Wondering What to Bring?

We've got you covered with our adventure cruise packing lists. Just follow our suggestions below. We've included everything from arrival times to our favorite reading lists, and what attire to bring along. Now it's time to adventure! Scroll to find your destination below.

Alaska

Need to Know

Yak'ei haat yigoodee! (Welcome in Tlingit!)

The literal translation means “It is good that you have come,” and you’ll soon agree. Throughout your voyage get up-close to the wilderness, wildlife, and fascinating cultures of Alaska—The Great Land.

 

When you click on this link, you’ll find important travel information and details about your expedition vessel that will help with your vacation planning. At any time during your adventure, feel free to direct questions to your captain or expedition leader.

 

Required Arrival & Departure Times

In an effort to ensure your flights/travel are arranged for your cruise at the correct time, please follow our guidance below. The times are for all itineraries. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.

2021: On embarkation day, your flight should arrive no later than...

Anchorage (ANC): 1:30 pm

Juneau (JNU): 4:00 pm

Ketchikan (KTN): 2:00 pm

Seattle (SEA): 2:00 pm

Sitka (SIT): 2:00 pm

 

2021: On disembarkation day, your flight should leave no earlier than...

Anchorage (ANC): 12:00 pm

Juneau (JNU): 11:30 am

Ketchikan (KTN): 11:30 am

Seattle (SEA): 12:00 pm

Sitka (SIT): 11:30 am

 
Tour: Denali & Talkeetna Wilderness Rail Adventure

On arrival day, your flight should arrive by 5:00 pm. On departure day, you should reach your embarkation port airport no later than 4:00 pm.

Packing Tips

Southeast Alaska's weather will be a big influence on your packing plan. Summers are mild. Long days extend to 15-18 hours of daylight. Here in the heart of Earth's biggest temperate rainforest, precipitation is common. May-September, temps range from 55-65˚F (12-18˚C), but can soar to 80˚F (27˚C). Evenings dip to 40-50˚F (4-10˚C). If you're tempted to take the "polar plunge", the water will be mid-40s˚ to low-50s˚F (7-10˚C).

If you have added on a land tour into Southcentral Alaska, anticipate high temps similar to Southeast, though daytime highs can occasionally hit the 90s˚F. Evenings are slightly cooler dipping to 25-35˚F. Rainfall is considerably less in Southcentral.

In Southeast and Southcentral, conditions change week-to-week and historic averages are changing. Check the weather forecast via your preferred weather source (such as NOAA's National Weather Service) for your cruise dates before packing.

Liquid sunshine or cloud failure, each day brings adventures—kayaking, hiking, and skiffing about. Bring clothing that layers easily so that you can add or remove layers as conditions change throughout the day. It can be chilly near glaciers and on deck when the ship is underway, then much warmer when you go ashore. While you want to be sure you bring your "Alaskan Tennis Shoes," storage space in your cabin is limited, so pack efficiently.

The UnCruise style is casual. While on board, that means t-shirts, sweaters, sweatshirts, jeans, khakis, even shorts. For outdoor activities, pack clothes that layer: convertible hiking pants, moisture-wicking base layers, and thermal underwear (top to bottom). Multiple thin layers are better than one or two thick ones.

A note on fabrics: moisture-wicking/quick-drying (wool, polyester, etc.) fabrics are most effective in keeping you warm and dry, especially when participating in off-vessel activities. Cotton absorbs moisture and is slow to dry in Alaska's damp environment, so keep cotton to a minimum.

Chances are it will rain and be windy. A heavy-duty, waterproof rain jacket and rain pants with waterproof, taped seams (made of Gore-Tex, Pertex, or a similar waterproof fabric) are highly recommended. Fleece jackets/pullovers and zip-up vests will be good for layering and warmth. Bring a scarf, gloves, and warm, water-resistant hat that covers your ears. If you're travelling with kids, bring an extra pair of gloves—they get wet!

Footwear

Whether it's heavy rain, ankle-deep water, or mud... the "Alaskan tennis shoe" (aka a pair of calf-high rubber boots, Wellingtons, or gummies) is a must.

What exactly is the "Alaskan tennis shoe"? Our daily boots.

Consider replacing the insoles with a padded set for more comfort. Hiking in Alaska is best in rubber boots, but you may also want to bring a pair of waterproof hiking boots. Water socks or multi-sport shoes are handy for paddle boarding. On board, a skid proof deck shoe is a good idea. Bring lots of moisture-wicking, quick-dry (synthetic or wool) socks.

We recommend that you bring your own rubber boots for best fit and availability. We have a very limited supply aboard our vessels. Youth size boots are not available aboard any of our vessels, so bring your own.

Alaska Packing List

Clothing
 Full-length or convertible hiking pants
 Moisture-wicking long & short sleeve shirts
(polypropylene, merino wool, etc.)
 Thermal top & bottom base layers
 Sweaters, sweatshirts, cozy long-sleeve fleece
 Casual t-shirts, blouses, jeans/khakis, shorts for on board
 Socks (synthetic or wool) for all activities
 Bathing suit

Outerwear
 Waterproof rain jacket and pants
 Fleece or hooded jacket/pullover
 Scarf, gloves, and warm hat (extra gloves for kids!)
 Water-resistant hat that covers your ears

Luggage
 Dry bag for camera, binoculars, snacks, etc.
 Collapsible or nesting luggage recommended to
maximize cabin storage space
 Daypack for hiking and skiff rides

Footwear
For wet landings & walking in mud:
 Calf- to knee-high rubber boots
For hiking:
 Waterproof hiking boots with tread
 Or, your favorite hiking shoes with tread
For onboard:
 Comfortable walking shoes

Optional Items
 Travel binoculars with safety strap
 Camera, memory cards, extra batteries/charger,
safety lanyard
 Paddling / waterproof gloves
 Water bottle (also available on board)
 Sunglasses & retainer strap
 SPF-rated lip protection
 Insect repellent
 Adventurous spirit!


*Please note: if you are going on a pre- or post-cruise land tour, be sure to
bring your own refillable water bottle, sunscreen, and insect repellant.

Onboard Amenities

Your cabin comes complete with a hairdryer, towels, eco-friendly shampoo/conditioner, and body wash.

Provided On Board
 Adventure gear & yoga mats

 Refillable water bottles*
 Sunscreen & insect repellant*
 Fun and adventure!

We know you're as excited to sail as we are. Discover more about The Great Land by pulling a few books of the shelf... here's our recommended Alaska reading list.

Wildlife

Like the landscape, the wildlife in Southeast Alaska is big. You may spot mountain goats patrolling shoreline cliffs, black bears catching their lunch, and moose foraging in marshy tidelands. The mainland and islands of Southeast are ripe for sightings.

Alaska is also known for its rich marine life. Look for sea otters feeding on sea urchins in forests of kelp. Listen for the roaring of Steller sea lions as you approach their haulouts on rocky islands. The most commonly spotted cetaceans are orca and humpbacks that migrate to these waters annually, but there are species under the water's surface you might never suspect.

Our small ships take guests into some of the best places in Alaska for wildlife viewing. They can access secluded coves and quiet corners, taking you deeper into animals’ natural habitat. Flexible itineraries allow your captain to turn, pause, and linger when a whale surfaces or a bear appears on shore. Here are some of the animals that you may see on an Alaska UnCruise.

