Tag Archives: expeditionary cruising

Kontiki Expeditions Inaugural Sailings to Seldom-Visited Ecuadorian Coast

Kontiki Expeditions is introducing two itineraries on the luxury yacht, M/Y Kontiki Wayra, to five provinces of the seldom-visited Ecuadorian coast.

(Manta, ECUADOR) At a time when traveling to uncrowded areas is more desirable than ever, Kontiki Expeditions is introducing two itineraries on the luxury yacht, M/Y Kontiki Wayra, to five provinces of the seldom-visited Ecuadorian coast. Kontiki’s small  size, only 198 feet long, allows visits to off-the-beaten-track areas to one of the most biodiverse places in the world. With only nine staterooms carrying a maximum of 18 guests, Kontiki Expeditions offers “NEO Luxury” both above and beneath sea level. Sailings begin this summer.

The yacht sails two seven-night routes along the Ecuadorian coast, Toquilla and Spondylus, and takes full advantage of the country’s wealth of birds, animals, flora, fauna, indigenous foods and cultural traditions while adhering to a NEO luxury philosophy of sustainability and giving back to communities.

Kontiki’s 10 crew members and two local experts including wellness professionals, naturalist guides and a local chef – a nearly 1:1 crew to guest ratio – add to the distinctive Kontiki experience.  Gastronomic experiences feature local chocolate, seafood and produce; nature-loving guests can expect to see the country’s blue-footed boobies, sea lions and howler monkeys… without the crowds.

The M/Y Kontiki Wayra yacht offers luxury with a sundeck, gourmet salon, two outdoor lounges, bar, Jacuzzi, and a gym and fitness area. Staterooms are well appointed and include WiFi, on-demand entertainment and sustainable local amenities.

Pricing begins at $7245 per person per week, based on double occupancy, and includes all activities, meals, transfers to and from ports, park entrance fees, guided expeditions and more. Private charters and solo rates are available.

Health and safety precautions are paramount with all protocols prior to boarding, on ship and on land strictly maintained and updated as required. Sailings have met The Safe Travels accreditation by WTTC (World Travel & Tourism Council). Sanitization and wellness protocols are summarized at https://kontikiexpeditions.com/en/health-policy/

For more information, visit www.kontikiexpeditions.com/en, call +5933984364149; email info@kontikiexpeditions.com.

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Lindblad Expeditions Becomes First Self-Disinfecting Fleet in Cruise Industry

Lindblad Expeditions’ National Geographic Endurance.

NEW YORK, NY, – Lindblad Expeditions, a global leader in responsible tourism, has become the first self-disinfecting fleet in the cruise industry.  In keeping with their legacy of sustainability and protecting the places they explore, they have announced that they are now implementing Premium Purity fleetwide, a unique cleaning system which creates a cleaner, healthier ship while drastically reducing the impact on the environment.

The new system, ACT CleanCoat™, is a photocatalytic process that works when illuminated, breaking down unwanted microbes such as bacteria, viruses, mold, and airborne allergens.  It can be applied to all surfaces which become self-disinfecting after application. Created by ACT.Global A/S, a Copenhagen-based company, the antibacterial spray is transparent, odorless, and activated by light, and protects a room like an invisible insulation – plus purifies and deodorizes the air for up to one year. Video

Chemical free, the product uses the ACT ECA water system created by electrolysis of salt and water, to clean the rooms which is completely harmless to guests, staff and the environment.

“As the oldest and most experienced expedition travel company in the world, we go to some of the most pristine places on the planet.  We are very conscious of the waste we produce, and how the cleanliness of our ship and protection of our guests onboard is vital to a healthy environment,” said Bruce Tschampel, Vice President, Hotel Operations for Lindblad Expeditions.

“Premium Purity is unlike anything we have seen out there.  Our ships are truly pristine and healthy, and we already have measurable results to prove it from our initial pilot program on one ship.  We reduced guest reported illness by 50%; eliminated over 1,000 plastic bottles of cleaning products; and dramatically reduced water usage by 1.1 million gallons per year.  The crew is raving about how much healthier the ship is and how effective it is to use this solution,” he continued.   

The fleetwide rollout is another step in Lindblad’s commitment toward defining travel industry standards for sustainability and environmentally responsible operations.  In 2019 they become a carbon neutral company, offsetting 100% of emissions from their ships, all land-based operations, employee travel, offices in New York and Seattle, and other contributors. They successfully eliminated guest-facing single-use plastics fleetwide in 2018 and have operated a sustainable seafood program aboard the fleet for many years. Other related sustainability initiatives include building new ships that reduce emissions while increasing efficiency; mandating supply chain solutions to eliminate plastic; sourcing and serving local, organic produce; and making crew uniforms from recycled plastic.

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AdventureSmith Makes It Easy to Explore Remote Northernmost Reaches of North America By Land and By Sea

AdventureSmith Explorations, a leader in small ship cruises and wilderness expeditions, makes it easy to explore the northernmost reaches of North America by land and by sea, promising opportunities for epic wildlife encounters, unforgettable landscapes and fascinating cultural and historical learning experiences.

