Quirky Cruise
May 23, 2018

Small Ship Cruise Line Review: AdventureSmith Explorations (Tour Operator)

AdventureSmith Explorations

Founded in January 2003 by Todd Smith, AdventureSmith Explorations is a leader in small-ship expedition cruises. Smith began his travel career in Alaska and then put together a staff of experts who had experience in the field to produce a delicious menu of adventure-style trips on small ships. The portfolio is comprised of more than 60 small expedition ships from 30+ companies with capacities from as low as 8 to a maximum of 200. Special attention is now being given to sophisticated expedition ships for the polar regions.

AdventureSmith doesn’t own the ships, rather the firm arranges cruises for individual travelers and small groups on ships from lines, to name a few, like Coral Expeditions, Delfin Amazon Cruises, Lindblad Expeditions, Oceanwide Expeditions, Sea Cloud Cruises and UnCruise. Sometimes AdventureSmith will charter an entire ship for family celebrations or specific interest groups.

AdventureSmith Explorations (Tour Operator)

AdventureSmith Explorations

North America
AdevntureSmith Explorations (Tour Operator)

Kayaking in Alaska – AdventureSmith Explorations

  • Alaska: No less than 24 cruises and cruise tours are offered ranging from 5 days into the teens with the longer trips visiting inland national parks. The fleet includes yachts taking just 12 passengers up to small cruise ships approaching 100.
  • British Columbia: The province’s section of the Inside Passage includes cruises of 8 days and on up to 15, the latter if making the complete route between Seattle and the Alaskan Panhandle. Some cruises overlap with the next section.
  • Pacific Northwest: Programs last from 7 to 15 days to take in the Columbia and Snake rivers, Puget Sound, and the Juan Islands either separately or in combination.
  • Baja California: The long Mexican peninsula and the Sea of Cortes use vessels as small as taking just 8 passengers and on up to 100 on itineraries spanning 7 to 16 days.
  • Hawaii: 8-day cruises amongst the Hawaiian Islands use a 36-passenger yacht providing lots of outdoor activities.


Central America
AdventureSmith Explorations (Tour Operator)

AdventureSmith Explorations – Paddle boarding off Costa Rica

  • Costa Rica, Panama, Belize, and Guatemala: Most cruises in this region last 8 or 9 days and may include individual countries or a combination of Costa Rica and Panama, Guatemala and Belize. Add-on land packages can round out a two-week or slightly longer itinerary.


South America
AdventureSmith Explorations (Tour Operator

Petrel in the Galapagos. * Photo: Audrey Vaughan for AdventureSmith Explorations

  • Galapagos: Choose from 21 different itineraries lasting 4 to 10 days on yachts and cruise ships taking from 12 to 100 passengers, with many choices in the 12- to 20-passenger range.
  • Amazon: Eight different cruise itineraries on riverboats take just 8 to 43 passengers and last 4 to 10 days on the Amazon River in Peru, Ecuador and Brazil. With the last-named, river cruises include the Rio Negro that empties into the Amazon at Manaus. Jungle lodges and other land extensions such as to Machu Picchu, Cusco and Quito can be added.
  • Chile: A four-day cruise of the Chilean Fjords then dovetails into hikes in Patagonia with a visit to Torres de Paine, one of the most captivating mountain, meadow, and valley landscapes in the world. Perhaps add the Atacama Desert, the driest land on earth, located in the extreme north of Chile.


AdventureSmith Explorations (Tour Operator

Aboriginal cave paintings on the Kimberley Coast – Australia * Photo: Ted Scull

  • Australia: 4-, 10-, and 12-day cruises explore the underwater wonders of the Great Barrier, the top of Australia’s Cape York and Arnhem Land, and the genuinely-remote Kimberley Coast in the Northern Territory and Western Australia.
  • New Zealand: South Island’s Fiordland draws nature and dramatic scenery buffs and birders for one-week cruises to see stunning beauty.
  • Indonesia: The culturally rich and scenic islands of Bali, Komodo, Flores, amongst others, are offered in an 8-day program on two wee 14- and 24-passenger ships.


Polar Regions

Over the next three winter seasons, the following expedition ships will hold down the cruises to Antarctica, the Falklands, and South Georgia and to the Northern Hemisphere polar regions: Hondius (174 p) beginning spring 2019; Magellan Explorer (69 p); National Geographic Endurance (126 p) beginning spring 2020, and World Explorer, beginning 2020 (176 passengers).

AdventureSmith Explorations (Tour Operator)

Breaking through the ice in Antarctica – AdventureSmith Explorations

  • Antarctica: Programs explore the coldest, iciest, driest and windiest places on earth, plus the Falklands and South Georgia on a generously diverse program of 22 expeditions, using a wide variety of different vessels and lasting from the shortest at 8 days to the longest at 24.
  • Arctic: Cruises number 17, lasting from 6 to 17 days and cover Iceland, Norway, Spitsbergen, Greenland and the North Pole using a wide variety of ships and owners. New ships for the Arctic spring 2019 will be Hondius (b. 2019, 174p) with Ice Class PC6. The Arctic 8 ( 7 animals and 1 bird) are polar bear, walrus, reindeer (caribou), Arctic foxes, musk ox, narwhals, beluga whales, and puffins.


AdventureSmith Explorations (Tour Operator)

Croatia small-ship cruising. * Photo: Andrew Browning for AdventureSmith Explorations

Mediterranean: 10 programs use small yachts, nimble cruise ships and the historic sailing vessel Sea Cloud. Mostly 8-day Itineraries (a couple slightly longer) are mainly centered on the Greek islands and mainland, the Adriatic’s Dalmatian Coast and Croatia ports, and ports in Spain and Portugal.


Special Note

When you research the itineraries that interest you, you will see that the name of the ship in question will be listed with many helpful facts, but usually the cruise line isn’t mentioned. If you want to know who owns and/or operates the vessel, search the ship’s name in’s search bar and the answer will be yours. If isn’t covering that ship/line (yet!), then google the ship’s name to find out the owner.


Along the Same Lines

This worldwide firm uses such a wide variety of expedition lines that there are plenty of overlapping choices.

AdventureSmith Explorations (Tour Operator)

Sea Wolf cruises the Alaska Panhandle



AdventureSmith Explorations; 40169 Truckee Airport Road, Suite 201, Truckee, CA 96161; 1-877-620-2875, Local and international: 530-583-1775.


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Posted In:

Coastal Ship & Line Reviews, Expedition Ship & Line Reviews, Rivers Ship & Line Reviews, Sailing Ship & Line Reviews

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