Come Un-Cruise Alaska with us.......... August 2015
Aboard an Intimate Small Ship Nature Excursion
8Day/7Night Un-Cruise starting and ending in Juneau, Alaska

The Small Ship Advantage................ A cruise on a small ship is not filled with elaborate distractions, sleek resorts and packaged tours. Rather, small ships are perfect for intimate exploration of off-the-beaten track waterways, narrow channels and tiny ports that passengers on large ships will never see. When guests visit a small port in Alaska's Inside Passage they don't overwhelm the local communities. Their largest small ship vessel hosts under 100 guests.

Small ship guests would rather watch for whales in Frederick Sound than spend the afternoon in a casino. They linger outside on deck as the Captain noses under a waterfall, rather than watch a video. On a small ship, the focus is very often outside, on what Nature has provided for entertainment, rather than on amusements provided to occupy your attention on board.

Your time is spent wisely, too. Rather than making a beeline from port to port, small ship Captains have the flexibility - and the inclination - to linger when whales are putting on a show, a glacier is calving spectacularly, or to seek out sea otters when a nearby fisherman radios the word.

On a small ship cruise, you are not just a visitor. You are a participant. Whether kayaking next to a glacier, hiking in a rain forest in Alaska, or enjoying a spectacular spring garden in British Columbia, a small-ship cruise is an engaging experience for all the senses.

Note; We haven't picked a specific ship or itinerary, but it will be similar to the ships and excursion shown.

  • An extraorinary personal adventure, with friends
Day 1 – Juneau, Alaska – Embarkation; Arriving in Juneau, you will be transferred from the airport to our hospitality area. Upon boarding, your crew greets you with champagne and smiles. Set sail for a week of scenic channels and secluded wilderness.

Day 2 – Glacier Bay National Park; Accompanied by a National Park Ranger, over the two days in the park you’ll travel nearly 60 miles cruising up-bay to the tidewater glaciers of Grand Pacific and Margerie, which frequently calve huge icebergs into the bay. If conditions permit, we’ll lower the skiffs and weave among the icebergs that have fallen from the face of the glaciers. Enjoy an evening at anchor, and mornings paddling your kayak in the quiet of this majestic wilderness. Here in the bay are puffins and sea lions, mountain goats and bears, moose, eagles, and scenery more spectacular than any place on earth. Glacier Bay is at its best when explored by small groups with unfettered time for treks and kayaking inside the bay and wilderness areas.

Day 3 – Glacier Bay National Park; Enjoy another exclusive day exploring the glaciers and wildlife of Glacier Bay National Park.

Day 4 – Icy Strait; Today’s the ultimate day of exploration. Set your course for arguably the richest whale waters in Southeast Alaska. Keep watch for the telltale blow of the humpbacks as you scour the nutrient-rich waters in search of whales, porpoise, sea lions, and other wildlife. Join the Captain on the bridge or go on deck with your Expedition Leader. Late afternoon, we’ll drop the skiffs and kayaks for closer inspection of the remote coastline with eyes set on shore for possible bear sightings. This evening, take in the solitude while relaxing in the upper deck hot tub or enjoy a nightcap with your fellow yachtmates in the salon.

Day 5 – Chichagof Island / Baranof Island; With no binding agenda, today you’ll cruise the waterfall coast of Chichagof Island. Marvel at the grand scenery of Alaska’s wilderness as the crew expertly guides you through those “not in the guidebook” places known only to the locals. This evening, perhaps tucking away in a waterfall-laced fjord, there’ll be time for skiffing, beachcombing or treks ashore, and kayaking to look for sea otters and bears before calling it a day near Baranof Island.

Day 6  Frederick Sound / Stephen’s Passage; Spend the day exploring in Frederick Sound and Stephen’s Passage—another excellent chance to view humpback whales and other marine wildlife. Pass by Five Fingers Lighthouse and watch for playful antics at a large sea lion haulout made from dozens of rocky islets. Later, cruise picturesque bays, where evergreen forests crowd the shores.

Day 7 – Ford’s Terror / Endicott Arm; Cliff-walled fjords sliced into the mountainous mainland are on tap today as you slowly slip into an area widely acclaimed as the most beautiful in Alaska. With more designated Wilderness Areas than any state in the nation, the finest include Endicott Arm and Ford’s Terror—a pristine tidal inlet and fjord. Explore this majestic fjord by kayak or skiff, a unique opportunity indeed. View rugged ice-covered mountains gleaming high overhead and a glacier that actively calves into the ice-filled fjord of Endicott Arm. Toast your voyage with a festive Farewell Dinner, and before turning in, your Expedition Leaders will share a “photo journal” of your trip together.

Day 8 – Juneau – Disembark; Gather for breakfast before returning to historic Juneau. Transfer to the Juneau airport or begin your Un-Cruise hotel stay or land tour. Safe travels to all!

Alaska Inside Passage small ship cruises allows you to explore Alaska's Inside Passage where other megaliner ships can’t. Experience the largest national forest in the United States, the world's deepest fjords and massive glaciers, like the ones found in remarkable Glacier Bay. Get close to shore to view grizzly bears, black bears, mountain goats, bald eagles and wolves. View Alaska's marine wildlife, such as humpback whales, sea lions and sea otters all around your ship, or even closer from Zodiac landing craft and kayaks. And through it all, you'll be guided by explorations leaders, naturalists and regional experts to provide the richest, most memorable experience possible.

Price Comparisons - Small Ship vs. Big Ship
Comparing a small-ship cruise to a mass market cruise you will find that the small-ship is generally more. How much more? The "from" price for mass market cruise lines is considered very good if it is $100 per day per person. That's for an inside cabin. Oceanview cabins (almost all small-ship cabins are oceanview) will start at about $150 per day, balconies or suites are $200 to $250. Most small-ship cabins will begin at around $150 and commonly be found at $300 per day. Of course, the luxury ships (both small and large) can go much higher - $1,000 to $1,300 per day is not impossible.

If we were to try and justify logically the difference in cost between small and large ships, we might want to consider that, on average, the small ship cruises will include many more shore excursions that you would pay extra for on the big ships (often $50 to $100 per day per person). Most small ships do not have a "tipping" policy such as you find on large ships (usually $15 to $20 per day per person). Finally, because most small ships do not have casinos, you won't be tempted to try and double your fortune (usual loss $25 to $100 per night).

Considering these points, the cost of a small ship cruise is pretty close to the cost of a large ship cruise. But remember, it's not really about cost - it's about value. If you are a small ship person, you will go because of value not whether it costs more or less than some alternative.

Note; Expect to pay approximately $5,000 per person, plus airfare.  All activities, plus food and beverage may be included (all inclusive), except an Alaskan Fishing License.   Depending on interest, we may charter our own personal yacht, options are open.  These charters fill up fast and we should plan on booking this year, 2013, to assure a vessel and possible discount.  If we book a whole boat, charges will be evenly divided between all.

No passport needed and you can fly roundtrip out of Juneau.

Those Interested; Mike & Jill McReynolds, Steve & Lynne Polofka, Spencer & Susan Ernst, Bob & Carol Bieber

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