Get to Know Us. Adventure Bios.

The best in the industry—our captains, chefs, guides, hotel and deck staff are individually selected not only for their outstanding knowledge, customer service, and safety skills, but also for their genuinely welcoming and enthusiastic personalities. Our captains and engineers have the certifications and skills to provide you with a safe and confident cruise experience. Our expedition and heritage teams are experienced guides with advanced training in natural and/or cultural history. Our customer service staff is made up of energetic men and women who are as excited about where you’re going as you are.

Executive Team

Dan Blanchard

Owner and CEO

When it comes to Captain Dan Blanchard—he's the real thing. Dan grew up in Washington State, living and working on boats since he was a kid. He spent years exploring winding waterways, beachcombing on remote shores, oyster picking and clam digging, and learning to skin dive. Life on the water is part of his genetic makeup.

Dan was a Sea Scout, and National Boatswain Mate at 16. He received his ship Master's License at 18 and has gone on to live a storied-tale from owner of Blanchard Marine to Captain of sightseeing vessels to Director at Cruise West and Vice President of Operations; in 1999, he joined American Safari Cruise, he went on to acquire the company in 2008 launching Innersea Discoveries now known as UnCruise Adventures.  

He is a natural storyteller, enthusiastic skier and cyclist, energetic hiker, world-explorer, accomplished sailor, ocean lover and lover of the natural world. He connects with nature and culture wherever he goes and in May 2013, he was adopted into a native Alaskan Tlingit tribe. He's living the dream he built around his passions and wouldn't have it any other way.

Tim Jacox

Board Member and Key Advisor

Tim is no stranger to adventure, he acquired a taste for travel as a high school foreign exchange student in Germany, igniting his passion for travel. For the first 20 of his 30 years in the travel industry, Tim worked for Alaska Sightseeing/Cruise West beginning with summer operations in Fairbanks, Alaska and winters as Director of Sales and Marketing in Seattle. Culminating with a 12-year term as Vice President of Land and Marine Operations, before joining American Safari Cruises in 2001. In 2008, he partnered with Dan on the launch of InnerSea Discoveries and after years of dedication retired to an UnCruise Adventures board member in 2020. He feels lucky to share amazing destinations like Alaska, the Sea of Cortés, and his own backyard including the San Juan Islands.

Not one to follow the ethos of “all work and no play,” his curious nature has inspired personal explorations around the world. If he had been in another profession he would have chose Jackson Browne’s travel manager or an NBA player (if only he’d been blessed with “hops,” a usable left hand, and half a foot more height). He’s excited to continue to be a part of the advisory team

Eric Grier

Chief Financial Officer Founder

Living in states that begin with a vowel for most of his life—Idaho, Arizona, Illinois, Ohio, Alaska, Oregon and Utah—you could say Eric’s move to Washington 25 years ago was a big step in a new direction. But for someone experienced with living in, visiting, and discovering new places regularly, finding himself very happily in the travel industry is right on target. From Central America to Asia and India, to the San Juan Islands and Alaska, he’s seen many incredible corners of the world.

One of Eric’s biggest life motivators is the simple, important act of learning. Variety may be the spice of life but continual education is the main dish for Eric! With a Culinary Arts degree, he began his career as a pastry chef and then restaurant manager in Alaska, before returning to school wanting to know more. A Master’s Degree in Food Sciences and Engineering led him to be a food flavorist, only to be followed by an MBA in finance. During his time as an international business development consultant, he found his way to UnCruise Adventures where he’s been sharing his exceptionally unique—and exceptionally ideal—skills with us since 2009.

Hands-down, his favorite part of working here is the phenomenal team. A close second is the amazing variety of work that allows him opportunities to learn every day. Not one to sit idly for long, he is one of our most consistent bike commuters, no doubt using his time in the saddle to devise delicious new recipes and opportunities for business growth.

Living in states that begin with a vowel for most of his life—Idaho, Arizona, Illinois, Ohio, Alaska, Oregon and Utah—you could say Eric’s move to Washington 25 years ago was a big step in a new direction. But for someone experienced with living in, visiting, and discovering new places regularly, finding himself very happily in the travel industry is right on target. From Central America to Asia and India, to the San Juan Islands and Alaska, he’s seen many incredible corners of the world.

One of Eric’s biggest life motivators is the simple, important act of learning. Variety may be the spice of life but continual education is the main dish for Eric! With a Culinary Arts degree, he began his career as a pastry chef and then restaurant manager in Alaska, before returning to school wanting to know more. A Master’s Degree in Food Sciences and Engineering led him to be a food flavorist, only to be followed by an MBA in finance. During his time as an international business development consultant, he found his way to UnCruise Adventures where he’s been sharing his exceptionally unique—and exceptionally ideal—skills with us since 2009.

Hands-down, his favorite part of working here is the phenomenal team. A close second is the amazing variety of work that allows him opportunities to learn every day. Not one to sit idly for long, he is one of our most consistent bike commuters, no doubt using his time in the saddle to devise delicious new recipes and opportunities for business growth.

Living in states that begin with a vowel for most of his life—Idaho, Arizona, Illinois, Ohio, Alaska, Oregon and Utah—you could say Eric’s move to Washington 25 years ago was a big step in a new direction. But for someone experienced with living in, visiting, and discovering new places regularly, finding himself very happily in the travel industry is right on target. From Central America to Asia and India, to the San Juan Islands and Alaska, he’s seen many incredible corners of the world.

