Terry Gardner, Special to Tribune Newspapers
7:52 PM EDT, October 1, 2013
This year InnerSea Discoveries and American Safari Cruises became one company, Un-Cruise Adventures (un-cruise.com). So what, you might wonder, is uncruising?
"In the late '90s, I returned from a world sailing trip with two kids and wife. We had 21/2 years of sailing our 42-foot sloop around the Pacific and experienced life in ways I could not have imagined earlier," said Un-Cruise Adventures' CEO Dan Blanchard.
After returning to his job at a small-ship cruise company, he realized that it was trying to replicate what the big ships did, which didn't resonate with his experiences in the islands or in the wilds of Alaska. So he went to work for American Safari Cruises in 1997 and acquired it in 2008. Later he helped found InnerSeas Discoveries as a separate brand that focused on expeditions as opposed to the luxury cruises offered by American Safari Cruises. This year he folded them into Un-Cruise.
Among Un-Cruise offerings are wildlife cruises, one of which I took with InnerSea last summer.
Our 76-guest vessel, the Wilderness Explorer, spent three days in Glacier Bay, where we could stop to kayak, hike and explore.
Whales often swam quite close to our ship outside of Glacier Bay. On another occasion, we watched two arctic wolves confront a young coastal brown bear on a beach.
In Alaska and Oregon, Un-Cruise also offers a new history-oriented cruise called Heritage Adventures aboard the Legacy, an 88-passenger replica of a coastal steamer.
Along with educational presentations, passengers might encounter crew members in period costumes portraying historical figures or simple gold miners, saloon girls and ruffians.
So there's even wild life on the ships.
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