Much of the vast wilderness of Alaska remains untamed, and it could take a lifetime to see just a slice of the outdoors paradise. UnCruise Adventures is expanding its offerings, though, making is easier to explore more of this great destination.
UnCruise Adventures' schedule of 2018 Alaska cruises adds a seventh ship to its Alaska fleet, plus more visits to Glacier Bay National Park and seven new itineraries. The 88-guest S.S. Legacy, a replica coastal steamer that has been freshly outfitted with kayaks and skiffs, joins the Alaska fleet in 2018 to sail the line's popular adventure cruises. My adventure voyages with UnCruise in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska were the most thrilling cruises I've had so far.
Check out my stories and video recaps from my two cruises in 2016 with UnCruise Adventures.
An UnCruise Adventures Wilderness Discoverer cruise in the San Juan Islands:
From April to October, travelers may choose from 10 adventure cruise itineraries on 160 departures lasting from one week to 14 days. These depart from homeports of Seattle or Ketchikan, Juneau, Petersburg and Sitka, Alaska on ships that carry 22 to 88 passengers.
"Seven of our 10 itineraries visit Glacier Bay National Park in 2018," said Dan Blanchard, CEO on UnCruise Adventures. "There are many outstanding wilderness areas in Southeast Alaska, but Glacier Bay is iconic. With multiple days in the park, we're able to actively explore more, including access to rarely visited, pristine outback areas."
Travelers visiting Glacier Bay see the sights up close on the smaller expedition ships. For example, you might spot sea lions at Marble Islands and tidewater glaciers and mountain goats at Gloomy Knob. The ships often stop at Bartlett Cove Visitor Center for a short hike, and a Glacier Bay National Park ranger boards the ship to provide narration in the park. Cruises with two or three days in the park have time to explore deeper with guided kayak and hiking excursions.
Check out these enticing voyages that are new for UnCruise in 2018:
Alaska Yacht: Bears, Bergs and Bushwhacking -- The 22-passenger Safari Quest sails 15 departures on an itinerary targeted to past cruisers and travelers seeking out new adventures in rarely visited wilderness areas. The eight-night itinerary out of Petersburg begins with an included hotel night in Petersburg, followed by a choice of fishing or flightseeing in the morning. Four wilderness areas are explored -- South Baranof, Admiralty, Tebenkof, Stikine-LeConte Glacier -- plus a visit to the native village of Kake and a guided tour to the Fortress of the Bear on Admiralty Island.
Alaska's Glaciers and Whales -- The 88-passenger S.S. Legacy and 84-person Safari Endeavour sail 13 departures from Juneau to Sitka to see glaciers in Tracy Arm or Endicott Arm, Thomas Bay, Baird Glacier, Le Conte Glacier, Ideal Cove, Frederick Sound, Baranof Island, Sergius Narrows and the native village of Kake.
Whales, Wildlife and Glaciers -- The S.S. Legacy and Safari Endeavour sail 13 departures on an upper Inside Passage-focused itinerary from Sitka to Juneau. This route explores Krestof Sound, Icy Strait, Glacier Bay National Park, Chichagof Island and Lynn Canal. A day in Haines includes a float trip down the Chilkat River, a guided hike, biking and a shipboard presentation by Chilkat Tlingit members. The two itineraries are combinable for a new two-week Alaska Glacier Cruise Ultimate Expedition.
Alaska's Inside Passage and San Juans Cruise -- Five ships sail nine departures on spring and fall transits between Seattle and Juneau (and reverse). Two additional days in 2018 create a 14-day itinerary with added days spent exploring Washington's Olympic National Park and San Juan Islands, as well as Alaska's Glacier Bay National Park.
Glacier Bay National Park Adventure Cruise -- The 60-passenger Wilderness Adventurer sails 19 departures roundtrip from Juneau with three days in Glacier Bay National Park for travelers intent on exploring lesser-visited nooks and crannies with more opportunities for hiking and kayaking in the park. It also explores Icy Strait and spends a day in Haines for included adventures ashore: bikes, hiking, a float trip on the river and a shipboard presentation by Chilkat Tlingit members.
How about these classic UnCruise trips?
Glacier Bay Small Ship Cruise -- Four ships sail 23 departures on weeklong cruises -- roundtrip Juneau with two days in Glacier Bay National Park. Other areas explored are Chatham Strait, Kuiu Island, Frederick Sound and Dawes Glacier in Endicott Arm.
Northern Passages and Glacier Bay -- The 76-passenger Wilderness Discoverer and 74-person Wilderness Explorer sail 20 departures on weeklong cruises from Juneau to Sitka (or reverse). Areas explored include Chatham Strait, Glacier Bay National Park, Icy Strait, Chichagof Island, Peril Strait and Sergius Narrows.
Alaska Fjords and Glaciers -- Three ships sail 19 departures from Juneau to Ketchikan (or reverse) visiting Misty Fjords National Monument, Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier, Thomas Bay, Stephens Passage, Wrangell Narrows and a stop in Wrangell for a visit to the totem park and Chief Shakes Tribal House. Travelers may combine it with the Northern Passages and Glacier Bay cruise for a new 14-day Fjords of Alaska Cruise Ultimate Expedition.
Every Alaska cruise includes adventure activities in remote wilderness. I loved the hiking, kayaking, paddleboarding and skiff excursions. Oh, and the whale watching, of course.
With few port calls and flexible itineraries, travelers spend the week exploring remote wilderness and searching for wildlife. Expert and passionate expedition guides lead tours and activities, give topical nightly presentations and answer all your questions along the way.
Which one of these trips catches your eye? It's OK to say "all of them." That's my answer, too.
Thanks for reading,