Tag Archives: expeditionary travel

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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Experience Total Solar Eclipse in Spice Islands aboard Sailing Schooner with Wildland Adventures

On March 9, 2016, tracking directly over the Equator above Indonesia’s remote Maluku island group, a handful of guests aboard a classic two-masted sailing schooner will witness a total solar eclipse.
On March 9, 2016, tracking directly over the Equator above Indonesia’s remote Maluku island group, a handful of guests aboard a classic two-masted sailing schooner will witness a total solar eclipse.

On March 9, 2016, tracking directly over the Equator above Indonesia’s remote Maluku island group, a handful of guests aboard a classic two-masted sailing schooner will witness a total solar eclipse surrounded by a jungle landscape of uninhabited islands and towering volcanoes.

Well-known for such unique and inspiring expeditions, Seattle-based Wildland Adventures (www.wildland.com/) has sweetened the offer by knocking $1,000 off the 12-day Spice Islands Solar Eclipse Sailing Adventure package that runs March 7-18, 2016. This brings the per person double rate to $5,495 for the privilege of witnessing one of nature’s grandest shows in a setting that defies description.

Accommodations for the luxury cruise are aboard the 24-passenger phinisi Ombak Putih, a traditional two-masted Indonesian schooner.
Accommodations for the luxury cruise are aboard the 24-passenger phinisi Ombak Putih, a traditional two-masted Indonesian schooner.

Accommodations for the luxury cruise are aboard the 24-passenger phinisi Ombak Putih, a traditional two-masted Indonesian schooner. Guided day excursions and evening lectures by escort and guest lecturer Jeffrey Mellefont, research associate of the Australian National Maritime Museum, enhance the on-board experience of the rich natural history, cultures and customs in the archipelago.

Flying out of Bali and embarking in Ternate, the ship sails across the equator encountering diverse cultures and pristine island habitats while re-discovering the dramatic history of this fascinating maritime world sought after by fortune hunters and adventurers for its exotic cloves, nutmeg and mace. Hidden for centuries by the same remoteness that keeps these islands unspoiled today, the ship anchors in turquoise-colored coves so that guests may visit isolated villages and spice plantations, ancient forts and trading posts, and snorkel over stunning coral reefs. The loveliest and most remote of the islands is kept till last. This is the glorious Banda group that guests visit before disembarking on historic Ambon.

Snorkels, kayaks and paddleboards are kept on board so that guests may enjoy activities in the warm water when they are not on walking and birding tours, enjoying a community beach dinner and touring farms, a clove plantation and a distillery producing ‘kayu putih’ oil. The oil, extracted from Melaleuca tree leaves, is a universal panacea that no Indonesian household is without. It is used as a topical for aches and pains, an inhalant for colds and a remedy for stomach unrest.

Wildland-TernateOn the island of Ternate guests visit the old house of Alfred Russel Wallace, the British naturalist and explorer who spent many years based here exploring the archipelago and independently conceiving the theory of evolution through natural selection when Darwin was in the Galapagos. Here, too, is ‘Afu’, the oldest clove tree in the world, representing a fascinating history of intrigue, greed and hope

On Wednesday, March 9, the ship anchors at 0.4˚N, 127.4˚E, just 24 nautical miles north of the Equator and centered directly beneath the track of the umbra, or moon’s shadow, to experience the sun’s 100 percent occultation for the longest possible time. The partial eclipse commences at 08:35 am local time (23:35:45 UTC + 9), with total eclipse starting at 9.51 am. Maximum eclipse is at 9:52:38, and on Ombak Putih the total eclipse lasts for three minutes and 16 seconds. This is followed by a crossing-the-line ceremony transiting across the equator.

In the Banda archipelago guests will stroll through a nutmeg grove where the shapely nutmeg fruit-bearing trees grow in the shelter of towering, gigantic ‘kenari’ or native almond trees. Visitors when leaving Banda are typically escorted by a ceremonial canoe called a ‘kora-kora’ propelled by banks of warrior-oarsmen, an apropos departure from paradise.

