Plan An Alaska Small Ship Cruise This Year

Plan An Alaska Small Ship Cruise This Year
Many avid travelers are looking forward to sailing in Alaska. While Alaska cruises have been in the news recently due to Canada’s cruise ship ban, it’s important to note that a select group of Alaska cruises are still possible during the spring and summer months. Canada’s cruise ship ban through February 28, 2022 covers only ships carrying over 100 passengers and crew, so there are still outstanding small ship cruise options available for those who wish to experience the wonders of Alaska this year.

UnCruise Adventures, American Cruise Lines, Lindblad Expeditions and The Boat Company are all planning on sailing in Alaska, since their small ships are not affected by Canada’s cruise ship ban. All of these companies operate US-flag ships carrying less than 100 people, making them fully able to operate Alaska sailings this year. Many of their small ship itineraries also start and stop within Southeast Alaska, keeping them completely outside Canada’s waters. In addition, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s conditional sailing order does not apply to these lines since they carry such a small number of passengers as well.

UnCruise Adventures offers highly immersive Alaska cruises on their small boats normally holding 22 to 86 guests. The Alaska-owned small ship operator will begin Alaska sailings in May with 7-, 12- and 14-night itineraries available into September, 2021. CEO Dan Blanchard said that UnCruise provides a good “bubble product” in the current COVID environment. “We are not an on-the-boat company,” said Blanchard. UnCruise Adventures' active itineraries focus on unpopulated nature-rich areas of Alaska and guests are continually participating in small group excursions of 6-12 participants - enjoying included activities like hiking, kayaking and skiff rides.

Many of UnCruise Adventures’ Alaska sailings include spectacular Glacier Bay, where guests can spend their time exploring, hiking, watching gigantic calving glaciers and taking in the spectacular scenery. UnCruise is currently planning on having six boats sailing in Alaska this year, and may add a seventh as well. UnCruise’s Alaska cruise itineraries are varied and feature unspoiled Alaska wilderness areas around Chatham Strait, Kuiu Island, Frederick Sound, Icy Strait, Tracy Arm and Endicott Arm. The small size of UnCruise Adventures’ boats provides unparalleled access to Alaska's wonders, allowing entry into tiny inlets and coves.

On an UnCruise Alaska cruise, guests have the opportunity to take in the peaceful calm of Alaska's waters, enjoy a tranquil walk along the shore, explore tide pools, watch for native wildlife, and be lulled into a relaxing night's sleep. Listening to the sounds of a waterfall, the blow of a nearby humpback whale, or the shrill cry of a bald eagle is a real treat. It's the sounds of silence and the peaceful stillness in Alaska that echo the loudest.

Alaska voyages with UnCruise Adventures offer a wealth of opportunities for up-close wildlife viewing, like watching a humpback whale hurl itself out of the water in a spectacular breach or seeing massive bears prowling near the shoreline. On these "un-cruises," guests have the opportunity to linger whenever there's action. There's no rush or strict schedule to keep, allowing guests to enjoy the best of Alaska in a perfectly unscripted way.

UnCruise Adventures has health protocols planned for the upcoming Alaska season including pre-boarding COVID-19 testing and requirements for wearing masks in their boats’ public interior spaces. Masks will not be required inside staterooms, outside on decks when appropriate social distancing is possible, or while engaging in activities like hiking and kayaking with guests’ own travel group. According to a recent NPR report, Alaska has currently vaccinated more than 20% of its population – making it a leader in administering the coronavirus vaccine.

Alaska is a highly coveted vacation destination and this year may be one of the best times to travel to The Great Land. Alaska small ship cruises sail the route less traveled, visiting tiny towns and unspoiled wilderness areas. Vacationers seeking to experience Alaska in a more intimate and adventurous way should check out the highly immersive small ship sailings available this year. If travelers have learned anything over the past year, it's that the future is not guaranteed and bucket list experiences shouldn’t wait.

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