What do pastry chefs and Blue-footed Boobies have in common? Add in UNESCO world heritage sites, gray whales, and a few more out-of-the-ordinary sightings, and you'll have the beginning of a week-long experience onboard UnCruise Adventure's Safari Voyager vessel.
The adventure-focused company prides itself on offering high-quality excursions that help move people out of their comfort zones and into a world of discovery. A world that combines soft adventures with authentic culture and culinary experiences and gives them exactly what they're after — the ultimate cruise vacation.
“There's a genuine experience with UnCruise,” says Dan Blanchard, CEO and owner of the cruise line. “It's the key ingredient and the real test of whether we've been successful at the end of the trip. We hope our guests have a laughter-filled time on our boat, realize the fun factor of genuine outdoor adventures, and take that home with them.”
It wasn't always that way.
New Name, New Focus
What started as a high-end cruise line touting a mission of “luxury in pursuit of adventure” began shifting its goal as early as 2005. That shift eventually led to a name change in 2016.
Blanchard recalls, “We met with a good bit of resistance when we changed the name to UnCruise Adventures, but it says exactly what we were going for — that our adventures are unlike mainstream cruise lines.”
With a new name and mission entirely focused on providing soft adventure itineraries, the company now has a fleet of nine small cruise ships, including one carrying passengers to where the endangered birds known as Blue-footed Boobies live in Mexico.
Baja California Sur Adventure
UnCruise Adventures' Safari Voyager takes up to 66 passengers on a week-long sailing to the Sea of Cortez, a location so beautiful Jacque Cousteau christened it “the world's aquarium,” reflecting on its vast diversity.
The ship's crew spends the week ensuring every detail is thought out, often changing up the day's itinerary to deliver a better adventure for guests.
Robin Lipetzky of El Cerrito, California, says, “I was most impressed with how they were able to adapt to the changing weather here in Mexico, making sure we had a full itinerary that I think ended up being even better than originally planned.”
What to Expect on a Safari Voyager Cruise
Guests who choose this sailing adventure can expect an itinerary that includes what many would consider once-in-a-lifetime experiences. For some, a highlight of the trip is swimming with sea lion pups in their natural habitat. For others, it's the expedition to see dozens of mother gray whales and their calves, some coming almost close enough to touch.
Other outings include snorkeling in crystal-clear waters, small boat photography tours for a close-up look at birds and wildlife, and hikes that reveal breathtaking views of the stunning seascape below.
Activities for the Young to the Young-At-Heart
Although the minimum age requirement for passengers is eight (except for one vessel being 16), the average UnCruise Adventures guest is 40-70 years old. Active senior citizens, in particular, find the ability to choose excursions based on their activity level a large part of what attracts them to this cruise line.
While older adults may comprise nearly half the passengers onboard, these are not your average retirees. They are doctors, artists, librarians, and musicians. They are vacationers who want more out of their week than sitting poolside sipping martinis. UnCruise Adventurers enjoy physical, educational, and inspirational experiences, and they find that combination with the carefully curated itineraries provided by the company.
Able to Go Where Mega Ships Can't
One advantage UnCruise Adventures' smaller ships have is the ability to explore more intimate coves and ports that large ships can't maneuver. For the Safari Voyager, this edge means taking guests to locations in the Sea of Cortez largely untouched by tourism.
Their goal is to create unparalleled value, and flexibility is part of the formula for their success.
Professional photographer John Wright was thrilled. “After being herded around on mega cruise ships that nickel and dime you for every drink, every excursion, we wanted something more intimate.”
He and his wife first chose a Hawaiian itinerary onboard UnCruise Adventures, and he says he discovered what he was looking for in a cruise line.
“In Molokai (Hawaii), the crew provided an excursion that allowed us to experience what authentic Hawaiian culture is all about,” remembers Wright. “Learning from true indigenous people allows you to really appreciate the reasoning behind what they do.
“We became good friends with some of the locals the crew introduced us to, which made a lasting impression on us. That trip is why we returned with UnCruise Adventures for our next cruise, and we've now been on five with them.”
Making Travelers Feel Welcomed
With a guest-to-crew ratio of 2.2:1 on the Safari Voyager, the crew can pay special attention, ensuring passengers feel welcome and included. They are an integral part of the daily itinerary and interact with the passengers throughout the day and on each excursion.
Kathy Koch, a librarian in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, chose to take a second vacation with UnCruise Adventures specifically because of the inclusiveness she discovered on her first trip.
“It can be hard to find friends who have the same vacation time and money to plan a trip, so I decided to go alone,” explains Koch. “Traveling in a group like this is more comfortable when traveling solo. I also like that Uncruise attracts people who are more active – no matter their age – and are like-minded when it comes to experiences. Plus, they have their own pastry chef onboard. What's not to love about that?”
This article was produced by Our Woven Journey and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Karee Blunt is the founder of OurWovenJourney.com, a travel blog focused on inspiring others to create memory-making adventures with their loved ones. Karee is passionate about encouraging others to step out of their comfort zone and live the life they dream of. She is the mother of six kids, including four through adoption, and lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest. You can learn more about Karee on her about me page.