Tag Archives: small ship cruising

Poseidon Expeditions Offers Close Encounters with Reindeer and Polar Bear On High Arctic Expedition Cruises

Poseidon Expeditions, specialists in Arctic cruises, offers opportunities aplenty in the high Arctic wilderness between Norway and the North Pole to see reindeer as well as the King of the North, polar bear in their natural habitat. On Arctic Wildlife Safari and Bet of Svalbard cruises, guests can observe and learn such fun facts about these animals.

PROVIDENCE, RI– In an ancient ice age the four-legged critter we associate with Santa’s sleigh lived as far south as Tennessee. Whether those reindeer picked up a southern drawl is still up for debate.

What’s non-debatable is that Rangifer tarandus or reindeer (aka caribou), meaning snow shoveler, was so named by the Mi’kmaq, who were among original inhabitants of the Atlantic Provinces of Northern Canada.

The specialists in Arctic cruises, Poseidon Expeditions, offers opportunities aplenty in the high Arctic wilderness between Norway and the North Pole to see reindeer as well as the King of the North, polar bear in their natural habitat. On Arctic Wildlife Safari and Best of Svalbard cruises, guests can observe and learn such fun facts about these animals as… 

A reindeer’s hide is covered with hair follicles that are hollow and that trap air that provides insulation.

Their noses warm the air before it reaches the lungs.

In the winter, facial hair grows long to the mouth, protecting muzzles while grazing in snow.

Its body temperature adjusts to just above freezing to avoid losing body heat in extremely cold conditions.

Both male and female reindeer sport antlers.

They vocalize through air sacs in their neck, males warning other males away from girlfriends and females communicating with their young.

The knees of one subspecies of reindeer make a clicking noise while walking, sounds that allow a herd to stay together in a blizzard. 

And about the polar bear? 

Adult females often weigh between 500 and 600 pounds; males are double these weights. Cubs enter the world at around one pound, females reaching full weight at age five and males by age 10.

Ask anyone what color a polar bear is and they’ll reply “white” with total confidence. The fact is, their fur is actually transparent and holds no color. It only appears white because it reflects visible light. The transparent fur also traps in the sun’s heat to help keep the polar bear warm.

When polar bears swim, they use their large front paws to propel themselves through the water and their back legs to steer. They can actually move pretty fast at approximately at 6 mph, closing their nostrils when under water.

They can go days, even weeks, without eating. When they reach a week or more without food, their metabolism slows down and goes into starvation mode until the next meal.

Polar bear cubs learn to freeze or “play dead” while momma bear hunts for food. If they’re caught moving, mom will discipline them, with a smack to the head.

Two-thirds of polar bears could disappear by 2050 due to disappearing hunting grounds, or sea ice. They are now compelled to swim such long distances that they are drowning from exhaustion.

While cruising around seldom-visited, natural preserves of the far north, guests may also experience polar wildlife from the perspective of a kayak. Imagine paddling with bearded seals, large and peaceful creatures that are often encountered at close range reposing on ice floes in sheltered bays and fjords. Harbor seals and ringed seals can be seen from a kayak as well. Sometimes massive walrus can also be seen.
 
Guests may also access beluga whales via kayak. Paddling with these gentle and intelligent creatures in the wild — hearing their breaths and feeling their inquisitive gaze upon you — is a life-changing experience, especially if it happens to be a pod of over a hundred beluga whales swimming in long procession past and underneath the kayaks.

Poseidon Expedition’s sea kayak guides are well versed in the wildlife viewing and protection protocols developed by the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) and International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO).

The rates for 2020 Arctic Wildlife SafariWest Spitsbergen & Polar Ice Edge, are discounted: May 31-June 8, June 7-June 15, June 14-June 22 from $5,895 to $5,305; June 21-July 1 from $7,295 to $6,566 and June 30-July 11 from $8,095 to $7,286. On the June 7 departure guests receive a bonus, the opportunity to mingle with a polar bear expert from the Cincinnati Zoo.

Best of SvalbardSvalbard & Polar Ice Edge cruises offers three departures in June and July 2020. Children under age 12 travel at half the regular rate when sharing a double-occupancy cabin with an adult. Per person double rates are from $10,095 double in a main deck suite.

For inquires and reservations in North America, or to request a catalog, contact the company’s Providence, RI, sales and reservation office at www,poseidonexpeditions.com or call 347-801-2610, or contact your travel agent.
 
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).