Land Animals

  • Coastal brown bear
  • Black bear
  • Sitka black-tailed deer
  • River otter
  • Mountain goat (pictured)
  • Beaver
  • Moose

 

Marine Life

  • Whales: humpback, gray, fin, minke
  • Orca
  • Dall’s porpoise and dolphin
  • Harbor seal
  • Steller sea lion
  • Sea otter (pictured)
  • Salmon: Chinook, Coho, pink
  • Sea stars, sponges, and anemones

 

Birds

  • Bald eagle (pictured)
  • Black oystercatcher
  • Marbled murrelet and cormorant
  • Common and Pacific loons
  • Harlequin duck
  • Red-breasted merganser
  • Surf scoter and pigeon guillemot
  • Tufted and horned puffins

Suggested Reading

These resources are suggested to enhance your understanding and enjoyment of the history, unique culture, wilderness, and wildlife of Southeast Alaska.

Alaska: A Novel - James A Michener
In classic Michener style, tenacity of both the human kind and of the natural world is chronicled in a sweeping epic beginning with Alaska’s geologic creation and its first inhabitants through World War II.

The Sea Runners - Ivan Doig
Celebrated author, Ivan Doig’s first novel, and first crack at fiction, tells the tale of four Scandinavian men who risked their lives to escape indentured servitude in Russian Alaska by stealing a canoe and aiming for Astoria, Oregon, a 1,200 mile journey away.

Travels in Alaska - John Muir
Muir’s last book includes his journals from 1879, 1880, and 1890 detailing the power the wilderness has to heal a person’s body and soul. With intimate descriptions of glaciers and wildlife, this is an essential, classic anthem on the beauty of Alaska.

The Only Kayak - Kim Heacox
This flowing memoir tells the rich coming-of-age story of an Idaho-born man finding his place in the world in Alaska’s rugged Glacier Bay National Park as a park ranger.

Passage To Juneau: A Sea and Its Meanings - Jonathan Raban
The Seattle-based, British travel writer’s account of his solo navigation of the Inside Passage on a 35-foot sailboat weaves together his personal memoir, the histories of native cultures and European explorers, and the incredible impact the natural world can have on the soul.

The Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast: Washington, Oregon, British Columbia, & Alaska - Jim Pojar
Photographs, drawings, descriptions of plants and of their habitat, covering nearly 800 trees, wildflowers, shrubs, lichens, mosses, grasses, and ferns of the Pacific Northwest.

Salmon in the Trees: Life in Alaska's Tongass Rain Forest - Amy Gulick
The story of the magnificent Tongass National Forest is told through the lives of salmon and the crucial connection they bridge between the forest and the sea.

Alaska Park Science: Scientific Studies on Climate Change in Alaska’s National Parks - Alaska Geographic
Published twice a year for the National Park Service, this journal details the most up-to-date information on climate change and its effect on Alaska's wildlands.

Alaska’s Southeast: Touring the Inside Passage - Mike Miller
This guidebook includes history of the region along with recommendations and information on how to get the most from your trip, from learning to interpret totem poles to details on the bays and fjords of the Inside Passage.

Where the Sea Breaks Its Back - Corey Ford
Telling the epic story of adventure, Ford details the struggle and daring of Georg Steller’s voyage aboard the St. Peter with Vitus Bering.

Native Alaska / History

Klondike: The Last Great Gold Rush - Pierre Berton
Introducing some of the most memorable, and oftentimes raucous, characters of the Gold Rush, Berton weaves a colorful and historic account of lawless, wild days in the Alaskan frontier.

Columbia & Snake Rivers

Need to Know

Welcome!

Throughout your journey you’ll be up-close to the natural beauty, recreation playgrounds, fascinating history and cultures, and world-class wine regions along the Columbia & Snake Rivers.

Click on this link to find important travel information and details about your ship that will help with your trip preparation. At any time during your adventure, direct questions to your captain or expedition leader.

Required Arrival & Departure Times

In an effort to ensure your flights/travel are arranged for your cruise at the correct time, please follow our guidance below. The times are for all itineraries. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.

On embarkation day, your flight should arrive no later than...

Portland, OR (PDX): 2:30 pm

 

On disembarkation day, your flight should leave no earlier than...

Portland, OR (PDX): 1:00 pm

Packing Tips

Summers are mild and precipitation is common. May-September, temps range from 55-65˚F (12-18˚C), but can soar to 80˚F (27˚C). Evenings dip to 40-50˚F (4-10˚C). If you're tempted to take the "polar plunge", the water will be mid-40s˚ to low-50s˚F (7-10˚C).

Liquid sunshine or cloud failure, each day brings adventures—kayaking, hiking, and skiffing about. Bring clothing that layers easily so that you can add or remove layers as conditions change throughout the day.

Packing List

Clothing
 Full-length or convertible hiking pants
 Moisture-wicking long & short sleeve shirts
(polypropylene, merino wool, etc.)
 Sweaters, sweatshirts, cozy long-sleeve fleece
 Casual t-shirts, blouses, jeans/khakis, shorts for on board
 Socks (synthetic or wool) for all activities
 Bathing suit

Outerwear
 Fleece or hooded jacket/pullover
 Scarf, gloves, and warm hat (extra gloves for kids!)

Luggage
 Dry bag for camera, binoculars, snacks, etc.
 Collapsible or nesting luggage recommended to
maximize cabin storage space
 Daypack for hiking and skiff rides

Footwear

Comfortable water shoe
 Or, your favorite hiking shoes with tread
For onboard:
 Comfortable walking shoes

Optional Items
 Travel binoculars with safety strap
 Camera, memory cards, extra batteries/charger,
safety lanyard
 Paddling / waterproof gloves
 Water bottle (also available on board)
 Sunglasses & retainer strap
 SPF-rated lip protection
 Insect repellent
 Adventurous spirit!

*Please note: if you are going on a pre- or post-cruise land tour, be sure to
bring your own refillable water bottle, sunscreen, and insect repellant.

On Board Amenities

Your cabin comes complete with a hairdryer, towels, eco-friendly shampoo/conditioner, and body wash.

Provided On Board
 Adventure gear & yoga mats

 Refillable water bottles*
 Sunscreen & insect repellant*
 Fun and adventure!

 

Wineries

Our small group size allows us to work closely with regional wineries to make each trip special. Who we visit may vary from week-to-week, and sometimes a local wine maker may step on board to say hello. Our onboard certified sommelier is in-the-know when it comes to the regions best and you're in for a treat with some exclusive included tastings.

View

The experience of actually traveling on the rivers is unparalleled. First, you’ll get a better understanding of the power and influence that this huge river basin has had throughout history and today. Secondly, the hassle-free travel experience (no need to unpack/repack each day for a new hotel), good company, expert guides, and well-planned excursions all come together to make it easy, fun, adventure-filled, and intellectually rewarding. It would be almost impossible to get all this from either independent or group land travel.

Pacific Northwest

Need to Know

Welcome!

The isles and inlets of Puget Sound and the Salish Sea boast some of the most beautiful scenery in this corner of the world. UnCruise Adventures calls the Pacific Northwest home, and we’re confident you will enjoy the lush greenery, fresh sea air, and bountiful wildlife.

 

Click on this link to find important travel information and details about your ship that will help with your trip preparation. At any time during your adventure, direct questions to your captain or expedition leader.

Arrival & Flight Times

In an effort to ensure your flights/travel are arranged for your cruise at the correct time, please follow our guidance below. The times are for all itineraries. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.

On embarkation day, your flight should arrive no later than...

