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Experts Share Tips on How to Find The Best Small Ship Cruise Cabin Fit For the Family

Story by AdventureSmith Explorations

Posted: July 25, 2017

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“Great idea,” says Todd Smith, Founder/Owner of AdventureSmith Explorations, the small ship cruise experts. “But do consider which departures (family friendly preferred) and which cabins will provide the most comfort and space for your family, as not all cabins are created equal.”

His team of small ship cruise experts looks for the following when it comes to putting families comfortably into cabins:

  • Interconnected cabins (cabins with adjoining interior doors)
  • In-suite amenities such as fridges
  • Cabins that open into an interior hallway rather than onto an outside deck

Here are Smith’s suggestions for cabins and suites on specific small ships that work well for families.

Alaska: The 74-guest Chichagof Dream offers a unique quadruple configuration in her Deluxe Suite. This spacious suite is 218 square feet with a queen bed with separate seating area with two chairs that can be replaced with one twin bed or one twin bunk bed. Several other cabin categories can accommodate triple occupancy. Guests young and old enjoy using high-powered, lightweight binoculars for spotting wildlife on the ship’s Glacier Bay and Island Adventure Cruise which offers family departures on an eight-day route through an authentic Alaska experienced through the lens of local Alaskans.

“We recommend this cruise for families of all ages, but especially those with younger children interested in a mix of wilderness, native culture, port visits and soft adventure activities,” says Smith, noting that ages 15 and under receive 30 percent off the double occupancy rate.

Also fit for families sailing in Alaska is the new 100-guest National Geographic Quest, specifically the ship’s Category 5 cabins located on the uppermost Observation Deck between the Bridge and Sun Deck, with large view windows to take it all in. Triple configuration is available in these cabins via a convertible sofa bed, in addition to the twin beds that can convert into a queen. This ship also features 22 cabins with private step-out balconies plus six sets of convenient adjoining cabins in a variety of categories. This purpose-built expedition vessel, USA-made in Washington by Nichols Brothers, extends such thoughtfulness into every inch of its design, which translates into a seamless experience for families thanks to added features like a mudroom for expedition gear, tiered bow-viewing platforms (a bonus for shorter sailors when whale watching!), premium glass windows for clearer views and a Sun Deck bar for taller sailors who need a sunset sip. Among its itineraries is Exploring Alaska’s Coastal Wilderness, an eight-day journey

Galapagos: The 90-passenger Santa Cruz II has two 325-square-foot Darwin Suites, each with two large picture windows and a sitting area with couch. The suite can be interconnected with a neighboring Explorer Double Cabin to increase space by 163 square feet, perfect for a family of four. Darwin Suites come with elevated service and carefully refined extras such as a take-home Galápagos coffee table book, a tablet loan during the cruise, complimentary drinks and VIP lounge access at the Galápagos Islands airport. Thirty-six of its 50 cabins can be interconnected on Santa Cruz Galapagos (five-and six-day) Cruises. Do I have to have a job to get a loan? Learn it here

Also, the new luxury 20-guest Galapagos vessel Origin offers 10 double staterooms all measuring 140 square feet, with large panoramic view windows, satellite TV/DVD, iPod docking station and private baths and twin or king beds. Two cabins can accommodate triples, and two can be interconnected. Origin Galapagos Cruises span eight days.

In Central America, the 62-passenger Safari Voyager’s Owner’s Suite offers 250 square feet on the bow, highlighted by a panorama of bow-facing view windows. Guests may choose a king bed or twin beds and enjoy a private bath with a shower and Jacuzzi tub, a separate living room/sitting area with a pull-out sofa bed to accommodate a third person, two entertainment centers (one for each room) as well as a wet bar and mini refrigerator, ideal for families.

“There are numerous other cabins our experts recommend,” adds Smith, citing suites aboard the Hebridean Sky in Antarctica, interconnecting cabins aboard the Aqua Mekong on the Mekong River, and various other options on small ships around the world. “I also recommend families with younger children under 6 years or multigenerational families consider a yacht charter. A private ship charter offers your family exclusivity, flexibility and savings. Smaller charter yachts in Alaska include the 12-guest Sea Wolf or 8-guest Sikumi. A family charter cruise will offer a more intimate experience and additional flexibility to craft the meals, itinerary and activities to suit your family’s interest and abilities.”

For more details, please see


Family Cruises page on the AdventureSmith Explorations website.

For information on all of AdventureSmith’s small ship cruises worldwide, itineraries, availability, and reservations, Phone: 800-728-2875 toll-free or visit

AdventureSmith Explorations’ small cruise ships ply the world’s oceans and waterways from Tahiti to Alaska. In any given season and countless destinations, this company plumbs its inventory depths to secure the small ship and itinerary that will assure a happy client.

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, in 2012 owner Todd Smith joined the ranks of Conde Nast Traveler's prestigious World’s Top Travel Specialists List as the leading expert on small ship expeditions.