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Safari Endeavour Photo Tour
One of the largest vessels in the Un-Cruise Adventures’ Luxury Expedition fleet, the 84-guest Safari Endeavour is still reassuringly small when compared with most megaships that sail the waters off the Pacific Coast of North America. If you’ve never been on an 84-guest ship before, fear not: small ships only look that way when they’re docked.
What makes Safari Endeavour a total standout in the small ship category is her unique styling that offers much of the amenities you’d expect from a larger ship, coupled with the active, adventurous nature of a true expedition ship. You can sit and read a book in the lounge, or enjoy a glass of wine in one of two aft-facing hot tubs. Or, you can go on as many hikes, kayak trips, stand-up-paddleboard runs, beachcombs and bushwhacks as you can cram into a single day. They choice, truly, is yours.
As with all of Un-Cruise Adventures’ luxury ships – distinguished by their rich navy-blue hulls – cruise fares for Safari Endeavour include all adventures ashore, all wine, spirits, beer, soft drinks, coffee, tea and water, and even one complimentary massage per passenger.
What makes this nimble, 232-foot long ship so popular with new and repeat guests alike? Let’s have a look!
The lowest passenger-accessible deck onboard Safari Endeavour, Main Deck is home to eight Oceanview Captain Staterooms (CAPT) and two Master Staterooms (MSTR), Numbers 103 and 104. Stateroom 104 is a new addition; prior to 2015, this space held the Massage Room aboard Safari Endeavour.
All the way aft is the ship’s Dining Room. This is where breakfast, lunch and dinner are served daily. Meals are surprisingly good given the highly-limited size of the galley, and cuisine is hearty, flavourful, and comforting – the kind of meal you’d expect Mom to cook, if Mom had a gourmet streak to her cooking.
Typically, guests are offered two or three different choices for meals; for dinner, there’s commonly a meat, fish, and vegetarian dish on offer. Of course, should you have any specific dietary constraints, the chef will be happy to whip up something for you. I am allergic to nuts of all kinds, and I was truly surprised to learn that special desserts were prepared just for me. I normally skip dessert on my cruises; onboard Safari Endeavour, I never felt the need to. It was fabulous.
Let’s head up one deck now…
Cabin Deck is where the ship’s “200” staterooms are – meaning, all staterooms on this deck begin with the prefix “2”. Don’t be surprised if you hear it called “The 200 Deck” or the “200 Corridor”; I almost never heard to it referred to by its name as printed in the deck plans.
Here, there are four Captain Staterooms, two Admiral Staterooms situated on the port and starboard sides of the main staircase; and four spacious Commodore Suites positioned next to each other. These are the largest accommodations featured onboard the Safari Endeavour, and they feature a small step-out balcony with French doors plus a Jacuzzi tub in the bathroom.
New for 2015 is a single Master Stateroom located further aft. Stateroom 212 must be accessed from the outer decks, but joins an interior corridor adjacent to Stateroom 210. Just around the corner from Stateroom 212 will be the two new Massage Rooms, which were re-purposed from existing Commander Staterooms 211 and 213.
The social hub of the Safari Endeavour, The Lounge is the place to be for lectures, daily briefings, wildlife sightings, snacks, tea, happy hour – you name it. With so much happening in a single public room, it’s critical that the room is suitable for a variety of purposes. It’s not an easy thing to engineer, but Safari Endeavour’s Lounge manages to do double-duty as a successful lecture room with minimal sightline obstructions, while at the same time providing a warm atmosphere for cocktail hour.
During my week onboard Safari Endeavour, I never once had issues getting a seat, or finding a spot to settle down with a cup of freshly-brewed coffee and a book. When in Alaska, the bar stocks regional beverages like the state’s famous Alaskan Amber ale, and the ship’s friendly and capable bar staff can whip you up pretty much anything your heart desires.
Flanked by windows that provide a 180-degree view of your surroundings (which, let’s face it, are pretty much always spectacular), the only thing better than the lounge when it’s not raining is…
The Bow Viewing Area
Accessible via two doors situated on the port and starboard sides of the Lounge, the Bow Viewing Area is always open. Unlike most large cruise ships, which keep their bow areas secreted away behind alleyways and locked doors marked “Crew Only”, guests are encouraged to take in the views from the bow. On cold days, such as when Safari Endeavour is slowly cruising along searching for wildlife or up against the glaciers of Alaska, hot drinks are served here, gratis.
