Wednesday, 4 September 2013

An Un-Cruise Adventure, Pt 1

Starting our full 12-day voyage with Un-Cruise Adventures in Alaska on the brand new SS Legacy...

Legacy Cruise, Day 1

Having arrived in Juneau overnight, we had the next day at our leisure before meeting up with the rest of our fellow time travellers for the next 12 days at the Westmark Baranof hotel, where the check-in process was handled with great aplomb.

Suitcases were tagged for cabin numbers and spirited away, to await our arrival on the ship, and a cast of four costumed 1898 characters then assumed control, regaling us with tales of the ‘Gold Rush’ experience to come.

The SS Legacy is a replica 88-passenger Victorian steamer ideal for this era. Fully refurbished by Un-Cruise, she is all-inclusive on board and with bags of personality and vintage style.

The official welcome aboard from a line-up of the crew was equally personable and we were guided straight to our stateroom, a compact-but-comfortable cabin on Deck 2 (of four). This pretty much set the scene perfectly for the days ahead – immensely friendly, history-tinged and stylish.

Big-ship cruising this is certainly not, and the majority of our fellow passengers are in the 60-plus range, with a good proportion from Australia and New Zealand.

After a comprehensive welcome briefing and safety procedure (which included mustering at the only ‘lifeboat station’ on board, on Deck 1), we set sail from Juneau, bidding goodbye to the state capital with a vintage blast on the ship’s whistle.

The daily ‘Happy Hour’ session in the main lounge spilled on to the plentiful open deck space as we sailed serenely out of the Gastineau Channel before giving way to our first dinner aboard.

Boasting 4 full courses, there was a three-way choice for the main course but otherwise a set menu that succeeded in being tasty, eye-pleasing – and not too large. Service was again of the personable persuasion, but also extremely efficient.

Dinner over, we were treated to one of our costumed interpreters giving us a full briefing on the 12 days ahead, with an included tour in each port of call, and several optional (paid-for) extras, including bear-watching and kayaking.

This is already shaping up with plenty of the ‘something different’ factor but also a genuinely distinguished and well-travelled style. Full luxury cruising it probably isn’t, but it succeeds in being a whole new world of boutique sea-going travel.

Tomorrow – Skagway and Haines.

To learn more about Un-Cruise adventures, call 0877 263 9888 in the UK; 1888 862 8881 in the US; or visit In the UK, specialist cruise agents The Cruise Line can also help with bookings.

Be sure to read the full report of the cruise in the Autumn edition of World of Cruising, out September 20. You can subscribe here: