Friday 7 September 2012

Small-Ship Cruising with AdventureSmith Explorations

Allows Travelers to Visit Off-the-Radar Villages From Alaska to New Guinea

The active travel company securing matches between adventure-seeking clients and a treasure trove of small expedition ships, AdventureSmith Explorations, allows guests to experience indigenous cultures with off-ship visits to remote villages from Alaska to New Guinea.

“Our small ships designed for as few as eight passengers can navigate channels and harbors that larger vessels can’t. This means that we can offer authentic cultural exchanges in villages and markets where few outsiders ever visit,” said Todd Smith, founder.

For example, an exploration of the lost paradise of Papua, New Guinea, is reminiscent of James A. Michener’s Adventures in Paradise. Diversity (think 800 languages) abounds during a welcome ceremony that greets travelers landing in the Tami Islands with traditional Trobriand dances and drumming.  Explore the village for intricate carvings and craftwork including carved walking sticks, small stools and exquisitely crafted bowls.  With no roads, phones, electricity or luxuries the open and happy outlook of the villagers is inspiring. A dragon dance welcomes guests at Watam Village along the Sepik River where woven baskets and exceptional Sepik artifacts and unique carvings are among the take-home treasures. A 12-day cruise on the 100-passenger Orion is from $8,095 per person, double.  See:

Cruising Alaska’s Inside Passage, guests visit in addition to Glacier Bay National Park, the village of Kasaan with a population of just 65. It is a main historical community of the Kaigani Haida and home to the only remaining Haida clan house in Alaska. Here in a newly erected carving hut young carvers practice their skills alongside a whale house and totem park. If this journey on the 42-passenger Alaska Dream is booked for a 2013 sailing by Oct. 31, 2012, clients will save 20 percent per person. A 9-day journey starts at $3,749 per person, double. See:

Panama’s Embera Indians are a proud people who have maintained both lifestyle and traditions as they were before the Spaniards colonized the region 600 years ago. They are master crafters of cocobolo wood carvings and basketry. After motoring up river, guests see their village emerging, as if by magic, from the jungle. They witness how sugar cane is squeezed and grains are milled by hand, perhaps purchasing weavings and baskets. A seven-day catamaran cruise on the 24-person Discovery is from $3,450 per person, double. Guests who pay in full 180 days before sailing receive an early booking discount of $250 per person. See:

The people of Peru’s Amazon rainforest where they have lived for thousands of years depend on an intimate relationship with the natural environment for survival. From the moment the cruise begins guests see people living along the river: a dugout canoe full of piranha, a gathering of huts on a high riverbank and boats full of goods to sell and trade along the waterways. Interaction with villagers who live within the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve helps them to develop and promote a balance between their needs and those of the wildlife with which they share habitat and ecosystems. In Puerto Miguel villagers bring their handicrafts aboard the ship for sale and barter. Cruises of four or five days are from $3,200 per person double aboard the four-suite Delfin I. See:

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