Cruises to warm-weather destinations are especially popular over the year-end holidays. Small ship cruise expert AdventureSmith Explorations, the company that brings cruise guests into intimate contact with seldom-visited shorelines around the world, reports that cabin space, some with special booking offers, is still available over this period. And several of this company’s holiday-flagged destinations are near mainland America, cutting down on flying time and jet lag.
Baja and the Sea of Cortez, for example, are easy to access and are family friendly with a range of itineraries on small 8-to-84-guest ships, some with early booking special offers including savings on air. Baja cruises in late December and early January are marked by the beginning of peak gray whale viewing season and spectacular snorkeling with sea lions. Excellent holiday availability exists on a range of cruise options:
- Baja's Bounty is an eight-day itinerary aboard the 84-guest Safari Endeavour with rates from $2,995 per person double which does not include a $300 savings per couple if booked before Oct. 28, 2016. Baja, a rich archipelago, is an important bird refuge and migration corridor. It is a place author John Steinbeck found “ferocious with life” and it was once described by Jacques Cousteau as “the aquarium of the world.” As a UNESCO World Heritage Site and biosphere reserve, it is one of the most biologically diverse marine environments on earth. Holiday departures: Dec. 17, 24, and 31.
- Wild Islands & Treasures of Baja California aboard the 62-guest National Geographic Sea Bird offers a $750 per person air credit and invites families with children to take 50 percent off the cabin rate for every child under age 18. The per person double rate is from $5,990 for eight days. Guests experience coming ashore on expedition landing craft; they kayak, snorkel, hike and beachcomb, always with an eye out for humpback whales, brown pelicans, gulls, wandering tattlers, great blue herons, and blue-footed boobies that thrive in this protected marine environment, some of which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Holiday departures: Dec. 17, 24, and 31.
- Westward Voyages in the Sea of Cortez aboard the historic and intimate eight-guest yacht, Westward, is a 12-day journey from $5,750 per person double. Guests snorkel with whale sharks, view cave paintings of ancient people and say hello to sea lions and whales while passing by. Holiday departures: Dec. 16 and 29.
Galapagos Islands accommodate sailings year-round, but December’s great weather and green landscapes make it an especially popular time of year. Giant tortoise eggs start to hatch and green sea turtles begin egg laying in January. Water temperatures are on the rise, so it's also an ideal time for snorkeling. Availability is already limited on most of the holiday programs to Darwin’s magical archipelago except for Tip Top II and on a land-based Galapagos Island Hopper. The 16-guest, first-class Galapagos Islands yacht Tip Top II operates two unique eight-day Galapagos cruise itineraries which can be shortened into four- or five-day cruises or combined into more comprehensive 11- or 15-day cruises. For example, a four-day program is from $1,843 per person double. Galapagos Island Hopper is a five- to six-day, land-based program from $2,099 per person double. Guests discover miracles abounding on the top two Galapagos volcanic islands: Santa Cruz and Isabela, and their splendid places where the wildlife is unafraid of human visitors. Guests also explore by boat other islands during the day and return to their three distinct lodges by night.
Costa Rica is friendly, tropical and easy to access, plus it’s a great holiday destination, one famed for being family friendly. Verdant rain and cloud forests offer an astounding diversity of tropical birds and wildlife, active volcanoes, waterfalls and beautiful beaches. Plus, the new Uncharted Isthmus cruise brings a whole new level of activity (with the addition of stand-up paddle boarding as well as hiking and kayaking). Here's a look at holiday dates with current availability on these departures:
- Uncharted Isthmus! Sloths, Monkeys & Mangroves – Dec. 17 ($350 savings available), Dec. 23, Dec. 30.
- Costa Rica & the Panama Canal – Dec. 17, Dec. 24, Dec. 31.
- Treasures of Costa Rica & the Panama Canal – Dec. 21 and Dec. 30.
- Quest for Pura Vida – Dec. 20.
Hawaii cruisesaboard the all-inclusive 36-guest Safari Explorer pair the tropical allure of the islands with active inclusions like stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, hiking and snorkeling. These are the only unstructured inter-island yacht cruises in the Hawaiian Islands, where the next port may not be a port at all. Instead it may be watching whales, or a secluded sandy beach or a quite cove for exploring surroundings on the shore or in the water. An eight day Hawaiian Seascapes cruise is from $3,795 per person double. Holiday departures: Dec. 17, 24, and 31.
For more information on cruising over the holidays in these and other international destinations please see http://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/holiday-travel-2016-small-ship-cruises-christmas-new-years.
For information on all of AdventureSmith’s small ship cruises, itineraries, availability and 2016-2017 reservations, Phone: 800-728-2875 toll-free or visit http://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/.
About AdventureSmith Explorations - Think Outside the Boat!
Founded in 2003, AdventureSmith Explorations is based in Tahoe City, CA, along the northern shore of Lake Tahoe. A recognized leader in small ship cruising, owner Todd Smith is a member of Conde Nast Traveler's prestigious Travel Specialists List as the world’s expert on small ship expeditions.