Rare Cabin Space Still Available for 2016-17 Antarctic Cruise Season

A favorite vessel among expedition small ship cruisers is the 132-guest M/V Expedition that plies southern polar waters. Small ship cruise expert AdventureSmith Explorations reports rare remaining cabin space (including for double, triple and quadruple occupancy) for Antarctica cruises in the 2016-2017 season, including the favorite months of December through March.

Guests favor this vessel because it’s the fastest ship in polar waters since receiving a $10 million engine overhaul. Logging in at 17 knots means less time crossing Drake Passage and more time exploring Antarctica. They also appreciate a large, dedicated mudroom that keeps their outdoor gear organized and dry, including the high-quality waterproof expedition parkas provided on every sailing. Also M/V Expedition cabins are among the most spacious in the industry, starting at 160 square feet. A Category 5 cabin provides a luxurious 320 square feet and steam showers. All these factors add up to an incredible value aboard the Expedition, especially with a current special offer saving up to 10% on all three Antarctica itineraries aboard the Expedition for the 2016-17 season, if booked by March 31, 2016.

Aboard the Expedition, guests are encouraged to get out on hiking and zodiac expeditions that are included in the rate and to get into the spirit of kayaking ($999) and camping ($349) add-ons. This vessel offers a 10-1 passenger-to-guide ratio aboard zodiacs, and its guides are titled CEOs, Chief Experience Officers. This means their knowledge and interaction with passengers are at the forefront of the company ethos.

Following are the Antarctic programs aboard M/V Expedition that AdventureSmith has rare cabin space available on high-demand departures, but cabins are selling fast. On all these routes passengers will witness some of the planet’s most impressive wildlife and dramatic landscapes. Colonies of gentoo, chinstrap and Adélie penguins; Weddell, crab eater and leopard seals; and orca, humpback and minke whales in the cold Antarctic waters are key players in this theater.

Antarctic Peninsula Aboard Expedition (also known as Antarctica Classic) is an 11-day journey from $5,699 per person, double. This and a 13-day Antarctica Extended Expedition Cruise focus on the South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula. Departures in 2016 are Nov. 12-24, Dec. 12-22, and in 2017 Jan. 2-12, Jan. 30-Feb. 9, Mar. 4-14 and Mar. 13-23.

Quest for the Antarctic Circle is a 14-day journey from $9,799 per person double. This itinerary sets off southward along the western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, passing colossal icebergs and countless colonies of penguins while attempting to cross the polar circle. 2016 departure is Dec. 21-Jan. 3 and in 2017 Feb. 8-21, and Feb. 20-Mar. 5.

Spirit of Shackleton aboard Expedition is an incredible 21-day journey from $11,899 to the Antarctic Peninsula, the Falkland Islands and South Georgia, often called “the Galapagos of the poles.” A true wildlife adventure in the world’s most remote wilderness! 2016 departure is Nov. 23-Dec. 13 and in 2017 Jan. 11-31.

Why book now? Smaller ships are slowly being replaced by larger expedition vessels in Antarctica. As ship sizes increase it becomes harder to provide as intimate an experience with meaningful time ashore for all guests, said Todd Smith, founder and director of AdventureSmith Explorations (http://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/), who has positioned his team as the international experts in cruising Antarctic waters by small ship.

“Antarctica has been ‘discovered’ by mainstream travelers and is on many ‘must-do’ vacation lists,” said Smith. “The short season matched with limited departures aboard small ships mean most cruises sail at full capacity. We suggest that travelers book nine to 12 months in advance for the best selection of cruises, cabins and activities. This also helps ensure the best price.”

In addition to its trademark personalized customer service, AdventureSmith has reissued its in-depth Antarctica Cruise Guide to help travelers decide what kind of polar experience and style of ship to book. Also on the AdventureSmith blog are primers on the differences between Antarctic and Arctic polar expeditions and how to best choose an Antarctic cruise operator.

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/.

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Celebrate Earth Day! Book a Utah Raft Trip & Help Save a River System

Respect for the wilderness. To Holiday River Expeditions that means using oars on rafts, never outboard motors. It also is reflected in the first sentence of their mission statement, “[our] goal is to preserve our nation’s wild lands.” What a more meaningful time to pursue that objective than mid-April when the U.S. and 193 other countries come together to celebrate Earth Day and worldwide support of environmental protection.

Wanting to give back to the rivers they float on as well as past and future guests who come along for the journey, Holiday River Expeditions (http://www.bikeraft.com/) is offering a limited-time promotion. For anyone booking a Utah river trip between April 11-22, 2016, a 5% discount off the normal rate will be applied. In addition, the company will donate another 5% to the environmental nonprofit Living Rivers (http://www.livingrivers.org/) in support of their important river protection work.

“In the West we and 40 million other Americans rely on the Colorado River Watershed to let us float, light up homes and businesses and live comfortably in a desert environment. With mounting demands on the watershed and the threat of increasing climate instability, it is a vital time to plan for the future and defend these rivers from looming water diversions, draconian dams, energy development and climate impacts,” explains Holiday Trip Director Lauren Wood.

Living Rivers’ work is entirely focused on preserving and protecting the Colorado River Watershed which includes all of the rivers Holiday River Expeditions runs on the Colorado Plateau in Utah; the Colorado, Green, San Juan and Yampa Rivers. The nonprofit based in Moab, UT is the watchdog for the most endangered river system in America.

“This is Holiday’s way of wishing everyone a “Happy Earth Day!”  To help others experience and appreciate the wild places we explore while also protecting them for generations to come. These rivers are our heritage. Hopefully their salvation can become part of our legacy,” shared Wood.

For more information, availability, reservations or a copy of the 2016 catalog please call 800-624-6323, Email: Holiday@BikeRaft.com or log onto: http://www.bikeraft.com/.