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Spend Spring Break with CroisiEurope; Book by Nov 30 for 5% Discount

In 2020, take the kids on an alternative spring break that will bring classroom learning to life. Discover art and history or wildlife and nature on board a CroisiEurope cruise.

In 2020, take the kids on an alternative spring break that will bring classroom learning to life. Discover art and history or wildlife and nature on board a CroisiEurope cruise. From the historical seaside cities of Rochefort and La Rochelle in France’s Aquitaine Region to Africa’s diverse flora and fauna, there’s a new adventure for every type of traveler waiting to be discovered.

Travelers who book a 2020 cruise before November 30, 2019 can receive a discount of up to 5% off per person, per trip with the special code: EARBOOUS.

Cruises include all excursions, activities, meals and drinks served on board.

Information and bookings at www.croisieuroperivercruises.com, 800-768-7232.

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’ New Ships, Itineraries Expand Opportunities to See Big Arctic 8

National Geographic Explorere at Monoco Glacier, Leifdefjord, Northwest Spitsbergen National Park, Svalbard Archipelago, Norway

TRUCKEE, CA – Small cruise ships purpose-built to ply the planet’s polar regions also transport guests on floating Arctic wildlife safaris.

AdventureSmith Explorations, the small ship cruising experts, invite guests on an increasing number of Arctic cruise options that observe, among other things, a variety of indigenous wildlife. Some, if not all, of the Big Arctic Eight, marine- and land-based creatures are often spotted on these expedition cruises.

“Just to know that these creatures are out there is part of the excitement of venturing north,” says Todd Smith, AdventureSmith’s Founder and President. “These are creatures straight out of children’s fairytales. What’s also amazing is to learn how they’re so physically adapted to their frozen world.”

He notes that demand is up to explore the Arctic among clients who have already cruised Antarctica, as well as travelers new to the polar regions. “The core of what AdventureSmith strives for is delivering the most incredible explorations of the natural world to our clients who are a special group of likeminded explorers. Alongside our observation of more cruise itineraries opening up in the Arctic, we’ve seen more purpose-built expedition ships being built with a focus to educate travelers on how to be ambassadors for the Arctic’s wild places and animals. The trips we offer are designed to be small (under 200 guests) and focused on sustainable exploration.”

The company has created a blog post with tips on spotting some of Earth’s most interesting animals. Here is what AdventureSmith Explorations has named the Big Arctic Eight:

  • Polar Bear, the largest living land carnivore, can measure up to eight feet long and weigh 1,500 pounds. Some 26,000 Polar bears are estimated to be roaming the Arctic and regions of Canada, Alaska, Greenland, Russia and Norway.
  • Walrus live in the Arctic areas of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. These creatures are often viewed lounging in large herds on shorelines or icebergs. Their powerful tusks that sometimes reach three feet are tools to lift their heavy bodies onto the ice.
  • Reindeer (caribou) live on the tundra and in boreal forests and are known to migrate up to 3,000 miles a year. Males grow antlers for sexual attraction and mating standoffs. Females grow antlers to defend their food from other females. Come spring, herds number in the thousands.
  • Arctic Foxes possess incredible hearing that allows them to locate prey under the snow. Their thick, long fur that sustains them at -58 degrees Fahrenheit is an example of camouflage – in winter white or blue-gray, in summer brown-gray.
  • Narwhals are some of Earth’s most unusual creatures. The narwhal tusk is actually a spiral tooth that can grow as long as 10 feet. This is a specialized sensory organ that spots changes in the environment, aiding in locating food and mates.
  • Puffins, the cute white-and-black birds with orange beaks, can fly up to 55 mph. In spring and summer, they return to a land colony that numbers in the thousands to mate (usually with the same partner each year).
  • Beluga Whales, stark white creatures with a unique neck, can turn their heads almost completely sideways to create a right angle. This allows for special maneuverability for swimming backwards and for harvesting food. Their sonar skills echolocate their prey while working together to force fish into favorable situations. Highly vocal, they make a variety of sounds for communication in their social pods which can number up to 100 individuals.
  • Musk Ox are one of the few hooved animals, along with reindeer, that survived the Ice Age. Their long, shaggy hair can grow to two feet long and an undercoat provides insulation that is eight times warmer than sheep’s wool. In winter herds numbering up to 24 forage for roots, moss and lichen, which they harvest with their hooves.

New state-of-the-art polar exploration vessels for fewer than 200 guests now can offer itineraries as compact as seven days. Debuting in the Arctic spring of 2019 is the 174-guest Hondius and in spring 2020 the 176-guest World Explorer and the 126-guest National Geographic Endurance. They cruise in the north for the boreal summer and position south in the autumn for the Antarctic sailing season.

