Have you ever been on a cruise? Ah, mon ami, but have you ever been on an un-cruise?
About the only thing these two experiences have in common is H2O and a vessel that floats. My goal today is to introduce you to a travel company that has taken the commonplace and familiar and transformed it into something almost unrecognizable. In a good way, of course!
I say introduce because their product offering is so fascinating and diverse that it is going to take me several posts to do it justice. In fact, what do you say we create ourselves a brand new category called Un-Cruising. (I haven’t created a new category on this blog in a couple of weeks and regular readers know that normally brings on an outbreak of unsightly hives.) That way, when I have whetted your appetite with this initial tantalizing post, you can can easily sate your hunger for more insights with future posts all nicely grouped together. You could, I suppose, just go to their excellent website, but that would deprive you of my inimitable wit and charm, now wouldn’t it?
So what is unique about Un-Cruise Adventures? As already suggested, it will take several posts to filet that particular topic like a twenty pound Columbia River spring Chinook but I can give you a few broad hints here.
Intimacy Versus Anonymity
Speaking in generalities, the major cruises lines believe bigger is better. I suppose that’s true if, in your mind, no cruise is complete without a rock climbing experience . . . on board the ship! I personally love the big ships too but with 6000 passengers and a couple of thousand crew, I feel lucky if I can remember my own name much less expect to be greeted by name in the bar. Take a look at the Un-Cruise Adventures fleet. You can add up the total passenger count from all eight ships and it might not equal one deck on the Oasis of the Seas.
By the end of the cruise all the staff won’t just know your name, you will know all their names and their children in birth order! You will have spent so much time on the bridge, you will know how the Captain takes his coffee and where he got that tattoo of a Geisha girl on his right forearm.
The size of the ships provides intimacy of another sort that may have never occurred to you. I am referring to intimacy with the destination. Their shallow draft and smaller size permits access to places the larger ships could never dream of going. See how close the ship is to the glacier! Stop staring at the foreground, Mister. We are not talking about that kind of intimacy. Try to stay focused, OK?
If your dream vacation doesn’t include standing in long lines but does include feeling like Norm walking into Cheers where everybody knows your name, this is the travel experience for you. I know a little about the travel business and trust me, with so few passengers on board to pay the freight, it is a certainty that not only will you be treated like a VIP, you will be a VIP!
Goodness! There is so much more I wanted to tell you. One of the neatest things is how they have organized their product into four adventure styles: active, luxury, heritage and charter, each with a very distinct focus and personality. If you promise to come back soon, I will explain not just that but why they serve only five destinations* (and which ones) plus a whole lot more.
In the meantime, the picture above shows just how unique this experience really is. This is their non-traditional emergency drill. The instructor is saying, “Should anyone fall overboard, you should give your most believable impression of a dolphin!”
By now you should be salivating to know more about the Un-Cruise Adventure experience. Wipe the corner of your mouth and come back soon! I’m just as keen to tell you!
* One of those five destinations is Mexico’s Sea of Cortes. Click here to watch a great video!