TRUCKEE, CA – AdventureSmith Explorations, a leader in small ship cruises and wilderness expeditions, makes it easy to explore the northernmost reaches of North America by land and by sea, promising opportunities for epic wildlife encounters, unforgettable landscapes and fascinating cultural and historical learning experiences via trips in CanadaAlaska and their greater Arctic regions.
 
“North America offers 9.54 million square miles of diversity, and its northernmost territories showcase some of the most remote and pristine landscapes on Earth,” said Todd Smith, founder of AdventureSmith Explorations. “We pride ourselves in introducing our passengers to regions along the Pacific and Arctic oceans. Our fleet of small ships and wilderness lodges access hard-to-reach and often remote regions where guests can step back millennia into a natural world.”

As COVID-19 restrictions begin to be lifted, travel to such remote places on small-ships scrupulously sanitized, will be an option.

“This crisis will end someday. When is anyone’s guess. But life will go on and people will seek travel again. Destinations that offer seclusion, distance from urban areas, few people and abundant nature will be more in demand than ever.  This is exactly what this is all about.  Planting seeds for the future which we all hope is still a reality for summer and fall travel,” the company says.

“AdventureSmith is closely monitoring the unique situations and status reports from all of their travel destinations, suppliers and partners – on a daily basis. They only will recommend travel when they, health organizations and experts deem it safe to do so.  In the meantime they are being as understanding and flexible as possible with trip deposits, final payments, cancellations and postponements.  Their goal is to give the consumer peace of mind that their travel investment won’t be lost for any related COVID-19 reason.”

These are AdventureSmith Explorations’ top picks of North America by Land and Sea scheduled for the upcoming 2020 and 2021 seasons. Each itinerary allows guests to embark and disembark in North America.
 
By Land 
 
Classic Polar Bear Adventure spends six to seven days based in historic Churchill, Canada, near the world’s greatest concentration of polar bears. While the bears await the freeze of Hudson Bay and the start of seal hunting season, up to 16 guests on each departure are safely and comfortably positioned to observe these creatures from inside a Polar Rover, the world’s premier tundra vehicle (built for 35 passengers). This adventure begins with a charter flight from Winnipeg, the gateway airport, to Churchill. Departures are several times weekly throughout October and November 2020.

Camp Denali & North Face Lodge Adventure offers the flexibility of spending from six to 10 days exploring one of the world’s greatest wilderness regions. Denali National Park is six million acres inhabited by grizzly bears, moose, caribou and wolves. Naturalist guides lead day hikes with time left over for paddling, picking blueberries and biking. Guests have the option to stay at two different remote lodges on this exciting land tour from early June through mid-September 2020.

Arctic Watch epitomizes “getting away from it all” over 10 days in the Canadian Arctic 500 miles north of the Arctic Circle. Activities emanate from the Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge and a world-class beluga whale observation site on Somerset Island in Nunavut, Canada. Guests participate in Arctic safaris with possibilities of spotting polar bears; they may also fish, paddleboard, fat bike, ride ATVs searching for musk ox and ring seals, and they can kayak with opportunities to see beluga (white) whales. Five itineraries are planned in July/August 2020 and four in July/August 2021.
 
By Sea
 
Many inquiries that come into the AdventureSmith office are from potential clients who have never experienced a small ship cruise. To answer questions on why small ship cruising may be the best option for certain travelers, the staff prepared a Small Ship vs Big Ship blog.  Some of these points found in the blog are clearly highlighted when looking through the following itineraries AdventureSmith showcases that embark from some of the highest-latitude North American shores.
 
The Northwest Passage follows the fabled sea route connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Adventures are for nine to 17 days. Accommodation is aboard the 200-passenger, purpose-built polar ship, Ultramarine, debuting this season. In 2021 the program will include a weather-dependent, small-group, 10- to 15-minute helicopter flightseeing excursion, as well as a helicopter transfer to a landing site. (The rate includes roundtrip charter flights between Toronto and Resolute Bay in Nunavut, Canada.)
 
Sea Wolf Glacier Bay Adventure is for only 12 guests who appreciate that the Sea Wolf small ship is locally owned and staffed by local pros, the best resource when it comes to insider experiences. Guests transfer from Juneau to Gustavus, Alaska, for embarkation. New bookings on departures for May 16, May 30, June 13 or July 4, 2020, come with a per person savings of $300. There are frequent departures from May through August 2020.
 
Alaska’s Glaciers & Whales is an eight-day immersion through the Inside Passage aboard the 84-guest Safari Endeavour expedition ship, complete with a hot tub, premium spirits, wine and beer. This is a well-rounded cruise with a strong focus on glaciers and icescapes, with ample dollops of culture and wildlife. Departures are from May through August 2020.
 