AdventureSmith Explorations offers several itineraries exploring the “classic” destinations of Svalbard, Iceland and Greenland. For 2019, cabin availability can still be found on:

  • Realm of the Polar Bear
  • Around Spitsbergen
  • Intro to Spitsbergen
  • Three Arctic Islands
  • A Circumnavigation of Iceland
  • Classic Polar Bear Adventure

The company also offers trips to lesser-known areas such as the Russian High Arctic: Franz Josef Land, which yield excellent opportunities to view polar bears, marine mammals and seabird rookeries.

For details on all AdventureSmith’s small ship cruises worldwide, day-to-day itineraries, availability and reservations, phone: 866-575-2875 toll-free or visit their company website.

AdventureSmith Explorations, founded in 2003, is a recognized leader in small ship cruising (“Think Outside the Boat!”). In 2012 owner Todd Smith joined the ranks of Condé Nast Traveler‘s prestigious world’s Top Travel Specialists list as the leading expert on small ship expeditions.

 

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PONANT Introduces Themed Luxury Small-Ship Cruises as part of Quintessential Collection

PONANT, a leader in luxury polar expeditions and the only cruise line carrying the French flag, has just introduced its “Quintessential Collection,” a series of themed cruises. Launching May 2019, the sailings include speakers and performances aboard the ship, and excursions ashore that embrace the local culture and theme.

Green and Gentle Lands: Exploring Gardens and Historic Sites, May 14-22, 2019: Guest speaker, Holly Shimizu, retired Executive Director of the United States Botanic Garden and internationally recognized horticulturist for more than four decades will lead discussions onboard while sailing to the British Isles, Belgium, and Norway. Guests will enjoy special access at Kew Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage site home to more than 40,000 plants; Chelsea Physic Garden, London’s oldest botanical garden founded in 1621; and the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh, for a gala luncheon hosted by the grounds’ director.

Sicilian Food and Wine Experience, June 28-July 6, 2019: Embark on a circumnavigation of Sicily joined by guest lecturer, Mary Taylor Simeti, travel and food writer for The New York Times and the Financial Times, who has lived in the region for more than five decades. Meander through the outdoor markets and enjoy the street food of Palmero, famous for its specialties including focaccia; and see ancient Greek Temples from 3600-2500 BC. Guests will enjoy dishes paired with wines carefully chosen by Wine Spectator – all under the guidance of local wine ambassador and educator, Marco Scapagnini.

Treasures of the Mediterranean World: A Family Learning Adventure, July 15-22, 2019: While traveling from Rome to Athens, Kathleen M. Lynch, Professor of Classics at the University of Cincinnati and Greek archaeology/mythology expert; and Jason Weiser, host of “Myths & Legends” podcast will lead discussions designed for all generations about the region’s history, literature and culture. Flexible cabins are available to accommodate families, and activities including photo workshops and a mock Olympics competition on the original grounds are also on offer as part of the Young Explorers children’s program.

History, Art, and Architecture Along the North Sea, August 23-September 1, 2019: The journey is accompanied by Till-Holger Borchert, General Director of the Municipal Museum of Bruges. Copenhagen is the first port of call with a visit to the Louisiana Museum, offering an extensive collection of art dating from World War II to present day; followed by six days on shore exploring exhibits in Holland and Belgium. See the modern and contemporary art of the Groninger Museum; discover the world’s largest collection of works by Vincent van Gogh at his namesake museum, and learn about Michelangelo’s Madonna, a marble sculpture crafted in the early 1500s in Bruges.

A Musical Odyssey in the Mediterranean, September 18-27, 2019: Explore Greece’s landmark sites along the Aegean, Ionian, and Tyrrhenian Seas. Visit Delphi, an archaeological and UNESCO World Heritage Site; and see the third-century Ancient Theater in Taormina aboard the new Le BougainvilleMichael Parloff, former principal flutist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra for more than 30 years will lead a series of private recitals from world-class musicians, including flutist Jasmine Choicellist Nicholas Canellakis, and pianist and composer, Michael Brown.

World War II History – From Hong Kong to Japan’s Inland Sea, September 27-October 10, 2019: Follow in the footsteps of American General Douglas MacArthur, who sailed from China to Japan to accept the Japanese surrender at the conclusion of the war. Walk along Okinawa’s beaches; hike the snow-capped Mount Fuji; and see the “floating” torii gate as part of the Itsukushima Shrine in Hiroshima. James Bradley, expert World War II historian and son of John Bradley, who raised the flag on Iwo Jima, will lead discussions onboard.

