AdventureSmith Explorations Company Fact Sheet

Founded in January 2003, AdventureSmith Explorations has become the global leader in small ship, expeditionary cruise vacations.

“In most cases, I know the ships and itineraries better than the vessel’s own reservation staff and because we don’t own any of the ships we work with, we can provide honest, unbiased recommendations and opinions.” -- Todd Smith

As of 2013, the company annually arranges small ship expedition cruises for some 1000 clients.  Of these 80 percent are FIT and 20 percent charters for between 12 and 100 guests. Staff provides vacation consultations that match small ship expedition cruises with adventure-seeking clients, offering choices from a hand-vetted portfolio of small expedition ships that as of early 2013 consisted of 60+ small expedition ships from 31 companies.

By leveraging relationships and volume sales positions with these 31 cruise companies, AdventureSmith Explorations often can offer discount pricing and incentives beyond what one would get by booking direct.

“We can bring to our clients my firsthand experience with each operator and ship. Because of the staff’s collective years of expertise in small ship cruising, we like to say that we offer the ultimate in personalized service for travelers, families, small groups and travel agents seeking the world’s finest small ship expedition cruises, including some small companies that would rarely make the radar of most travelers.” – Todd Smith

Dedicated to small footprint, sustainable travel, AdventureSmith Explorations orchestrates connections with the world's most exotic natural environments and vibrant native cultures facilitated by activities such as sea kayaking, hiking, and rafting in places usually not found on more mainstream itineraries.

Sustainable Trave

Through its Carbon Free Cruising campaign launched in 2006, the company has completely neutralized the carbon footprint.  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. See our Conservation page for more information.

Recent Accolades

July 2013 and December, 2012 - Todd Smith named Top Specialist in the category of Small-Ship Expeditions by the editors of Conde Nast Traveler.

November, 2012 - Cruise planner Andrew Browning was named as one of Travel Agent Magazine’s 35 Rising Stars Under 30

June 2011 - Cruise Planner Andrew Browning received Travel Age West Wave Award as Rock Star Agent Under 40.

2011 and 2009 - AdventureSmith Explorations is Lonely Planet’s Top Pick for Alaska Small Ship Cruises.

Advantages of Small Ship Cruising

Small ships…

  • focus on scenery, wildlife and intimate active adventures and they avoid the drama of midnight buffets, Broadway-style entertainment, tuxedo dinners and casinos. They visit places out of reach of ordinary travel and visit places only small ships can access.
  • average 70 passengers and offer daily encounters with birds, wildlife, nature, culture and history. Big ships average over 2,000 passengers and offer spacious atriums, formal dining, and Broadway shows.
  • are eco friendly. Travel by small vessel is an environmentally efficient means of exploration.  Small ships are inherently closed systems where the vessel only discharges waste at elected ports where it can be disposed of properly and local economies are bolstered, not overwhelmed by small ship visits.  The ship’s crew and guides are often locals, providing jobs and resources in remote locations.
  • offer exceptional value. There is a misconception that small ships cost more than big ships.  This can be true when small ships are compared to promotional, discounted rates on interior cabins aboard big ships.  However prices can be quite similar when you compare similar room types.  In addition most small ship cruises include all meals (some include alcohol), activities, shore excursions, port fees, taxes so travelers are not nickel and dimed after the cruise departs.  No additional fees or mark-ups are added to the cost of standard itineraries or small ship cruises by AdventureSmith Explorations. Custom land trips are assessed a $50 custom planning trip fee applied to the cost of the trip.
  • provide outstanding food.  Many family-owned yachts take pride in family recipes using local ingredients that are hearty and delicious.  Small ship’s attract exceptional, adventurous chefs from around the world that produce gourmet dishes that rival any five star restaurant


The company ensures the quality of its guides by hand selecting the operators it works with and maintaining a close relationship with those operators.  Post-trip evaluations submitted by clients are closely monitored.


When selecting partners to work with, AdventureSmith Explorations considers service, safety, vessel, program, crew and guides, reputation, financial stability, environmental practices, and operations. The company is one of the top producers for the vast majority of the suppliers it works with giving AdventureSmith Explorations considerable influence and clout.

Travel Insurance

The company recommends that clients buy travel insurance in all circumstances and provides assistance in doing so.  Small ships inherently visit remote places and involve physical activity.  If an injury should occur, the cost of evacuation can be enormous, so medical evacuation coverage is important to its clientele.

Membership in Consortia / Trade Groups

CA Registered Seller of Travel #2069288-40

TCRC Travel Consumer Restitution Corporation

BBB - Better Business Bureau and BBB Online

IATA – International Association of Travel Agents #05604012

TIES - The International Ecotourism Society

IGTOA - International Galapagos Tour Operators Association

ATTA - Adventure Travel Trade Association

ATIA – Alaska Travel Industry Association