City/Port: Seattle (SEA)
Arrival Time: 2:00 pm

On disembarkation day, your flight should leave no earlier than...

City/Port: Seattle (SEA)
Departure Time: 12:00 pm

Packing Tips

Some of the most dramatic climatic variations are experienced along the Columbia & Snake Rivers between Portland, Oregon and Clarkston, Washington. The geography ranges from dry high-desert and plains to temperate rainforests. Daytime temps average between 60°-70°F, but you may experience a 20-degree shift in temperature from one day to the next up to even the high-80s. Late October-November can be cooler with evening temps dropping to the upper 30s. There is even the potential for snow in later November. Be sure to check weather reports before your trip and pack accordingly.

Every day you’ll have opportunities for explorations, whether on deck transiting locks, hiking to a high overlook, walking the paths of historic sites, rafting, or touring a winery. Keep weather and your choice of activities in mind when packing.

Packing List

Clothing
The UnCruise style is casual. That means t-shirts, sweaters, and sweatshirts, and jeans, khakis, skirts, or whatever is most comfortable for you. Bring clothing that layers together easily so that you can add or remove layers throughout the day as conditions change. Having several thinner layers that you can easily put on or peel off rather than one or two thick layers provides the most versatility.

Temperatures can vary dramatically on the rivers. Pack at least one pair of shorts or convertible hiking pants for possible warm weather. You'll also want a warm, hooded rain/wind jacket, fleece, or zip-up vest, and/or casual jacket. Unisex rain slickers are available on board but bring your own to guarantee the best fit. Bring a scarf and gloves for cooler days, and a brimmed hat that protects you from the sun. If your adventure is in November, check the weather forecast and pack a few warm, insulating layers like a puffy vest or jacket if there is potential for low temps and snow.

Outerwear

Comfortable sneakers, sturdy walking shoes, or day hikers, and a pair of warm socks are sufficient for on board and day tours to wineries. For hiking adventures, bring a pair of sturdy hiking or walking shoes with tread. Water socks or water shoes/sandals are the footwear-of-choice for kayaking, rafting, or paddle boarding.

Luggage
 Dry bag for camera, binoculars, snacks, etc.
 Collapsible or nesting luggage recommended to
maximize cabin storage space
 Daypack for hiking and skiff rides

Footwear

Comfortable water shoe
 Or, your favorite hiking shoes with tread
For onboard:
 Comfortable walking shoes

Optional Items
 Travel binoculars with safety strap
 Camera, memory cards, extra batteries/charger,
safety lanyard
 Paddling / waterproof gloves
 Water bottle (also available on board)
 Sunglasses & retainer strap
 SPF-rated lip protection
 Insect repellent
 Adventurous spirit!

*Please note: if you are going on a pre- or post-cruise land tour, be sure to
bring your own refillable water bottle, sunscreen, and insect repellant.

On Board Amenities

Your cabin comes complete with a hairdryer, towels, eco-friendly shampoo/conditioner, and body wash.

Provided On Board
 Adventure gear & yoga mats

 Refillable water bottles*
 Sunscreen & insect repellant*
 Fun and adventure!

Wildlife

Whales are always a possibility. Various species tend to migrate through the Salish Sea in the spring, summer, and fall months. And, there are three resident pods of orcas in the San Juan Islands, so there is a chance that you may see some on your trip.

Over 400 islands dot the 7,000 square miles of the winding, reaching Salish Sea. This interwoven marine system connects inlets, channels, and fjords. The moisture-rich, moderate climate heartily nurtures the regions flora and fauna. More than 100 species of birds nest in towering trees, boggy marshes, and coastal nooks and crannies; and numerous marine mammals live in or migrate seasonally to these waters.

Join the eagles, seabirds, woodpeckers, and nearly 40 mammal species exploring windswept beaches, pastoral island meadows, and massive old-growth forests along these dramatic coastlines. Here are some highlights of wildlife viewing in Washington State, plus colorful Pacific Northwest flora you're likely to see.

Animals and Birds

  • Spotted and snowy owls
  • Bald and Golden eagles
  • Pileated woodpecker
  • Rufous hummingbird
  • Great Blue Heron and Canada goose
  • Seabirds, including cormorant
  • Bear
  • Olympic marmot
  • Red fox
  • Black-tailed deer (pictured)
  • Mountain goat

 

Marine Life

  • Orca
  • Sea lion (pictured)
  • Harbor seal
  • Sea and river otters
  • Dallʼs porpoise
  • Dolphin
  • Gray whale
  • Giant Pacific octopus
  • Pink, purple, and orange sea stars
  • Sea urchin and sea anemone
  • Gumboot chiton
  • Pacific salmon

Suggested Reading

These resources are suggested to enhance your understanding and enjoyment of the history, unique culture, wilderness, and wildlife of the Columbia & Snake Rivers.

Great River of the West: Essays on the Columbia River - William L. Lang and Robert C. Carriker, 2000

This collection of essays gives the mighty Columbia a rich character through stories of people who have lived along its banks, defining events throughout the times, and geologic forces that have exerted their influence on the river.

Fire, Faults, and Floods: A Road & Trail Guide Exploring the Origins of the Columbia River Basin - Marge and Ted Mueller, 2003
The striking landscape of the Columbia River Basin comes vividly to life through this detailed geological history of the region.

People of the River: Native Arts of the Oregon Territory - Bill Mercer, 2005
Through illustrations and photos, Mercer shares insight into the phenomenal and important artworks of Native cultures from the mouth of the Columbia to the Snake River.

Voyage of a Summer Sun: Canoeing the Columbia River - Robin Cody, 2002

Beginning at the source of the river in the Canadian Rockies and ending at the Pacific Ocean, Cody journeyed 1,200 miles over 82-days by canoe down the Columbia River. Humorous, thoughtful, and intriguing this voyage shares an intimate side of the river few see.

Wine Trails of Washington - Steve Roberts, Sunny Parsons, Lisa Pettit, 2007
The perfect companion to regional winemaking, this comprehensive book includes details on over 220 wineries including vintners’ philosophies, descriptions of the wineries, and suggested tour routes.

From Sea to Shining Sea - James Alexander Thom, 1986
From the Revolutionary War to the Corps of Discovery’s expedition, this sweeping epic tells the remarkable story of the Clark family beginning in Virginia during the war and culminating in the most famous westward journey of William Clark and his partner, Meriwether Lewis.

Hawaii

Need to Know

E Komo Mai! (Welcome!)

Throughout your journey, you’ll go up-close to the natural wonders and culture of the Hawaiian Islands—some of the most treasured islands in the world. Our enthusiastic crew will enrich you with knowledge and immerse you in fun.

Click this link to find important travel information and details about your expedition vessel that will help with your trip preparation. At any time during your adventure, direct questions to your captain or expedition le

Required Arrival & Departure

In an effort to ensure your flights/travel are arranged for your cruise at the correct time, please follow our guidance below. The times are for all itineraries. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.

 

On embarkation day, your flight should arrive no later than...

Hawaii, the Big Island (KOA): 2:00 pm

Molokai (MKK): 2:00 pm

 

On disembarkation day, your flight should leave no earlier than...

Hawaii, the Big Island (KOA): 12:00 pm

Molokai (MKK): 12:00 pm

 

Packing Tips

The Hawaiian Islands are a collection of diverse micro-climates. With only 2 seasons—fall (Hooilo), November-April, and summer (Kau), May-October—temperatures and weather are fairly consistent year-round. Daytime temperatures average between 74° and 78° F in fall and between 80°and 85° F in summer—though temperatures are lower at higher elevations. Evenings only drop about 10° F.