For complete details and itinerary see: http://www.wildland.com/files/brochure/trips/Indonesian%20Adventure%20Cruise%20-%20Solar%20Eclipse%20FINAL.pdf

Jeffrey Mellefont, research associate of the Australian National Maritime Museum, is a former blue-water mariner and navigator; a writer, photographer and editor who has made a lifetime study of the fascinating maritime world of Indonesia. Along with regular host and guide, Frans Huneker, special guest and fluent Indonesian speaker, Jeffrey Mellefont will guide the group ashore. At the end of each day, in the comfort of the Ombak Putih, Jeffrey will reveal more of this amazing maritime realm.

The Ombak Putih is a mix of traditional and modern design. Her hull and rigging are traditional, while the deck house and interior were custom designed to adapt to Western tastes of space, privacy and comfort. While Indonesian traditional sailing vessels are customarily referred to as Bugi Schooners, strictly speaking she is rigged as a Ketch, the foremast being higher than the aft mast. Of the 12 cabins, four have double beds, four are configured as twin-bunks and four as triple, with a double and an extra singe bed. All cabins are air-conditioned (individually controlled) and have private bathrooms with warm and cold water.

Wildland Adventures was established in 1986 by Kurt Kutay, Founding CEO/President, and Anne Kutay, Vice-President. As active managing directors they are continuously refining and evolving their Wild Style of travel. The ‘Wild Style’ is based on an ethic of sincerity, compassion and understanding that breaks down barriers of separation to build lasting intercultural, interpersonal, and environmental bonds designed to enhance rather than exploit the people and places where they travel. By fostering genuine connections to create personalized experiences their travelers, Wildland fosters a growing and vibrant community of enlightened and compassionate travelers. Rated by National Geographic Adventure as the #1 Best ‘Doitall’ Outfitter on Earth and Fodor’s as one of the Worlds Best Tour Specialists, Wildland Adventures offers more than 150 unique itineraries on 6 continents in 37 countries.

 

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Lindblad Expeditions Searching for Memorabilia to Celebrate 50th Anniversary

In 1966 Lars-Eric Lindblad led the first ever citizen-explorer expedition to Antarctica – at the time it was almost as extraordinary as a lunar launch would be today. It also marked the creation of the category of expedition travel.  He opened up the remote regions of the world and countless opportunities for so many, helping them to experience and think of the world differently.

Lars-Eric Lindblad pioneered travel to the Galapagos Islands, as well as measures to protect the fragile ecosystem from being overrun by tourists.
Lars-Eric Lindblad pioneered travel to the Galapagos Islands, as well as measures to protect the fragile ecosystem from being overrun by tourists.

In 2016 Lindblad Expeditions will honor Lars-Eric’s vision and his courage in myriad ways as they mark the 50th Anniversary of these two major milestones. Their efforts begin with a search for memorabilia from Lindblad voyages in the 60s or 70s – from the legendary first expedition to Antarctica in 1966 to other remote parts of the world.  The search is on for:

  •  Expedition photos – ideally with Lars-Eric Lindblad and/or his expedition team – but all are welcome;
  •  Vintage ship photos or photos aboard the ship;
  •  Original voyage documents including vintage luggage tags, patches, pins or other collectibles: parka, tee, etc. plus any short Lars-Eric stories/anecdotes;
  •  Postcards or letters from someone on a voyage.

The collection of memorabilia will be used in a multitude of ways, including being featured (with credits) in the updated version of Lars-Eris Lindblad’s autobiography, Passage to Anywhere that will chart the history of expedition travel from 1966 to now.

To share your materials, send negatives and/or collectibles via tracked mail (please insure any items of value to you) to: Lindblad Expeditions, c/o Elissa Marton, 96 Morton Street, 9th Floor, NY, NY 10014.  Small digital files should be emailed to 50years@expeditions.com; and large digital files can be uploaded to http://anniversary.expeditions.com. ; Items will be photographed and returned via tracked mail.

