Home to the best national parks, awe-inspiring wildlife, and unforgettable hikes, Alaska’s charms as a travel destination are legendary. That’s why, over 25 years ago, it became the birthplace of UnCruise. It continues to be a core offering today, with routes designed to leave the chartered course behind.
UnCruise facilitates once-in-a-lifetime adventures that give guests an appreciation of local cultures and the natural world. Their Alaska expeditions stand out with non-stop action and exploration—think calving glaciers, whale watching, taking a polar plunge, and maybe even spotting the Northern Lights. Nobody does Alaska better.
Celebrating 25 years of adventure in Alaska
When UnCruise began sailing in 1996, it started with just one yacht in Alaska. The cruise line has added more ships since then, along with new destinations and itinerary choices. However, the core of their mission remains the same—to create transformative experiences and memorable adventures for guests.
UnCruise creates unparalleled value through their expertise and personalized service. All itineraries are led by engaging guides who are experts in their sailing areas. And there’s ample opportunity to interact with them because UnCruise’s smallest ship carries 22 guests, while its largest accommodates only 86.
With more than 25 years of experience adventuring in Alaska, UnCruise also understands the fragility of ecosystems. Keeping that top of mind, the cruise line promotes environmental protection through education, actions, and initiatives that promote responsible travel.
Going where the big ships can’t reach
UnCruise specializes in transporting guests to the places big ships can’t reach. For example, nearly all visitors to Glacier Bay National Park see the same sliver of its 3.3 million acres (about the size of the state of Connecticut) as everyone else. But UnCruise guests have the privilege of going much deeper into the park, reaching the rugged coastline of Fern Harbor, stunning Dundas Bay, and isolated No Name Cove. Some itineraries even allow guests enough time to spend two full days marveling at the park’s mind-blowing scenery.
UnCruise is also the only company permitted to guide guests in Corner Bay near the southeastern end of Chichagof Island. As the ship makes its way toward land, you’re likely to spot some brown bears along the shoreline. And with its tangle of long trails and abandoned Forest Service roads, this area offers extraordinary hiking and biking opportunities. Guests also have the honor of meeting a local family to learn about what it’s like to live and work in the wilds of Alaska.
Some itineraries also make a slow meander through the South Baranof Wilderness Area with its dramatic backdrop of glacier-carved fjords and granite mountains. No other small ships visit the far reaches of this primitive place. Weather permitting, it’s an ideal area for snorkeling, and the chances of seeing humpback or orca whales are excellent. Finally, that day usually ends with a jaw-dropping scenic cruise of another seldom visited area–Gut Bay at the north end of this area.
While visiting these regions, the likelihood of seeing any other people or vessels is very low. That means UnCruise guests are free to partake in thrilling activities like kayaking, paddle boarding, or skiff excursions while reveling in the overwhelming enormity and power of the Alaska wilderness.
Non-stop action in the wilderness
With full days packed with hiking, biking, kayaking, polar plunges, and wildlife searches, a trip to Alaska is the most adventurous backcountry itinerary that UnCruise offers.
In Alaska, the rise and fall of the tide dictates the timing of many of the day’s activities. That includes visiting the LeConte Glacier, the southernmost tidewater glacier in the northern hemisphere. If the tide is early, guests might wake up to the sound of the brilliant blue ice pressing against the ship’s hull.
There’s another chance to get up close and personal with a glacier in Thomas Bay. In the morning, guests can opt for long flat hikes or steep elevation climbs. Later, you’re likely to see the mighty Baird Glacier still calving, or shedding, into the water. After that, the ship moves to the opposite end of the bay for more activities like evening skiff tours and kayak trips during the pre-dusk hours when the sounds of the wilds beckon.
Indeed, wildlife is omnipresent when you’re in the Alaska wilderness–orca, Steller sea lions, dolphins, and, of course, bears all call it home. Many UnCruise itineraries explore the whale-rich waters of Frederick Sound and Stephens Passage, which boasts the highest seasonal concentration of Humpback Whales in Alaska and perhaps the entire Northern Hemisphere.
A trip for everyone
Out of all the UnCruise destinations, Alaska lays claim to the most itineraries during three different seasons. Southeast Alaska awakens in the spring with budding forests, snow-covered peaks, and gushing waterfalls. Bears emerge from their slumber and grey whales and birds begin migrating. You have the best odds of seeing the Northern Lights against the night sky at this time. Plus, it’s crowd-free.
In summer, the long days and additional sunlight means extra playtime. The humpback whales have returned to Alaska by then, and warmer temperatures make higher elevation hikes possible. But summer’s end and early fall are the best times to spot wildlife as they begin mating, migrating, and plumping up before winter.
Whether you want to spend one or two weeks there or somewhere between, UnCruise has an Alaska trip suited to everyone.