Across the Bering Sea transports guests from Nome or Seward, Alaska, over 13 or 22 days into or near the Arctic Circle. The 102-guest National Geographic Orion offers luxurious onboard amenities that welcome passengers home after they explore on the 13-day program a remote Siberian coastline and venture past the Arctic Circle. Farther on the Wrangel Island Reserve (a federally protected nature sanctuary administered by Russia’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment) is home to the highest density of ancestral polar bear dens, the world’s largest population of Pacific walrus and a variety of plant life. A 22-day alternative cultural- and wildlife-focused itinerary sails through Alaska’s Katmai coast then along the coast of Russia through Kamchatka. Six departures are scheduled from June through August 2020 and five from June through August 2021.
 
For details on all of AdventureSmith Explorations’ small ship cruises, itineraries, availability and for 2020-2021 reservations, call 866-575-2875 toll-free or visit the company website.
 
Founded in 2003, AdventureSmith Explorations is based in Truckee, CA, near the northern shore of Lake Tahoe. A recognized leader in small ship cruising, in 2012 owner Todd Smith first joined the ranks of Condé Nast Traveler‘s prestigious world’s Top Travel Specialists list as the leading expert on small ship expeditions, a distinction that he still enjoys to this day.

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Poseidon Expeditions Suspends March and April 2020 Cruises; Revises Re-Booking, Final Payment and Deposit Policies

Poseidon Expeditions announced that it is suspending cruise operations aboard its 114-passenger expedition vessel Sea Spirit for the balance of March and April 2020. The expeditionary cruise company is rebooking Arctic cruises for 2021.

PROVIDENCE, RI — Poseidon Expeditions announced that it is suspending cruise operations aboard its 114-passenger expedition vessel Sea Spirit for the balance of March and April 2020.
 
Postponed until 2021 are a sub-charter in the mid-Atlantic and a cruise along the coastline of Portugal, Spain and France. All sales and reservation offices are available to provide assistance to booked and prospective passengers and to answer questions about upcoming Spring and Summer 2020 cruises and future cruises.
 
“We certainly understand the COVID-19 related concerns and questions from our travel partners and the travelers booked on our upcoming cruises. There’s no question about it: things are changing daily. We are looking at each cruise on the calendar’s horizon, and will factor into our decision-making all issues pertaining to Coronavirus-related bans, travel advisories, flight availability and any other matters that potentially might affect the health and safety of our guests, staff and crew,” said Steve Wellmeier, managing director of the company’s US office.
 
Following the successful completion of the company’s 2019-20 Antarctic season this past week, the Sea Spirit is currently heading north from Montevideo, Uruguay, where it disembarked passengers March 19.
 
“At the present time, Poseidon remains committed to its schedule of cruises in the Arctic this season. But we are giving our booked passengers and travel partners the benefit of the doubt in rescheduling their summer cruises. Those passengers with existing reservations for the upcoming season may re-book or transfer their booking to a 2021 Arctic departure, beginning from 60 days and up to seven days prior to the 2020 scheduled departure date. Final payment for 2020 Arctic voyages is pushed back from 90 days to 60 days prior to departure, and deposits on new bookings for 2020 Arctic programs are reduced from 20% to 10% of the cruise fare,” said Wellmeier.
 
For the next 2020-21 Antarctic season, final payment is due 60 days prior to departure rather than the customary 90 days, and deposits on new Antarctica business are also reduced from 20% to 10% of the cruise fare.
 
While the Russian Federation recently announced that its borders are closed to all foreign travelers until May 1, the company’s three voyages to the North Pole aboard the nuclear-powered icebreaker 50 Years of Victory remain scheduled for operation, beginning with the July 12-24, program from Murmansk, Russia. Final payment conditions are changed from 90 days to 60 days prior to the departure date.
 
The company recently updated its Coronavirus Travel Policy, and will continue to do so as the situation warrants.
 
For inquires and questions, travelers and their agents can contact the company’s North American sales and reservation office at SalesUSA@poseidonexpeditions.com or by telephone at 347-801-2610.
 
With offices in the US, UK, Germany, Russia, Cyprus and China, Poseidon Expeditions is a leading provider of polar expeditions in the cruise industry. The company is committed to safe and environmentally responsible polar travel. It is a member of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) and the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO).

Follow Poseidon Expeditions on Social Media:
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Website     http://poseidonexpeditions.com/

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Pandaw Builds New Ship for Burma Soft-Adventure River Expeditions

Bagan, the city of temples, in Myanmar © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Pandaw, a small-ship cruising company, has announced the construction of a new 14-cabin K-class ship for Burma. The ultra-shallow twin decked K-class vessel can go where other ships cannot and is perfect for Pandaw’s style of soft adventure river expeditions.

Despite the political situation in Burma and a decline in mainstream routings the demand for small ship expeditions in Burma has actually increased.

