UnCruise Adventures

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UnCruise Adventures fleet

Review of UnCruise Adventures

One of the industry's best small cruise lines, UnCruise Adventures (uncruise.com) operates smaller-sized vessels with regularly scheduled itineraries in the regions of Southeast Alaska, Hawaii, Baja Mexico (Sea of Cortes), USA (Columbia and Snake rivers, Washington coastal voyages) and Canada (British Columbia).

Company history

UnCruise Adventures offers an extraordinary small-ship cruising experience on expedition voyages to remote places. The line operates a fleet of small expedition boats and upscale yachts with up to 88 passengers capacity.

UnCruise Adventures is among the not-so-many cruise companies whose vessels are USA-flagged. This allows them to operate cruises with itineraries that are not mandatory to include foreign (non-US) ports.

UnCruise Adventures logo - CruiseMapper

The company was established in January 2013 (initially named "Un-Cruise Adventures") following the merger of two USA-based cruise brand companies ("American Safari Cruises" and "InnerSea Discoveries") into the new InnerSea Discoveries Alaska Inc (parent company/shipowner). While the combined fleet's vessels remained the same, their new names were changed to reflect the company's new expedition style.

The company's current owner and CEO is Dan Blanchard (owner of Blanchard Marine). As Captain, he served for 14 years Cruise West (including as Director of Marine Operations to VP of Operations) and in 1999 joined American Safari Cruises (1996-founded). He acquired the company in 2008 and launched InnerSea Discoveries (becoming CEO) which in 2013 was rebranded to Un-Cruise Adventures.

The company's leadership team also includes Tim Jacox (President and COO/Chief Operating Officer; co-founder of InnerSea Discoveries), Eric Gier (CFO/Chief Financial Officer), Monica Sagisi (VO of Marketing and Sales).

UnCruise Adventures sells an uncommon product at very competitive prices, which besides affordable rates also consist of:

  • Comfortable and luxury expedition experience. It's a great bet for those who have the latest REI gear and are ready to use it but also want to enjoy simple pleasures like massages (one massage is included) and fine wine.
  • The expedition staff is charged with helping guests with activities like identifying the flora or spotting humpbacks. These cruises emphasize on familiarization with the geology, culture, flora, and fauna, by means of soft-adventure activities and guided shore excursions.
  • A day in Alaska might start with a canoe tour to view a glacier and end with kayaking under the midnight sun. In Hawaii, passengers might visit a macadamia nut farm and later snorkel by moonlight. Night sailings depend on the venue. Excursions are included fleetwide.
  • UnCruise ships offer memory foam mattresses, reasonably priced full bars and special kayak launching pads. All cabins are above the deck with outward-facing opening windows, perfect for enjoying the view.
  • Dinners are usually casual affairs, short on menu choices and long on a conversation. There are typically a couple of main course options, often based on freshly caught seafood. Most alcoholic beverages are included. Ship bars are open 24 hours a day and stocked with top liquor brands.

River cruises (only offered onboard the SS Legacy/Wilderness Legacy) provide "softer" adventures than the Adventure ones, with the extent of recreation that is a little walking in town. These cruises highlight the history, culture, and wildlife of the ports of call through a series of tours and enrichment lectures on board. There are options for those who look for more activity during free time in port. After the excursions, passengers have the opportunity to explore on their own by window shopping or hiking the local trails.

UnCruise caters to a wide range of travelers. The Adventure cruises' Sea of Cortez, Hawaii and Alaska itineraries attract active 30- to 70-year-old eco-conscious enthusiasts and families. River sailings appeal to mature clientele with an adventurous spirit. As there are no kayaks or skiff rides on these, guests embrace their desire to explore the wilderness and culture of the regions visited, in a state of total relaxation. Most passengers are North Americans, but you may also see some Australians and Europeans.

In early-February 2019, UnCruise announced a new 7-day itinerary (themed "Aloha Hawaii Adventure Cruise") part of the company's "Hawaii Small Ship Cruise" 2019 program on Safari Explorer. The scheduled 6 summer departures (July-August) visit 4 Hawaiian islands. The 7-day roundtrips are from Kaunakakai (Molokai Island) to Lanai Island (Day 3), Maui Island (Olowalu, Day 4), seaday (Day 5) and Hawaii Island (Da 6 Milolii / Honomalino Bay, Day 7 Kailua-Kona, Day 8 Disembarkation / Kawaihae Harbor). UnCruise operates seasonally in Hawaii since 2011. The new voyages include themed activities like seakayaking, hiking, snorkeling, paddleboarding, wildlife viewing, skiff (boat) tours.

