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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Delfin Amazon Cruises

Introducing a boutique Amazon cruise line that operates small to moderate size, high-end Amazon riverboats based in Peru. They sail from one of two Peruvian ports and into a vast national reserve that is best reached and toured by boat, additionally with sections also seen on foot in the dry season.

Delfin Amazon Cruises

Delfin II. * Photo: Delfin Amazon Cruises

Delfin Amazon Cruises began operating in 2006 and expanded from one to three riverboats under the guidance of a husband and wife team with a background in international banking (him) and art, interior design and international travel (her).

Ship, Year Delivered & Passengers

DELFIN I (refurbished 2010, 12 passengers); DELFIN II (built 2009, 30p); DELFIN III (b. 2015 as Amazon Discovery, refitted, upgraded & renamed in 2017, 43p)

Delfin Amazon Cruises

Delfin I. * Photo: DELFIN Amazon Cruises

Passenger Decks

DELFIN I, II & III (three decks, no elevator)

Passenger Profile

Couples and families during school holidays. Languages: English and Spanish. It pays to be reasonably active to get in and out of skiffs, kayaks and to take hikes. Children accepted from age 7.


$$ TO $$$ — DELFIN I is the most expensive while DELFIN II & DELFIN III have the same rates for two categories, and DELFIN III has two categories with lower rates. Singles pay a 50% supplement. Ages 7-11 receive a 20% discount.

Delfin Amazon Cruises

Delfin II. * Photo: Observation Lounge, Delfin Amazon Cruises


Cruises are 3 or 4 nights for all vessels. Most cruises leave from Nauta, a port about 1.5 hours from Iquitos airport, giving good access to the Pacaya Samira National Reserve. Some departures leave from Iquitos. See Activities for the daily details.

Delfin Amazon Cruises

The 3 & 4 night cruises sail on the Amazon between Iquitos and Nauta, in northeastern Peru. * Photo: Delfin Amazon Cruises

Included Features

Excursions, panchos and rubber boots, coffee, tea, water, beer on all boats; aboard DELFIN I,  most alcoholic drinks and wine with meals. Transfers between Iquitos and the riverboat landing for those who take the designated domestic flights. Recommended gratuities $120 pp.

Why Go?

The Amazon Basin in Peru is home to a very wide variety of animals, birds, and fish and complex rainforest vegetation and dramatic scenery. Most of the river expedition time is spent in the vast Pacaya Samira National Reserve with various means of seeing the wildlife in skiffs and kayaks and on foot. Cultural history is also worked into the program.

Amazon in Peru

Bora Village along Amazon in Peru. * Photo: Ted Scull

When to Go?

Wet and dry seasons are much less pronounced in total rainfall figures than one would expect, given the river level’s enormous 23-foot rise and fall, making certain means of travel easier, harder or impossible depending on the conditions. The annual rainfall is 12 feet! November to May is the so-called flooded season with daytime high temperatures averaging 86F. June to October is the drier season with daytime highs averaging 98F. High water levels allow for more rainforest penetration using narrow creeks that would otherwise be inaccessible in the dry season. The latter allows for more terra firma walks and hikes, and fishing for piranhas will be much more likely to produce a catch.

Delfin Amazon Cruises

Fishing along the Amazon, Peru. * Photo: Delfin Amazon Cruises


DELFIN I – 4 suites with 2 having a whirlpool, an extra berth, floor-to-ceiling openings to the outside. Wooden floor and decking. DELFIN II – 14 suites with 4 that interconnect for families. DELFIN III – 8 suites, 2 corner suites, 10 upper suites, owner’s suite.

Delfin Amazon Cruises

Delfin  III Suite. * Photo: Delfin River Cruises.


Delfin Amazon Cruises

Delfin I Deluxe Suite, WOW. * Photo: Delfin Amazon Cruises

Public Rooms

DELFIN I – Top deck enclosed lounge and an adjacent outdoor open bar and lounge, DVDs, Xbox (video games), rainforest reading materials. DELFIN II – Lounge that turns into a presentation room, media equipment, game tables, reading materials; open-air covered observation lounge, exercise room and spa.
DELFIN III – Top deck enclosed lounge and open lounge and bar, plunge pool, gym and spa. All three riverboats are decorated with Peruvian artwork and furnishings, and some items are available for purchase.


Food is a treat combining foreign imports with Amazonian fruits, vegetables and freshwater fish. Seating is open and mealtimes are set. The days often start early as it is cooler and the wildlife is stirring.

Delfin Amazon Cruises

Delfin I, dining area. * Photo: Delfin Amazon Cruises

Activities & Entertainment

Excursions will take place in 8-person skiffs, each with a naturalist guide aboard to follow Amazon tributaries and small creeks, and perhaps into a lagoon. Serious fishing is another popular activity with the catch including Amazon catfish, peacock bass and arapaima, and if successful, then released. Two-person kayaks (DELFIN I & DELFIN II), paddle boarding (DELFIN I only), and swimming with gentle pink river dolphins are additional water activities. Hiking is another way to see frogs, snakes, and birds, and if rain is forecast, rubber boots and ponchos are provided.

Occasionally night safaris on foot are offered to spot frogs, bats and black caiman. For those who can deal with heights and mild vertigo, a 1,580 foot (500 meter) wooden walkway can take you along at a level of 85 feet above ground to commune with what lives in the trees and even atop trees. Near Iquitos, a rescue and rehabilitation center takes care of endangered river otters, baby manatees and monkeys, some of whom were not well treated as pets.

On board after dark, the night stars are especially brilliant on the Peruvian Amazon.

Capybara, Peru's largest rodent. Amazon

Capybara, Peru’s largest rodent. *Photo: Ted Scull

Special Notes

While according to the line, malaria and yellow fever are not present, check with your country’s requirements if traveling to Peru’s Amazonia.

Along the Same Lines

There are many Amazon river operators and lots of price ranges, and this one is up there.

Delfin Amazon Cruises

Canopy Walk. * Photo: Delfin Amazon Cruises


Delfin Amazon Cruises, Av. Abelardo Quinones, KM5, San Juan Bautista, Iquitos, Peru; 1-844-4 DELFIN,


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© This article is protected by copyright, no part may be reproduced by any process without written permission from the author. All Rights Reserved.