“With the recent departure of three K-class vessels to India it has proved necessary to order one more to meet this demand, principally on the Upper Irrawaddy, Chindwin and Delta expeditions into remoter untouristed parts of the country. Many of these are now fully booked for the coming season and a support vessel urgently needed,” the company said.

In the tradition of naming all K-class ships after original Irrawaddy Flotilla vessels, the new build is to be named the KANEE PANDAW, and is being built in Pandaw’s own yard in Mandalay.

These much-loved, safari-style vessels offer outdoor or indoor dining, run-round promenades and ample indoor and outdoor living space. The cabins are slightly smaller than on Pandaw’s larger ships but cleverly designed and very comfortable with roomy bathrooms.

Like all Pandaw’s expedition ships the KANEE will carry mountain bikes and is being aimed at a younger demographic and family travel into these remote reaches.

“We began in Burma 25 years ago and remain attached to the country and its people,” said Pandaw Founder, Paul Strachan.“Since we started the Pandaw Charity in 2008 the company has funded the Pandaw Clinics program providing essential health care to a whole region of the country; to me it is a personal mission to ensure that our business in Burma, despite recent political setbacks, continues to prosper so that we can maintain these funding commitments”

Pandaw enjoys one of the highest repeat rates in the industry and much of the growth in remote river cruising is coming from within the Pandaw community. Two years ago, the company launched its Pandaw Member’s Club and now has over 10,000 members seeking new adventures on the rivers of Asia.

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AdventureSmith Explorations Offering $1,200 Savings on Select 2019 Alaska Small Ship Cruises

AdventureSmith Explorations is offering last-minute savings of up to $1,200 (per couple or $600 per person) on select departures of 2019 small-ship cruise vacations in Alaska.

TRUCKEE, CA – The small ship cruise company, AdventureSmith Explorations, is offering last-minute savings of up to $1,200 per couple ($600 per person) on select departures of 2019 cruise vacations in Alaska.

“An expanded inventory of small ships, more itineraries and a longer season all benefit our clients who are interested in Alaska this year,” says Todd Smith, founder/president. “‘It’s very rare to see special offers this great so late in the Alaska booking season.”
 
To take advantage of specials that apply to specific departures and cabin categories, reservations must be made by April 19, 2019.
 
Savings up to $1,200 per couple come with select 2019 departures of the following itineraries:

  • Alaska’s Glacier Country is an eight-day cruise navigating some of Alaska’s most impressive glaciers and wildlife viewing. Savings come with departures aboard the 90-guest S.S. Legacy April 26; May 10, 17, 24 and 31; June 7, 14, 21 and 28; July 5, 12, 19 and 26; Aug. 2 and 9; and aboard the 88-guest Safari Endeavor Sept. 1 and 8; and a special fitness and yoga-themed departure aboard the S.S. Legacy May 3.
  • Alaska’s Glaciers & Whales is an eight-day cruise from aboard the 88-guest Safari Endeavour. Savings are applied to May 26, June 9 and 23, July 7 and 21, and Aug. 4 and 18 departures. Suites on this ship include balconies; activities options include stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking.
  • Whales, Wildlife & Glaciers is a diverse eight-day cruise exploring the many inlets and wildlife of Alaska aboard the 88-guest Safari Endeavor with savings on June 2, 16 and 30, July 14 and 28, and August 11 and 25 departures.
  • Alaska’s Inside Passage & San Juans Cruise spends 15 days along the iconic passage between Seattle and Juneau, visiting two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Glacier Bay National Park and Olympic National Park aboard the 88-guest Safari Endeavor, with applicable savings on May 12 and Sept. 15; and aboard the 90-guest S.S. Legacy on Aug. 16.

These eight-day itineraries are aboard one of three Wilderness small ships that carry from 60 to 76 guests depending on the vessel. A $600 per-couple savings comes with specific 2019 departures of: 

  • Northern Passages & Glacier Bay that explores backcountry wilderness between Sitka and Juneau on the Wilderness Discoverer with savings applicable on May 4 and 18 and on Wilderness Explorer Apr. 27 and July 20.
  • Alaska Fjords & Glaciers that discovers glaciers, fjord cliffs, deep valleys and whales, the Tlingit culture and Tongass National Forest, with savings on the Wilderness Adventurer April 6, on Wilderness Discoverer June 29 and July 6, and Wilderness Explorer July 6 and 13.
  • Glacier Bay National Park Adventure Cruise that brings guests to tidewater glaciers, whales, puffins and old-growth forest is aboard the Wilderness Adventurer with savings on April 27 and June 8 departures.

Because of the high demand for Alaska cruises, the company is already taking reservations for 2020 programs. To help clients select small ships and/or itineraries that best fits their interests, Smith’s team have prepared 6 Insider Tips to Travel Alaska in the Best Way.  

For details on all of AdventureSmith Explorations’ small ship cruises, itineraries, availability and for 2019-2020 reservations, call 866-575-2875 toll-free or visit the company website.

