Frequently Asked Questions
Browse the General FAQs below, then click on a FAQ link if you're looking for answers to commonly asked questions about a specific destination or traveling with families.
Columbia & Snake Rivers
Mexico’s Sea of Cortes
Kids & Family
Q. Which credit cards do you accept?
We accept all major credit cards except American Express (Diners, Discover, Master Card, and Visa).
Q. Can I make reservation payments via PayPal?
Sorry, we’re currently not set up to accept payments via PayPal.
Q. When is final payment due?
Though you may apply payments as often as you’d like, final payment is due 90 days prior to your departure. Your credit security is very important to us. We encrypt your information, so we cannot auto-charge payments to your card. That’s why we need you to initiate any payments due. Please check our Terms & Conditions for more information.
Q: Do you have COVID-19 policies in place to protect me and my family while onboard?
Yes. All crew and guests must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, including booster shots. The only accepted reasons not to have the booster shot are guests whose most recent shot was less than 6 months ago and guests who are too young for approved booster shots. Guests must upload documentation of their vaccination status via the Guest Portal at least 30 days prior to cruise departure.
Currently we are not requiring pre-arrival COVID-19 testing to board our ships. As of Nov 19th masks are no longer required onboard or in enclosed spaces. We will continue to review our protocols in line with appropriate health and safety needs and reserve the right to reestablish mask use as needed onboard our vessels. While our small ship cruisers are no longer required to wear masks, we encourage crew and guests to use masks at their discretion. All guests and crew must wear masks based on local regulations and requirements in port as requested, or with certain vendors while onshore. Our protocols may change based on the impact of yet unknown variants. We will continue to monitor options for adjustments of this requirement in line with CDC recommendations. For the most up to date policies and procedures, see our COVID-19 & Vaccine info. page.
Q. What happens if a guest becomes ill prior to boarding?
If a guest tests positive for COVID-19 prior to boarding they will need to isolate for 5 full days and wear a mask in public indoor settings. It is unlikely the guest(s) will be able to join the cruise and arrangements will be made to rebook their adventure cruise.
EXPERIENCE AND ACTIVITIES
Q. What’s a typical UnCruiser like?
While they hail from all walks of life and around the world—a mix of ages and lifestyles—you’ll find that the typical UnCruiser is educated (be it the school-of-life or a PhD), interested, and interesting. From the young to the young-at-heart, you’ll meet as travel mates and come home as friends.
Q. My family is interested in an UnCruise. Do you accommodate families?
We do! Our Family Discoveries program (geared for kids ages 8-13) offers your family the opportunity to experience adventure, wilderness, wildlife, history, and cultures together. Please review our Family Travel FAQs in preparation for the ultimate family adventure.
Q. How physically fit do I need to be to enjoy my cruise?
We understand that not everybody wants the same level of physical activity and we have designed our cruises for a variety of fitness levels. Whether you’re a hard charger, prefer to take it easy, or fall somewhere in between, there’s enough happening on board and ashore for everyone’s enjoyment. For more specifics, see our Adventure Activity Levels page.
Q. How active are your adventure cruises?
Activity levels and types of activities vary by itinerary and destination, but we do like to play! In general, unless you’re cruising part of the day, there are active adventure options most mornings and afternoons. On kayaking excursions, open paddles are at your own pace and guided paddles can last one to four hours. Hikes range from ambling shore walks to rigorous treks over rugged terrain. Among the activities available, you can also paddle board, snorkel, explore the waters and shore by inflatable skiff, and still find time for morning yoga stretches and relaxing in the lounge or hot tub.
Q. Are your prices per cabin or per person?
All of our prices listed are per person (USD) based on two occupants per cabin, except when noted differently.
Q. How do I buy a Bon Voyage Gift for a traveler?
What a lovely idea! You can find our Bon Voyage Gifts from our online giftshop here. Enjoy shopping!
Q. Can I explore on my own during my adventure?
There will be opportunities for you to explore at your leisure by kayak and paddle board. And depending on your itinerary, there may also be free time for exploration in towns and villages. Hiking on your own in remote wilderness areas is not allowed. Because your safety and the protection of the areas we visit are top of mind, we must adhere to certain restrictions.
