The UnCruise UnCyclopedia

UnCruise defines adventure. Here's a glossary of nautical terms you'll find helpful once you're on board—as well as some phrases that describe the UnCruise experience.

Making sure your adventure not only matches your needs and expectations, but surpasses them. We do our best to ensure your UnCruise is unforgettable, and a lot of fun along the way.
Mountain-goat scrambles, hours-long kayaking, slow and inquisitive snorkeling... Excursions are as hard-charging or as slow-paced as you like.
Our name and our passion. Uncovering playgrounds that offer the richest, wildest experiences by hike, paddle, with locals, and more. Only so few can do so much. It's all included, and there's something for everyone.
The rear of the boat.
At the helm
[at the helm]
Diversity from ship to shore. Small ships and a tight-knit crew (sometimes all women officers—a rarity in this industry). We put a priority on welcoming you to the places that have welcomed us—warmth and inclusion lead the way.
It's the real deal and then some. A Nez Perce member tells tales of his people. Native Alaskans show their totem carvings. A Hawaiian elder shares the breath of aloha. Genuine experiences take hold of your senses, asking you to linger and remember long after you've said farewell.
Backstage pass
[bak·steyj pas]
Scenic bays and culturally immersive excursions grant you windows into worlds most travelers don't ever see. A mule ride with a family of rancheros ambles into the unexplored at a local pace.
Measurement of a boat at its widest point.
A place to sleep aboard a boat; A boat slip.
Forward portion of a boat (pointy end).
Location from which the boat is steered, and it's open for you to chat up the captain—you'll know him or her by name on Day 1; The flexible gap between itineraries and your #travelgoals, ready to stick around or change course when Mother Nature's whimsy delivers wildlife and opportunity.
No trail; To attempt a wild and woolly hike in Alaska that typically involves deer trails, bear scat, muskeg, and climbing over logs and through brush.
Easygoing; What you wear on excursions, you wear to dinner. Keep your attire easy and comfortable so you can focus on what's outside the boat.
A hallway, although it typically refers to a stairwell in classical nautical terminology.
Meet your people. Small ships acquaint you with like-minded travelers and places that tug your heartstrings. Bonds are hard to define but easy to spot sharing tears at the end—from co-explorers to friends for life.
You're in great hands—bosuns, guides, engineers, mates, captain, hotel and galley staff. Their vast knowledge and certifications, wit, along with infectious enthusiasm in topics from engine rooms and sustainability to whales, glaciers, and navigation, have earned your praises for decades.
A latch or handle for fastening down a hatch or tightening a door—“dog the door.”
24/7. Catch a bubble-net-feeding whale frenzy off the bow or a 3 a.m. northern lights spectacle. Your kayak is your seat and the still waters, the stage. See the seal popping up? Now that's a good time.
Hiking poles, snorkeling gear, kayaks, and skiffs. We have the gear and the guides to make your discoveries easy and incredible. Sign up for the activity you want to do and have a ball charging out in a small group.
A deck that protrudes over the stern of the ship.
6 feet
Within our routes we're ready to turn, pause, and seize opportunity. Linger for whale sprays and bow-riding dolphins. Good day for a beach party on a deserted tropical island? Why not!
Happy place
[ha·pee pleis]
Kayaking a quiet cove, listening to the sounds of a kittiwake. Eyes on the horizon on a paddle board. Social hour with fellow-adventurers and the bartender's cocktail of the day. Yours is undefined and unlimited.
Hold a seastar in your hand on a misty beachwalk. Swim in a waterfall on a hike in Hawaii's ancient Halawa Valley. Learn new dance steps in the Darien Jungle. Your senses are awake and engaged, all day, every day.
Excursions, adventure equipment, transfers, baggage handling, and yes, all food and beverages (alcohol too), even heart-tugging photos from your trip are covered in the fare. Truly no hidden costs.
Experts who've lived and breathed the places we visit. And crew who've dedicated their education, travels, and a whole lot of playtime to the places you want to explore. They share their secrets.
Speed measured in nautical miles per hour; A fastening made by tying a piece of rope or something similar.
Rope and cordage used aboard a vessel: yes. Goodbyes to your crew at the end: yes. Waiting for meals, activities, gear, or at the rails for a view: never. At the bar: only a beeline (the drinks are that good). With UnCruise, it's intimate groups, instant wow's, upclose wildlife, unobstructed scenery, and being in on the action.
To gather for roll call, also “muster station”; The place where people gather.
Nautical mile
[naw·ti·kuhl mahyl]
A distance of 6,076.12 feet or 1,852 meters, which is about 15 percent longer than a statute mile; equivalent to one minute of latitude on a navigation chart.
More than locations. They're corners and coves to get a little lost in, and maybe a little misty-eyed. So small against a big land. So deep in another culture.
Polar plunge
[po·lar pluhnj]
An Alaska experience: Fun. Frigid. Exhilarating. Amped up, with cheers all around. It's a club—a daring collective of travelers and crew. Chances are you’ll watch your captain jump in too.
The left side of a boat when facing the bow; A marina, harbor, or commercial dock.
Port of call
[port uhv kawl]
Unusual and uncrowded, with wet landings and the occasional dry. A deserted island with a sloping shore that asks you to slip off your flip flops or into rubber boots as you step out of the skiff.
Drinks are on us. Craft beers and cask wines on tap. House-infused spirits. And sometimes, with splash in a skiff, on you. We hang our hat on having the best craft bars afloat.
Out-of-the-way; Your own private beach. A thick, old-growth forest where the only trails are from wildlife. Tangled mangroves opening into an Embera tribe's village; Places so tucked away that our small ships fit in just right.
Never say rope. Say “line.”
Small ships
[smaal ships]
Laid-back; 22-86 guests. That's it. You get to know your travel comrades quickly, and yet there's always a quiet corner or empty space on the bow to scout for wildlife and take it all in.
Social hour
[soh·shuhl ouuhr]
That sweet spot when activities have wrapped, you've freshened up, excitement is bursting, and before another knockout meal. Grab a piled-high mini toast or wrapped fig and sidle up to the bar to sample what your bartender's concocted.
The right side of the boat looking toward the bow.
Aft (rear) portion of a boat.
Fresh, local, and inspired cuisine—field to table in cooperation with regional farms and ocean-friendly seafood; Local partnerships for shoreside services; Fuel conservation, emission reduction, and use of eco-friendly toiletries and reusable water bottles on board.
That tempting turn in the trail. Blue water begging for a snorkel. The call of the wild. Rest assured there are maps, but you also get a rush seeking out the unknown.
Uncrowded, unspoiled destinations; Travel experiences that connect you with people, places, and cultures where your choices make a greater difference.
A boat in motion (not tied to a dock).
To break away from the masses. Challenge. Freely used to release, exemplify, or intensify a force or quality. To engage, connect, and explore unique places, oneself, and with others on a most uncommon adventure.
Up close
[uhp klohs]
Galapagos turtles and iguanas block your path; Feeling the chill off a glacier's face; A refreshing whale spray ensures you're paying attention to their show.
To raise anchor.
An UnCruise original, short for kayak and bushwhack. An active, hours-long, land and water excursion taking in the best of what Alaska has to offer. Plus a packed lunch to keep you going. It's the height of un-ness.



“This is our fourth trip with UnCruise, and probably the best one yet. It's becoming difficult to say that UnCruise experiences exceed our expectations, because we've learned to set our expectations extremely high!”
— Bob K., Agoura Hills, CA (Alaska 2019)