Small ship with green hull, UnCruise logo & Safari Explorer written on the side sits in calm water on a partly cloudy day.
Exterior of Safari Explorer ship with green hull, 2 white upper decks & large aft platform where kayakers pull alongside.
dining room with rows of tables and chairs, lined with windows aboard the Safari Explorer Hawaii small ship
wine library with bottles on the walls and chairs surrounding the room aboard the Safari Explorer Hawaii small ship
king bed with cream and white pillows on top of it and opening to adjoining room aboard the Safari Explorer Hawaii small ship
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Safari Explorer

capacity
36 guests
year built
1998
remodeled
2008
crew members
14-15 crew members
length
145 feet
beam
36 feet
cruising speed
10 knots
flag
United States

The luxury motor yacht Safari Explorer embodies an ambiance of refinement and relaxation, with just 36 guests. Her crew of 14-15 takes care of passengers’ every need. The performance-built Safari Explorer primarily cruises the Hawaiian Islands and Alaska’s Inside Passage and is notably one of the few vessels in her well-loved fleet that operates trans-Pacific voyages twice each year, spending the North American summer/fall in Alaska, and the winter/spring in Hawaii.

Why Sail Aboard Safari Explorer

Choose the Safari Explorer if you are seeking a small ship that feels like a yacht. She has upscale appointments and a yacht-like atmosphere but still feels spacious, comfortable and welcoming. Expect as much activity as you wish, with the luxury you would expect from a much larger ship, including windows in every cabin (no portholes). AdventureSmith’s founder, Todd Smith, has always called this ship the quintessential expedition ship: “I always say that once you cruise aboard the Safari Explorer, you will be hooked on small ships forever.”

She is applauded by our team as being the Goldilocks of small ships; not too big, not too small, but just the right size. She continually receives rave reviews from AdventureSmith Explorations’ staff and clients, and is a favorite for Hawaii yacht charters and luxury Alaska cruises. While the cabins and common areas are decidedly exclusive, it is her service, active itineraries and cuisine that stand out the most.

AdventureSmith Explorations has been aboard the Safari Explorer firsthand, and can help you compare this with other ships offering Alaska small ship cruises, Hawaiian Island cruises, Canada cruises and Pacific Northwest cruises. Read our dedicated Safari Explorer Ship Review written by one of our specialists, or consult this page further for a detailed description of the vessel, including ship specs, deck plan, cabin images, photo gallery and current links to all Safari Explorer cruise itineraries, dates and rates.

Common Areas Aboard Safari Explorer

Aboard the yacht, three public decks provide plenty of room for mingling, relaxing and enjoying the fresh air. The salon and lounge provide an inviting space with warm wood accents to be educated by lectures on the environment, wildlife, history and culture of the region. A TV screen drops down from the ceiling to provide visual accompaniment. Local experts are often invited along as special guests to “talk story” and provide insights unavailable to most other visitors. On select departures, onboard expert naturalists and guides are complemented by guest hosts in the fields of ornithology, photography, marine biology, wine and wellness, among others.

Musical instruments, guidebooks and games like mancala further encourage interaction. Large couches and a piano adorn the lounge, adjacent to a full-service bar staffed by a few rotating bartenders. A modest gear and merchandise store is available, as well as a public wash closet on the the aft of the Main Deck interior.

The Bridge Deck features five lounge chairs, four sets of tables and chairs, and abundant space to spread out to embrace the Hawaiian sun or brisk air in Alaska. A separate shaded seating area with table and patio furniture has additional seating for six. This is also where guests can take advantage of the ship’s open bridge policy, offering opportunities to chat with the officers and crew and spot marine life from their perch.

Dining Aboard Safari Explorer

The Dining Room, located on the Main Deck, provides a casual atmosphere with open seating that accommodates all guests in one sitting. Meals aboard the Safari Explorer are served over several courses, with particular attention to the personal preferences of diners. Vegetarian dishes are available, as are reduced portions. Other special dietary needs can be accommodated with advance notice.

Executive chefs create exquisite meals, using locally sourced fresh ingredients to reflect the flavors of each destination. Each day includes an early-riser breakfast starting at 6:30am of fresh fruit and squeezed juices, onboard-baked pastries and breads, followed by a full made-to-order breakfast complete with specialty items. Lunches range from pasta salads and sandwiches to homemade soups and ethnic dishes. Elegant plated dinners offer a choice of entrées, including fresh seafood and meats; a split plate is even available for indecisive eaters. Desserts are plentiful, imaginative combinations of tarts, pies, cakes and mousses.

Fine spirits, wines and microbrews are included, as are highly imaginative cocktails of the day, mocktails, rotating drafts and espressos. Hors d’oeuvres for a daily cocktail hour feature a variety of appetizers. Plus filtered water, coffee and hot tea are available for self-serve any time.