Q. How available are the guides?
Our guides are super excited to take these adventures with you and are available both during excursions and throughout the day and evening on board. Our experienced expedition guides can’t wait to share their knowledge and introduce you to the wildlife, culture, and geography of the places you’ll visit.
Q. When do I sign up for activities?
We make it easy for you. Each evening of the cruise, your expedition team will present the options for the following day, then talk with you individually to “take your adventure order” and help you determine the activities best suited to your physical abilities. The menu of activity options—kayaking, hiking, paddle boarding, skiff excursions, snorkeling, beachwalks—will be crafted by your guides in consideration of the location and forecasted conditions for that day. See this video explaining the process: Taking Your Adventure Order
Q. What is there to do in the evenings?
Whatever suits your fancy. Relax, rejuvenate, and visit with your fellow adventurers. Each day offers a cocktail hour followed by a tasty handcrafted meal, plus an entertaining or educational presentation from your expedition team or other special host. And if you’re feeling like some quiet time, find a comfy spot to read a book or choose a DVD from our library to watch in your cabin.
ARRIVAL & DISEMBARKATION
Q. When arriving at the airport on embarkation day, how do I get to the ship?
If we received your completed Mandatory Online Guest Forms and your flight is in accordance with our Required Arrival Times, our representatives at the airport will be there to greet you and provide your transfer to our pre-boarding hospitality area or the hotel of your pre-cruise stopover package (booked through UnCruise).
We must receive your flight details (flight numbers and departure/arrival times) at least 45 days prior to your departure. Otherwise, you need to make your own arrival transfer arrangements. Your personal itinerary included in your Final Travel Details has the specifics of all transfer services UnCruise has scheduled to provide to you.
Q. How are gratuities handled?
Gratuities will be shared among your onboard crew and are paid at the end of your cruise. We recommend $250 per week per guest ($35/day per guest). Gratuities can be added to your tab along with any onboard purchases. For travel in the U.S., gratuities may be paid by cash (USD), check, travelers’ check, or credit card. In our international destinations, gratuities require payment by cash (USD) or credit card.
INTERNET, EMAIL & PHONES
Q. Do you have Internet or email access on your vessels?
All of our ships are equipped with communication devices designed to conduct the ship's business and for emergency purposes, however, none of our vessels except La Pinta (Galapagos) have email/internet access available for public use. In Galapagos, La Pinta provides free internet access via a satellite connection. Connections are low-bandwidth and occasionally intermittent; the quality depends on the islands and the reception can be hit or miss. Satellite internet is best utilized for email communication and not guaranteed to be accessible at all times. Two internet enabled computers are located in the library and Wi-Fi is accessible in the public areas (not in the cabins).
Q. Will I be able to use my cell phone or is there access to a phone aboard the ship?
Cell phones sometimes work near more populated areas. A satellite phone is available on the bridge of each ship for emergency use at additional cost.
Q. How can my family and friends contact me in an emergency while I am onboard an UnCruise?
In an emergency, family and friends can call 888-862-8881 Monday-Friday 7:30 am-5:00 pm. Refer to your final travel details for location-specific after-hours numbers. The Alaska After Hours number is 907-209-4039.
MEALS & BEVERAGES
Q. What’s the food like?
Pretty incredible—at least that’s what our guests say. Many who choose UnCruise for the adventure and wildlife are beyond impressed with what our chefs can do. Expect handcrafted meals made from fresh ingredients showcasing the flavors of the region. See a sampling of our dishes on our Life on Board page or see our videos on the subject here: Local.Fresh.Inspired.
Q. Can special dietary considerations be accommodated?
Good news—we’re able to accommodate most special dietary needs. To help us out, you must submit the Mandatory Online Guest Form to alert us of any food allergies or other dietary requirements you may have and to ensure the chef has enough notice. We recommend that you check in with the chef or hotel manager after boarding the ship to confirm your request.
Q. What time are meals?
There’s always something cooking! Onboard meal times vary depending on the day’s scheduled activities. Generally, there’s an early riser continental breakfast every morning at 6:00 a.m., a full breakfast starting around 7:30 or 8:00 a.m., lunch around noon, dinner around 7-7:30 p.m., and maybe a brunch once during your week. Appetizers are also served at cocktail hour each evening before dinner.