Most rain falls in the mountains and valleys on the windward (northeastern) sides of the islands creating Hawaii’s lush tropical environment. You’ll spend most of your time on the cruise on the leeward (southwest) sides of the islands. Weather is localized so if it’s raining in one spot there’s likely a sunny spot just around the coast.

Think practicality, active comfort, and layers. Weather and activities should be your guide for packing. Clothing made with sun protective fabric is recommended. Personal gear that serves you well on other outdoor adventures in warm climates will also work
well for you in Hawaii. Please keep in mind that your storage space is limited, so pack efficiently.

Like all UnCruise adventures, the attire is very casual throughout the entire cruise. As there will be a variety of water sports available throughout the cruise, it is fine to wear your swimsuit in the dining room with an appropriate cover-up. No formal wear is required at any time.

Packing List

Clothing
 Sweater or sweatshirt for windy evenings on deck
 Lightweight long-sleeve shirts
 Short sleeve t-shirts, shirts, or blouses
 Lightweight or convertible hiking pants
 Jeans/khakis, shorts, skirts/dresses
 Bathing suit

Outerwear
 Light rain or wind jacket
 Fleece or hooded jacket/pullover
 Brimmed hat & sun hat that covers ears/neck
 Long sleeve rash guard/sun-shirt

Luggage
 Dry bag for camera, binoculars, snacks, etc.
 Collapsible or nesting luggage recommended to
maximize cabin storage space
 Daypack for hiking and skiff rides

Footwear

Day hikers or sturdy walking shoes
 Water socks or water shoes/sandals
 Comfortable deck shoes
 Socks

Optional Items
 Travel binoculars with safety strap
 Camera, memory cards, extra batteries/charger,
safety lanyard
 Paddling / waterproof gloves
 Water bottle (also available on board)

Snorkel vest or wet suit (if you foresee needing one)
 Travel binoculars with safety strap
 Sunglasses & retainer strap
 SPF-rated lip protection
 Insect repellent
 Adventurous spirit!

*Please note: if you are going on a pre- or post-cruise land tour, be sure to
bring your own refillable water bottle, sunscreen, and insect repellant.

On Board Amenities

Your cabin comes complete with a hairdryer, towels, eco-friendly shampoo/conditioner, and body wash.

Provided On Board
 Adventure gear including mask/snorkel/fins & yoga mats

 Refillable water bottles*
 Sunscreen & insect repellant*
 Fun and adventure!

Seasickness

We will be cruising on the leeward (west and south) side of the islands where it is generally calmer (trade winds and rougher water tends to be on the windward—east and north—sides of each island). Seasickness medication is kept on board all of our boats, 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.

Wildlife

The Hawaiian Islands are more than 2,500 miles from any other landmass. Due in part to the islands’ remote location, there are no snakes in Hawaii and only two native mammals—the hoary bat and the Hawaiian monk seal. It’s more common to see wild birds and introduced mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. Flowering plants, fruit-bearing trees, and banyans provide perches for songbirds; sunbaked lava rock offers hiding spots for geckos and lizards.

Of the world’s 88 species of cetaceans (whales and dolphins), 24 have been seen in Hawaii. Humpback whales travel 3,000 miles in less than two months, migrating from Alaska to breed and give birth in the islands’ warm and shallow waters. Many sea creatures, including several species of dolphin, can be seen in the archipelago all year long. Here are some of the tropical plants and animals you may encounter on an UnCruise Adventure through the Hawaiian Islands.

Animals and Birds

  • Nene or “Hawaiian goose” (pictured)
  • Hawaiian honeycreepers
  • Pueo (Hawaiian short-eared owl)
  • Myna birds
  • Ae‘o (Hawaiian stilt)
  • Cardinals
  • Egrets
  • Feral pig
  • Indian mongoose
  • Bullfrogs and tree frogs
  • Geckos
  •  

Marine Life

  • Hammerhead sharks
  • Spinner, spotted, and bottlenose dolphins
  • Humpback whale (pictured)
  • Pilot, melon head, and false killer whales
  • Green sea turtles
  • Giant Pacific Manta rays
  • Octopus
  • Whale sharks
  • Humuhumunukunukuapaua’a (the official Hawaii state fish, also called the rectangular triggerfish)
  • Yellow tang, Moorish idols, butterflyfish, white-spotted toby, clown fish, wrasse, trumpetfish, needlefish, eels

Suggested Reading

These resources are suggested to enhance your understanding and enjoyment of the history, unique culture, wilderness, and wildlife of Hawaii.

Natural World

By Wind, By Wave: An Introduction to Hawaii’s Natural History - David L. Eyre
Showcasing 17 specific animals, Eyre explores and explains the interwoven and complex ecosystem of Hawaii and how the environment has been changed.

Pele: Goddess of Hawaii’s Volcanoes - Herb Kawainui Kane
Pele, the goddess of volcanoes, is a fascinating character in the historic mythology and modern-day lives of Hawaiians. Discover the fiery and gentle sides of this most famous goddess, and a tip or two on how to stay on her good side while visiting her islands.

Voices of Wisdom: Hawaiian Elders Speak - M.J. Harden
Striking photos and phenomenal interviews with 24 leaders of Hawaiian culture today offer up wisdom of the elders seldom shared outside local Native circles.

Hawaiian Heritage Plants - Angela Kay Kepler
Through short essays, the stories of 32 native plants are told through their unique biology, cultural and spiritual significance, historical role, and place within the greater ecosystem.

Eddie Would Go - Stuart Holmes Coleman
This is a well-told tribute biography of Eddie Aikau, pioneer of big wave surfing, ambassador of Aloha, and beloved Hawaiian son who sacrificed his life to save his crew on a 1970s canoe voyage.

Mark Twain in Hawaii: Roughing it in the Sandwich Islands - Mark Twain

Sent on assignment to write about Hawaii in the 1860s, his adventure included socializing with Hawaiian Royals, trying to surf, witnessing volcanic flows, and experiencing vibrant island culture.

Moloka'i - Alan Brennert
A novel of historical fiction tells a colorfully imagined tale of a young girl sent to live in Hawaii’s leper colony and the life she discovers there.

No Footprints in the Sand: A Memoir of Kalaupapa - Henry Kalalahilimoku Nalaielua, Sally-Jo Keala-o-anuenue Bowman
At age 10, Nalaielua is diagnosed with Hansens disease—or leprosy—and sent away to live at a leprosy colony. Often cheerful, this is his memoir growing up exiled and isolated.

Mexico

Need to Know

Bienvenido! (Welcome in Spanish!)

In the wake of author John Steinbeck’s and marine biologist Ed Ricketts’ high-spirited expedition to the Sea of Cortés, we welcome you aboard for your own journey of exploration. Natural beauty, fascinating culture, and a land and sea brimming with wildlife are in store.

Click this link for important information about your vessel and will provide assistance with your trip preparation. At any time during your adventure, direct questions, concerns or comments to your captain or expedition leader.

Required Arrival & Departure Times

In an effort to ensure your flights/travel are arranged for your cruise at the correct time, please follow our guidance below. The times are for all itineraries. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.

On embarkation day, your flight should arrive no later than...

City/Port: Los Cabos (SJD)
Arrival Time: 1:30 pm

On disembarkation day, your flight should leave no earlier than...

