Un-Cruise Adventures vs Discover Corps - Tour Companies Compared

Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.

Rating Breakdown
Overall — 5
Value — 5.0
Guide — 5.0
Activities — 5.0
Lodging — 5.0
Transportation — 5.0
Meals — 5.0
Overall — 4.5
Value — 4.5
Guide — 4.5
Activities — 4.5
Lodging — 4.5
Transportation — 4.5
Meals — 4.5
Recent Reviews

Topnotch service

5.0 August 2015
KS
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
I'd give Un-Cruise more stars if that was an option. I was on the Quest October 2013 for the British Columbia itinerary. The level of service from the crew (8 crewmembers for 13 passengers) was top-notch. The food was imaginatively prepared. They took special requests without hesitation. Activities were plentiful and varied. It tells you how much the passengers enjoyed this cruise that out of 13, 7 passengers put down deposits on a future cruise before we left the ship. I can't wait for my next Un-Cruise Adventure.
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Tour Un-Cruise Adventures Company Reviews

Wilderness Explorer

5.0 August 2015
PS
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
I was the lucky winner of the "Alaska Magazine" cruise contest. We took our cruise in August, 2012. We did the Northern Passages & Glacier Bay, Sitka to Juneau cruise. It was AMAZING!! We LOVED the casual atmosphere. The crew was fun and very knowledgeable about the area. Our cabin was very comfortable and had a huge window over looking the water. The humpback whales came up close and personal many times to entertain us. We saw orcas, puffins, bald eagles, bears, wolves, otters, and too many other animals to list. Kayaking in Glacier Bay and the skiff rides dodging floating ice was something I never thought I'd experience. It was a little rainy during our trip, but that didn't stop us. We were prepared with our rain gear and boots and had a wonderful time in the rain and fog. The small ship is a great way to make new friends and memories to last a life time. I would highly recommend this to everyone. The big cruise ships are nice, but the casual atmosphere and the adventures on this cruise beat out docking in ports to shop, etc.
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Tour Un-Cruise Adventures Company Reviews

Wilderness Explorer

5.0 August 2015
TS
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Our cruise was from May 25-June 1, 2013 aboard the Wilderness Adventurer. It was the trip of a lifetime! Alaska is so beautiful and everyone we met was so friendly, from the people at the hotel we stayed at to all the crew members! The crew greeted us at the dock and made us feel at home right away. We wanted a cruise that was informal ( I hate wearing a suit) and full of adventure. This cruise was just the ticket! We hiked, kayaked, whale watched, saw Orcas, Mt. Goats, seals and all other kinds of wildlife. The scenery was awesome! We walked on a glacier, saw the glacier calving, kayaked past icebergs, hiked in the wilderness! We were able to even take a float plane trip out of Yes Bay! We took thousands of pictures because everywhere you tuned it was awe inspiring! We went places no big ship could go. Made friendships that will last a lifetime on board. It was the trip of a lifetime! You can't get this kind of service, care or treatment from a big cruise ship. We 're already planning on a return trip with Un-Cruise! A special thanks to the crew of the Wilderness Adventurer- Capt. Rod, Amy, Trevor, Sarah , Sara, Amber, Cory, Melanie, Jess, Heather, Mark, Andrea, Gavin and all the rest of the crew.
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Tour Un-Cruise Adventures Company Reviews

Fun in Japan

5.0 November 2018
JCO
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We really enjoyed our Discover Corps tour and can't wait to return to Japan. My wife and I took the Discover Corps cultural trip to Japan (Started in Tokyo-then a bullet train to Kyoto & more local trains to Osaka). The transportation system works well and no cars were ever needed. We were completely taken care of from booking and then thru the process. Adrienne did a great job of informing us of all the details-no planning required. Our guides in Japan, Aki and Miwa, were very knowledgeable local people & made sure we were having a unforgettable time! The cultural experience in Japan was terrific. Great mix of excitement; watching Sumo and participating in Kendo. The food was wonderful plus we were able to participate in sushi making!
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Tour Discover Corps Company Reviews

Excellent

5.0 July 2018
B
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We lived in the African bush for 10 days. Accommodations were wonderful - tents with nice furniture and attached bathrooms. Plenty of hot water! Food was delicious and quite sophisticated. But the best were the wildlife experiences led by an extremely knowledgeable and personable guide. All the staff were kind and professional.
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Really superb trip--highly recommended!

