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Virtual Expeditions Highlight the UnCruise Culture From Your Living Room


All types of virtual field trips are popping up around the web. It's a great way to bypass the travel constraints we've all been experiencing and feed our wanderlust. While more companies, teachers, and trainers are adopting virtual meet-ups for the long-term, we can't wait to join our crew again exploring nature and ecosystems in real life. It's in our DNA. And we're sure it's in yours too. Who doesn't want to go beyond the weekly trek around the block or a local quest to the grocery store? You can all put your hands down now...

Last month we invited some of our crew to our Zoom Room for virtual expeditions, cocktail making, and baking some sweet, sweet pastries. If you didn't catch them live or see the replay on our YouTube Channel, here's the round-up. Welcome aboard, virtually!

Sex and the Sea with Expedition Leader Jessika Picinich  

We loved hearing about the mating habits and love stories of various marine life on this one, and Jessica makes it fun! If you've sailed with Jessika in Hawaii, Alaska or Baja you know she is a wealth of information and will be sure you know about everything from sea lions to whales and bergy bits. Wildlife is part of her specialty. Jessika is a skilled biologist and wilderness guide among other things. You can find out more about her on our guide page and listen in on her presentation below. 

Memories of Glacier Bay National Park with Expedition Leader Jeremy Saenz  

Glacier Bay National Park is a highlight of Southeast Alaska and one of the true last frontiers we can experience. We joined accomplished wilderness guide, naturalist, nature lover, and well-known crew member, Jeremy to reminisce about the beauty of Alaska. He dipped into his countless guide photos to share his favorite memories of Glacier Bay and his deep love of life outdoors. From John Muir to glacier formation we take a step back through history and return to the present to virtually bask in the long days of Alaskan summers. You can find out more about Jeremy on our guide page and see the replay below. Enjoy!

Otter You Glad, We Talked About Pennipedes with Expedition Guide Kelly Sutter 

What can we say, everyone loves our flipper footed friends. This diverse clade of carnivorous, fin-footed, semiaquatic marine mammals are some of Kelly's favorites. As a naturalist, wilderness guide, and with a background in environmental science, she takes you on an exciting journey through the life of pinnipeds in Alaska and beyond. You can find out more about Kelly on our guide page and stay tuned for the soon to be uploaded presentation. *Kelly's full virtual expedition presentation will be viewable online shortly. We love it and know you will too!

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Making Craft Cocktail Using Home Ingredients with UnCruise Bartender Julie Brigham   

How about exploring some cocktails? You got it. We take another virtual trip, this time through the sites and sounds of Julie's kitchen. She shares what it's like to create the UnCruise Adventures signature cocktails, work with minimal ingredients at home - and onboard - and how to create your own natural syrups. It's a mix of Julie's lively personality, education, and Q & A on recipes. Connect below and create your own at-home bar. And yes we did promise Julie's drink recipes which you can try out for yourself below. Salud! Psst.... don't forget to keep scrolling for the virtual pastry chef session towards the bottom. 

Julie's Simple Syrup

1 part sweet thang (sugar, honey, brown sugar, demerara)

1 part hot water

Combine and stir vigorously until it turns clear. Can keep in the fridge for about 1 month.  Feel free to add fruit or herbs (also tea!) while still hot and let it sit until cool, then strain.  Some things may take longer to infuse; you can let it sit outside of the fridge for a few hours-days, depending on what you're infusing it with, then strain and refrigerate.

Julie's Ginger Syrup

1 part Ginger, roughly chopped

1 part sweet thang (I used honey)

1 part cold water

1 part citrus (use less if you want it sweeter); Lemon, Lime or even tart orange or grapefruit

Put ginger, sweetener, and water into a saucepan and cook on med-low until it's come to a simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Add zest from the citrus.  Let cool for about an hour, then add the juice from the citrus. Let it cool and infuse overnight, then strain and refrigerate. Add to soda water, hot water, or mix with basically any alcohol and soda with a squeeze of citrus.

Julie's Shrub/Switchel

5 parts fresh thing (I used strawberries and lemon balm, much less on the lemon balm)

3 parts vinegar (I used apple cider)

2 parts sweet (I used white sugar)

Roughly chop the fresh thing, add the sugar and macerate, if applicable.  Add the vinegar.  Stir.  Let sit for 1-3 days, stirring and tasting periodically, then strain when it tastes good.  Keeps for up to about three weeks in the fridge!  Play around with this!  Use different vinegars and sweeteners for different fruits/herbs/spices.  Play with the ratio.  Drink straight, or add soda, ginger beer, citrus, and/or alcohol.

Sherry Marmalade Cocktail

1 tablespoon Grapefruit Marmalade

Juice of half a lemon

2.7 oz/1/3c Oloroso Sherry

Shake with large ice, dump into the glass, top with Pampelmousse Lacroix. Garnish with a rum-soaked cherry

Julie's Funky Daiquiri

1.5 oz Lemon Hart Rum

.75 oz lime

.5 oz oleo-saccharum of lemon and mandarin

Dash vanilla extract

2 dashes Angostura Bitters

Shake, strain, garnish with edible flower

VERY basic sour ratio

2 parts spirit: 1 part sweet: 1 part sour

For the Love of Macarons with UnCruise Pastry Chef Catriona Kalmanovitch

If you've sailed with us, you've probably experienced a wide variety of desserts and sweets from our galley. We step into Cati's kitchen as she prepares some tasty meringue-based confections in beautiful colors and shares her experience working onboard. She is a talented chef who loves getting creative with her cooking. Enjoy pastry lovers! Try Cati's recipe for yourself.

Cati's Recipe 

150g blanched almond flour 

150g powdered sugar 

110g egg whites (3-4 egg whites)

150g granulated sugar 

40g water 

Preheat oven to 315 degrees. Combine the sugar and water and heat to 244 degrees. Place the almond flour and powdered sugar in a food processor or whisk together so no clumps. Once sugar is at about 230 degrees, start whisking the egg whites on medium speed. Once sugar hits 244 remove from heat and slowly stream the syrup into the bowl while whisking. Whisk until med/stiff peak and add in any desired color. Fold in the dry ingredients until all combined and flows like lava. 

Pipe onto either parchment or a silicone mat about the size of a quarter. Bang the trays a few times to release any air bubbles. Let trays sit for 5-20 minutes and bake for 10-14 minutes until they are firm. Fill with any filling you enjoy. 

That's it for now. We look forward to seeing you in Southeast Alaska soon. A place where bears, baby animals, migrating grey whales, birds, budding forests, snow-covered peaks, gushing waterfalls, and Aurora Borealis sightings can be part of your experience. Plus, it's crowd-free.

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