Cruising by small ship is trending up as travelers shy away from mega ships. To meet increasing demand, AdventureSmith Explorations, the international small ship cruise experts, lays out their most exciting new itineraries and destinations for 2019.
On small expedition cruise ships (41 to 200 guests) and on adventure yachts (8 to 40 guests), enjoying ports of call and shore excursions comes with several benefits. First, nearly all on- and off-board activities are included in the per person rate. Second, getting a few people on and off a ship is an efficient process when compared to moving upwards of 5,000 guests on and off a mega ship. Third, smaller vessels can access shallower waters and avoid over-crowded landings and hot-spot tourist throngs.
Here are a few expedition cruises and small ships brand-new in 2019 to AdventureSmith Explorations.
Across the Bering Sea — The 102-guest National Geographic Orion makes its maiden voyage on the Bering Sea in June 2019. Three distinct voyages connect the Russian Arctic and Alaska by way of the Bering Sea, with visits to the Aleutian Islands, the remote Siberian coastline, Kamchatka Peninsula, Commander Islands and Bering Strait. Passing the Arctic Circle enroute to Wrangel Island guests will be on the lookout for polar bear and walrus. They will also meet indigenous artists known for walrus ivory carvings. These polar expeditions are staffed with trained naturalists and historians from National Geographic. The per person double rate, per day for 13 days ranges from $1,248 to $2,272.
Frontier Lands of New Guinea — This series of departures aboard the brand-new, 120-guest Coral Adventurer travels between Cairns and Darwin, Australia, starting in May 2019. Travelers can opt for a departure of 11 days or select the most comprehensive 26-day route, which cruises along the northeast coast of Papua New Guinea and through the Indonesian islands of Raja Ampat and the Spice Islands. Guests visit small villages with intact cultural traditions and unique natural wonders such as a diversity of corals, and they enjoy complimentary snorkeling, kayaking and exploring via glass-bottom boat. Scuba diving comes with an additional charge. The per person double rate, per day for an 11-day journey ranges from $641 to $857.
The Coral Adventurer also sets sail on two new Indonesia-focused itineraries for 2019: the 15-day Islands of Indonesia and the 13-day Spice Islands & Raja Ampat. Coral Adventurer’s new routes combined with AdventureSmith Explorations’ other small ship options in Indonesia allow the award-winning travel company to offer set cruise departures in this varied country every month of the year. The cutting-edge Australian-flagged expedition ship is set to be among a new generation of advanced vessels purpose-built for small ship cruising launching in 2019. She offers private balconies for over half of the cabins (including two 600-square-feet suites) and efficient ship-to-shore operations with six Zodiacs and two Xplorer tenders, making twice-daily off-ship exploration easier than ever.
New Zealand by Sea: East Coast Expedition is an 11- or 13-day voyage aboard the 72-guest Coral Discoverer exploring New Zealand’s eastern coastline, accessing remote sounds, volcanic islands and marine reserves, including Stewart and White Islands. The longer itinerary out of Auckland offers a comprehensive trip to both the North and South islands, while the shorter route departing Milford Sound focuses on the South Island. Guests will encounter the Maori culture and learn about New Zealand’s history and landscape. They will also be positioned to see rare and unique wildlife, including giant sperm whales in Kaikoura, the Hector’s Dolphin (smallest and rarest in the world) in Akaroa and the yellow-eyed penguin (world’s rarest penguin) in Dunedin. The per person double rate, per day for a 13-day cruise ranges from $587 to $836.
Theory Galapagos Cruises — The much-anticipated 20-guest Theory yacht launches in March, joining sister ship, Origin, which first set sail in 2016 and has since received designation into the prestigious Relais & Châteaux organization. Theory will sail two distinct 8-day itineraries. Her two routes simplify the process for travelers seeking a comprehensive Galapagos itinerary with each 8-day itinerary designed to experience the most diversity of species and landscapes. The per person double rate, per day for eight days ranges from $955 to $1,716.
Ancient Isles: England, Ireland & Scotland — National Geographic Explorer’s newly redesigned exploration of England, Ireland and Scotland begins anew May 7, 2019, and continues into 2020. From London and on to the Irish Sea, guests visit numerous islands enroute to Bergen, Norway, with opportunities to meander through English gardens, imbibe Irish maritime history and perhaps a stout or two, and visit sacred islands, ancient abbeys and UNESCO World Heritage sites in Scotland. On board the 148-guest ship will be National Geographic guides, historians and photographers. The per person double rate, per day for 15 days ranges from $992 to $1,812.
In the same region is Scotland’s Highlands & Islands on the 48-guest Lord of the Glens, the only vessel offering elegant style that can navigate both the locks of the central Caledonia Canal (connecting the North Sea to the Atlantic through the Scottish highlands) and the islands of the Inner Hebrides. Several 2019 departures June through August allow passengers an unforgettable experience with accommodations in 26 outside cabins. The per person double rate, per day for 9 days ranges from $888 to $1,517.
Click here to see a complete rundown of all that’s new for 2019 from AdventureSmith Explorations.
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.