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AdventureSmith Explorations Offering Tour, Cruise Discounts for Early 2017 Warm Wearther Escapes

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TAHOE CITY, CA–AdventureSmith Explorations has a selection of journeys to warm destinations at a bargain price for those who can act now. Benefits of booking these warm-weather escapes before the deadline include credits of up to $700 off scheduled rates.

Here’s a list of specials with booking deadlines noted:

The Panama Canal springs to life on an eight-day itinerary encompassing Costa Rica and the Panama Canal. Guests who choose a Costa Rica & Panama Canal cruise departing on select 2017 dates and book by December 31, 2016, can select from; free round-trip airfare between Miami and Costa Rica/Panama City, plus a free overnight Panama City tour extension, which includes a private dinner at the Miraflores Locks, a city tour and a visit to the Frank Gehry-designed Bio Museum; or a $500 air credit if they cannot stay the extra day.

This classic route aboard the 62-guest National Geographic Sea Lion transports guests through the Panama Canal to explore Costa Rica and Panama’s famed national parks and wildlife reserves. Highlights are snorkeling at Isla Coiba, exploring shorelines in kayaks and learning from National Geographic guides and experts. The rate is from $6,390 per person, double. See: http://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/costa-rica-panama-canal-barro-colorado-cruise-national-geographic-guides

In Chile, a lodge-based adventure embraces the recently renovated Explora Atacama. This luxury lodge is in the oasis of San Pedro de Atacama, 8,202 feet above sea level in Chile’s Atacama Desert. From this 50-room, comfort-driven resort guests may combine thermal bath soaks with hiking, bicycling and horseback riding while engaging in their choices of over 40 explorations that are led by bilingual guides. Year-round, day-time highs are in the mid 70s. The first night is free for bookings made by March 30, 2017 for stays through April 30, 2017 (minimum three-night stay). A four-day stay starts at $2,184 per person double. See: http://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/explora-atacama-desert-travel-hiking-biking-horseback-riding-chile

In the Galapagos select January and February departures of sister 16-guest catamarans come with savings of $500 if booked before Dec. 31, 2016. The luxury Petrel dates to 2015 and Cormorant to 2011; each serves as home base for a comprehensive Galapagos Islands cruise. Spectacular year-round, this famed archipelago is especially fun at the start of each year as water temperatures are on the rise making it the ideal time for snorkeling. The regular rate for this four-day program is from $3,090 (Cormorant), or $3245 (Petrel) per person double.
Petrel: http://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/petrel-galapagos-cruises
Cormorant: http://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/cormorant-galapagos-cruises

From Iquitos, Peru, guests aboard Amatista Amazon Cruise can experience 20 percent savings if they book this nine-day adventure by Jan. 31, 2017. Enroute is an exploration of one of the last accessible tropical rainforests in the world, the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, during its high water season (typically December through May) when rivers are up to 23 feet higher. This means closer viewing of monkeys and birdlife in the jungle canopy as the ship can go deeper into isolated corners of the reserve. The regular rate is from $2,499 per person double. This riverboat accommodates 30 guests. See: http://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/amatista-amazon-cruise

Paradise of Tahiti: Receive a $700 savings on the Tahitian Affair Cruise if booked by Jan. 31, 2017. With departures that begin in late April, this cusp-o-winter tropical escape sails through French Polynesia’s Leeward Islands, including visits to Bora Bora, Tahaa, Huahine, Motu Iriru and Raiatea.  A bonus is a scenic helicopter flight for embarkation on the luxurious 24-guest Island Passage. Kayaking, fishing, swimming, snorkeling and stand-up paddle boarding add to the fun. The regular rate for this eight-day cruise is from $4,270- per person double. See: http://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/tahitian-affair-tahiti-small-ship-cruise-island-passage-bora-bora-french-polynesia

For information on all of AdventureSmith’s small ship cruises worldwide, itineraries, availability and reservations, Phone: 800-728-2875 toll-free or visit http://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/.
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AdventureSmith Explorations to Sail New 100-Passenger National Geographic Quest in Alaska for 2017

The National Geographic Quest will be outfitted with a fleet of 24 sea kayaks, paddle boards, snorkeling equipment and Zodiacs, all geared to get guests out and into the wild, remote places being explored.
The National Geographic Quest will be outfitted with a fleet of 24 sea kayaks, paddle boards, snorkeling equipment and Zodiacs, all geared to get guests out and into the wild, remote places being explored.

TAHOE CITY, CA– Alaska continues to be one of the world’s hottest destinations for small ship cruising. Small ship cruise expert AdventureSmith Explorations has seen the growth firsthand and now recommends that plans need to be secured by early December 2016 to get the best choice of ships, cabins and itineraries for summer 2017.

“Last year the most popular high-season trips were sold out earlier than we had ever experienced. By January more than half of the summer departures were fully booked or had very limited availability,” said Todd Smith, founder and director of AdventureSmith Explorations (http://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/).

