UnCruise Adventures has relocated its popular expedition yacht Safari Explorer to Hawaii full-time. (It had also sailed seasons in Alaska.)
With the move comes the chance to cruise during summers with UnCruise. An expedition cruise is obviously the way to go when exploring Hawaii, a chain of magical islands that represents a unique paradise.
The eight-island archipelago is the most-isolated populated land mass in the world. While this might seem to be the definition of "the middle of nowhere," sailing on Safari Explorer with the enthusiastic UnCruise Adventures crew and a small handful of like-minded cruisers makes every day in Hawaii precisely where you want to be.
We jumped at the chance to get a taste of summer expedition cruising in Hawaii, as UnCruise offered five weeklong roundtrip voyages from Molokai this summer to christen the line's year-round commitment to expedition cruises in this special destination.
Starting in fall 2019, UnCruise Adventures will be sailing weeklong one-way "Hawaiian Seascapes" trips from Molokai to Hawaii (and reverse) all year long, with no breaks, and visiting Maui and Lanai along the way.
For our voyage, we joined 18 others onboard the ship, which carries up to 36 passengers on its cozy three-deck layout. Our fellow cruisers ranged in age from 19 to 80s, and we all enjoyed seven days of jumping into the waters and exploring onshore in Molokai, Maui, Hawaii (the Big Island) and Lanai.
Colleen has now been on three UnCruise Adventures sailings and says this one was her favorite. (You can see that is true if you look at her broad and frequent smiles in the extensive photo report below.) It also ranks at the top of my five voyages with the line. You can distill an UnCruise trip to three basic factors that will always make it a memorable journey: the fun, the food and the new friends you will make.
The summertime sailings offer the chance to get out in the sunshine and spend most of your days playing in the beautiful waters of the Pacific. We had numerous chances to snorkel, kayak and swim -- with skiff tours, canoeing and hiking also in the mix.
While the daily active pursuits were the primary focus of the program, we also had time to delve into Hawaiian culture with visits to museums and historic towns, as well as a day in the remote Halawa Valley, and a sendoff pa'ina (traditional feast) on Molokai.
We saw numerous dolphins, with pods surfing on our bow almost daily.
We shared scrumptious meals and fresh-made pastries made with local ingredients and prepared from scratch daily by our chefs.
We met with Uncle Pilipo Solatorio, the last living person who was born and raised in the Halawa Valley, and his family who have made it their passion to preserve traditional Hawaiian culture and teach visitors about the legacy and traditions of Hawaii and the valley. We learned how poi is made and its important role in these traditions (we also had a taste of the freshly made delicacy).
We went out daily for numerous activities in the water and onshore.
And we laughed and made new friends, which is always the best part of these trips.
Here is a photo journal that summarizes and brings to life where we went, what we saw, who we met and a little bit of what we consumed.
Photo gallery: Food and more fun (click play)
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Remember: Travel fit, travel happy and travel often.