hidden wonders of Alaska and Glacier Bay aboard Un-Cruise Adventures’ Safari Voyager. Photo courtesy of Un-Cruise Adventures

On August 31, I’ll step aboard Safari Endeavour in Juneau, Alaska for a weeklong adventure through parts of Alaska that big ships simply cannot sail to, combined with on-shore adventures that explore this region’s secluded wilderness.

Over the course of a week, we’ll explore Icy Strait, Chichagof Island, Baranof Island, Frederick Sound, Stephen’s Passage, Fords Terror, and Endicott Arm. Un-Cruise Adventures’ Discoverer’s Glacier Country itinerary even includes two entire days spent within Glacier Bay National Park, accompanied by a Park Ranger.

Sunny days in Alaska do exist, like this Caribbean-esque day in Glacier Bay this past August.  But it is amazing in any weather condition. Photo © 2012 Aaron Saunders

Glacier Bay National Park will take on an even more beautiful tone as we experience it over the course of two days – and onboard a smaller, more intimate ship. Photo © 2012 Aaron Saunders

Even after numerous trips through Glacier Bay on larger ships, this pristine piece of Alaskan wilderness still has the power to make the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. Emerald green waters, rising mountains, and towering glaciers that creak and groan like an oncoming thunderstorm make Glacier Bay one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited. The idea of spending two days here aboard the cozy, 84-guest Safari Endeavour required no convincing.

Over the course of the week, guests will be able to enjoy opportunities to kayak, paddleboard and sail skiffs throughout secluded bays and hidden coves. If watersports aren’t your thing, you can also go beachcombing, or set out on a hike through the lush Tongass National Rainforest. Of course, wildlife and whale spotting will no doubt be a cherished pastime for many as we sail on a flexible itinerary that allows the vessel’s master to choose the best places to visit.

Guests in Alaska can enjoy beachcombing, hiking, or even kayaking with Un-Cruise. Photo courtesy of Un-Cruise Adventures.

Guests in Alaska can enjoy beachcombing, hiking, or even kayaking with Un-Cruise. Photo courtesy of Un-Cruise Adventures.

This is my second trip with Un-Cruise Adventures. In February, I had the chance to experience Mexico’s Sea of Cortes aboard Safari Voyager, and came away impressed with the quality of the adventures ashore and the friendly, personable crew – many of whom are dedicated nature and geology nuts themselves.

The Safari Endeavour is a little more polished, and a little more deluxe than her Mexico-based counterpart. She’ll replace Safari Voyager in the Sea of Cortes this coming fall, but Safari Endeavour has earned a legion of loyal guests in a single region: Alaska.

At 232 feet in length, Safari Endeavour offers pretty much everything you could want over the course of a single week. Her 43 staterooms all have picture views and nice touches like iPod docking stations, TV and DVD players, and terrycloth bathrobes. The ship also boasts a hot tub and sauna – always popular in the chilly temperatures of Alaska – and guests are entitled to a complimentary massage.

Also provided complimentary are all onboard beverages, all onboard and on-shore activities and equipment, and even transfers to and from Juneau Airport and the ship. Guests in Alaska even receive an introductory subscription to Alaska Geographic.

One of the Commander Staterooms aboard Safari Endeavour. Photo courtesy of Un-Cruise Adventures.

One of the Commander Staterooms aboard Safari Endeavour. Photo courtesy of Un-Cruise Adventures.

I’m actually quite excited about my stateroom, too. For seven days, I’ll be residing in a Commander Stateroom located on the Upper Deck. These feature twin beds that can’t be combined into a queen, which might sound like a drawback, but isn’t. Here’s why: these staterooms open up onto the expansive, wrap-around promenade rather than to an interior corridor, meaning that those frequent whale sightings are just two feet away. Double view windows frame the door to the promenade, and these staterooms include a writing desk and, of course, a private bath with shower.

The only thing that Safari Endeavour lacks – which I’m not terribly upset about – is internet access. Again, it may sound like a negative, but I have to go the other way with it: it’s a huge positive. With a complete lack of internet, it’s impossible for guests to be tempted to check their emails or get back to that last-minute business request. As it should be: you’re on vacation.

Of course, that means that our Live Voyage Report will be delayed by a week. Instead, we’ll run day-to-day Live Coverage beginning on Sunday, September 7 and continuing to Sunday, September 14, 2014.

If you’ve always been curious about small-ship cruising – or are just interested in seeing Alaska in a different way, be sure to tune in. It promises to be an exciting – and very unique – Un-Cruise!

Photo courtesy of Un-Cruise Adventures

Photo courtesy of Un-Cruise Adventures

Our Live Voyage Report from onboard Un-Cruise Adventures’ Safari Endeavour will run from September 7 to September 14, 2014. For more information on Un-Cruise Adventures, be sure to pay a visit to their website!

 

3 Responses to Live Voyage Preview: an Un-Cruise to Alaska

  1. […] post Live Voyage Preview: an Un-Cruise to Alaska appeared first on From The Deck […]

  2. Peter says:

    So will we be without our daily fix of From the Deck Chair during the week you have no internet access? Perish the thought!

    • Aaron Saunders says:

      Hah, thanks Peter! No, if I am really ‘on-the-ball’, I’ll have some interesting articles pre-scheduled. Maybe re-run “The Best of From the Deck Chair” or something!

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