(Coronavirus crisis) passenger shipping pause 2020-2021

Due to the COVID pandemic, UnCruise announced on March 23, 2020, that partially suspends operations (due to the USA-imposed travel restrictions) in the regions Central America (Panama and Costa Rica), Baja Mexico, Hawaii, Pacific Northwest and Alaska (roundtrips from Juneau on 7-night "Glacier Bay" itinerary). Eventually, the company's entire 2020 program plus all voyages through May 2021 were canceled.

Next are listed all UnCruise ships and their first departures (dates/deployments/regions) in 2021:

  • Safari Endeavour (BAJA MEXICO / ALASKA) - restarted on May 29, leaving from Sitka and Juneau.
  • Safari Quest (PACIFIC NORTHWEST / ALASKA) - restarted on May 28, leaving from Juneau AK.
  • Safari Voyager (PANAMA / COSTA RICA) - restarted on October 1, leaving from Puerto Caldera (Costa Rica).
  • Safari Explorer (ALASKA) - restarted on May 29, leaving from Juneau AK.
  • (ALASKA) cruises restarted in 2021 with Wilderness Discoverer (May 16), Wilderness Adventurer (June 4), Wilderness Legacy (May 10), Wilderness Explorer (May 30).

Under CERTS (Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services Act), in August 2021 the company received USD 8,7 million (CAD 10,96M / AUD 11,87M / EUR 7,37M) grant from the USA's government. The CERTS provides grants to eligible (USA-based and all American-crewed) passenger transportation companies (motorcoach, school bus, shipping, pilotage) that have experienced 25% or more annual revenue losses due to the COVID crisis.

Itinerary of UnCruise Adventures

Currently, the American travel brand line UnCruise Adventures owns and operates the following vessels:

In 2020, the company planned to introduce a new cruisetour itinerary (themed "Belize and Guatemala Wonders - Rivers, Reefs, and Cultures") leaving roundtrip from Belize City. It was scheduled for Safari Voyager (October-December) with a total of 6 departures. The new itinerary visits Belize Barrier Reef (world's second-largest coral reef - after Great Barrier Reef in Queensland Australia), Ranguana Caye (private island, west of Placencia), Carrie Bow Cay, and Laughing Bird Caye (an island off Placencia's coast). Cruise prices started from USD 4550 pp (Master Stateroom double-occupancy rates) inclusive of meals; beverages (including alcohol); watersports activities (snorkeling, sea kayaking, beach BBQs), and all transfers. Early bookings received USD 800 ticket price discounts.

Next is listed UnCruise's 2022-2023 fleet deployment by destination.

  • Alaska (Safari Endeavour, Safari Explorer, Safari Quest, Wilderness Adventurer, Wilderness Discoverer, Wilderness Explorer, Wilderness Legacy) departures are offered from homeports Seattle, Sitka, Juneau, Ketchikan
  • Hawaii (Safari Explorer) 7-day itinerary ("Hawaiian Seascapes") between Molokai and Kona
  • Pacific Northwest USA (Safari Quest) 7-day itinerary ("San Juan Islands and Olympic Wilderness) roundtrip from Seattle WA
  • Columbia and Snake Rivers (Wilderness Legacy) 7-day and 12-day itineraries ("Rivers of Adventure and Wine") roundtrip from Portland Oregon
  • Mexico (Safari Voyager) 7-day itineraries ("Baja’s Bounty", "Whale Sharks, Whales and Mobulas") roundtrip from San Jose del Cabo
  • Latin America (Safari Voyager) 7-day itineraries ("Belize and Guatemala Wonders: Rivers, Reefs, and Cultures" from Belize City, and "Unveiled Wonders: Costa Rica and Panama" between San Jose and Panama City)
  • Galapagos Ecuador (La Pinta) April thru September, 7-night roundtrips from Baltra

The company's theme voyages lineup also includes itineraries visiting ports in Columbia and Snake Rivers, Costa Rica, Panama, Pacific Northwest USA (Coastal WA and the San Juan Islands). Voyages are themed on marine biology, ornithology, photography, storytelling, music, craft beers, wines, spa-wellness.

Solar Eclipse cruises (2023-2024)

In 2023, UnCruise Safari Voyager's schedule featured the "Belize Eclipse Cruise 2023".

