Charter Cruises

Imagine the privacy and intimacy of sharing a small ship cruise with your own group of friends and family. AdventureSmith Explorations specializes in small ship cruise charters to destinations worldwide. Every small ship we represent is available for charter. Our small ship experts have handled hundreds of charters and we are eager to find the right small ship and the right trip for your charter group. Learn how to charter a small ship or yacht, and then call our charter experts to plan your private charter cruise.

Alaska Charter Safari Quest

Why Charter a Small Ship?

A full-boat charter has many advantages over an independently booked cruise. A private ship charter offers your family or small group exclusivity, flexibility and savings. A full yacht charter can save 10 to 30% off regular per-person cruise rates. Typically charters are planned and contracted at least one year in advance of the cruise departure date, but as long as space is available a small ship can still be chartered.

Who Charters Small Ships?

Private charters are perfect for families and small groups of 12 to 148 travelers. Travelers are increasingly looking to small ship charters for:

  • Couples and friends traveling together.
  • Weddings, birthday and anniversary celebrations.
  • Family reunions or families traveling together.
  • Corporate retreats, meetings or as a company incentive.
  • Affinity travel (gay, lesbian, Christian, religious, photography or other special-interest groups).
  • Groups of travelers with special needs.
  • School groups, university alumni associations and extended study programs.
  • Zoo, aquarium and museum groups.
  • Conservation organizations or other nonprofits.
  • Travel clubs or other clubs interested in travel.
  • Travel agents or group leaders can earn free berths by organizing charter cruises for their clients and friends.

Alaska Discovery Voyages Charter Group

A Fully Custom Cruise

Cruise itineraries, on-board programs, activity levels and even food service can be customized to the interests, ability and budget of your group. Have a keen interest in bears, whales or bird watching? Want to kayak all day or just little? Traveling with a school science class? Looking for a focus on ancient religion or indigenous cultures? Our experts can find the right destination, the right ship and the right cruise for your group.

Charters Cost Less

A small ship charter costs less than booking individual staterooms. Charter rates vary from 10-30% savings. Charter rates vary by destination, season and availability. Off-season charters garner the greatest savings while high season dates should be secured a year or more in advance.

Crewed Charter Cruises

All our charter cruises are fully crewed charters, outfitted with an experienced and professional captain and crew. We do not offer bare-boat charters. We believe that the captain, guides, chef and crew are an integral part of expedition cruising and that their experience and expertise are essential to a safe and successful voyage.

Small Yacht Charters (12-20 guests)

Small yacht charters offer an active and intimate cruise experience up close to nature, wildlife and culture. Yacht cruises offer daily opportunities to explore away from the vessel on hikes, sea kayaking, snorkeling or zodiac excursions. Yachts vary considerably in price and amenities from rustic floating base camps with bunk beds and shared bathrooms to luxurious cruisers with hot tubs, gourmet cuisine and elegant furnishings. Most small yachts carry kayaks for up-close exploration.

Galapagos Ocean Spray Small Yacht Charter

Large Yacht Charters (20-48 guests)

Large yachts offer the intimate nature and efficient landings of the small yachts combined with all the roominess, amenities, service and luxury of the small ships. Expect more spacious cabins, bathrooms, dining rooms, lounge and deck space. Many large yachts offer spacious suites in addition to standard cabins. Cuisine is delicious and service exceptional. The large yachts offer plenty of space for group functions or private moments on deck. The extra space aboard large yachts makes them popular for families with kids and teens. Some large yachts carry kayaks while others do not.

Mediterranean Galileo Large Yacht Charter

Small Ship Charters (48-148 guests)

Expedition-size small ships are the largest vessels we offer. Ships larger than this lose the intimate experience and ability to explore away from the ship that is so crucial to a successful adventure cruise. These ships offer the most space with larger cabins, bathrooms, salons and lounges, dining rooms and more deck space. Each small ship offers a variety of cabins from standard to suite. Expect professional service with restaurant-style meals. Small ships also offer the largest staff of naturalists and guides.

Antarctica Sea Adventurer Small Ship Charter

Charter Terms & Conditions

Terms and conditions are sometimes more strict with charters than they are for individual bookings. Expect to pay a charter rate that remains the same, whether or not you have enough travelers to fill all the staterooms. Cancellation terms usually require a nonrefundable deposit and payments as the cruise date approaches. Some charter agreements require that one person be responsible for signing the charter agreement. Group travel insurance policies are highly recommended when considering a charter cruise. Our experts will work with you and your group to make the charter process seamless and transparent.

Where Should I Charter a Small Ship?

Popular destinations for small ship charters include Alaska, Hawaii, Baja California, Costa Rica, Panama, Galapagos, Antarctica, Australia, Indonesia, the South Pacific and the Mediterranean. These locations have a wide variety of cruises and small ships, meaning there are lots of options for groups to choose from. In addition, the competition between operators keeps charter rates down.

Alaska charter cruises are best from May through September. Costa Rica charter cruises and Panama charters operate year-round with the high season running from December to March. Galapagos charter cruises are available year-round with a huge selection of yachts and small ships. Mediterranean charter cruises are best booked between April and October. Antarctica charter cruises, Australia charter cruises and South Pacific charter cruises are also possible, but these locations favor larger expedition ships and therefore require larger groups.

Indonesia Ombak Putih Charter

Small Ship Charter Experts

Our staff has decades of experience guiding, planning and selling small ship cruise charter vacations. We are award-winning small ship expedition cruise experts and we are pleased to provide exclusive charter cruise information to help our travelers learn how a cruise charter might work for you or your group. Because of our sales volume, we are preferred partners with the cruise lines and can offer exclusive charter rates and a no-pressure sales environment focused on finding the right ship at the best price.

Because we don't own any of the small ships we work with, we can offer honest, unbiased information to help you compare them one to another and find the very best trip for your interest, ability and budget.  You will never pay more for booking a charter cruise with AdventureSmith Explorations and often our sales volume means you pay less than booking direct.

Once you've selected your trip, we are able to help with all the details involved in traveling to your embarkation city, including recommendations for packing, hotels, transfers, flights and tours, all at no extra cost to you. We have been recognized by National Geographic Traveler magazine and Lonely Planet guidebooks as top small ship cruise experts, and we have received numerous news and awards for our cruise programs and expertise. Call us today to consider your next small ship charter cruise.