This booking strategy should give early birds certain advantages while securing a cabin on a brand-new, 100-passenger expedition ship being introduced to Alaska next summer. This is Lindblad Expeditions’ National Geographic Quest, set to launch June 26, 2017, on a Seattle-to-Sitka itinerary exploring the coast of British Columbia and into Alaska’s Inside Passage. The nature-intensive 15-day cruise starts at $9,390 per person double.

National Geographic Quest will then spend the summer exploring the coves and fjords between Sitka, Glacier Bay National Park, Juneau and Petersburg on Lindblad’s classic Exploring Alaska’s Coastal Wilderness route, an eight-day adventure also sailed by the 62-guest National Geographic Sea Lion, with rates starting at $5,890 per person double.

National Geographic Quest will be the most modern and spacious expedition vessel cruising Alaskan waters. The ship features roomy (135 to 185-square feet), outside-facing cabins, 22 with small balconies with floor-to-ceiling sliding doors. Eight cabins can be configured into four adjoining cabins for families. Some cabins can accommodate a third guest. The ship will be outfitted with a fleet of 24 sea kayaks, paddle boards, snorkeling equipment and Zodiacs, all of which are geared to get guests out and into the wild, remote places being explored. Also aboard is state-of-the-art expedition technology, including a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), video microscope, and a hydrophone and bow-cam designed for immediate deployment to hear and film, for instance, humpback whale vocalizations and to view bow-riding dolphins.

Following the Alaska season, the ship will remain in the Pacific Northwest for a series of new voyages between Seattle and Vancouver, with stops in the San Juan Islands, Victoria, Alert Bay and more far-reaching stops in British Columbia’s channels and fjords. Beginning in December 2017, National Geographic Quest will reposition and operate voyages in Costa Rica and Panama before kicking off a series of new voyages in Belize and Guatemala starting in February 2018.

With the introduction of National Geographic Quest, National Geographic Sea Bird will fly away to two new itineraries. Wild Alaska Escape is a six-day cruise designed to pair with a land trip that includes river rafting and biking options unique to a cruise program. The action takes place in wild, pristine Alaska for those with limited time but with an unlimited sense of adventure. Included are iconic wildlife, epic landscapes and the ancient Chilkat Tlingit village of Klukwan. In Haines, “Adventure Capital of Alaska,” guests have a three-hour bicycling trip around a stunning glacial lake, half-day hikes up a few of the region’s most dramatic mountains or, for the most fit, a trek up Mt. Riley. Others may choose to float down the Chilkat River through an area rich with native tradition and sporting the largest congregation of bald eagles in the world. In more remote stretches of the voyage come guided, point-to-point kayak trips with the ship as moving basecamp. Or, in expedition landing craft, guests may zip around sculpted icebergs or land on remote beaches for hikes in dense and dramatic Tongass National Forest. Rates begin at $4,290 per person, double. See: http://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/wild-alaska-escape-cruise-national-geographic-sea-bird.

Big Picture Alaska, an 11-day program crafted by National Geographic photographers, targets camera buffs. The trip spans the full north-south expanse of Alaska’s Inside Passage. The immersive, wide-ranging photo expedition takes Lindblad’s wildly popular week-long expedition and expands it, adding in the striking Misty Fiords at the lowest reaches of Alaska’s Inside Passage and Haines, in the northernmost corner. It’s the perfect mix of small-town life and the grand expanse of the wild landscape that surrounds it. Guests raft though the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve, explore Glacier Bay National Park, search for humpback whales with time in a popular feeding area called Clarence Strait, kayak amid glacial ice, hike the Tongass National Forest and learn about the region’s rich Tlingit heritage while shooting with the expertise of an industry-leading expedition photography team of Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructors and National Geographic photographers. Rates begin at $8,990 per person, double. See: http://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/big-picture-alaska-cruise-photography-national-geographic.

AdventureSmith Explorations also notes new offerings in Prince William Sound thanks to the 12-guest Dream Catcher. The seven-day Prince William Sound Dream Catcher cruise is from $5,775 per person double. Getting up close and personal with icebergs and sea otters is just the beginning of the fun. There are set departures in addition to possibilities to charter this small ship. See: https://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/prince-william-sound-dream-catcher.

For information on all of AdventureSmith’s small ship cruises worldwide, itineraries, availability and reservations, Phone: 800-728-2875 toll-free or visit http://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/.
 

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Poseidon Expeditions Offers Incentives for Booking Suites for 2 Antarctica Cruises in December 2016

Poseidon Expeditions is offering booking incentives on two December sailings to Antarctica.
Poseidon Expeditions is offering booking incentives on two December sailings to Antarctica.

PROVIDENCE, RI– Antarctica’s ice-bound landscape is rife with activity in the ample sunlight of long austral summer days. Penguins, for example, are in a flurry of courting, nest building and egg incubation.

