By Lindsay MacNevin
Getting heckled for not eating dessert was not something I expected when I came upon the Wilderness Discoverer, a small ship run by Un-Cruise Adventures. Yet here I was, up on the sun deck learning to tie knots and getting teased by the crew for not eating dessert. The crew and my fellow passengers described the ship’s cupcakes with phrases like “the best cupcake I have ever eaten in my life.” It was then I decided I was never missing a dessert on this ship again.
Luckily I was faring better with my knot-tying skills, and I declared out loud that perhaps we should have some sort of “knot-off.” Travis, one of the crew members tried to stifle his laughter at me when I used the term “knot-off” and I thought to myself this is no ordinary cruise.
Un-Cruise Adventures isn’t meant to be an ordinary cruise though, hence the name. Focusing on personalized individual service is the name of the game here and whether you want to challenge a crew member to a game of Trivial Pursuit, skiff around Deception Pass in Washington state, or learn how to tie knots for an hour, they will deliver each and every one of those experiences with a great big smile.
Un-Cruise Adventures offers passengers the chance to take a responsible and eco-friendly tour that provides an intimate look at some of the most inspiring landscapes and ecosystems on our planet. In 2015 the company was recognized for its commitment to responsible travel. The Passenger Vessel Association made Un-Cruise Adventures a member of its Green Waters Program for the company’s dedication and commitment to fostering a cleaner, greener marine environment.
Un-Cruise has taken it upon themselves to reduce their environmental impact in a variety of ways, including reducing fuel consumption, conserving potable water, using less harmful chemicals near waterways, conserving energy and working with their employees to create a greener workplace. “We are committed to operating responsibly as we explore in some of the most scenic and awe inspiring places on Earth,” said Un-Cruise Adventures’ CEO Dan Blanchard. And awe-inspiring it is when you cruise with Un-Cruise through places such as Alaska, Panama, Costa Rica, the San Juan Islands and the Galapagos, just to name a few.
What really sets this company apart is their ability to take passengers off the beaten path. With vessels that only carry 22-88 guests, travelers can more easily experience waters that are inaccessible to larger ships, mingle with locals and create lifelong memories. Un-Cruise’s itineraries focus on activities and excursions that complement the wilderness, wildlife, culture, and heritage of the places they visit. Un-cruise participants can plan on hiking through secluded forests while learning the names of the plants and trees that only your expert guide can identify, walking on glaciers, kayaking in secret coves amongst seals, skiffing across the open water and wildlife spotting.
Un-Cruise also partners with the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program in its efforts to serve only seafood caught or farmed in ocean-friendly ways. The Seafood Watch program assesses how wild-caught and farmed seafood affect the environment and provides recommendations to consumers and businesses on which items are “best choices.” With a pledge to only serve the seafood with the best ratings, Un-Cruise is committed to serving sustainable seafood across the entire fleet. As the first cruise line to partner with this consumer education initiative, Un-Cruise is a pioneer in the marine tourism industry.
As I sat in the restaurant night after night, eating the absolutely incredible meals, I couldn’t agree more with this practice. The seafood tasted better knowing that it was the best choice. Some other responsible actions Un-Cruise takes include purchasing local food and supplies, following the “Leave No Trace” practices, recycling, and donating to local organizations in areas where they operate.
The best part—Un-Cruise is responsible quietly, without demanding that the world recognize them as the leading cruise line in socially conscious travel. There are no big presentations onboard or flashy media. Instead they quietly introduce guests to their ways, reminding everyone as they leave the ship for excursions to follow “leave no trace” practices and allowing them to discover how Un-Cruise promotes a healthier planet on their own.
As I sit in the hot tub soaking away my aches while watching the shooting stars whiz by with not a single soul around, I once again think to myself: this is no ordinary cruise.
When Lindsay isn't jet-setting around the world or racing to hit deadlines, she can be found drinking a pint of craft beer watching the Blue Jays game. As a freelance travel, beer and wine writer she spends most of her time on the go, seeking out incredible experiences. She can often be seen losing herself in a good book, tasting delicious wines and expanding her ever-growing collection of beer growlers from around the world.