One of Eric’s biggest life motivators is the simple, important act of learning. Variety may be the spice of life but continual education is the main dish for Eric! With a Culinary Arts degree, he began his career as a pastry chef and then restaurant manager in Alaska, before returning to school wanting to know more. A Master’s Degree in Food Sciences and Engineering led him to be a food flavorist, only to be followed by an MBA in finance. During his time as an international business development consultant, he found his way to UnCruise Adventures where he’s been sharing his exceptionally unique—and exceptionally ideal—skills with us since 2009.

Hands-down, his favorite part of working here is the phenomenal team. A close second is the amazing variety of work that allows him opportunities to learn every day. Not one to sit idly for long, he is one of our most consistent bike commuters, no doubt using his time in the saddle to devise delicious new recipes and opportunities for business growth.

Eric has lived most of his life in states that begin with a vowel —Idaho, Arizona, Illinois, Ohio, Alaska, Oregon and Utah—before he moved on to Washington. For someone experienced with living in, visiting, and discovering new places he finds himself working happily in the travel industry and visiting incredible corners of the world.

One of Eric’s biggest life interests is learning. Variety may be the spice of life but continual education is the main dish for Eric! With a Culinary Arts degree, he began his career as a pastry chef and restaurant manager in Alaska, before returning to school for his Master’s Degree in Food Sciences and Engineering, followed by an MBA in finance. During his time as a business development consultant, he found his way to UnCruise Adventures where he’s been sharing his exceptional skills since 2009.

He loves the opportunity to work with his team and opportunities to learn every day. Not one to sit idly for long, he commutes to work by bike, no doubt using his time in the saddle to devise delicious new recipes and opportunities for business growth.

Captains

Denee Blanchard

Captain, Safari Quest

It would be a pretty darn accurate statement to say Denee grew up on the water. She spent her youth in Mukilteo, Washington, Southeast Alaska, and the South Pacific—more often than not on a sailboat. These days you’ll find her in the south end of Seattle when she’s not captaining her ship or out on her own explorations.

As she puts it, Denee worked from “head to helm” starting her career on ships by working to rebuild the Safari Spirit, then working her way along as steward, hotel lead, deck hand, bosun, second mate, chief mate, staff mate…and now, captain. She has her 200 Ton Near Coastal Masters license and sails throughout the Pacific Northwest and Alaska.

For Denee, her job is a lifestyle. Growing up on the water, she wouldn’t want life to be any other way—the friendships formed on board, the beautiful places she sails through, and the exciting challenges. One big challenge was sailing in the inaugural Race to Alaska—an unsupported, 750-mile cold water race by non-motorized vessel from Port Townsend, Washington to Ketchikan, Alaska through the Inside Passage. She does, now and again, step off board to hike and backpack in the Cascade or Olympic mountains, foster shelter dogs, and work on home renovations—be sure to ask her about the tiny home she’s building!

Gavin Rainwater

Captain, Safari Explorer

It’s hard to imagine Captain Gavin living anywhere but the green Pacific Northwest. With a last name like his, it only makes sense that he grew up in Portland and has called the Pacific Northwest home for the majority of his life. He’s also made his home aboard passenger vessels sailing adventurous seas for over a decade.

Gavin began studying nursing in Oregon, but then found his calling as a captain. Climbing the hawsepipe, he put time in as deckhand and engineer working up to captaining a 500-passenger dinner boat on the Columbia and Snake rivers by age 25. Gavin has his 100 ton Near Coastal Master license, and is certified in radar navigation, firefighting, and as a Wilderness First Responder.

Not one to shy away from landlocked adventures, he also feels the pull of the mountains and snowshoed into a hot springs in the Jackson, Wyoming backcountry on a winter wonderland vacation. While onboard, try to entice Captain Gavin to pull out his guitar or mandolin—he played semi-professionally for many years!

Sean Maske

Captain, Safari Explorer

Born and raised in Oregon home to Sean. So it’s an understatement to say he “knows” the Pacific Northwest—he’s a natural explorer with a fondness for boats and being on the water.

Sean graduated from Prtland Community College with a degree in fire science. He furthered his education with certifications for marine firefighting; STCW-95 Basic Safety (Standards of Training, Certification & Watchkeeping); CPR and first aid; and by acquiring a 100 Ton Inland/Near Coastal License. Since, Sean has worked for several small ship operators offering wilderness expeditions for both overnight and day trips in Alaska, Baja Mexico, and the US Pacific Northwest. Your safety is always top-of-mind with Sean and he’ll share experiences you will never forget.

Speaking of sharing… Sean has a twin brother, enjoys biking, camping, and windsurfing (at least we hope so by now—he told us years ago he was learning). He also has a memorable and funny tale of his own, about three stray dogs: Rupee, White Toes, and Underbite? While he was on vacation in Italy and Greece, the “three terrors of Santorini” became inseparable from Sean and his troupe, causing pandemonium among tourists, overturning café tables, and sending children and unsuspecting cats running for safety. There are too many details to share here, but with Sean, you can count on an unbelievable adventure.

 

SHARE UNCRUISE ADVENTURES WITH FRIENDS

Read More of Our Story

Our mission: To provide our guests an enriching adventure travel experience and inspire an appreciation of local cultures and the natural world.