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Small Ship Expedition Cruise to Spotlight Splendor of Baja Gray Whale Migration in March


Santa Barbara, CA, July 20, 2010 -- An AdventureSmith Explorations cruise on Baja’s Sea of Cortez March 19-26, 2011, will showcase the splendor and drama of migrating gray whales that are still prized as bounty even though commercial whaling was banned in 1986 by the International Whaling Commission. The sheer number of gray whales present makes Baja the site of one of the largest migrations of any mammal, many covering over 10,000 miles each year.

The trip, Baja: Among the Great Whales, is sponsored by the Santa Barbara Travel Bureau http://www.sbtravel.com/specials.html on behalf of the Origami Whales Project http://www.peggy-oki.com/cu_origami.html headquartered in Carpinteria, CA that since 2004 has worked to raise awareness of threats to dolphins and whales through its large-scale public art project, “Curtain of 34,000 Origami Whales.” This visual statement memorializes whales in the thousands slaughtered by Japan, Norway, and Iceland after the 1986 global ban.

The director of the Origami Whales Project, Peggy Oki, will be joining the cruise. A portion of the cruise proceeds will assist this project. As an incentive, guests booking by Aug. 15 receive a $250 per person early booking discount off of per person rates from $4,990, double occupancy.

The Santa Barbara Travel Bureau welcomes the public to a special evening co-hosted by Peggy Oki and Todd Smith, founder of AdventureSmith Explorations (http://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/). Smith will give a trip briefing and Oki will help raise awareness of the threat facing whales worldwide. The event will begin at 6 p.m. Aug. 2 at the Santa Barbara Travel Bureau office at 1028 State Street in Santa Barbara (Phone: 805. 966.3116).

“As a naturalist and guide in Baja for many years I know that seeing whales up close in their natural habitat can be a life changing experience,” said Smith. “The fundraising Baja Among the Great Whales cruise will offer travelers a wonderfully rare chance to have an intimate encounter with a Gray Whale.”

Smith noted the National Geographic Sea Bird has been chosen for their active small ship exploration of the Sea of Cortez, one of the richest marine feeding grounds in the world. The vessel accommodates 62 guests in 31 outside cabins. A fleet of Zodiacs and kayaks allows intimate encounters with the whales and other marine life.

Trip details can be found online at:

http://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/itinerarydetails.php/advid/94

Details about the ship can be found at:

http://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/accommprofile.php/d/bajacalifornia/accid/140

About Santa Barbara Travel Bureau

Santa Barbara Travel Bureau is the premier travel management company in the Santa Barbara area, specializing in corporate and leisure travel as well as meeting, group and event coordination. In business since 1947, the company is privately owned by Charles and David de L'Arbre. Its strength comes from a solid, experienced agent team and a dedication to long-term client partnerships. Its philosophy of flexibility, continuous improvement, agent education and dedication to customer service results in an industry-high client satisfaction rate.

About Peggy Oki

Peggy Oki is a California-based fine artist, painter, environmentalist, coordinator of the Origami Whales Project, and former member of the famous Zephyr skateboard team featured in "Dogtown & Z-Boys" (a 2001 documentary about the history of skateboarding). She is also Cove Captain, liaison for Save Japan Dolphins through screenings of the Academy Award winning feature documentary "The Cove". For more information on the Origami Whales Project email peggyo@peggy-oki.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or go online at: http://www.peggy-oki.com/cu_origami.htm

About Adventure Smith Explorations

AdventureSmith Explorations is the global leader in small ship, adventure cruise vacations. Company founder Todd Smith helped pioneer the concept of wilderness cruising that combines the comforts of a small cruise ship with the adventure of sea kayaking, hiking and exploring remote wilderness areas ashore. The company matches guests with the top names in small ship cruising as well with intimate, boutique ships that may not make the radar of most travelers.

In moving through exotic natural environments and exploring vibrant native cultures seldom associated with more mainstream cruise itineraries, AdventureSmith Explorations dedicates its efforts to small footprint, sustainable travel and has launched a carbon free cruising initiative. Its off-the-beaten-path destinations include Alaska, Baja, Costa Rica, Belize, Ecuador and the Galapagos, Peru, the Arctic, Antarctica and Australia.

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. The company was named by National Geographic Adventure as one of “The Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” and is the recipient of Conde Nast Traveler’s prestigious “World Savers Award.”

Founded in 2003, AdventureSmith Explorations is based in Tahoe City, California along the western shore of Lake Tahoe. Phone: 800-728-2875 toll-free or 530-583-1775. Email: travel@AdventureSmithExplorations.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit: www.AdventureSmithExplorations.com.