Cruise Travel

What is an Un-Cruise Adventure?


Ever since I first heard of Un-Cruise Adventures, I’ve been intrigued. It’s the name that got me. Un-Cruise. I love it. What company advertises, first and foremost, what it is not? Un-Cruise Adventures does, that’s who. It’s bold, it’s contrary, and it is quirky. I love all of those things, and knew right away that I had to check it out for myself.

On my latest Un-Cruise Adventure–an amazing week spent hiking, kayaking, and beer-tasting in and around the San Juan Islands–I found myself thinking time and time again: now this experience really is very ‘un-cruise-y’ (yeah, that’s right. I made that into an adjective.) For example:

When anchored instead of docked, this was our ride to and from the Wilderness Adventurer. I love this skiff.

When anchored instead of docked, this was our ride to and from the Wilderness Adventurer. I love this skiff.

-dancing with newly-made friends (belonging to multiple generations) on what can only be described as a party bus while driving along the winding roads of 101 north, along the banks of the Hood Canal. And by dancing I mean ‘the bus was rocking’. And by dancing I also mean ‘mostly other people were dancing because I’m lame’.

-eating oysters directly out of the oyster fields (oyster fields? Is that a thing? The part of the canal where the oysters are grown) while two genuine, I’m-not-kidding, God-bless-America bald eagles frolicked above.

-meeting a woman from England (and her dog) at a small, homey brewery and learning the story of how she came to live on Orcas twenty years ago (she followed a sailor she was dating. I mean, don’t we all follow a sailor we are dating at some point in life?) And then, post brewery (where there was also beer and ping pong) walking back to ‘town’–an unincorporated village called Eastport–via a pedestrian pathway through the woods and fields to meet the skiff on some tiny random dock. Seriously, when was the last time you had a day like this?

-participating in what can only be described as a late(ish) night temporary tattoo party. Do you know who loves temporary tattoos? Everyone. Especially when purchased at the Whale Museum in Friday Harbor by an extremely joyful sort-of-ex deadhead passenger who then insisted upon temporarily tattooing several of the guests and darn near all of the crew. Narwhal neck tattoos–they are all the rage.

-being adopted by a family traveling together and agreeing to kayak with the father because everyone in the family thought he was bossy when kayaking but actually finding him to be super kind, patient, and a fantastic teacher. Annoying the rest of the family by telling them this while said father smiled at them in a very ‘I told you so’ kind of way.

-ending a long hike with a skiff ride to a beach campfire, complete with beer and s’mores. Because you’re a grown up and you can totally have both of those things at the same time.

I’ve been on my share of cruises. And on exactly zero traditional cruises did I do anything like what I just outlined above. So one would think that that’s it–that’s what an Un-Cruise is. All of that. But one would be wrong. Because here’s the thing…

The thing is this–if you choose to take a trip with Un-Cruise (and I think you should) I can absolutely guarantee that you will not experience maybe 90% of the things I just described. That trip? That was my Un-Cruise Adventure. Your Un-Cruise Adventure will be uniquely your own, and no brochure, website, or blog post can possibly outline what you will experience during your seven days on the water.

That is what an Un-Cruise Adventure is. And that, my friends, is fabulous.

I will be writing more about my time on board (and off board) the Wilderness Adventurer in the days and weeks to come. For now, I can tell you this: it was one of the best trips I’ve ever taken, if not the best (I can’t say it was ‘the best’ because I didn’t take my husband with me. So as long as he’s not listening–yeah, it was the best.)

Stay tuned!

Please note: I had the good fortune of being on board for one of Un-Cruise Adventure’s theme weeks, a craft beer themed sailing (this could not possibly have anything to do with the fact that I had such an amazing time. Nothing at all to do. Nope.) Right now they are offering this on only one sailing per season; the next date is October 3rd. So, like, get on booking that. Do it. Do it now. (I’ll be filling you in on the beer-y details in a post to come, but for now, just trust me on this.)

Sincere thanks to Sarah at Un-Cruise Adventures for helping to set up this adventure, and on super-short notice, too. And thanks as well to the fabulous crew of the Wilderness Adventurer. You all rock. I’ve only met one other equally awesome group of people, and that was the crew on board the S.S. Legacy. Un-Cruise, you’re doing something right.

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