Wednesday 9 February 2011

Demand High for Alaska Cruises

He Who Hesitates May Not Make Cut for Alaska Small Ship Cruise This Season;
Increased Demand, Diminished Inventory Cited as Factors

Considering an Alaska cruise vacation this year? Then best be an early bird, advises small ship cruise expert AdventureSmith Explorations, the active travel company that secures matches between adventure-seeking clients and a treasure trove of expedition ships.

Todd Smith, founder and president, said a number of forces converging on this year's Alaska cruise season mandate booking early. Travel is rebounding and with the State of Alaska doing more marketing, demand is up. Alaska sales are up over 30 percent from last year for Smith's company alone that is poised to see its biggest-ever Alaska year. Plus Cruise West that once controlled 30 percent of the Alaska cruise inventory is no longer in business.

"Because of more demand at a time of less inventory, we're suggesting that people make their travel commitments earlier than usual in order to assure themselves space on a small expedition ship of their choice," Smith said.

He suggested that folks looking for a Cruise West alternative consider Exploring Alaska's Coastal Wilderness aboard the National Geographic Sea Bird or Sea Lion. The industry's top on-board naturalists and expedition leaders have been slated for this program.

Another option is the Alaska Island Spirit Cruise aboard the Island Spirit, offering exceptional value and a combination of nature, wilderness and authentic port stops.

New to the scene are two redesigned vessels being introduced this season that are expected to fill up quickly because they offer a high level of land-based adventure activity, said Smith. These are InnerSea Discoveries' Eastern Coves Adventure Cruise and Western Coves Adventure Cruise aboard either the 156-foot, 49 passenger Wilderness Adventurer or the 169-foot, 49 passenger MV Wilderness Discoverer.

For the first time in the history of Alaska cruising, guests aboard these two state-of-the-art ships will be able to pick and choose from such traditional activities as in-depth wilderness explorations by Zodiac, kayak or naturalist guided walks, to new, ground-breaking optional activities such as overnight wilderness kayaking, hiking and camping, expert fishing charters from the ship (local guides/boats rendezvous with the vessel to take clients fishing for the day) and flight-seeing. There will be some new activities included in the programming as well such as paddle boarding, caving and snorkeling.

Smith said that as many of the bigger expedition vessels are beginning to fill up, more travelers are considering AdventureSmith Explorations' selection of adventure yachts.

"From luxury to floating base camps we have an active Alaskan yacht cruise for every ability and budget," he said. For example, Smith points out:

Glacier Bay Adventure Cruise;

Alaskan Safari Yacht Cruises;

Active Inside Passage, and

Active Prince William Sound Discovery Cruise

About Adventure Smith Explorations

AdventureSmith Explorations is the global leader in small ship, adventure cruise vacations. Company founder Todd Smith helped pioneer the concept of wilderness cruising that combines the comforts of a small cruise ship with the adventure of sea kayaking, hiking and exploring remote wilderness areas ashore. The company matches guests with the top names in small ship cruising as well with intimate, boutique ships that may not make the radar of most travelers.

In moving through exotic natural environments and exploring vibrant native cultures seldom associated with more mainstream cruise itineraries, AdventureSmith Explorations dedicates its efforts to small footprint, sustainable travel and has launched a carbon free cruising initiative. Its off-the-beaten-path destinations include Alaska, Baja, Costa Rica, Belize, Ecuador and the Galapagos, Hawaii, Peru, the Arctic, Antarctica, and Australia.

The company's mission is to give back to the individuals, communities and environments touched by AdventureSmith Explorations trips by connecting travelers with a network of grassroots and global nonprofit partners worldwide including the Alaska Natural History Association, Neotropica Foundation and Galapagos Conservancy. The company was named by National Geographic Adventure as one of "The Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth" and is the recipient of Conde Nast Traveler's prestigious "World Savers Award."

Founded in 2003, AdventureSmith Explorations is based in Tahoe City, California along the western shore of Lake Tahoe.  Phone: 800-728-2875 toll-free or 530-583-1775. Email: or visit:

Media Alert

2 For the Price of 1 Antarctica Cruise Special! Book the 11 day small ship voyage to the Antarctic Peninsula aboard the M/V Plancius for the February 22-March 4, 2011 departure and receive two for the price of one. This means every second person travels for free. This offer pertains to any superior, twin or quadruple class cabin. Space is limited, contact AdventureSmith Explorations' Antarctic experts now. Trip details:

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