I want to tell you about a cool cruise company I have been looking into more and more lately. Un-Cruise Adventures checks most of the boxes I have for a great active adventure. I was prompted to look at the line more closely because I keep getting press releases in my inbox about cruise deals and itineraries Un-Cruise offers. It's "wave season" for the cruise industry, the period between January and March when companies offer extra-value deals. That means the email inbox gets filled with more material from the various lines. And Un-Cruise is promoting its offers on new adventure and river sailings for 2015.
The line traces its history to 1996 operating voyages on yachts and small ships with a goal of providing access to inspiring destinations while fostering a global appreciation of nature and cultures.
This is from Un-Cruise's mission statement on its website, and the sentiments and ideas behind this company resonate strongly with what I am trying to do on this blog.
"We understand that ecosystems are fragile, yet important, environments. With profound respect and admiration, we gain a renewed spirit about how amazing nature and its wild inhabitants can be on every journey. And we know first-hand the impact our adventures have on sustaining local communities.
Mission Statement: To provide our guests an enriching adventure travel experience and inspire an appreciation of local cultures and the natural world.
One of the key components of our company's mission statement is to actively promote environmental protection through education, actions and initiatives that promote responsible travel. We are members of Sustainable Travel International, which focuses on responsible travel and ecotourism.
Small group travel is the heart of what we do. Our boats serve as your platform in Alaska, the Hawaiian Islands, Mexico's Sea of Cortes, Columbia & Snake Rivers, and Coastal Washington & British Columbia. Expert Captains and guides lead you on adventure -- trekking into forests and engaging in local communities; kayaking and skiff rides through serene wilderness; exploring along shore and searching for wildlife. Filled with unspoiled encounters, they focus on activities and excursions that complement the wilderness, wildlife and culture in each destination -- to change the way you see the world."
What's not to like about that mission? A lot of travelers eschew cruising because they don't find it authentic enough. I'll admit that some aspects of cruising, especially on mega-ships, are not that appealing to me, either, but I know even the most adventurous people can find a way to have a great time on almost any sailing on almost any ship.
But lines like Un-Cruise Adventures and other expeditionary cruise companies almost assure adventurous, thrill-seeking travelers will have a blast on a cruise. I have not yet been on a voyage with Un-Cruise and have not been asked to post this blog by the cruise line, by the way. I am very interested in what they have to offer, however, and I think that you Loopers might be, too.
I read through several reviews on CruiseCritic.com, and people who have cruised on the line generally rave about their experiences (95 percent of reviewers loved the line). Meals are casual, but the food is excellent. And you are able to enjoy your trip the way you want -- with more active excursions -- and a mix of pampering, if you choose (massages or a hot tub soak, for examples).
Un-Cruise has a fleet of nine yachts and small ships that hold 22 to 88 passengers for river cruises or adventure voyages lasting from seven to 21 days. I'm particularly drawn to what they call their "Adventure Cruises." You head out on an expedition vessel for a journey that could include whale watching, snorkeling, standup paddleboarding, hiking, inflatable skiff excursions, yoga sessions and more, all with the accompaniment of expert guides and naturalists.
Check them out to see whether you might enjoy an active adventure on one of their ships and itineraries. Happy travels!