World Affairs Cruise – Origins of Greek Civilizations, October 9-18. 2019: Travel into the heart of the ancient Greek world with ports of call in Athens, to roam the ruins of the Acropolis and Parthenon; and Crete, home to the earliest recorded civilization in Europe. The voyage will be accompanied by Fareed Zakaria, CNN host and Washington Post columnist; Michael V. Hayden, retired US Air Force general and former Director of the CIA; and Daniel Mendelsohn, internationally best-selling author and columnist for Harper’s.

PONANT was created in 1988 by Jean Emmanuel Sauvée and a dozen officers of the French Merchant Navy and is a fore-runner of a new style of luxury cruising, combining exceptional itineraries and luxury hotel services aboard luxurious smaller-scale ships. www.ponant.com

 

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

advsmith

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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AdventureSmith Explorations Offers Flash Sale on Luxury Tahiti Yacht Cruise

AdvSmith-Tahitian

TAHOE CITY, CA– Small ship expert AdventureSmith Explorations  is mounting a flash sale on its new eight-day cruise aboard the 24-guest luxury yacht Island Passage through French Polynesia’s Leeward Islands. Select May and June 2016 departures across of the world’s most romantic stretches of water on the new, all-inclusive Tahitian Affair cruise are discounted $1,350 per person when booked by April 29, 2016. This promotion is available on the May 22-29, May 29-June 5, June 5-12, June 26-July 3 departures, subject to availability.

The per person rate, (before the discount) starting at $3,875 for an eight-day cruise, includes on-board accommodation, meals, all non-alcoholic and most alcoholic beverages during the cruise, shore-excursions as per the itinerary, use of kayaks, tenders, snorkel and fishing equipment carried onboard, and an airport ferry transfer.

“Traditionally cruises on these waters are aboard much larger vessels accommodating from 120 guests and up,” said Todd Smith, AdventureSmith Explorations’ founder and president (http://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/). “In stark contrast, the new Tahitian Affair that begins and ends in Bora Bora offers unparalleled intimacy in a relaxing, lagoon-cruising style highly suited to this environment.” See: http://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/tahitian-affair-small-ship-cruise-island-passage-bora-bora-french-polynesia

Island Passage cruises only three to four hours daily on average before laying anchor each evening. This translates to an unhurried pace and ample opportunity for swimming, snorkeling, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding at will from the motus or small reef islands that only a small vessel can access. Guests may also opt to swim with sting rays and sharks, or to embark on a fishing excursion. The Island Passage’s 7.2-meter aluminum fishing boat is equipped with rods, tackle and gear for line (rod/pole) or deep sea angling. The talented chef is always happy to prepare the fish that guests catch.

For additional fees, guests who are scuba-certified can arrange to dive off a dive boat that will pull up alongside Island Passage; and they can sightsee by helicopter as the vessel has a helipad for a six-seat helicopter.

When they can pull themselves out of the turquoise water, guests can tour village life on the islands of Tahaá, Raiatea and Huahine, visit a vanilla plantation, local markets and the Maeva Marae archaeological site. They may also enjoy being the audience for a local choir and learning how to crack coconuts.

While on board they mingle in the generously spaced dining and salon area and on the expansive aft deck. Oversize 175-square-foot staterooms and 195-square-foot and 235-square-foot suites all have ocean views and are appointed with fine linens, French soaps and toiletries, and fresh flowers.

Menus include local seafood and the best New Zealand organic lamb and Santo beef, fresh produce selected from local farmer’s markets and award-winning cheeses, all presented with a strong European flair. The onboard wine cellar brims with award-winning wines and is frequently updated with new releases plus the Island Passage’s revolving collection that is personally selected from the crew’s favorite boutique vineyards.

For information on all of AdventureSmith’s small ship cruises, itineraries, availability and 2016 reservations, Phone: 800-728-2875 toll-free or visit http://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/.

 

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Cruising where Few Have Cruised Before, AdventureSmith Explorations Announces New Small Ship Cruises for 2016

AdventureSmith Exploration's new cruise, Tahitian Affair, sails over eight days round-trip from Bora Bora, also visiting the islands of Tahaá, Raiatea and Huahine.
AdventureSmith Explorations’ new cruise, Tahitian Affair, sails eight days round-trip from Bora Bora, also visiting the islands of Tahaá, Raiatea and Huahine.

