TAHOE CITY, CA, June 2, 2016– The small ship cruise company that brings seagoing adventurers into intimate contact with seldom-visited shorelines around the world wholeheartedly embraces the fastest growing watersport – stand up paddle boarding (SUP).
Thanks to a recent green light from the Galapagos National Park Service, SUP is now an approved activity in these UNESCO World Heritage Site waters as well.
AdventureSmith Explorations (http://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/), purveyor of small expedition ship experiences around the world, books passage in the Galapagos on 20-guest sister yachts Eric & Letty as well as the new luxury 20-passenger Origin. Each of these small vessels was recently supplied with SUP equipment in anticipation of the park’s final approval granted in late April 2016. This makes them the first SUP-equipped cruises in the region. Guests can pursue paddle boarding along with kayaking in Gardner Bay on Floreana Island, Cerro Brujo on San Cristobal Island, Tagus Cove on Isabela Island and Darwin Bay on Genovesa Island.
“Stand up paddle boarding is a great way for visitors to survey the waters for marine life and to exercise skill and balance,” says Todd Smith, AdventureSmith Explorations’ founder and president. “The sport’s popularity has exploded in the past 10 years, and we’re seeing this translate into the world of small ship cruising with paddle boards coming aboard small ships in a number of destinations where the calm waters of secluded harbors and their marine life are especially enticing.”
Smith explains that SUP provides a different perspective on the water than does kayaking.
“From the standing position you actually look down into the water and with better visibility than from a kayak,” he says. “This is an easy sport to acquire, but we suggest that the learning curve be conducted in warm waters where the expected nose dives aren’t a shock to the body. But we also offer the sport in Alaska and Antarctica with the proper gear.”
Following are destinations in addition to the Galapagos where AdventureSmith partner ships offer this optional activity, included in the cruise rate except where noted:
SUP Antarctica on Ocean Endeavour: Currently in Antarctica, only one vessel, the 199-guest Ocean Endeavour, offers SUP as an add-on adventure option among the ice and icebergs in a calm bay with penguins swimming by. A one-time session atop southern polar waters is $150 (2016-17 season), with all gear including a dry suit provided.
"The stillness and absence of noise are the best parts of SUP. You can hear the ice popping and cracking all around you,” comments AdventureSmith Explorations Adventure Specialist Nick Mitchell.
SUP Alaska, Costa Rica, Hawaii, Baja & the Pacific Northwest with Un-Cruise Adventures’ Fleet: AdventureSmith’s partner Un-Cruise Adventures offers the most SUP cruise options in its fleet, and has been doing so since it added paddle boards in 2011. Itineraries include Baja California, Hawaii, Costa Rica, Panama and the Pacific Northwest region. Paddle boards can be launched right from the ship, or on the shore from beaches.
"We added SUPs because they are a great way to experience Alaska in a safe and active manner," says Un-Cruise Senior Program Manager Tim Ratcliffe. "Many of our guests have never SUP’d before. This becomes their first experience. We have found that we reach our guests by either being the introduction to the sport and/or by allowing the sport to happen in an environment that is incredibly beautiful and breathtaking.”
To see all the Un-Cruise SUP cruise options, browse the following ship's itineraries: 84-guest Safari Endeavour, 36-guest Safari Explorer, 22-guest Safari Quest, 62-guest Safari Voyager, 76-guest Wilderness Explorer, 60-guest Wilderness Adventurer, 76-guest Wilderness Discoverer.
SUP Baja & Costa Rica on National Geographic Sea Bird & Sea Lion: In Costa Rica aboard Sea Lion guests can circumnavigate a tiny island, explore mangroves or paddle along an idyllic beach; Sea Bird brings the option to Baja California's Sea of Cortez.
SUP the Amazon on Delfin Riverboats: Because of the calm, still waters of the Peruvian Amazon's Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, SUP can be enjoyed by all ages. The luxury 8-guest Delfin I carries four paddleboards, and the 28-guest Delfin II carries two.
"To be surrounded by local wildlife such as playful monkeys, graceful egrets and, with luck, curious pink river dolphins is a thrilling experience," says Delfin's Sales Director Ines Orihuela. “"Paddle boarding in the rain forest is a mix of zen and wild type of experience. Tranquil waters and isolation from the modern world will really let you connect with yourself and your loved one.”
SUP New Zealand & Tahiti: The 24-guest Island Passage sailing in New Zealand's Fiordland and Bay of Islands regions as well as Tahiti carries two paddleboards for more intimate exploration of tropical waters, remote motus and misty fiords. Another bonus to this ship? There's a heli pad on deck for flightseeing.
Today several magazines are devoted to this paddle sport; in 2008 the US Coast Guard classified SUP boards as vessels like canoes and kayaks. By 2009 it became the fastest growing part of “paddle sports” in North America. By 2012 World Series championship races were created and by 2013 SUP enjoyed the most first-time participants of any sport in the United States.
For information on all of AdventureSmith’s small ship cruises worldwide, itineraries, availability and 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, in 2012 owner Todd Smith joined the ranks of Conde Nast Traveler's prestigious Annual Travel Specialists List as the world’s expert on small ship expeditions.
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