To witness this fascinating activity, Poseidon Expeditions, a leading provider of polar adventures in the expedition cruise industry, offers complimentary overnight camping to guests who book Deluxe, Premium and Owners suites on either of two late Fall departures. This means guests may literally awaken with the birds and watch their antics close at hand. This complimentary camping offer is a $250 per person value on top of the specially priced suites.

The balcony suites with bird’s eye view privileges also offer on new bookings only a 15 percent per person reduction off of regular rates on November 24-December 5, 2016 and December 4-16, 2016 departures of Classic Antarctic Peninsula voyages. After the discount, per person double rates start at $10,196 (Deluxe), $11,301 (Premium), and $13,936 (Owners). The suites feature private balconies and large, sliding glass doors out to the balcony. Sea Spirit’s suites are large by expedition ship standards and can easily accommodate a third person for $5,995 (on November 24) and $6,295 (on December 4). The rate includes:

One pre-voyage hotel night at the Arakur Hotel & Spa in Ushuaia;

Pre-cruise group transfers from the airport to the hotel in Ushuaia

Group transfer to the ship on day of embarkation;

Group transfer to airport or central location upon disembarkation in Ushuaia;

Shipboard accommodations;

All scheduled landings/excursions;

Complimentary camping

Leadership throughout by experienced Expedition Leader & Expedition Team;

All meals on board throughout the voyage;

Tea and coffee station 24 hours daily;

Welcome and Farewell cocktails;

Rubber boots for shore landings for the time of the cruise;

Branded Poseidon Expeditions parka;

All port fees;

Pre-departure materials;

Digital Voyage Log.

Poseidon Expeditions’ 114-passenger, deluxe expedition M/V Sea Spirit, while small and nimble enough to visit a multitude of landing sites, embraces guests with space (all-suite accommodations range from 215 to 463 square feet), two multi-purpose lounges, a well-stocked library and a restaurant serving gourmet-quality meals. Ample deck space facilitates viewing passing icescapes and wildlife. The vessel has an ice-strengthened hull, a fleet of Zodiacs and a set of retractable fin stabilizers for smoother sailing. Activities include Zodiac excursions, hiking, optional kayaking and camping, and informative presentations aboard. The ship’s expedition staff-to-passenger ratio of 1:9 is one of the best in the industry.

Typical cruises from Ushuaia, Argentina, to the Antarctic Peninsula are from 10 to 12 nights. This allows for a reasonable amount of time for daily landings, which are always subject to ice and weather conditions. Travelers often opt for extensions before or after the Antarctic cruise, or they choose a departure that includes other destinations. For example, many travelers want to include a few days in Buenos Aires where they connect with the local flights to Ushuaia, the country’s southernmost town and point of embarkation. In Ushuaia guests can visit Tierra del Fuego either pre- or post-cruise. Some itineraries include the Falkland Islands and South Georgia where they can visit the terrain made famous by explorer Ernest Shackleton, whose gravesite is in Grytviken. Guests on these itineraries can witness King Penguins, the second-largest penguin species, and nesting Wandering Albatross.

The complete 2017-18 Arctic and Antarctic schedules, rates and special offers can be found at https://poseidonexpeditions.com/. A new 80-page catalog detailing the company’s ships and activities is also available and can be requested online or through any of the Poseidon Expeditions offices.

For inquires and reservations in North America, or to request a catalog, contact the company’s Providence, RI, sales and reservation office at SalesUSA@poseidonexpeditions.com or by telephone at 347-801-2610.

Poseidon Expeditions, 2ith offices in the US, UK, Germany, Russia and China, is a leading provider of polar expeditions in the cruise industry. In addition to the Sea Spirit, the company provides guests with the opportunity to travel to the geographic North Pole aboard the 50 Years of Victory, the largest and most modern nuclear-powered icebreaker in the world. Fourteen-day, top-of-the-world programs are scheduled for both the 2017 and 2018 summer seasons. The company is committed to safe and environmentally responsible polar travel. It is a member of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) and the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO). 

Follow Poseidon Expeditions on Social Media:
Facebook:     https://www.facebook.com/poseidonexpeditions
Twitter:           https://twitter.com/poseidonexp
YouTube:       https://www.youtube.com/user/pxpeditions
Instagram:     https://www.instagram.com/poseidonexpeditions/
Website          http://poseidonexpeditions.com/
 

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Granddaughter of Byrd Expedition’s Chief Engineer Joins ExploringCircle’s Cruise to Antarctica to Follow his Footsteps

Marjorie Adams plans to join ExploringCircle’s cruise to Antarctica so she can follow in the footsteps of her grandfather, Walter Kerr Queen, who served as Chief Engineer on one of Admiral Byrd's two ships that explored the frozen continent.
Marjorie Adams plans to join ExploringCircle’s cruise to Antarctica so she can follow in the footsteps of her grandfather, Walter Kerr Queen, who served as Chief Engineer on one of Admiral Byrd’s two ships that explored the frozen continent.