City/Port: Los Cabos (SJD)
Departure Time: 1:00 pm

Packing Tips

One of the most cloud-free regions of the world, the weather in Baja California Sur is pleasant throughout the year. Climactic zones range from tropical to semi-arid, though, and it can be windy at times. Showers are infrequent, but when they come, they can be intense—a sight to see! November and March, daytime temps range between 70° and 85°F, while nights are cooler and dip into the low 50s and 60s. Water temperatures vary depending on location, but generally hover in the neighborhood of 65-70°F.

The UnCruise style is casual, and every day you’ll have opportunities for active adventure—kayaking, hiking, snorkeling, or riding the skiff. Shorts, convertible hiking pants/khakis, skirts, plus tank tops, t-shirts, and breathable long-sleeved shirts that layer easily together will be comfortable and appropriate at any time. Bringing clothing that layers together allows you to adjust for varying weather, temperatures, and protection from the sun, by easily peeling off or adding on a layer.

It can get breezy and chilly on board, especially at night, so a hooded rain/wind jacket, fleece or zip-up vest, light sweater, sweatshirt, and/or casual jacket will be important to have available.

Bring a brimmed hat for sun protection from the sun, and remember you bathing suit for snorkeling and hot tubbing.

Packing List

Clothing
 Sweater or sweatshirt for windy evenings on deck
 Lightweight long-sleeve shirts
 Short sleeve t-shirts, shirts, or blouses
 Lightweight or convertible hiking pants
 Jeans/khakis, shorts, skirts/dresses
 Bathing suit

Outerwear
 Light rain or wind jacket
 Fleece or hooded jacket/pullover
 Brimmed hat & sun hat that covers ears/neck
 Long sleeve rash guard/sun-shirt

Luggage
 Dry bag for camera, binoculars, snacks, etc.
 Collapsible or nesting luggage recommended to
maximize cabin storage space
 Daypack for hiking and skiff rides

Footwear

Day hikers or sturdy walking shoes
 Water socks or water shoes/sandals
 Comfortable deck shoes
 Socks

Pack comfortable sneakers, sturdy walking shoes, or day hikers for hikes and walks. You'll also want sandals or reef shoes that you don’t mind getting wet for wet landings and water activities.

Optional Items
 Travel binoculars with safety strap
 Camera, memory cards, extra batteries/charger,
safety lanyard
 Paddling / waterproof gloves
 Water bottle (also available on board)

Snorkel vest or wet suit (if you foresee needing one)
 Travel binoculars with safety strap
 Sunglasses & retainer strap
 SPF-rated lip protection
 Insect repellent
 Adventurous spirit!

*Please note: if you are going on a pre- or post-cruise land tour, be sure to
bring your own refillable water bottle, sunscreen, and insect repellant.

On Board Amenities

Your cabin comes complete with a hairdryer, towels, eco-friendly shampoo/conditioner, body wash and robes.

Provided On Board
 Adventure gear including mask/snorkel/fins, wet suits & yoga mats

 Refillable water bottles*
 Sunscreen & insect repellant*
 Fun and adventure!

Vaccinations

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all visitors of Mexico are up-to-date on vaccinations. Get specific recommendations on the CDC website.

* The CDC also provides updated recommendations concerning the Zika virus in destinations around the world.

Find out more on Covid-19 protocols and vaccinations on our Covid-19 page. More details continue to be updated.

Wildlife

Over 700 miles long, the Sea of Cortes is a glittering turquoise jewel, dotted with islands along its western shoreline and outlined by the long arm of the Baja Peninsula. A dramatic desert of soft, muted greens, golds, and reds, the land rises quickly from the sea along the Sierra de la Giganta—the peninsulaʼs mountainous spine.

On land, and on—or in!—the water, itʼs easy to get lulled into the quiet, gentle rhythm of this sun-kissed state. But below the surface of the sea and in all the nooks and crannies of rocky red cliffs and high-reaching cardon cactus, the land is teeming with life. More than 40 reptile and amphibian species, over 50 mammal species, and nearly 200 bird species call Baja California Sur home. Here are some animals and plants you’re likely to see on an UnCruise Adventure in Mexico.

Animals and Birds

  • Spiny-tailed iguana
  • Horned, zebra-tailed, and worm lizards
  • Coyote
  • Brush rabbit and jackrabbit
  • Blue-footed booby
  • Pelican
  • Cormorant
  • Magnificent Frigatebird
  • Sandpiper

 

Marine Life

  • Gray, humpback, blue, and fin whales
  • Whale shark and dolphin (pictured)
  • Sea lion
  • Elephant seal
  • Mobula ray
  • Butterflyfish, parrot fish, oarfish, and starfish
  • Nudibranch
  • Squid
  • Eel
  • Sally Lightfoot and hermit crabs

Text

Suggested Reading

These resources are suggested to enhance your understanding and enjoyment of the history, unique culture, wilderness, and wildlife of Mexico.

The Desert Islands of Mexico’s Sea of Cortez - Stewart Aitchison
Get an in-depth look at the natural history of the unique and unexpectedly, biologically rich islands dotting the coastline.

Eye of the Whale: Epic Passage from Baja to Siberia - Dick Russell
A narration of the incredible migration gray whales make each year from Baja to the Bering Strait is interwoven with the history of a 19th-century whaling captain whose change of heart leads him to become a renowned naturalist.

Roadside Geology and Biology of Baja California - John Minch, Edwin Minch and Jason Minch
Intelligent, fascinating mile-by-mile guide with photos and sketches describing Baja's unique geology and biology.

King of the Moon: A Novel of Baja California - Gene Kira
A beautiful, vividly told big fish tale of real Baja as told through the fictitious lives of a family in a small fishing village along the Sea of Cortés.

The Log from the Sea of Cortez - John Steinbeck
In 1940, Steinbeck and his friend, biologist Ed Rickets set out aboard The Western Flyer for a 6-week exploration collecting plant and animal specimens along the Sea of Cortés. This is their colorful day-by-day account.

Almost an Island: Travels in Baja California - Bruce Berger
Berger paints an unforgettable picture of remote Baja in vibrant stories of the characters he meets throughout his 30 years living on and exploring the peninsula.

Into A Desert Place - Graham Mackintosh
An adventurous account of an Englishman’s experience falling in love with Baja and his journey to walk the entire 800-mile length of the peninsula.

Latin American | Costa Rica, Panama & Belize

Need to Know

Bienvenido! (Welcome in Spanish!)

Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Panama offer a treasure trove of marvels awaiting your discovery. We welcome you aboard for an unforgettable exploration, up-close to astounding flora and fauna with a “front-row” seat. Get ready for the adventure of a lifetime—we can’t wait to share it with you!

Click this link to find important information about your expedition vessel and will provide assistance with your trip preparation. At any time during your adventure, direct questions, concerns or comments to your captain or expedition leader.

Required Arrival & Departure

In an effort to ensure your flights/travel are arranged for your cruise at the correct time, please follow our guidance below. The times are for all itineraries. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.

On embarkation day, your flight should arrive no later than...

Belize City (BZE): 2:00 pm

San Jose, CR (SJO): 11:00 am

Panama CIty (PTY): 11:00 am

 

On disembarkation day, your flight should leave no earlier than...

Belize City (BZE): 1:00 pm

San Jose, CR (SJO): 12:30 pm

Panama City (PTY: 2:00 pm


Pre- and post-cruise extensions

 

Tour: Arenal Volcano & Monteverde Rainforest Adventure - Pre-Cruise

To attend the 7:00 pm orientation dinner with your guide, schedule your flight to arrive no later than 5:00 pm. Late arrivals receive their package information at check-in.