Q. What is the drinking age for alcohol on board?
You must be 21 years or older to consume alcohol aboard our ships.
Q. Can we bring our own alcohol?
Due to our license and state regulations, spirits are strictly prohibited, and will be confiscated until the end of the cruise. Bringing a limited quantity of wine on board is permitted under our licenses in Alaska, Oregon, and Washington. Wine is subject to a corkage fee: $20.00 for 750ml and $30.00 for boxes and magnums. Crew will continue to control consumption as needed, including confiscation of wine when required. Rest assured, with our all-inclusive beverage policy, there’s always something tasty to sip on.
Q. Can we bring our own food?
While the galley is not legally allowed to prepare or store food you bring on board, you are welcome to bring a cooler to store food in your cabin. We are happy to supply the ice.
Q. How should we dress for meals?
All meals are casual and feature open seating. There is no need to dress up at any time, simply wear what's comfortable, even for the Captain's Farewell Dinner!
Q. Is the water that comes out of the tap in my cabin drinkable?
Absolutely. The onboard water is treated and filtered. We also have re-usable water bottles available on board if you didn't bring one along. MEDICAL, MOBILITY & SEASICKNESS
Q: Do you have COVID-19 policies in place to protect me and my family while onboard?
Yes. All crew and guests must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, including booster shot. The only accepted reasons to be without a booster are guests whose most recent shot was less than 6 months ago and guests who are too young for authorized booster shots. Documentation of vaccination must be uploaded via the Guest Portal at least 30 days prior to cruise departure.
For the most up to date policies and procedures, see our COVID-19 & Vaccine Info page.
Q. Are there any medical facilities or personnel on board your vessels?
Our crew is trained in both first aid and CPR and there are first aid supplies on board. There is an onboard physician aboard La Pinta in the Galapagos and aboard Safari Voyager in Costa Rica, Panama & Belize; there is not a physician on board in our other destinations.
Q. Will I get seasick?
While the areas and waters we travel are mostly protected, in the event of high winds or open passageway crossings you may encounter rough waters. Seasickness medication is kept on board all of our vessels, however, it is not recommended for children. If you are prone to seasickness or traveling with children, you should consult your physician prior to your departure. The captain will update you when there might be extra motion so you can take the medication in enough time to be effective.
Q. Do any of your vessels have an elevator?
Only one of our ships, the Wilderness Legacy, has an elevator connecting guests to three public decks (stairs are required to access the top deck). Guests must be able to manage steps to get on and off of all of our ships and to access the various decks throughout the fleet.
Q. Will I need a special converter or adapter for the electricity?
All electrical outlets on our vessels are standard 110 Volt, the same voltage as in North America. If you live in other parts of the world, you may need a special adapter.
Q. Do you provide hairdryers?
You bet! Each cabin has a hairdryer.
Q. Is there a library on board? Yes, we have a library of books, DVDs, and games available on board all of our boats and yachts.
Q: Do your cabins have safes?
Where can we secure our valuables? The Legacy and La Pinta have individual safes in each cabin. None of our other ships supply individual safes in each cabin.
Q. Is there a television on board?
Cabins are equipped with flat screen TV/DVD players (except La Pinta) and there's a collection of DVDs available on board for you to borrow from in the main lounge. The main lounge also features a large flat screen TV. While television channels are unavailable due to the remote areas we visit, vessels that have a bow cam will broadcast over one of the channels. Daily updates, menus, and schedules can also be viewed on TV.
Q. What types of amenities do you have on board?
Each cabin offers a hairdryer, conditioning shampoo, and body wash. Aboard some of our end ships, bathrobes are also provided. Each vessel in the fleet also has an iron on board, but remember, dress is casual so no need to be perfectly pressed. For amenities specific to each vessel, consult our vessel comparison chart.
On our vessels we use marine style toilets. These toilets are designed to receive, retain, and treat sewage. Important to know - the only thing that should go down the marine head is human waste and toilet papers - with no exceptions. Anything other than human waste and toilet paper can cause severe plumbing issues throughout the ship. Only use the toilet paper provided.