For more information about Lindblad Expeditions visit http://www.expeditions.com/ or call 1-800-EXPEDITION.

 

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Earthwatch Invites Public to ‘Citizens for Science Exposition’ at Harvard, Nov. 8

Earthwatch Institute enables ordinary people to work alongside scientists. In 2013, Earthwatch scientists and volunteers completed nearly 135,000 hours of research, on over 50 expeditions, across 57 countries on six continents.
Earthwatch Institute enables ordinary people to work alongside scientists. In 2013, Earthwatch scientists and volunteers completed nearly 135,000 hours of research, on over 50 expeditions, across 57 countries on six continents.

Earthwatch, a travel company that gives ordinary people the opportunity to work alongside scientists doing research, is inviting the public to its Citizens for Science Exposition which will be held on Saturday, November 8, 2014 as part of the Earthwatch Summit 2014.

The event will be hosted at the Harvard University Science Center and will allow the public to learn about Earthwatch scientists’ research, and its impact on the environment, community, and wildlife. They will also learn how they can have a positive impact through Citizen Science.

Some of the highlights of the day will include:

*   Opening Session: Rallying Call for Citizen Science with Opening Address. Speaker, Dr. William Moomaw, Chief Science Officer, Earthwatch Institute

*   Morning Address: Harnessing the Power of Citizens for Science I by Dr. J. Nichols, Marine Biologist and author of Blue Mind

*   Afternoon Address: Harnessing the Power of Citizens for Science II by Dr. Richard Primack, Boston University biologist and author of Walden Warming

*   6 Earthwatch Scientist Presentations a Q & A with Moderator, Dr. Meg Lowman, Chief of Science & Sustainability at the California Academy of Sciences

*   Poster Sessions: Take part in conversations about their research and practices, addressing environmental topics within an informal dynamic

*   Closing Address: Brian Rosborough, Founder, Earthwatch Institute

Those who are interested should register (by October 10, 2014).

Earthwatch: Hands-on Citizen Science

Powered by everyday people from all walks of life, Earthwatch is a community built on sound scientific inquiry, real environmental understanding, and impactful action.

“For more than 40 years, we have pioneered a unique model of hands on citizen science,” says Nicole Morrill of the Earthwatch Institute. “There is no other organization that offers the real, undiluted, and extraordinary opportunity to join scientists and volunteers in the field on environmental projects around the globe.

“Volunteers take part in life changing experiences in the field and return home inspired and empowered.”

In 2013, Earthwatch scientists and volunteers completed nearly 135,000 hours of research, on over 50 expeditions, across 57 countries on six continents. The research collected by Earthwatch volunteers has led to new conservation laws, preservation efforts, and environmental policies.

The expedition that is hardest to get on, and the most in demand, is Shark Conservation in Belize led by Dr. Demian Chapman.

“What is great about our organization is that all of the expeditions offer a chance for the volunteer to contribute to meaningful science that can lead to new laws and environmental polices. All of our expeditions offer life changing experiences on the field working with scientists. In short, Real Science Powered by Real People,” Morrill says.

For more information, contact Earthwatch Institute, 114 Western Ave, Boston, MA 02134, 978-450-1267, earthwatch.org.

 

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Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic Announces 2015-16 Global Perspectives Speakers

Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic in Antarctica
Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic in Antarctica

Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic has announced the guest speakers in their Global Perspectives Program aboard the National Geographic Explorer for the 2015/2016 season. Drawn from the top tiers of journalism, science, and world affairs to add relevant insights, the Global Perspectives Speakers have been chosen to share the expedition experience as active participants and fellow travelers, which allows guests to hear them in the context of their lounge talks, and to spend time with them throughout the voyage while cruising in a Zodiac, on a hike, or during dinner.

