Wilderness Discoverer

capacity
76
year built
1992
remodeled
2001
crew members
27
length
176 feet
draft
6.5 feet
cruising speed
10 knots
flag
United States

The 76-guest M/V Wilderness Discoverer is capable of nimble exploration through nature’s most dramatic hideaways. Retrofitted specifically for wilderness exploration, this small expedition ship features a shallow draft and hull design allowing for easy access to Southeast Alaska’s wildlife-rich shores and glacially fed inlets, as well as the Pacific Northwest’s coves. Her specially designed stern makes her an ideal launching pad for an exciting array of daily adventure excursions.

Wilderness Discoverer Review

AdventureSmith Explorations’ Wilderness Discoverer review includes a detailed description of the small ship including deck plans and a photo gallery. Our experts have been aboard the Wilderness Discoverer firsthand. Please read our review of the ship below then contact our Alaska and Pacific Northwest cruise experts to compare the Wilderness Discoverer with other expedition small ships and yachts.

Built in 1992 by Blount Boats in Rhode Island and refurbished with pride in 2011, the Wilderness Discoverer is a classic adventure cruise ship. At 76 guests she is the largest among her sister ships, the slightly smaller 74-guest Wilderness Explorer and the 60-guest Wilderness Adventurer, and the only one to feature triple-occupancy options in her cabins. She has comfortable cabins, stylish common areas, excellent service and delicious meals. But what sets her apart from other Alaska small ships is her program of off-vessel activities designed to explore up close and in style. An experienced crew of guides and naturalists specialize in getting guests away from the ship safely and efficiently. The EZ Dock kayak launching platform eliminates the most challenging part of a paddle: getting in and out of the kayak. And with 25 two-person kayaks on board there are plenty of chances to explore. Choose the Wilderness Discoverer if you are seeking an affordable and active adventure cruise with a friendly crew and great cabin configuration options for families.

Common Areas Aboard Wilderness Discoverer

Among several comfortable and spacious social areas aboard the Wilderness Discoverer, the highlight may be the lounge, which is designed to evoke the feeling of a National Park lodge or neighborhood pub. Interior spaces aboard the Discoverer offer contemporary colors and brushed metals that complement the wilderness outside. She carries a bit of Alaska wherever she sails, exemplified in the beautiful bar top and tap tower made from a yellow cedar log found in Peril Strait. The full promenade deck allows ample space for watching wildlife or meeting with friends. The dining room has an open format that blends into the lounge, with a full-service, complimentary bar in between.

Dining Aboard Wilderness Discoverer

The Wilderness Discoverer offers guests a casual-style dining experience with open seating that accommodates all guests at once. Exceptional meals created by the skillful chefs use locally sourced fresh ingredients to reflect the flavors of your destination. Each day includes an early-riser breakfast of fresh fruit, baked-onboard pastries and breads, and a full breakfast complete with specialty items. Lunches range from pasta salads and sandwiches to homemade soups and ethnic dishes. Breakfasts and lunches are served buffet-style, while dinners are elegantly plated. Buffet meals give guests the flexibility to enjoy healthy and delicious options on a flexible schedule between activities and wildlife sightings. Dinners offer a choice of entrées, including fresh seafood and meats. Vegetarian dishes are available and special dietary needs can be met with advance notice. Hors d’oeuvres for the cocktail hour feature a variety of appetizers, and desserts are varied and plentiful. A variety of hot and cold beverages are available around the clock, and liquors, wine and microbrews are included.

Activities Aboard Wilderness Discoverer

The Wilderness Discoverer features a flotilla of stable two-person sea kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, a stern-mounted kayak launch platform and swim step (perfect for a polar plunge), and inflatable skiffs for remote explorations by water. Adventure gear is available for use, including hiking poles, and snorkel gear and wetsuits at an additional cost (Alaska; when possible in coastal Washington). There are two open-air hot tubs, exercise equipment and yoga mats for morning stretching classes. The open bridge policy encourages interaction with the captain and crew as they discuss navigation, itinerary and logistics. Educational opportunities come in many forms: hearing engaging naturalist-led lectures in the lounge, watching and listening to whales via underwater hydrophone and bow camera, and engaging with local peoples. Nighttime fun like charades, trivia or a talent show add to the sense of camaraderie.

Crew & Guides Aboard Wilderness Discoverer

Wilderness Discoverer’s enthusiastic and knowledgeable crew creates a casual and welcoming atmosphere, and offers exceptional service. The crew takes great pride in spiffing up the efficient, warm and inviting ship. The 27 crew members are sure to become great friends. On select departures, expert onboard naturalists and guides are complemented by guest hosts in the fields of ornithology, photography, marine biology, wine and wellness, among others.

Cabins & Deck Plan Aboard Wilderness Discoverer

The Wilderness Discoverer holds 76 passengers and features 38 comfortable staterooms across three decks. Her four cabin categories include: 8 Navigator, 16 Trailblazer, 10 Pathfinder and 4 Explorer cabins. All were refurbished in 2011 and feature lower berths: some with a twin berth, others with a sofa to accommodate a third guest. Each cabin includes a private bathroom with shower, hair dryer, conditioning shampoo and body wash, air conditioning, ample storage space and electrical outlets, flat-screen TV with DVD player, iPod docking station, binoculars, reusable water bottles and a view window (no portholes).