Q. How are onboard charges handled?
Charges for personal items, gear shop purchases, and crew gratuities can be easily charged to your personal shipboard account and settled with one payment at the end of your cruise. Payment can be made by credit card or cash (USD) in all of our destinations. U.S. travelers' checks and personal checks are also accepted on cruises in our U.S. destinations.
Q: Do you have connecting cabins?
La Pinta is the only ship in our fleet with adjoining/connecting cabins, but it only operates in Galapagos. When considering our other destinations, keep in mind that all of our ships are small and intimate, so you can certainly book cabins adjacent or across the hall to each other (based on availability).
Q. Do you offer celebrations on board for special occasions?
We love all reasons for revelry! Our crew is happy to help you celebrate a special event during your trip, such as a birthday, honeymoon, or anniversary. Let us know of your special occasion when you submit your Mandatory Online Guest Form. Please note, small ships come with small galleys and we are unable to accommodate requests for individual cakes, etc.
Q. Is smoking allowed on board?
Vaping or smoking tobacco products is prohibited anywhere inside the vessels. Vaping or smoking is only allowed on the outer aft deck in a designated smoking area. To protect the environment, guests should use the ashtrays provided and never toss cigarettes/cigars overboard.. While marijuana is legal in many U.S. states for medical or recreational use, it is still a federally controlled substance and is prohibited aboard our vessels in accordance with the Maritime Drug Law Enforcement Act.
Q. Is there a place to stow my luggage in my cabin?
Cabins have limited storage space underneath the bed and in the cabinet. Our recommendation: soft-sided, expandable luggage or duffles—the more they squish, the more room you’ll have!
Q. Is there a limit to how much luggage I can bring?
No limit, but storage space is limited and whatever you bring needs to be stowed in your cabin. Try to limit your bags to two soft sided bags per cabin.
Q: Can I bring my drone?
The use of drones is not allowed from our vessels with some specials request exceptions made in coordination with our Captain's in order to provide marketing materials. Much of our adventuring is in remote wilderness areas where drones would not be welcome, and drones will never be used in National Parks or restricted areas.
Q. I am permitted to carry a weapon; can I bring my weapon(s) aboard my UnCruise?
No. As we are regulated under the United States Coast Guard as a Certificated Passenger Vessel we are unable to allow the carriage of weapons. Q. With marijuana being legal in many states for medical or recreational use, can I bring it with me on my UnCruise? Federal law supersedes state law, and since marijuana is still a federally controlled substance it is prohibited aboard our vessels. (Maritime Drug Law Enforcement Act (MDLEA) 46 U.S.C. 70501-70507, prohibiting the illegal transportation of controlled substances by a vessel) PASSPORTS, VISAS, IDENTIFICATION & SECURITY
Q: Do I need a Passport or Visa for my trip?
All guests of any nationality must have a passport valid for 6 months past their return travel date for travel in Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica, Panama, and Galapagos. It is the responsibility of all guests of any nationality to verify the passport and visa requirements for their nationality when traveling in their anticipated destination. It is highly recommended to make photo copies of your passport. Carry one copy with you, and leave one copy at home.
Q. Do I need travel protection?
We recommend you purchase a travel protection plan so you can relax and enjoy your trip with some peace of mind. You can do this through your preferred travel protection company. If your primary residence is in the U.S., you can also purchase protection for your UnCruise travels through us. For your convenience, we offer a plan through Travelex Insurance Services.
For a quote, speak to our Sales Counselors or look under Travel Protection in the Booking Information section of our website.
Q. How does UnCruise minimize impact on wildlife in the areas you cruise?
Part of our mission is to create awareness and protection for the places and wildlife we visit. We follow Leave No Trace and put responsible and sustainable actions into practice to minimize our impact in the places we explore. UnCruise adheres to these guidelines and codes of conduct:
● Killer Whales - Marine Mammal Protection Act and Endangered Species Act to protect killer whales. Visit www.bewhalewise.org to learn more.
● Humpback Whales - Humpback Whale Approach Regulations "Code of Conduct" for Marine Mammal Viewing. See guidelines at www.fakr.noaa.gov.
● Marine Mammals and terrestrial wildlife - Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972