Tour: Arenal Volcano & Monteverde Rainforest Adventure - Post-Cruise

On the last day of the tour, flight departures can be scheduled at any time.

 

Tour: Gatun Lake & Historic Panama City Adventure - Pre-Cruise

Schedule your flight to arrive any time. If you arrive prior to check-in time at your hotel, the hotel concierge will store your luggage.

Tour: Gatun Lake & Historic Panama City Adventure - Post-Cruise

On the last day of the tour, flight departures can be scheduled at any time.

 
 

Tour: Chaa Creek Expedition - Pre-Cruise

Schedule your flight to arrive at Belize's international airport any time on Day 1 of the land tour.

Tour: Chaa Creek Expedition - Post-Cruise

Flight departures can be scheduled for any time on Day 4 of the tour.

Packing Tips

Every day you’ll have opportunities for active adventure—kayaking, hiking, snorkeling, or riding the skiff. And, the weather is generally hot and humid. The region has two seasons: the rainy season from May to November, and a dry season from December to April. But, here in tropical Latin America, that "dry season" does not mean an absence of rain or humidity. And the "rainy season" does not mean you won't see the sun. Expect warm-to-hot and humid conditions, with coastal temps between 72-90°F (22-32°C) and inland temps around 59-77°F (15-25°C).

While adventuring in this hot, humid climate, you're going to sweat. It's the tropics after all! Pack wicking, quick-drying clothes that are lightweight.

The UnCruise style is casual. Shorts, convertible hiking pants/khakis, skirts, plus tank tops, t-shirts, and breathable long-sleeved shirts that layer easily together will be comfortable. A special note on long-sleeved shirts—a long-sleeved top will provide full protection from the sun, helping prevent accidental sunburns. What you wear for activities during the day will be perfectly acceptable and appropriate for happy hour and dinnertime.

On the Safari Voyager, it can get breezy when underway and on cooler evenings. Bring a lightweight, hooded rain jacket, light fleece, or light sweater.

Trail conditions (roots, rocks, prickly fauna, mud, etc.) mean you’ll need fully enclosed, closed-toe
hiking shoes with good tread. The trails you hike on go through ecosystems rich with wildlife, which may include venomous and
poisonous and/or stinging snakes, spiders, frogs, etc. For this reason, on some trails, fully enclosed/closed-toe shoes are REQUIRED.

Packing List

Clothing
 Sweater or sweatshirt for windy evenings on deck
 Lightweight long-sleeve shirts
 Short sleeve t-shirts, shirts, or blouses
 Lightweight or convertible hiking pants
 Jeans/khakis, shorts, skirts/dresses
 Bathing suit

Outerwear
 Light rain or wind jacket
 Fleece or hooded jacket/pullover
 Brimmed hat & sun hat that covers ears/neck
 Long sleeve rash guard/sun-shirt

Luggage
 Dry bag for camera, binoculars, snacks, etc.
 Collapsible or nesting luggage recommended to
maximize cabin storage space
 Daypack for hiking and skiff rides

Footwear

Day hikers or sturdy walking shoes
 Water socks or water shoes/sandals
 Comfortable deck shoes
 Socks

Optional Items
 Travel binoculars with safety strap
 Camera, memory cards, extra batteries/charger,
safety lanyard
 Paddling / waterproof gloves
 Water bottle (also available on board)

Snorkel vest or wet suit (if you foresee needing one)
 Travel binoculars with safety strap
 Sunglasses & retainer strap
 SPF-rated lip protection
 Insect repellent
 Adventurous spirit!

US cash/local currency: if you’d like to support native
communities by purchasing their artisan crafts, bring US or local
currency cash. Most items range from $15-$70 USD.
 Padded half-finger paddling gloves

*Please note: if you are going on a pre- or post-cruise land tour, be sure to
bring your own refillable water bottle, sunscreen, and insect repellant.

On Board Amenities

Your cabin comes complete with a hairdryer, towels, eco-friendly shampoo/conditioner, and body wash.

Provided On Board
 Adventure gear including mask/snorkel/fins & yoga mats

 Refillable water bottles*
 Sunscreen & insect repellant*
 Fun and adventure!

Onboard Payments

The only forms of payment for onboard purchases such as gear and gratuities are credit cards and cash (Costa Rican Colones or U.S. Dollars).

●   The currency in Belize is the Belize Dollar, but the U.S. Dollar is widely accepted

●     The currency used in Costa Rica is Colones, but the U.S. Dollar is widely accepted.

●     The currency used in Colombia is Colombian peso.

●   The currency used in Guatemala is the Quetzel, but the U.S. Dollar is accepted.

●     The currencies used in Panama are the Balboa and U.S. Dollar (the two are used interchangeably)

●     If spending time ashore before or after your cruise, use an ATM to withdraw the expected amount of local currency to be used that day and bring U.S. Dollars in small denominations ($1s, $5s, $10s, $20s).

Vaccinations

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all visitors to Costa Rica, Panama, Belize, Guatemala, and/or Colombia are up to date on vaccinations. Get specific recommendations on the CDC website: Costa Rica | Panama |  Colombia | Belize | Guatemala

* The CDC also provides updated recommendations concerning the Zika virus in destinations around the world.

For updated COVID travel policy, see COVID Travel Policy page

Wildlife

Keep your eyes peeled high and low—Latin America teems with life. UnCruise visits Belize, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, and select spots on the northern coast of Colombia. All these areas are relatively small in scale but have dramatically changing landscapes, reaching from the shores of the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea to high volcanic peaks. The warm tropical climate nurtures the rich tapestry of life, making for an inviting and adventurous exploration.

Costa Rica alone is home to around 4% of the earth’s total species—it’s one of the 20 most biologically diverse countries in the world. Monkey laze around on jungle branches. Scarlet macaw munch on Attalea fruit high in palm trees. Spotted dolphins swim warm gulf waters and ride the waves off the ship’s bow. This is just a small sampling of the wildlife that can be encountered on a Latin America UnCruise Adventure.

Animals and Birds

  • Howler and squirrel monkeys and white-faced capuchin
  • Two- and three-toed sloths
  • White tail deer
  • Anteaters
  • Caiman and crocodile
  • Tree frog
  • Sally Lightfoot crab
  • Iguana
  • Basilisk lizard
  • Scarlet macaw and toucan
  • Ruby-throated hummingbird
  • Scarlet and Western tanagers
  • Roseate spoonbill
  • Crested Guan and white hawk
  • Red-capped manakin
  • Tiger heron and Amazon kingfisher
  • Trogon and resplendent quetzal
  • Pelican
  • Parrot
  •  
  •  

Marine Life

  • Humpback whale
  • Olive Ridley, Loggerhead, Hawksbill, and Green sea turtles
  • White-tipped reef shark (pictured)
  • Bottle-nosed dolphin
  • Manatee
  • Spotted eagle and mobula rays
  • Brightly colored tropical fish
  • Coral, sea slug, urchin, anemone

Suggested Reading

These resources are suggested to enhance your understanding and enjoyment of the history, unique culture, wilderness, and wildlife of Costa Rica, Panama and Belize.

The Darien Gap: Travels in the Rainforest of Panamá - Martin Mitchinson
Modern-day explorer, Mitchinson arrived in Darien by sailboat and attempted to retrace the path of 16th-century conquistador Vasco Balboa across the rugged gap to the Pacific.

