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Wilderness Explorer Review

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Wilderness Explorer
-- / 5.0
24 reviews

Pros
Cons
Bottom Line

About

Passengers
76

Crew
26

Passenger to Crew
2.92:1

Launched
2012

Shore Excursions
0
Sails To
Sails From
UnCruise Cruise Deals
Chris Gray Faust
Cruise Critic Managing Editor

Wilderness Explorer Overview

Wilderness Explorer became the third expedition ship in UnCruise Adventures' fleet in 2012. Originally run as Cruise West's 86-passenger Spirit of Discovery, the ship was renovated to carry 76 passengers on Glacier Bay-oriented itineraries between Juneau and Sitka. The ship has a larger lounge than the other UnCruise Adventures vessels, and the cabins feel bigger, even though the square footage is similar.

If your idea of a great weekend is getting outside for a long hike or paddle, then a Wilderness Explorer cruise is perfect for you. With the company's focus on getting up-close with nature and wildlife, you'll get the most out of your trip if you take part in the ship's outdoor activities -- all of which are included in the cruise fare. You'll be joined by fellow passengers who have the latest in outdoor gear and are eager to use it. Don't bother packing dresses or collared shirts; you're more likely to wear rubber boots and rain pants.

Despite the casual atmosphere, Wilderness Explorer offers thoughtful touches onboard. Passengers will find a reasonably priced full bar, memory foam mattresses in the cabins and a special kayak launching dock designed to get even the biggest couch potatoes out on the water. Meals are served buffet-style at set times, and soda, lemonade and juice are included in the cruise price. The onboard pastry chef guarantees you'll replenish calories quickly. All cabins are above deck with outward-facing windows, perfect for enjoying Alaska's crisp mornings and late sunsets. The ship quiets down at night, primarily because people are worn out from the ample hiking, paddling and trekking opportunities -- although the hot tub gets some use. There's little in the way of organized lectures or talks, a missed opportunity considering the surroundings.

Tips can be added to your bill at the end of the cruise, and they are split evenly between the crew. The captain recommends 5 to 10 percent of your total cabin cost.

The ship summers in Glacier Bay, where a national park ranger comes onboard to provide education and interpretation, and passengers can take out human-powered watercraft to access areas closed to motorized traffic. 

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Wilderness Explorer Ratings

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Awards and Recognition

UnCruise Wilderness Explorer Member Reviews

Wilderness Explorer
lastmate
Sail Date: Jul 2018
We found more than 70 other passengers of mixed age groups on board the Wilderness Explorer who were "our kind of people", on our full-capacity early July Glaciers and Fjords Alaska cruise with UnCruise... Read More
Wilderness Explorer
mmadhatter
Sail Date: May 2018
The week aboard the Wilderness Explorer was called “Alaska's Fjords & Glaciers”. This is the first year that Uncruise started this early, about four weeks earlier than usual.... Read More
Wilderness Explorer
KarlaRK
Sail Date: Jun 2019
We heard about UnCruise from a couple who wanted to take an Alaska adventure cruise with other couples. We collectively decided that we wanted to “experience” Alaska, rather than just “see” Alaska. We are... Read More
Wilderness Explorer
30RockFan
Sail Date: Jun 2018
Very impressed with Uncruise. Having sailed big cruise ships before, this was a far superior experience. Every day we saw beautiful, jaw dropping sights without another boat in sight. It was lovely to go kayaking... Read More

UnCruise Adventures Fleet

Safari Quest
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

20 reviews

Super casual and basic expedition cruising with an emphasis on active pursuits in off-the-beaten path destinations; included excursions include kayaking, hiking and skiff sightseeing.

View All UnCruise Safari Quest Cruises
Safari Explorer
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating

One of Un-Cruise's upscale expedition vessels, the 36-passenger Safari Explorer brings understated elegance while alllowing guests to experience nature up close and personal.

Wilderness Discoverer
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

UnCruise Adventure's Wilderness Discoverer isn't glamorous, but thoughtful touches, such as memory foam mattresses, bedside stands with pull-out laptop spaces and outside hooks for bulky gear, abound.

Safari Endeavour
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

The biggest ship in the UnCruise Adventures fleet, Safari Endeavor has a passenger capacity of 86. Cabins feature higher-end furnishings.

Wilderness Adventurer

Alaska expedition cruising with a friendly onboard vibe straight of out the pages of an REI catalog; all-inclusive excursions include hiking, kayaking, snorkeling and skiff sightseeing.

Wilderness Explorer

Expedition-style cruising in Alaska for up to 74 cruisers; friendly onboard vibe with nature guides and active excursions that include hiking, kayaking and skiff sightseeing.

S.S. Legacy
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating

An expedition ship with a Victorian twist as crewmembers may dress in Gold Rush-era costumes on some itineraries; kayaks and skiffs activities are always available.

Safari Voyager
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating

Expedition-style boat holding up to 62; carries onboard naturalists and offers all-inclusive active excursions including hiking, kayaking and snorkeling; free half-hour massage.

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