Departing on October 13th (2023), the 7-night/8-day roundtrip from Belize City visits Belize Barrier Reef (DAY 2/Solar Eclipse Day, Ranguana Caye, Laughing Bird Caye NP), Guatemala's Tapon Creek Nature Reserve/Las Escobas Rainforest Park (DAY 3), Guatemala's Rio Sarstun/Rio Dulce/Livingston (DAY 4), Belize's Punta Gorda (DAY 5/Mayan ruins tour), Payne's Creek NP (DAY 6/Lime Caye), Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary (DAY 7).

"Belize Eclipse Cruise 2023" prices started from US$5845 per person with double occupancy.

In 2024, UnCruise scheduled for Safari Voyager the "Baja California Eclipse Cruise 2024”. Departing on April 6th (2024), The special voyage offers a perfect viewing of the total Solar Eclipse (April 8th) off Mazatlan's coast.

The 7-night/8-day itinerary visits San Jose del Cabo (DAY 1/flight to Los Cabos Airport, embarkation in La Paz), sea day (DAY 2/Gulf of California), Solar Eclipse Day (DAY 3/Northwest of Mazatlan), sea day (DAY 4/Sea of Cortes), Isla San Francisco (DAY 5), Los Islotes/Isla Partida (DAY 6), La Paz (DAYS 7-8/overnight), San Jose del Cabo (DAY 8/home flight).

"Baja California Eclipse Cruise 2024" prices started from US$ 7150 per person (additional $495 for port taxes and fees). Single-occupancy cabin rates started at $9200.

UnCruise Alaskan program

In 2018, UnCruise Adventures added the 7th vessel to its Alaskan fleet. The 88-passenger SS Legacy, newly outfitted with skiffs and sea kayaks, operates in Alaska as part of the company's Alaskan itinerary program with visits to Glacier Bay National Park and new itineraries.


UnCruise's Alaskan departures (one-way and roundtrip) are from homeports Seattle, Sitka (Baranof Island), Juneau, and Ketchikan (Revillagigedo Island).

  • Among the new additions is Haines, where is offered a float trip down Chilkat River (available on most Alaskan itineraries). Also offered are a guided hiking tour, bikes (for rides through the town) and an onboard lecture by local Chilkat Tlingit people.
  • The company also added new "Alaska Insider" cruises as themed voyages. The "Alaska Insider" theme is joining the company's "Alaska Awakening" campaign highlighting the benefits of Southeast Alaska cruising during spring. These voyages take place in April and May, featuring expert lectures and guided tours by authors, nature writers, glaciologists, bear and salmon experts, an ethnobotanist, a historian, a marine ecologist, along with cultural heritage guides from Alaska Native Voices Educational Institute.
  • The new "Alaska Insider" themed voyages are offered on the boats Safari Endeavour, Safari Explorer, SS Legacy, Wilderness Adventurer, Wilderness Discoverer, and Wilderness Explorer.

UnCruise's fleet of small boats and boutique yachts offers a vessel capacity of 22-86 passengers. The adventure voyages last 1-2 weeks. All activities and shore trips are included in the fares.

Alaska 2022 program made UnCruise the brand with the ever-longest cruise season in Alaska (April 8 through October 8). The program was based on 7- to 14-night long itineraries (14 different) and 7 boats. Fares started from USD 2995 per person (with double occupancy).

UnCruise Alaskan itineraries (themes)

Next are listed UnCruise's Alaskan itineraries are as themes.

  • 7-day "Alaska: Northern Passages and Glacier Bay Wilderness" (between Juneau and Sitka)
  • 7-day "Alaska: Northern Passages and Glacier Bay" (between Juneau and Sitka)
  • 12-day "Inside Passages and Glacier Bay Wilderness" (between Juneau and Seattle)
  • 7-day "Alaska’s Glacier Country" (roundtrip from Juneau)
  • 7-day "Alaska Fjords and Glaciers" (between Ketchikan and Juneau)
  • 7-day "Glacier Bay National Park and Haines Adventure" (between Ketchikan and Juneau
  • 7-day "Glacier Bay National Park Adventure" (roundtrip from Juneau)
  • 7-day "Wild, Woolly and Wow" (roundtrip from Juneau)
  • 14-day "Eastern Fjords and Glacier Bay" (between Ketchikan and Juneau)

Note: CruiseMapper's UnCruise ship schedules give you all sailing dates and the line's ticket prices per cabin. Follow the ship links to compare prices, port departures, and arrival dates in ports of call. This way you can plan and budget better your Un-Cruise small ship vacations - knowing where and when all their ships go, and for how much.

UnCruise Adventures related cruise news