Getting to Know the General - Graham Greene
Late in his life, Graham Greene wrote about his experiences of being invited to Panama by Omar Torrijos, who ruled the country from the mid-1960s to 1981. Greene’s multi-year experience is full of rich character and intrigue.

Panamá Fever: The Epic Story of the Building of the Panamá Canal - Matthew Parker
The construction of the Canal is brought to life through stories of the people involved, from the laborers in the field, to engineers and politicians instrumental in developing the project.

Reef Fish Identification: Baja To Panamá - Paul Humann & Ned Deloach
Photographs, descriptions of marine life, and notes on behavior illuminate the underwater world, including a special section on whales and dolphins.

Costa Rica Wildlife: A Folding Pocket Guide to Familiar Species - James Kavanagh & Raymond Leung
A back-pocket companion covering many of Costa Rica’s creatures from basilisks to three-toed sloths to armadillos. Color drawings help with quick and easy identification.

Costa Rica: A Traveler’s Literary Companion - Barbara Ras & Oscar Arias
Twenty-six short stories written by some of Costa Rica’s most talented writers provide unique insight into the lives of Tico’s in all the regions of the country. While fictional, each vignette offers an insider’s perspective of the color and vibrancy of the country.

Monkeys are made of Chocolate: Exotic and Unseen Costa Rica - Jack Ewing
Through his many experiences and keen observations, Ewing spins a captivating web of stories that highlight the close connections between all living creatures and plants in Costa Rica’s jungles.

One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Originally published in 1967, this is arguably Marquez’s most popular piece, melding fact and fantasy in an extraordinary work of magical realism. A timeless Latin American classic, the story weaves through generations of the Buendia family.

Birding in Colombia - Jurgen Beckers & Pablo Florez
Colombia is home to nearly 1,900 species birds. Beckers and Florez’s well-researched book is an incredibly helpful guide to what birds can be found where. Featuring 127 sites with 85 maps and 240 color photos of birds.

Men of Maize - Miguel Ángel Asturias
Referencing the Mayan belief that bodies were made of corn, Men of Maize weaves magical realism, history, and details Guatemala's indigenous communities together. This book earned Asturias the 1967 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Jaguar: One Man's Struggle to Establish the World's First Jaguar Preserve - Alan Rabinowitz
Join zoologist Rabinowitz as he studies and fights to preserve Belize’s elusive jaguar. This personal and powerful story of his struggles reveals as much about adventuring in the jungle as it does the jaguar itself.

Time among the Maya: Travels in Belize, Guatemala, and Mexico - Ronald Wright
Follow Wright’s travels through Central America exploring the history of the Maya from invasion and civil war to contemporary culture. This thorough study melds archaeology, history, ethnology, politics, and adventure into an insightful and entertaining read.

Tropical Nature: Life and Death in the Rain Forests of Central and South America - Adrian Forsyth & Ken Miyata
An essential companion for a trip to Belize and Guatemala, this collection of 17 essays details the habitats, ecology, plants, and animals of the rainforest through the eyes of two inquisitive biologists.

Galapagos

Need to Know

Bienvenido! (Welcome in Spanish!)

Click here to download your Need to Know document. This guide includes important travel information about your Galápagos cruise—please read it thoroughly. During the voyage, direct any questions to your onboard hotel manager or expedition leader.

For guests extending their trip with the Machu Picchu post-cruise tour, we have included additional travel information about your land package.

Required Arrival & Departure Times

In an effort to ensure your flights/travel are arranged for your cruise at the correct time, please follow our guidance below. The times are for all itineraries. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.

On the first date of your cruise itinerary, your flight should arrive no later than...

City/Port: Guayaquil, Ecuador (GYE)
Arrival Time: Anytime (1 pre-cruise night included)

City/Port: Quito, Ecuador (UIO)
Arrival Time: Anytime (1 pre-cruise night included)

 

To accommodate time for required COVID-19 PCR testing prior to entry to the United States, all guests must overnight after disembarkation.

After this overnight, your flight may leave at any time the following day.

City/Port: Guayaquil, Ecuador (GYE)

 

Tour: Machu Picchu Post-Cruise

On the last day of your tour, your flight should leave Lima, Peru (LIM) no earlier than 5:00 pm.

 

Guests with late-night departures from Guayaquil, Quito, or Lima following their Galapagos cruise or Machu Picchu post-cruise land tour can book a hotel night for their layover. Please contact our sales counselors for details.

 

Packing Tips

The climate and conditions of Guayaquil are quite different than the Galapagos, so pack for versatility.

Guayaquil boasts mild days and cool nights almost year round—and a nearly constant annual temperature. Average highs are in the mid-60s with lows in the upper 40s.

Galapagos, located on the equator, is nearly always warm, and the islands experience two seasons:

  • December-June is warmest. Temps range from 72 to 90°F (22 to 33°C) and the water is in the mid-70s F (mid-20s C). The islands receive the most rainfall in this season with short, daily showers concentrated in upper elevations.
  • July-November is the Garua season. Garua is a mist that forms in the highlands of the islands, providing moisture but not a lot of rain. On average, the temps are cooler, from 60 to 75°F (18 to 24°C) with the water averaging 70°F (21°C).
  • No matter the season, the sun is intense on the equator—packing clothing that provides sun protection is a plus!

Every day you’ll have opportunities for adventure, whether you are strolling the Malecon 2000 boardwalk in Guayaquil or exploring Galapagos flora and fauna, in the water snorkeling or kayaking. Keep the weather and activities in mind while packing.

Think practicality, active comfort, and layers. Weather and activities should be your guide for packing. Sun-protective and insectrepellant fabric* is highly recommended. Personal gear that works well on other outdoor adventures in warm, humid climates will
work well in the Galápagos. Storage space is limited, so pack efficiently.

A special note on luggage: Checked luggage for your Galapagos flights is restricted to 1 bag, with a total weight of no more than 50 lbs (23 kg) and no bigger than 62 linear inches (width + height + length). Carry-on is restricted to 1 piece of hand luggage, weighing no more than 17 lbs (8 kg), with size restrictions of 43 linear inches (13 wide x 21 high x 9 long). Excess baggage is subject to additional fees. See our Galapagos cruise FAQs for more information.

Packing List

Clothing
 Sweater or sweatshirt for windy evenings on deck
 Lightweight long-sleeve shirts
 Short sleeve t-shirts, shirts, or blouses
 Lightweight or convertible hiking pants
 Jeans/khakis, shorts, skirts/dresses
 Bathing suit

Outerwear
 Light rain or wind jacket
 Fleece or hooded jacket/pullover
 Brimmed hat & sun hat that covers ears/neck
 Long sleeve rash guard/sun-shirt

Luggage
 Dry bag for camera, binoculars, snacks, etc.
 Collapsible or nesting luggage recommended to
maximize cabin storage space
 Daypack for hiking and skiff rides

Footwear

Day hikers or sturdy walking shoes
 Water socks or water shoes/sandals
 Comfortable deck shoes
 Socks

Optional Items
 Travel binoculars with safety strap
 Camera, memory cards, extra batteries/charger,
safety lanyard
 Paddling / waterproof gloves
 Water bottle (also available on board)

Snorkel vest or wet suit (if you foresee needing one)
 Travel binoculars with safety strap
 Sunglasses & retainer strap
 SPF-rated lip protection
 Insect repellent
 Adventurous spirit!