Depending on the expedition, guests can explore with a National Geographic Explorer-In-Residence; a scientist doing research in the region they are voyaging, an author, a foreign dignitary, or even a former head of state. A partial listing of the special guests include:

  • Jared Diamond:  A professor of geography at the University of California, Los Angeles, Jared is the author of Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed and the widely acclaimed Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, which won him a Pulitzer Prize as well as Britain’s 1998 Rhone-Poulenc Science Book Prize. Antarctica, February 14, 2015
  • Barry Lopez: Best known as the author of Arctic Dreams, for which he received the National Book Award, he has authored 14 books of fiction and nonfiction.  Among his other books are About This Life and Of Wolves and Men, a finalist for the National Book Award.   Arctic Svalbard, June 8, 2015
  • Alasdair McGregor:  Writer and historian, he wrote the definitive biography of the renowned expedition photographer/adventurer on Ernest Shackleton’s Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, Frank Hurley: A Photographer’s LifeAntarctica, South Georgia & the Falklands, November 7, 2015; Antarctica, November 27, 2015.
  • César Gaviria: Former President of Columbia, César Gaviria is known throughout Latin America as an advocate of democracy, staunch supporter of regional integration, and defender of human rights.  An engaging and insightful speaker, President Gaviria will return to the National Geographic Explorer to welcome guests to his country and introduce them to the economic and political climate of Latin America. Coastal Treasures from the Panama Canal to Peru, September 27, 2015.
  • Captain Alfred S. McLaren: Capt. McLaren has explored beneath the Arctic ice on numerous expeditions, the last as commander of his own sub.  After retiring from the Navy in 1981, he earned a Ph.D. in polar studies and focused his research on the Arctic’s role in climate change.  President of the American Polar Society and Honorary Director and President Emeritus of the Explorers Club, in 2012 he received The Explorers Club’s highest honor, The Explorers Club Medal. Norway’s Fjords & Arctic Svalbard, May 19, 2015.
  • Edward J. Larson: Pepperdine University professor and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Edward Larson’s latest book, An Empire of Ice: Scott, Shackleton, and the Heroic Age of Antarctic Science, places the famed voyages of Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, his British rivals Robert Scott and Ernest Shackleton, and others in a larger scientific, social, and geopolitical context, much enlivened by his own Antarctic travels. Antarctica, January 7 & 17, 2015.
  • Gil Grosvenor:  Grosvenor serves as Chairman Emeritus of the National Geographic Society’s board of trustees and its Education Foundation, as well as an Honorary Director of the Explorers Club. He retired in 1996, as President of the Society—the fifth generation of his family to serve in that position.  Canadian Maritimes, September 11, 2015.
  • Dr. Joe MacInnis:  Dr. Joe MacInnis is the first person to explore the ocean beneath the North Pole.  He led ten research expeditions under the Arctic Ocean to develop the systems and techniques to make scientific surveys beneath the polar ice cap.  His teams built the first undersea polar station and discovered the world’s northernmost known shipwreck.  Antarctica, January 6, 2016.
  • Peter Hillary:  Peter is the son of Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to summit Mount Everest along with Tenzing Norgay. Peter has climbed the highest mountain on every continent, including Mount Everest, and established a new overland route to the South Pole. Antarctica, February 6, 2015; Antarctica, South Georgia & the Falklands, February 16, 2015.
  • Fen Montaigne: Journalist and author of Fraser’s Penguins: A Journey to the Future in Antarctica, Fen has long studied the impact of rapid warming.  His work has appeared in National Geographic, The New Yorker and others. Svalbard, Iceland, Greenland, June 22, 2015.
  • David Doubilet: Acclaimed leading underwater photographer David Doubilet has produced more than 70 stories for National Geographic magazine.  In 2010 he was part of the Elysium Project, a team of explorers who followed in the footsteps of Sir Ernest Shackleton from the Weddell Sea to South Georgia, documenting the current state of this last pristine wilderness.   Antarctica, South Georgia & the Falklands, February 15, 2016.

For more information or to book your Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic voyage, visit http://www.expeditions.com/destinations/antarctica/celebrating-the-centennial/ , call 1-800-EXPEDITION or your travel agent.