5.0 July 2017
TT
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
This trip was really superb, starting with the folks like Alex in the San Diego office to our tour guide in Havana, Orelvis (a perfect gentleman if there ever was one--and he seemed to know absolutely EVERYTHING about Havana), and our driver, Boris (who was an extremely safe driver, and the SUV that was our transportation was a practically new Honda), and our friendly hostess at the casa particular (B&B).

But at breakfast at the casa particular, keep in mind the CDC guidelines for healthy travel: cook it, boil it, peel it (yourself) or FORGET IT. So the bowl of fruit and the fruit juices? Pass them up in favor of coffee and toast. I know that sounds boring, but after I got home, I ended up in the hospital emergency room for dehydration due to e-coli--my fault for not following the CDC guidelines.

Also, to get up to my room at the casa particular, I had to climb a narrow, curved marble staircase--I took extra care not to fall either on the way up or on the way down.

The activities and attractions were first rate (but you must keep in mind that you're on "Cuban time," and not everything runs like a Swiss train). From the Hemingway house to the canon ceremony (which I loved even though it was a substitution for another event that was unexpectedly closed) to the jazz club (again, we went to one jazz club that for some reason didn't work out, but no problem--Orelvis took us to another jazz club recommended by his supervisor in Havana) to the art museum to the Malecon to the outdoor terrace at the Hotel Nacional and more, it was amazing how much we saw of Havana in about 72 hours.

There were only four people on the trip, and that was both a good thing and a bad thing--good because each of us received a great deal of attention from Orelvis and bad because two of the four didn't want to follow the itinerary and often went off on their own and then kept the rest of us waiting for them to return (highly frustrating--finally Boris said, "the schedule is the schedule," and we stopped catering to them). One of them spoke fluent Spanish--good for her--but I did wish that Orelvis had curtailed the lengthy conversations that she initiated with him, which the rest of us could not understand.

Two of my favorite activities were ones that I arranged myself: attending the world-class ballet at the gorgeously restored el Gran Teatro and then taking a yellow 1950 Chevrolet convertible with an Italian driver, who was an absolute hoot, back to the casa particular.

And the food at the private restaurants known as paladars was first rate. We even had lunch at one that Anthony Bourdain recently featured on his CNN travel show "Parts Unknown."

Just a small word of caution: sometimes there wasn't enough bottled water in the SUV in which we were riding, especially when we were dropped off at the casa particular at night. Make sure that you have plenty of bottled water with you at all times. (The CDC even recommends that you brush your teeth with bottled water.)

I also wish I had brought another pair of shoes with me because with all of the walking in the heat of the Cuban sun, my feet swelled. Fortunately, I had brought some Band-Aids with me, which helped cushion the sore spots.

I highly recommend this trip--to my way of thinking, it's much better than taking a cruise ship that only docks in Havana for one or two nights--and the "Havana Weekend Getaway" is the most popular trip to Cuba that is offered by Discover Corps, as I learned from Orelvis.
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Tours 16 Trips 28 Trips
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 411 $ 399
Operator Type Small Ship & Expedition Cruise Line Group Tour Operator
Size Regional Expert Global Operator
Trip Types
  • Small Ship & Expedition Cruises
  • Group Tours
  • Private Guided Trips
Service Level Standard Standard
Regions
  • North America
  • Central America & Caribbean
  • South America
  • Rivers & Seas
  • Central America & Caribbean
  • South America
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Asia
  • Africa
Known For
  • 50+
  • 18 - 35
  • Adventure
  • 50+
  • 18 - 35
  • Solo & Singles Travel
  • Eco Travel
  • Volunteering
Headquarters Seattle, Washington, USA San Diego, California
Year Established 1996 2004
Solo Friendly N/A No single supplement
Tour Languages English
Top Trips
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About Un-Cruise Adventures

Formerly American Safari Cruises, Un-Cruise Adventures changed its name in 2013 to reflect its philosophy: You won’t be on a conventional cruise with us. Un-Cruise has an eight-ship fleet that includes expedition vessels, yachts, and one replica 19th-century coastal steamer. None of the ships holds more than 88 passengers, and one carries a maximum of 22. Most are in the 40-to-70-passenger range. Experts such as National Park Rangers in Alaska often come on board to give lectures and answer questions, and guides often try to arrange cultural encounters with local people.

What Makes Them Stand Out?

