May 22, 2015 | By Jeri Donovan
Ever since I first heard about Un-Cruise Adventures, (one of my esteemed Virtuoso suppliers) I knew it was something that I had to experience. It became front and center on my bucket list for active adventure cruising. As a wellness travel advisor and because I am a bona fide travel info junky, I immediately enrolled in the coursework to become an Un-Cruise Adventures Certified Adventurist. My sense of intrigue and desire deepened as I delved into learning about this style of adventure cruising that ventured along the shores of Alaska, the coasts of Costa Rica and Panama, around the Hawaiian islands and the Galapagos, as well as down the Columbian and Snake Rivers.
I, however was most intrigued by a relatively unknown body of water that Jacque Cousteau had referred to as “the world’s aquarium” and the “Galapagos of North America”, the magnificent Sea of Cortes. So intrigued, I flew solo to Cabo San Lucas and skipped aboard my home for the next 7 days, the 84 passenger Safari Endeavor. And then it began, my unforgettable and often unbelievable adventure cruising trip with Un-Cruise Adventures on the Sea of Cortes.
Before I describe my grand adventure, I want to sing a few praises. I loved the small ship experience, it is perfect for adventure cruising! No humongous lines, no crowds and a very well-oiled crew who worked hard to give us an amazing experience. Kudos to the crew! Plus, my fellow travelers were a delightfully diverse group of engaging and interesting folks that enriched my experience. My eldest shipmate was a solo gal of 89 years old; the youngest were less than 12.
This particular journey is best described by pictures as they capture and express so much more than my mere words can convey. My mantra for this journey was “Expect the Unexpected with Un-Cruise Adventures!” Our mighty ship, the Safari Endeavor, is where we dined like kings and queens, practiced yoga as the sun was rising, received a relaxing complimentary massage, and spent our days pursuing adventure and wildlife. To me, this is both a wellness and adventure cruising experience.
Each day, we were presented with opportunities for adventure. Day 1, we were given the option to swim amongst the giant and gentle creatures of the sea, the whale sharks. A no-brainer for me, I eagerly donned a wetsuit and snorkel gear (provided by Un-Cruise Adventures) and jumped into the sea. Oh my, talk about exhilarating and exciting! Watching this beast feed on plankton has become a life-long memory. At one point, there were at least five of these beasts in the close proximity. I must say, I was one of last to climb out of the water. I was so darned enthralled about this opportunity to commune this close with nature.
Another very memorable experience was to swim with a group of rambunctious sea lions. The young and the old dotted a rocky outcrop. Here we jumped in from our zodiac and immediately met up with a frisky and feisty sea lion who nipped amongst us. Adrenaline rush for sure! It also was one of the most beautiful snorkeling spots we encountered.
While I spent a fair amount of time in the sea, one day I also partook in a lovely morning hike along the Baja coast with an enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide.
And on yet on another day, I opted to go on a morning burro/horse ride and where we caroused our way through the Baja desert. As a true desert lover, this was a lovely way to see the terrain.
One afternoon while I went kayaking and birding, another crew of adventure cruisers encountered some very friendly dolphins. On yet another lazy afternoon, we went “cruising for critters”. This trio of beauties were spotted riding the ship’s bow. Plus, I saw a whale tail at a distance too.
One of the reasons I travel is to create lifelong memories, as I value life experience over material acquisitions. I can say, without a doubt, that this particular Un-Cruise Adventures journey gave me a whole brand-spanking new chapter of cherished experiences of adventure cruising. Do I recommend? Without a doubt, I would be delighted to book this cruise for you!