Released on Thursday, 22 April 2010 14:41
Tahoe City, CA, April 22, 2010 – Consider guaranteed departures of floating base camps that steer families into natural spectacles, unpacking once for daily guided paddling and land adventures with the pleasure of returning aboard for meals and sleep. These are a few of many reasons why families choose small, expedition ships that ply global sanctuaries for vacations that secure diverse experiences with minimal hassle.
Todd Smith, president and founder of AdventureSmith Explorations (ASE - http://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/) that manages an extensive portfolio of these vessels, offers tips for families – small, large and multigenerational – considering this increasingly popular family vacation concept.
- Minimize flying time and jet lag. Choose destinations close to North America. The five top family destinations are Costa Rica (December-August), Galapagos (year-round), Alaska (May-September), Baja (November-April), and Hawaii (November-April).
- Match climates and size of boat to ages of children. Think larger boats (48-148 passengers) in warm weather destinations (Baja, Costa Rica, Panama, Galapagos, Hawaii) affording beach and water play pleasures for younger children (ideal minimum age 6) and first time cruisers; shift focus to smaller expedition vessels (12 to 40 passengers) and larger ships going to hardier climes (Alaska, British Columbia, Arctic, Antarctica) for older offspring whose curiosities require more active programs and shore excursions. Consider exotic Asian destinations as families mature.
- Seek “family exclusive” cruises with kid-friendly pricing. Dedicated family departures during summer and spring break feature specialized itineraries, on-board programs, activities and sometimes menus adapted to keep youngsters active and engaged. In general the rate for children under age 12 is one half of the adult rate, and for ages 12-18 between 20 and 30 percent of the adult rate. As most cabins are for maximum two people, ask for adjoining cabins.
- Consider activities and “style” of cruise. Vessels can vary widely from luxury yachts with culinary school-trained chefs and hot tubs to small expedition ships with shared bathrooms. Activity levels may range from challenging treks to easy nature walks with options for everyone in between. Private charters for as few as 12 people are also an option for large families, families traveling together and extended clan reunions.
- Analyze the “togetherness” quotient. Some family-exclusive cruises provide separate meals and game time for children so parents can have a much-needed breather.
ASE offers this sampling of upcoming family trips and specials for the 2010 season:
About AdventureSmith Explorations
AdventureSmith Explorations is the global leader in small ship, adventure cruise vacations. Company founder Todd Smith helped pioneer the concept of wilderness cruising that combines the comforts of a small cruise ship with the adventure of sea kayaking, hiking and exploring remote wilderness areas ashore. The company matches guests with the top names in small ship cruising as well with intimate, boutique ships that may not make the radar of most travelers.
In moving through exotic natural environments and exploring vibrant native cultures seldom associated with more mainstream cruise itineraries, AdventureSmith Explorations dedicates its efforts to small footprint, sustainable travel and has launched a carbon free cruising initiative. Its off-the-beaten-path destinations include Alaska, Baja, Costa Rica, Belize, Ecuador and the Galapagos, Peru, the Arctic, Antarctica and Australia.
The company's mission is to give back to the individuals, communities and environments touched by AdventureSmith Explorations trips by connecting travelers with a network of grassroots and global nonprofit partners worldwide including the Alaska Natural History Association, Neotropica Foundation and Galapagos Conservancy. The company was named by National Geographic Adventure as one of “The Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” and is the recipient of Conde Nast Traveler’s prestigious “World Savers Award.”
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