Activities Aboard Safari Explorer

Active adventure cruises aboard the Safari Explorer allow freedom to engage in many activities. Two rigid-frame inflatable skiffs operate excursions from this vessel, with each able to hold half the guests aboard along with a few members of the crew. In Alaska, skiffs are primarily used for remote shore landings, and for scenic wildlife cruising. In Hawaii, skiffs are used for accessing marinas throughout the itinerary, and for snorkeling. 

A full-beam swim step makes for easy access to the water or kayaks and stand-up paddleboards (SUPs) from the stern of the vessel. The vessel carries a quiver of kayaks and SUPS, which can be used for guided outings (kayaks only) or open paddle/swim events. Important to note that different kayaks are used depending on where you cruise. In Alaska, sit-inside double kayaks are used, and in Hawaii sit-on-top kayaks are used. Also in Hawaii, the vessel will provide a dedicated snorkel set (mask, snorkel, fins) for use throughout your voyage. You can conveniently store this equipment in the cabin-assigned lockers on the back deck.

There is no guided wellness program offered onboard, but guests can find fitness equipment on the Bridge Deck in the form of weights, benches, elliptical, spin bike, yoga mats and blocks for self-use. A hot tub on the Bridge Deck is filled for cooler-weather Alaska itineraries, and the ship features a mechanized swimsuit dryer for frequent use in Hawaii and hot tub and polar plunge enthusiasts in Alaska. Other features are hiking poles for use and hydrophones for listening to below-surface sounds.

Crew & Guides Aboard Safari Explorer

Aboard Safari Explorer each crew member wears many hats and has the opportunity to hone a variety of skills. This level of variety keeps the crew connected and happy, and provides a cohesive environment. Aboard you’ll find a dedicated Expedition Leader as well as multiple guides, bosuns, chefs, a hotel manager and servers who all work together. There is 1 crew member for every 2.5 guests aboard, so there is always someone available to help make your voyage more informative, comfortable and unforgettable. “Well prepared” and “proactive” are common compliments we receive of the staff aboard this ship.

Cabins & Safari Explorer Deck Plan

The luxury small ship features 18 well-appointed cabins. All but 4 cabins are located on the Cabin Deck, featuring an exterior wraparound deck with a sturdy railing to let you soak up the views from any direction. There are 6 stateroom categories aboard the Safari Explorer: 1 Single (available as a double), 9 Navigator, 2 Trailblazer, 1 Jr. Commodore, 3 Admiral and 2 Commodore Suites. All staterooms feature view windows; king, queen or twin beds (each has a Tempur-Pedic® memory foam mattress); a spacious private ensuite bath with heated tile floor and separated shower and toilet; at least one sitting chair; ample storage space; binoculars for use; flat-screen TV/DVD; iPod docking station; reusable water bottles; hair dryer, bathrobes, conditioning shampoo and body wash; and unique art pieces. View the Safari Explorer deck plan below or contact our crew to find the best cabin for you.

Navigator stateroom with a large bed, nightstand and dresser aboard the Safari Explorer Hawaii small ship
Navigator

B3, B7-B14. Cabin Deck. Fixed queen beds; view window and windowed door; private bath with shower.

Commander stateroom cabin aboard the Safari Explorer Hawaii small ship, with a bed, comfortable chair, large mirror and pictures on the walls
Trailblazer

B15-B16. Cabin Deck. Fixed queen beds; view window and windowed door; private bath with shower.

Admiral stateroom aboard the Safari Explorer Hawaii small ship, with three single beds and hanging pictures above the bed
Admiral

B1, C1-C2. Cabin and Main Deck. King or twin beds; windowed door or view windows; private bath with Jacuzzi tub and shower. Triple accommodation available in C1 and C2.

Jr Commodore stateroom with chair and foot stool with mirrors behind bed aboard the Safari Explorer Hawaii small ship
Jr Commodore Suite

B2. Cabin Deck. King or twin beds; view window and windowed door; private bath with Jacuzzi tub and shower.

king bed with cream and white pillows on top of it and opening to adjoining room aboard the Safari Explorer Hawaii small ship
Commodore Suite

A1-A2. Bridge Deck. Separate sitting area; king or twin beds; view window and a sliding glass door opening to a small balcony; private bath with Jacuzzi tub and shower. Triple accommodation available.

single cabin with bed, desk and large mirror aboard the Safari Explorer Hawaii small ship
Single (Navigator)

B6. Cabin Deck. Fixed queen bed; view window and windowed door; private bath with shower. Also available as a double (missing on deck plan).

Safari Explorer small ship deck plan with 3 guest decks & a list of 5 cabin categories with bed configuration notes.
Book with the confidence that comes from experience.

100+ combined years of experience, 7 continents explored, decades of expedition cruising around the world & here to help you find & book your dream trip.

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