Small ship cruise expert AdventureSmith Explorations plans to go where few have cruised before. Itineraries unveiled for 2016 include regions only recently opened for cruising, along with new routes and the introduction of state-of-the-art, newly built vessels.

“Where there’s curiosity and desire to experience some place new and where we’re seeing our established destinations explored in a new way are two of the major themes in our 2016 new trip line-up,” said Todd Smith, AdventureSmith Explorations’ founder and director.

The Top New Cruises for 2016 Include:

Tahiti
The 24-guest Island Passage sails May through October in Tahiti before returning to New Zealand for the austral summer. The new cruise, Tahitian Affair, sails over eight days round-trip from Bora Bora, also visiting the islands of Tahaá, Raiatea and Huahine. This is an active cruise with kayaking, fishing, swimming, snorkeling and stand-up paddleboarding spliced in with visits to a vanilla plantation, local markets and the Maeva Marae archaeological site. Time will also be spent listening to a local choir and learning how to crack coconuts.

Cuba
The US embargo against Cuba, in place since 1960, once prevented ordinary Americans from traveling to Cuba, but now with a special visa under the provision of a “people-to-people exchange,” US citizens can visit on properly licensed tours. The new Cuba People to People Cruise aboard the 49-guest Panorama sail cruiser focuses on bringing travelers into contact with Cuban people, culture and their communities. Departures start in late December and run through April 2016 for the cruise’s inaugural season. Panorama and Panorama II, with their white sails and masts, provide a romantic yet modern home base.

Peru
According to AdventureSmith, the Amazon River and its tributaries represent a hot destination with travelers right now, with high- and low-water seasons providing a varied travel experience year-round. One new itinerary and vessel recently introduced is the newly built 44-guest Amazon Discovery, an all-suite riverboat that sails round-trip from Iquitos and includes a visit to a private reserve on Monkey Island, home to seven different species. The Amazon Discovery Cruise offers seven-day departures year-round, with the inaugural voyage sailing in December 2015.

Croatia
The Dalmatian Coast Cruise utilizes, among other sister ships, a 2015-built vessel, the 38-guest Infinity, on explorations of the Adriatic Sea coastline between Split and Dubrovnik over eight days. These port towns are featured in the popular Game of Thrones HBO series. The show’s fictional city of King’s Landing is filmed in Dubrovnik, with Split also appearing in scenes. Sailings start at $1,425 per person and start in May 2016.

Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
The 90-guest Santa Cruz II made its maiden voyage last October and is the star in AdventureSmith’s Santa Cruz Galapagos Cruise, the top pick for what’s new and exciting in the Galapagos for 2016. The completely refurbished vessel has been refitted for the Galapagos Islands’ style of cruising, and it represents a 58 percent increase in passenger space and a 31 percent reduction in fuel consumption over its predecessor. See: 6 New Ways to Cruise the Galapagos

New Zealand
Voted by Lonely Planet as its fifth top region to travel to in 2016, New Zealand’s Waiheke Island is making many travelers’ lists for 2016. The Bay of Islands Explorer cruise aboard the 24-guest Island Passage visits this 36-square-mile island just north of Auckland before sailing farther north to the Bay of Islands region. Highlights of the eight-day itinerary include wine tasting on Waiheke, dolphin watching, dining on the region’s famed green-lipped mussels, a scenic helicopter ride in the Bay of Islands and visiting the wild and enchanting Great Barrier Island, home to the beautiful Fitzroy Harbour.

Costa Rica
A new ship and itinerary to Costa Rica, Uncharted Isthmus: Sloths, Monkeys & Mangroves aboard the 64-guest Safari Voyager, is an eight-day cruise offering guests twice-daily options by skiff, hike, stand-up paddleboard, snorkel and kayak. Itinerary highlights include transiting the 48-mile-long Panama Canal connecting the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean, visiting Costa Rica’s largest park, Corcovado National Park, and snorkeling the crystalline waters at Panama’s Granito de Oro.

Alaska
New to the company’s wilderness cruise program is the Alaska’s Islands, Whales & Glaciers itinerary, featuring eight days between Sitka and Juneau aboard the intimate 10-guest yacht Misty Fjord. Native culture and off-the-beaten path explorations along with sea kayaking, hiking and zodiac adventures engage guests in the pleasures of exploring Southeast Alaska. A hover flight at Taku Glacier offers a ride on an amphibious vehicle designed to travel over ice, water, sandbars and grasslands.

For information on all of AdventureSmith’s small ship cruises, itineraries, availability and 2016 reservations, call 800-728-2875 toll-free or visit www.adventuresmithexplorations.com.

 

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