Glacier Bay National Park: Small Ship Cruise

Friday September 26, 2014 at 7:07 AM | 1 Comment

Sprawled on my yoga mat, looking up at the puffy white clouds streaming by, I experienced a surreal moment. Dreamlike, mixed with fantasy, I was floating on a small ship in Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park, watching the world pass by. Suddenly, I was brought back to earth by the Wellness instructor’s soothing voice guiding the class to the next yoga pose. “Someone pinch me” I whispered to myself as I looked around the ship’s sundeck with Margerie Glacier coming into view on the starboard side.
 

yoga, "Safari Endeavour" cruise

Yoga on Safari Endeavour’s sundeck. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown

 

"Margarie Glacier" "Alaska"

Alaska’s Margerie Glacier. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown


 


 

After breakfast, fueled with piping hot oatmeal and a yogurt parfait, I was ready to head outside and take in Glacier Bay from the deck. Our 84-guest small ship, Safari Endeavour, had stopped at the Park Ranger Station by Bartlett Cove to pick up a temporary passenger. Park Ranger Naturalist Andrea Markell would be our guest of honor for the next two days sharing her knowledge of Alaska’s birds, wildlife, plants and geology that make up this living laboratory and UNESCO World Heritage Site.
 

"Un-Cruise Adventures" "Lamplugh" glacier

Kayaking Lamplugh Glacier with Un-Cruise Adventures. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown

 

Lamplugh Glacier

One of the absolute highlights of my Un-Cruise Adventure aboard Safari Endeavour was kayaking next to Lamplugh Glacier. Each night Expedition Guide Mark Hopkins explained the activities on offer the next day and his staff noted our interests as we gathered in the lounge. Like modified options in a yoga class, each activity was able to accommodate gentle, moderate and high-intensity fitness levels. I watched with awe as guests pushed the boundaries in their comfort zone and moved to new levels with each passing day.

For me, kayaking alongside Alaska’s Lamplugh Glacier on a bluebird morning was memorable in many ways. While I specialize in equestrian travel and consider myself an active adventure baby boomer, I feel more comfortable seated on a green broke horse than a sea horse kayak.

Paired with another beginner, my partner and I stepped into our two man kayak, and quietly slipped into the blue green water via the EZdock launch platform – an ingenious system unique to Un-Cruise Adventures that makes launching a kayak or stand-up paddle board a breeze.

Like baby ducklings, we closely paddled behind our Expedition Guide Megan Moran who gave us a run down of paddling 101 and cheered us on when we successfully demonstrated our newly-learned kayaking skills.
 

"Glacier Bay" "Alaska"

Alaska’s magic on Glacier Bay. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown

 

For additional insider tips follow Luxury Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter @Nancydbrown and follow @UnCruise on Twitter.

If You Go:

Un-Cruise Adventures (888) 862-8881
3826 18th Ave
W. Seattle, Washington 98119

Article written by, video and photos courtesy of Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California. I was a guest of Un-Cruise Adventures. All opinions are my own.

Waterproof Boots: Travel Gear Review

Wednesday September 24, 2014 at 7:07 AM | 1 Comment

"Kamik" rain boot

Kamik waterproof boot review

Canadian-based Kamik goes green with recyclable, waterproof rain boots.

Kermit the frog may think that it’s not easy being green, but companies like family-owned, Canadian-based Kamik are committed to exercising sustainable practices throughout all lines of their outdoor footwear. In addition to producing a fashionable, waterproof boot, I liked that Kamik offers an environmentally-friendly recycling program. Boots worn out or you’ve moved onto another style? Send them back to the Montreal, Canada or Vermont plant and they’ll recycle your rubber boots.

Jenny waterproof boot

I selected the Jenny waterproof, rubber boot, as they looked sexy in black, (sexy rain boots?) yet offered durability. For my recent trip to Alaska I wanted a no-nonsense rubber boot with good traction that was easy to take on and off and would fit over or under my rain gear. While the boots only weighed 2.22 lbs. I travel using carry-on luggage; with that in mind, I opted to wear the Kamik boots on the airplane to Alaska. My feet were comfortable in regular socks, yet the size I selected allowed for a good fit with thick, moisture-wicking socks.
 

"Kamik" boots

Wearing my Kamik boots on Chichagof Island in Alaska


 

"Kamik" rubber boots

Exploring Alaska’s tide pools


 

"Kamik" boots "Alaska"

Searching for bear tracks in Alaska’s rain forest


 

Insider Tip

Originally, I thought I wanted the Jennifer boot, as the taller boot looked more stylish to me. But like Goldilocks and the three bears, I tried several pairs of Kamik boots and found the Jenny to be the proper height for my body and outdoor adventure travel plans.

At a height of 8 inches, I’ll be taking the JennyLo boots with me to Quebec, as these rain boots appeal to me for touring the Canadian countryside. Make sure to select the boot height that fits your needs.

For additional insider tips follow Luxury Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter @Nancydbrown and follow @KamikOutdoor on Twitter.
 

bear tracks "Alaska"

Bear tracks

What style of waterproof boots do you prefer?

Where to Buy

Kamik Boots

Suggested Retail Price: $59.99 check the website

Kamik boot photos and review written by Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California. Kamik supplied me with this travel gear for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

Cruising Alaska for “Noncruisers”

Friday September 19, 2014 at 7:07 AM | 4 Comments

Mega cruise ships the size of small cities not your cup of tea? While I love exploring the world from the deck of a cruise ship, not everyone feels the same way towards cruising. My husband is one of those active adventure travelers who feels that he would go “stir crazy” trapped on a cruise ship – no matter the travel itinerary. I have found the answer to the “noncruisers” dilemma. The company is called Un-Cruise Adventures and it is my answer to cruising Alaska for the noncruiser.
 

"Safari Endeavour" Alaska

Safari Endeavour for the noncruiser. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown


 

Discover Alaska’s glacier country

I had the chance to explore southeast Alaska and Discover Glacier Country on an eight day, seven night voyage with Un-Cruise Adventures. Our journey began and ended in Juneau, Alaska with stops at Glacier Bay National Park, Chichagof Island, Icy Strait and Stephen’s Passage, among others.

Other than covering the Iditarod Dog Sled Race in Anchorage, Alaska, this has been one of my most memorable experiences to this “Great Land” of 3 million lakes, 100,000 glaciers, 33,904 miles of coastline and over 3.2 million acres of State Park lands.
 


 

“We don’t like the ordinary or the typical,” noted Carole Heaton of Atlanta, Georgia (seen above in the video with her husband Mike Morrow). “This has been a unique experience that got us on a boat for a week.”

 

"Un-Cruise Adventures" Alaska

Our journey with Un-Cruise Adventures


 

Over a series of blog posts I will share with you, my dear reader, my experiences kayaking next to Lamplugh Glacier, following bear tracks on Chichagof Island and watching humpback whales bubblenet feed off Admiralty Island. I will share my video on how to pack for an Alaskan outdoor adventure and offer my insider tips on what it’s like to sail on an 84 guest small ship cruise line and how you may discover Alaska’s glacier country for yourself. What a trip!

For additional insider tips follow Luxury Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter @Nancydbrown and follow @UnCruise on Twitter.

 
If You Go:

UnCruise Adventures (888) 862-8881
3826 18th Ave
W. Seattle, Washington 98119

Article written by, video and photo courtesy of Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California. I was a guest of Un-Cruise Adventures. All opinions are my own.