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2014 is going to be a hot year for small ship cruises, and there are a number of new cruises we are really excited about. This month AdventureSmith's Founder & Director, Todd Smith, has compiled our list of Best New Cruises of 2014. Spanning the globe from Bali to Europe, Alaska to South America, these cruises provide exciting experiences in a variety of new and long-established destinations. Contact our experts today to learn more about these expeditions: 1-877-620-2875.

Indonesia Bali Cruise


Why we like it: The islands of Bali and Southern Indonesia are tailor-made for small ship cruising. Think calm waters, postcard perfect beaches, stunning coral reef, abundant wildlife, fascinating history and authentic cultural interactions. Heretofore Bali has been included in longer and inevitably quite expensive itineraries. Now two distinctive small (17 to 26 guests) sailing ships will conduct year-round weekly departures, at a fraction of the cost of other Bali cruises, exploring Bali, Lombok, Komodo and lesser-known islands with an experienced multinational team of experienced professionals. Rates are from $2,380 per person, double. Trip Details 

Aqua Mekong River Cruise

Why we like it: Launching in September 2014, the Aqua Mekong follows in the footsteps of Aqua Amazon Cruises, offering luxury small ship cruises exploring Cambodia and Vietnam. We expect the Aqua Mekong to be the finest small ship in this region with spacious accommodations, distinct cuisine, top guides and a unique itinerary. While the Mekong has no shortage of luxury small ships, none offers the flexible 4-, 5- or 8-day itineraries and intimacy of this 40-guest ship whose small size allows close-up experiences when visiting a remote fishing village, flooded forest or Buddhist monastery. Rates are from $3,000 per person double. Trip Details     

Costa Rica, Panama & Columbia

Why we like it: This itinerary begins in Herradura, Costa Rica, skirting the Pacific coasts of Costa Rica and Panama before including a Panama Canal transit (2014 is the 100th anniversary of the Panama Canal). The ship visits Panama's San Blas Islands before concluding in the colonial city of Cartagena, Colombia. The 72-guest Variety Voyager is a sleek, brand-new mega yacht with modern furnishings, large cabins and plenty of deck space. This trip starts at only $2,590 per person double, making it the best value in Central America small ship cruises. Trip Details   

 Anakonda Amazon Cruise

Why we like it: The new 40-guest Anakonda is the only luxury small ship cruising Ecuador's Amazon region, heretofore explored from popular jungle lodges. The Anakonda offers numerous advantages including air conditioning, upscale accommodations, delicious cuisine and the ability to transit hundreds of miles exploring a variety of habitats and reserves. This experience can be easily combined with a Galapagos cruise. Rates are from $1,600 per person double. Trip Details SPECIAL OFFER: Save up to $1150!   

  Alaska's Golden History

Why we like it: Offering a softer alternative to Alaska adventure cruises, the itinerary focuses on popular ports and Alaskan history, filling a much-needed niche for travelers interested in a more traditional Alaskan cruise aboard a small ship. The fully refurbished S.S. Legacy has the feel of an historic steamer and segues guests into the turn-of-century ambiance of Juneau, Skagway and Haines. Costumed crew bring history to life on board while included shore excursions immerse guests in culture and history. Glacier Bay National Park's natural wonders, whale watching in Icy Strait and the wildlife of Frederick Sound combine with urban adventures. Rates are from $5,195 per person double. Trip Details SPECIAL OFFER: Save $700! 

 Olympic Wilderness & San Juan Islands

Why we like it: The Olympic Wilderness & San Juan Islands cruise offers wilderness adventure cruising accessible from Seattle, with hiking, kayaking, whale watching and wildlife viewing with top guides in Olympic National Park and the San Juan Islands. This 8-day cruise aboard the 60-guest Wilderness Adventurer is from $1,595 per person. Trip Details 

Milagros Maritimos, Baja California

Why we like it: Many years have passed since a small ship visited the northern reaches of John Steinbeck's Sea of Cortez, known as the Galapagos of Mexico for its abundant wildlife and numerous endemic species on individual islands. Guests walk among thousands of nesting birds, visit Whales Channel in search of numerous species, snorkel with sea lions and hike beautiful desert landscapes. Rates are from $2,495 per person double. Trip Details 

Galapagos aboard Ocean Spray

Why we like it: As the foremost Galapagos small ship cruise experts, we have seen a number of new catamarans entering the Galapagos cruise market recently. The 16-guest Ocean Spray is one of the newest ships here and stands out as the only catamaran to offer private balconies in all her cabins that are considerably larger than other ships of her size with an option for a king-size bed. Two 8-day itineraries are offered weekly year-round. From $5,880 per person. Trip Details 

   Idyllic Islands & Majestic Shores of Croatia & Montenegro

Why we like it: Of all the small ship cruises in the Adriatic, this cruise offers the most comprehensive exploration of history and culture. Onboard experts, included shore excursions and off-vessel activities make this more like a private cruise than a group tour. This stretch of the Dalmatian Coast has escaped the mass tourism common in other parts of the Mediterranean, and yet the medieval towns, monuments and promenades are among the most beautiful in all of Europe. The 100-guest Corinthian explores well established highlights but also visits the hidden jewels off the radar of most other cruises. Rates are from $4,890 per person double. Trip Details  

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"All the while I kept repeating the thought, 'I can't believe I'm doing this.'"
Read this Ecuador Amazon Adventure expert review by adventure coordinator Aaron Gaines.

read more


"National Geographic/Lindblad Expeditions is a class act ... Every day was better than the last ... Galapagos Tortoises were amazing, Bluefooted Boobies were great.  Snorkel adventure with penguins was awesome. Was above expectations ... never any disappointments."  


AdventureSmith founder & director Todd Smith was named a
Conde Nast Traveler Top Travel Specialist of 2013.

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Thank you for reading our monthly newsletter. Learn more about us including one dozen reasons to book with AdventureSmith Explorations, our crew and our carbon-free cruising program that's completely free to our travelers but a big bonus for the environment. Sincerely, Todd Smith, Founder & Director 


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