Bookings have been brisk but highly coveted cabins for small ship cruises in Alaska for the 2018 season are still available on a handful of departures, reports AdventureSmith Explorations, the world’s leading purveyor of small and expedition ship cruises.
By expanding its Alaska inventory of vessels and pushing the season to include departures as early as mid-March, the company is meeting supply and demand challenges that resulted in 2017 Alaska cruise bookings being nearly 50 percent ahead of 2016 totals.
“We’re on track to see exponential growth again for the 2018 sailing season in Alaska,” said Todd Smith, founder and president of AdventureSmith Explorations. “And getting the earliest jump ever on a future season, we now have 75% of our Alaska cruises updated on our website with set schedules, dates and rates for 2019.”
Smith said the reasons people choose to cruise the Alaska coastline haven’t changed since he first worked on small ships here in the late 1990s. The magnets are still glaciers, bears and whales. But guests increasingly want to engage actively on the landscape they’re visiting. And that’s where the demand for small expedition ships comes in.
Although historically June to August cruises often sell out nine months in advance, some departures are extending the season with itineraries in March and early April. And there are some vacancies on late summer/early fall itineraries for this year.
Subject to change, here are AdventureSmith’s top picks with space still for 2018:
March 17 is the earliest seasonal start ever. The 10-guest Misty Fjord’s Alaska’s Islands, Whales & Glaciers 6-day cruise signals one of the most dynamic times of the year. As the Pacific herring concentrate in Sitka Sound, humpback whales, eagles and humans alike congregate to enjoy the seasonal wonder of the migration. Many locals prefer this season over any other time of year, with its crisp mornings, lengthening daylight hours and flora and fauna springing to life. The per person double rate is from $3,290.
2019 Islands, Whales & Glaciers departures have already been posted on the AdventureSmith website with a special Early Bird Booking Discount on select cruise dates. Guests can save up to $300 per person in 2019 if booked by April 1, 2018.
Select May departures offer $550 per person savings and there’s still availability in July and August aboard the 12-guest Sea Wolf’s 6-day Sea Wolf Glacier Bay Adventure. The per person double rate is from $4,550.
The Glacier Bay & Island Adventure aboard the 58-guest Admiralty Dream or 74-guest Chichagof Dream is an 8-day itinerary from $3,590 per person double that has space on a range of departures spanning the 2018 season, except in July when the ships are mostly sold out.
On these cruises, the single supplement is waived on select 2018 and 2019 departures (call AdventureSmith for details). Plus, there is an Early Booking Discount of up to $300 per person on select 2019 cruises if booked by April 1, 2018.
July and August departures are available for Inside Passage Catalyst aboard the 12-guest Pacific Catalyst II at per person double rates from $4,250.
A number of ships are offering special deals and promotions for the 2018 and 2019 seasons. Click HERE for more information.
For details on all of AdventureSmith’s small ship cruises worldwide, day-to-day itineraries, availability and reservations, Phone: 866-575-2875 toll-free or visit http://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/.