Un-Cruise Adventures combines water-borne adventure with small-ship intimacy and casually clothed luxury. It’s an unusual combination that sets them apart from most other cruise lines. On-board service is personalized and excellent with a high crew-to-passenger ratio, and guides are extremely knowledgeable. Ambience on board is relaxed; you never need to dress up. Once you’ve taken an Un-Cruise, you may find it difficult to return to “regular” cruising. 

Who Travels With Them? 

Adventurous and active travelers of any age can enjoy an Un-Cruise. Un-Cruise does attract primarily upscale passengers, though if you travel in the offseason and choose one of the lesser-category cabins, their prices are competitive with other small-ship cruise lines. (And more amenities are included in the base rates than on many other lines.)  Un-Cruise also offers family trips.

Where Do They Operate?

Un-Cruise “adventure cruises” sail Alaska’s Inside Passage, the Galapagos Islands, Hawaii, Mexico’s Sea of Cortes, the Pacific Northwest (Coastal Washington state and British Columbia), and Central America (Costa Rica and the Panama Canal, including a complete crossing from the Atlantic to Pacific). They also run river cruises on the Columbia and Snake rivers of the Northwestern U.S. Un-Cruise Adventures like to get off the beaten path, and, using small ships, they can do just that.

How Does It Work?

Kayaking, paddle-boarding, snorkeling, hiking, and going out in skiffs to watch for whales or other marine life are typical activities, depending on the destination. There’s also plenty of time to be out on deck, read in the lounge, or chat with fellow passengers at cocktail hour and over meals. 

Why Travel With Them?

If you don’t like waiting in line to embark or disembark your ship; want to get to know many of your fellow passengers; prefer itineraries flexible enough to, say, go in search of whales if the captain spots some in the distance; believe in the “leave no traces” style of travel; enjoy good food and service; and want to bring home intimate knowledge of a destination rather than just souvenirs, then an Un-Cruise may be right for you. 

About Discover Corps

San Diego based tour company Discover Corps is a leader in the rapidly growing field of volunteer vacations. Operating since 2004, Discovery Corps trips average one to two weeks and focus on volunteering either with children and schools or with animals and wildlife conservation.

What Makes Discover Corps Stand Out?

They are focused on providing travel experiences with a wider humanitarian purpose - and help you put your tourism dollars to good use on the ground. The world of “voluntourism” is a sticky area, and has been met with some criticism over the years, so traveling with a reputable and transparent company has become super important.

With Discover Corps, volunteering, responsible tourism, and giving back to local communities is their entire brand - not just a buzzword on the “about us” page. So for those travelers who truly want to make their vacation about volunteering first and tourism second, Discover Corps is a great choice.

Discover Corps trips are all inclusive, and while volunteering is the primary focus, sightseeing and cultural activities are also included. Their trips are very popular among families, friend groups, and solo travelers.

Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Discover Corps?

These tours are best suited to travelers who want to have a humanitarian focus on their next trip. And if this idea is new to you, but you are interested in getting involved, Discover Corp is a great way to start.

The average age on a Discover Corps trip is 45-65 except in summer, when families with children as young as 10 are welcome on “family friendly” trips.

Wildlife lovers as well will love the opportunities available on Discover Corps Nature & Wildlife conservation tours. You’ll have a chance to get up close to some amazing species, learn about their habitats, and get to participate in various initiatives designed to protect these habitats.

Top Destinations

Discover Corp travels around the world, in rural villages, beach locations, and rainforests. Popular destinations are primarily in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

Discover Corps Travel Style

Their all-inclusive trips combine light volunteer projects with sightseeing and cultural immersion. They also offer support while you’re on site – from building classrooms to improving water systems to creating eco-friendly homes. The ideas come from the local communities themselves, and local staff plan everything in advance.

Why Choose a Tour With Discover Corps?

If you’re the kind of person who likes being actionable and getting involved with protecting threatened cultures, wildlife, and contributing to growing communities in need of schools and homes, then Discover Corps would be a great choice.

Volunteer vacations are one of the best ways to get to know the local people on a different level than many tour companies provide. Rather than simply enjoying a meal at a local restaurant, you’re out in the neighborhoods meeting everyday people.

“Traveling with a purpose” might seem like a thrown around phrase these days, but it is the entire philosophy around every Discovery Corps trips. So when you join one of their tours, you’ll be surrounded by guides and other travelers for whom this isn’t a buzzword - it’s an important and meaningful mission.

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