If you’re lucky, the crew might even drop the Hydrophone into the water to let you hear the undersea world of sounds made by passing whales. It sounds odd to say, but this abundance of open deck space is one of Safari Endeavour’s greatest strengths.
Upper Deck is solely devoted to two things: accommodations and open deck space. With the exception of the lone Admiral Stateroom (309) that is situated next to the main staircase, all of the accommodations here are accessible via an outdoor promenade.
Let’s take a look at Commander Stateroom 317, typical of most types of accommodation on this deck.
In my opinion, these are some of the coziest staterooms of any ship I’ve ever sailed aboard. They’re small, sure – but they’re functional and welcoming. Each room has two twin beds (that unfortunately can’t be pushed into a Queen), a generous writing desk, plenty of closet space, and a private bathroom with shower.
There’s more lighting options in here than you might expect, with reading lights for each berth, a desk lamp, and overhead lighting that’s remarkably soothing at night. There’s also a flat-panel television set with a built-in DVD player, and you can bring some of your favorite DVD’s from home or borrow some from the generous Library near the Dining Room on Main Deck. A word of advice: I brought some DVD’s…and I watched one for all of 30 minutes. It’s a nice feature, but I’m there to get away from technology!
There’s also a neat iHome docking station suitable for iPod/iPhone 4’s or under. It’s worth noting that Safari Endeavour has no internet access, or telephone service. Don’t expect much in the way of cell service, either – the areas that Un-Cruise tends to favour are those that are most certainly off-the-beaten-path. In a world that wants us to be increasingly more and more “plugged in” on our vacations, Un-Cruise’s policy is a breath of fresh air, and a real advantage.
The bathroom is probably the weakest link in the stateroom. It’s small, cramped, and suffers from some design issues (toilet paper underneath your leg height, anyone?). Still, you’re in the bathroom for but minutes per day. It won’t win any design awards, but it’s not supposed to. It works, and it does what it’s supposed to do. That’s a very good thing.
Most pieces of luggage should slip right under the dual beds, but on any adventure or expedition cruise like this, it’s always a good idea to bring soft-sided luggage that can collapse just to give you extra flexibility.
Bottom line – I’ve stayed in everything from inside staterooms to massive suites on other ships, but my Commander Stateroom onboard Safari Endeavour was one of my all-time favorites. It’s just so darn cozy!
Let’s have a look at the open-deck spaces of the Upper Deck:
At the very tip-top of Safari Endeavour, the Bridge Deck is home to – as you may have guessed – the ship’s Navigation Bridge. This is typically open to guests on a variable basis. I never personally went in, but I heard good reports from guests who went up and pressed their faces to the windows of the enclosed wings and were invited in by the Officer of the Watch. That being said, there are definitely times (bad weather, fog, maneuvering) when it’s best to respectfully keep your distance from this important operational hub.
Also included on this uppermost deck is a fabulous outdoor, covered Fitness Center. Work away to your heart’s delight – rain or shine!
When weather is working in the ship’s favor, guest can also relax and sit outside on the numerous chairs and tables in the open-air Sun Lounge. When weather is inclement, there’s enough space to move all the seating options underneath the covered awning.
UN-CRUISE ADVENTURES SAFARI ENDEAVOUR
Summering in Alaska and spending her winters in the warm waters of Mexico’s Sea of Cortes, Un-Cruise Adventures’ Safari Endeavour is perfectly suited to providing an adventurous and exciting cruise experience for travellers of all experience levels. Maybe you’ve sailed on the big mainstream megaships and are looking for an experience that’s a little more personalised. Perhaps you’re new to cruising entirely, but shied away from the big ship experience. Either way, you’ll find plenty to like in the small, petite package that is Safari Endeavour.
Read our Live Voyage Report from onboard Un-Cruise Adventures’ Safari Endeavour as we sailed through Alaska on the line’s signature “Discoverer’s Glacier Country” itinerary, roundtrip from Juneau, Alaska!
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