*Please note: if you are going on a pre- or post-cruise land tour, be sure to
bring your own refillable water bottle, sunscreen, and insect repellant.

On Board Amenities

Your cabin comes complete with a hairdryer, towels, eco-friendly shampoo/conditioner, and body wash.

Provided On Board
 Adventure gear including mask/snorkel/fins, shorty wetsuits, walking sticks & yoga mats

 Refillable water bottles*
 Sunscreen & insect repellant*
 Fun and adventure!

 

Seasickness

Galapagos cruises operate primarily within waters protected by the outer islands. The advantage of La Pinta over other smaller vessels is size and stability. At 209 feet, La Pinta is large enough and heavy enough to be stable in most sea conditions. In the event that we do cross an open passage or expect unfavorable weather, the captain will give notice so that you can prepare accordingly. Seasickness medication (Dramamine) is available on board, but is not recommended for children. If you are prone to seasickness or traveling with children, you should consult your physician prior to your departure.

Note: Seas tend to be a bit rougher from approximately mid-August through October. If sea sickness is an issue for you, it might be best to plan your trip outside of this period.

Vaccinations

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all visitors to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands are up to date on vaccinations. Get specific recommendations on the CDC website: Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands 

* The CDC also provides updated recommendations concerning the Zika virus in destinations around the world.

For updated COVID travel policy, see COVID Travel Policy page

Wildlife

UnCruise Adventures leads adventure-focused Galapagos wildlife cruises. On the seven islands and islets we visit, chances are high for ticking off 12 species on the “Big 15” list of the archipelago's most iconic animals. See Great and Magnificent frigatebirds, the Galapagos hawk, land and marine iguanas, giant tortoises, the Galapagos sea lion, and the Galapagos fur seal, all on large Isla Isabela. American flamingos feed in lagoons on Isla Floreana. Galapagos penguins live in caves and crevasses on the coasts of Floreana, Fernandina, and Isabela. Blue-footed and Nazca boobies nest on tiny Isla Rabida. What else will you meet strolling along a remote red sand beach?

Many species are found here and nowhere else on earth. It is estimated that 26 endemic species of birds and other unique creatures have made their homes in the Galapagos. An inspiration for modern thinking, the islands’ biota inspired Charles Darwin to form his theories of evolution.

97% of the archipelago’s islands is designated a national park. Human settlements are concentrated on the remaining 3%. There are strict rules about visiting the areas on islands that have been designated as visitor sites by the national park authorities. The Galapagos is also part of a huge Marine Reserve, which ranks among the largest in the world.

The Galapagos National Park and Marine Reserve, like all special wilderness areas, needs help and cooperation from visitors to preserve their pristine state. At UnCruise, we are careful to leave this fragile ecosystem exactly as we found it. The park and reserve are protected by Ecuadorian law, which includes specific rules for visiting protected areas. Ecuador’s Ministry of the Environment states:

Any wrongdoing, inadequate behavior, or threat to protected habitats, as well as to their geological, biological, and/or cultural components, will be strictly observed by both Park Wardens and Naturalist Guides. Any confirmed and reported unlawful actions could lead to sanctions which may result in the interruption of original travel plans, questioning, detention, fines, or even legal action temporarily suspending the local tour operator while a proper investigation takes place. The best way to avoid difficulties with local environmental enforcement authorities is to simply follow the Galapagos National Park visitation rules.

Below are the official rules of the park. These rules will be posted on La Pinta for your reference while traveling, and any of your guides can provide additional information if questions come up while you travel. One important note: visitors cannot legally go anywhere in the Park without a licensed guide escort. Rules are enforced by naturalist guides and park officials:

1. Do not disturb or remove any native plant, rock or animal on land or in the water.
2. Be careful not to transport any live material or sand to the islands.
3. Do not take any food or drink except water to the uninhabited islands.
4. Do not touch, pet or feed the animals. Approaching them too closely or taking flash photography will disturb them.
5. Do not startle or chase any animal from its nesting place.
6. Do not leave any trash on the islands or throw any litter overboard.
7. Follow marked trails at all times and do not walk out of their limits.
8. Stay with your naturalist guide who must accompany all groups on trails.
9. Do not buy souvenirs of objects made from native Gal
apagos products (except for wood) especially black coral, sea lion teeth, and shells of the Galapagos tortoises.
10. Do not smoke on the islands.

Animals and Birds

  • Giant tortoise
  • Land iguana (pictured)
  • Marine iguana
  • Lava lizard
  • Hoary bat
  • Gecko
  • Blue-footed boobies (pictured)
  • Nazca boobies
  • 13 species of Darwin’s finch
  • Short-eared owl
  • Galapagos hawk
  • Galapagos petrel
  • Great and Magnificent frigatebirds
  • Galapagos penguin
  • Flamingo
  • Flightless cormorant
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Marine Life

  • Green sea turtle
  • Sperm, pilot, humpback, and Brydes whales
  • Spinner, striped, and bottlenose dolphins
  • Galapagos sea lion (pictured) and fur seal
  • Angelfish, butterflyfish, and damselfish
  • White-tipped reef shark
  • Manta, spotted eagle, and golden rays

Suggested Reading

These resources are suggested to enhance your understanding and enjoyment of the history, unique culture, wilderness, and wildlife of the Galapagos.

The Galapagos Affair - John Treherne
This intriguing and gripping mystery tells the true story of a small group of settlers on Floreana Island in the 20s and 30s hoping to build an idyllic “Garden of Eden” community. A mysterious murder is unraveled through the retelling of bizarre and peculiar events.

My Father's Island, A Galapagos Quest - Johanna Angermeyer
An adventurous true story, yearning to learn more about her father, Angermeyer travels to the islands, the place he escaped to as a refugee from Hitler and where he and her mother lived before his death.

Galapagos Wildlife, A Visitor's Guide - David Horwell and Pete Oxford
Written by Galapagos naturalists including photos of the islands’ unique inhabitants, details about each marine, land, and sky creature, from endemic penguins to brightly colored blue-footed boobies.

Galapagos Diary: A Complete Guide to the Archipelago’s Birdlife - Hermann Heinzel and Barnaby Hall
Filled with graphics by a renowned illustrator and an accomplished photographer. With detailed information about birds and other animal species, this book also contains a checklist so travelers can record what they see.

The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time - Jonathan Weiner
Find out how the theory of evolution evolved since Darwin's first visit, what current researchers are discovering, and how the islands are impacting new evolutionary research.

Evolutions Workshop; God and Science on the Galapagos Islands - Edward J Larson
Chronicling human discoveries and impacts from the first explorers and pirates, to Darwin and scientists, to today’s adventurous travelers and the small permanent population.

The Voyage of the Beagle - Charles Darwin
Arguably the quintessential tome about the Galapagos Islands, Charles Darwin shared his observations, descriptions, and details of the five-year journey he undertook on the H.M.S. Beagle, a voyage that would inspire his theory of evolution and that would change the way we all see the world.

Galapagos: A Natural History - Michael H Jackson
Considered by some to be the “bible” of the Galapagos for the beginning biologist, this natural history book provides introductory and in-depth information on the islands’ volcanic origins, ecology, flora and fauna, history of human impact, and issues and efforts of conservation.

 

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“We had a wonderful time. This was our 2nd UnCruise adventure and we will be back.”
— Jim & Holly C, Simpsonville, SC (Costa Rica & Panama)

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