For Immediate Release
May 17, 2004
Tahoe City, CA > Eco-tourism specialist AdventureSmith Explorations is offering a new 8-day Belize Adventure Cruise aboard the deluxe motor yacht Nortada. Carrying just eight passengers, the Nortada provides travelers an intimate look at Belize's infamous reefs, ruins and rainforests up close and in total comfort.
The only cruise of its kind in Belize to feature a small yacht like the Nortada, passengers leisurely cruise Caribbean waters teeming with wildlife in search of dolphins, manatees and sea turtles. Along the itinerary, guests explore Belize's barrier reef, where they can swim from white sand beaches, snorkel among coral reefs or simply relax under the shade of a palm.
Built in 1986 and refurbished in 2004, the adventure yacht Nortada is outfitted with a fleet of sea kayaks, including two acrylic “glass bottom” boats, allowing travelers to investigate isolated islands in search of wildlife among mangrove estuaries and coastal rivers. Small shore craft (pangas) carry passengers up river into wildlife rich rainforests to look for Howler monkeys, Scarlet macaws and other jungle creatures. During included shore excursions, guests visit culturally rich Caribbean villages and ancient Maya ruins.
The 8-day cruise departs from Belize City and cruises south along the Caribbean coast to Swallow Caye, a prime nesting area of the Green, Loggerhead and Hawksbill sea turtles, Belize's Southern Lagoon and Gales Point, home to the largest population of manatees in the Caribbean. The next day features a visit to the Mayflower Maya ruin, currently under excavation by Yale and Tulane Universities. The day also includes a naturalist-led hike through the Cockscomb Basin Jaguar Reserve, treating visitors to spectacular views, waterfalls and wildlife. The evening includes a spotlight safari on the Sittee River in search of crocodiles and other exotic night creatures.
The next morning, guests explore with a naturalist in search of Black Howler and Spider monkeys along Monkey River. The afternoon includes a visit to the quintessential Caribbean beach town Placencia, where guests can kayak, swim and relax at the beach or explore the waterfront shops, craft stands and open-air pubs. The evening includes outdoor dining by candlelight at the elegant Turtle Inn, located on the edge of the Caribbean Sea.
The remaining three days of the cruise are spent exploring Belize's barrier reef, the second largest in the world, plus any number of cayes and atolls found along the Caribbean including Half Moon Caye, Belize's first natural monument, with each day an opportunity for discovery and adventure.
The Nortada's small size allows her access to places unreachable by larger ships and makes her the ideal vessel for a group of friends and⁄or family traveling together. Her itinerary is designed for flexibility, allowing for the season, weather and impromptu wildlife sightings.
AdventureSmith Explorations’ Belize Adventure Cruise is offered year-round, with prices starting at $2,095 per person, based on double occupancy. Children under 12 receive a 30% discount. A special Holiday Cruise departs December 24, 2004 to January 1, 2005 for $3,195 per person, with an extra day at the Maya ruins at Tikal. The company also offers a Belize Sea Kayak Odyssey, featuring a blend of camping and wilderness lodges as well as an overland journey exploring Belize's temples, jungles and reefs, with accommodations featuring jungle lodges and beachfront cabanas.
AdventureSmith Explorations utilizes soft adventure travel to create connections with the world's exotic natural environments and native cultures, combining fun and exciting activities such as sea kayaking, hiking, small ship cruising and rafting in extraordinary places like Alaska, Costa Rica, Belize, Ecuador and the Galapagos, Guatemala and New Zealand.
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