SEATTLE, WA – The lure of the Poles is legendary. Especially the South Pole. Consider Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton’s third expedition between 1914 and 1916 that left his ship, Endurance, crushed by ice and his men reduced to tossing about in lifeboats on a stormy sea. Consider Rear Admiral Richard Byrd, Jr., who visited the Arctic and Antarctica. Most recently Henry Worsley, a well-connected Brit on a solo land crossing of Antarctica died in this pursuit in January.

But in stark contrast to the arduous challenges and dangers of those early explorations, today’s expedition ships that probe the allure of Antarctica are appointed for cruise travelers and offer organized on-and off-ship activities.  And on one Antarctica cruise in 2016, a granddaughter of the Chief Engineer of the SS Jacob Ruppert, one of Byrd’s two ships from the 1933-1934 expedition, will visit the frozen continent. She will be traveling with Seattle-based environmental crusader ExploringCircle, a new company that combines a long adventure travel legacy with a strong sense of purpose.

“I feel that by doing this it can give my grandfather, Walter Kerr Queen, a voice,” says Marjorie Adams. “He was in the company of much better-known names. But he is the person who made sure this steamship’s engine didn’t break down.”

antarctica-explorcircle-QueenQueen had made his mark and money by designing improved expansion joints for industrial steam systems, a venture begun in his garage in Needham, MA. Eventually his work was known to Byrd who personally called upon Queen to accompany his second expedition to Antarctica. Queen, who was a Lieutenant Commander in the US Naval Reserve in World War I, was assigned to SS Jacob Ruppert, a steel vessel. The other, USS Bear, a wooden vessel, would over-winter. The premise was that if disaster struck, the wooden ship might not sink but most certainly the steel vessel would. Now available in paperback through Amazon is Discovery: The story of the Second Byrd Antarctic Expedition (Admiral Byrd Classics).

“The family story is that my grandfather wanted to travel as far north as he did south, after returning in 1934,” adds Adams. In 1937 her grandfather traveled on a Hudson Bay Company supply ship, SS Nascopie, into the eastern Arctic. She took a similar trip in 2009, traveling with a niece north to Elsmere Island.

“My niece and I were chatting about where we might like to go on vacation. My niece turned Grandpa’s words around: ‘I’d like to go as far south as I’ve been north.’”

So Adams and her niece are booked on Antarctica Peninsula: Last Discovered Continent, a 12-day adventure that begins and ends in Ushuaia, Argentina after coming and going through Drake Passage to reach the South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula and the Antarctic Continent.

Guests tour the region through the icebergs by Zodiak and kayak and have the option also to camp. They are on M/V Sea Spirit, a classic luxury expedition ship that boasts spacious suites, two restaurants, an open-bridge policy and an elevator. The Sea Spirit’s stabilizer fins will help to make the crossing comfortable. This journey is available from November through February at a per person double rate starting at $5,995. For more information on this trip please see http://www.exploringcircle.com/antarctica-peninsula-1

With decades of experience leading Antarctica travel and helping adventurers realize their polar dreams, ExploringCircle specializes in helping clients arrange the Antarctica cruise that is the right fit for each client. Details on other cruises of this region are available at http://www.exploringcircle.com/antarctica-travel. Some of these cruises offer savings of up to $4,000 on select cabin bookings on specified itineraries.

Before they travel, Adams and her niece, as with all of ExploringCircle guests, will be invited to examine ExploringCircle’s six related environmental causes, choosing one to which to pledge their support. This conversation is vital to the company’s mission. By talking about, for example, plastic detritus in oceans, young and old alike while on a cruise can wrap their minds around threats to ocean waters and to marine and wildlife. ExploringCircle in turn Pays-it-Forward by donating up to five percent of client fee to the environmental cause chosen.

“We listen to our guests and use decades of experience to help them realize their travel dreams. In doing so, we fund hope,” says Kristy Royce, founder.  “Leave No Trace Behind is no longer enough.”

Founded in August 2015 but with a legacy that spans over two decades, ExploringCircle (http://www.exploringcircle.com/) is a new company with a diverse adventure travel history and a strong sense of purpose. ExploringCircle sends travelers on journeys of discovery and adventure and then donates up to 5 percent of the trip’s cost to organizations working to make Earth a better place. ExploringCircle combines the joy of travel with a social consciousness built upon three primary principles: To send people on amazing trips / To engage people around important environmental and social issues / To direct funds to groups actively working on those causes.

Water, the Elixir of Life, is ExploringCircle’s first Pay it Forward theme. Issues include clean water and sanitation, plastics in water, vanishing ice and sea level rise. These causes will lead ExploringCircle guests to Alaska, Amazon, Antarctica, Arctic, Baja, Galapagos Islands, Pacific Northwest, Pacific Islands, Peru and Central America.

For reservations and information visit www.exploringcircle.com, email kristyr@exploringcicle.com or call 800.201.8074. Follow ExploringCircle on Social Media:  www.facebook.com/ExploringCircle and www.pinterest.com/exploringcircle.

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