27.2 million passengers are expected to set sail in 2018 by the close of the year. With 92% of these cruisers wanting to repeat a ship-based vacation, our special mode of small ship travel at AdventureSmith Explorations is seeing a rise in popularity, allowing us to broaden our horizons and offer even more small ships, itineraries and off-the-beaten-path destinations. Below, we detail the full spectrum of what’s new, chronologically from January through December 2019.

National Geographic Venture small ship first setting sail in 2019 with cloudy sky at sunset

Jan 2019: National Geographic Venture Sets Sail

Big news in the expedition cruise industry is the launch of the 100-guest, USA-built National Geographic Venture, sister ship to the popular National Geographic Quest built in 2017. The Nat Geo Venture sets sail on her inaugural voyages in December this year in California before embarking on regularly scheduled, new 5-day cruise departures in the Sea of Cortez: Base Camp Baja.

The launch of the 100-guest, USA-built National Geographic Venture kicks off an exciting year for expedition cruising in 2019.

This entirely new route focuses on active wellness as it circumnavigates Isla Espíritu Santo round-trip from La Paz and includes classes led by Exhale Spa. Departures are scheduled through January 2019, before the Venture then sails on longer, classic Baja cruise routes. Starting in May 2019, get aboard the National Geographic Venture in Alaska on the iconic 8-day Exploring Alaska’s Coastal Wilderness.

Mar 2019: Theory Launches in Galapagos Islands

The much-anticipated 20-guest Theory yacht launches in March, following in the footsteps of her near-identical sister ship, the Origin, which launched in 2016 and has since received designation into the prestigous Relais & Chateaux organization. Theory is set to sail two distinct 8-day itineraries. View all the rates and routes on Origin & Theory Galapagos Cruises to get aboard this ship that’s soon to be a favorite for luxury Galapagos cruising.

The sun deck on Theory Galapagos ship with lounge chairs, bar and jacuzzi

Apr 2019: More Indonesia Cruises than Ever Before

AdventureSmith Explorations has added lots of new options and routes in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, most notably thanks to the brand-new 120-guest Coral Adventurer, which launches in April 2019 from Singapore to position in her home country of Australia. This ship will be sailing the popular Kimberley – Cruising to the Australian Outback before embarking from Cairns in October 2019 for three brand-new itineraries north of Australia: Islands of Indonesia, Frontier Lands of New Guinea and Spice Islands & Raja Ampat.

With these added sailings, AdventureSmith now offers Indonesia cruises in every month of the year in 2019.

Also look for various new Spice Islands cruises aboard the popular Ombak Putih and Katharina traditional phinisi-style vessels. With these added departures, AdventureSmith Explorations now offers Indonesia cruises in every month of the year in 2019.

green karst islets in Indonesia with a zodiac cruising among them

Apr 2019: More Ships Cruising in Croatia

At the end of April 2019 when sailings begin in the Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas, you’ll find more options for small ship cruising in Croatia with the introduction of more deluxe-superior ships to our Croatia Island Hopper and Dalmatian Coast Cruise itineraries. Look for the 38-guest Markan, Nautilus and Adriatic Sun sister yachts for the newest of the new, but much of the fleet used on these popular routes was built in the past two years.

May 2019: New Itineraries in Scotland, Ireland & England

A solo female traveler with short gray hair walks among the Stones of Callanish in Scotland in tall boots and a scarf
Woman walking among Stones of Callanish on the west coast of the isle of Lewis, in the Outer Hebrides (Western Isles), Scotland

May brings new small ship cruise itineraries in Northern Europe, with routes in Scotland, Ireland and England now offered for the first time by AdventureSmith. Highlights are: National Geographic Explorers newly redesigned exploration of England, Ireland and Scotland kicking off a two-year run on May 7, 2019: Ancient Isles: England, Ireland & Scotland. And Scotland’s Highlands & Islands on the unique 48-guest Lord of the Glens ship, the only vessel in Scotland that can navigate both the locks of the central Caledonia Canal and the country’s Atlantic Ocean coastline. With several departures offered June through August, travelers have a few date options to experience this unforgettable passage.

Jun 2019: New Cruises Cross the Bering Sea

Starting in June 2019, three exciting new itineraries aboard the 102-guest National Geographic Orion are set to cross the Bering Sea for the first time, connecting two of our most popular small ship cruise destinations, the Arctic and Alaska, to explore the Russian Arctic.

The Nat Geo Orion is set to cross the Bering Sea for the first time, connecting two of our most popular small ship cruise destinations.

With the Bering Sea only navigable four months of the year, the Orion is set to explore it in prime time. See the diverse routes on this trip: Across the Bering Sea. Highlights are visiting the Aleutian Islands, Kamchatka Peninsula, Commander Islands and Bering Strait—on par with the crossing of the equator for its chance to be at the closest point between the East and West.

Jun 2019: Hondius Sets Sail in the Arctic

The brand-new 174-guest Hondius expedition ship splashes this June in the Arctic. This vessel is the first to be built to ice class LR PC6, the highest of any expedition ship built in the world thus far. Book your passage on one of her three Arctic itineraries (North Spitsbergen, Around Spitsbergen or Scoresby Sund Aurora Borealis), or follow the vessel south to Antarctica in November 2019.

An artist rendering of the ship Hondius with blue hull showing bow and mountains in background

2019 also brings more Arctic itineraries and ships than we’ve ever offered before at AdventureSmith Explorations. North Norway, Aurora Borealis & Whales marks our first-ever Arctic winter sailings with departures starting in January 2019. In May 2019 look for our new offerings on smaller sailing vessels (22 and 33 guests) that allow you to experience the Arctic in the most intimate and active way (see Sailing Spitsbergen).

In 2019 look for our new offerings on smaller sailing vessels that allow you to experience the Arctic in the most intimate and active way.

A sailing ship in Norway at sunset with snow-capped mountains

Nov 2019: Small Ship Cruising Returns to New Zealand

Small ship cruising returns to New Zealand in a big way in November 2019 with a comprehensive voyage aboard 72-guest Coral Discoverer: New Zealand by Sea: East Coast Expedition. This new cruise sails along the east coast of both North and South Islands before visiting the famed Stewart Island and sailing deep into Fiordland National Park and its iconic Milford Sound. We couldn’t think of a more exciting way to usher small ship cruising back to both islands.

Nov 2019: Baby Boom of New Antarctica Vessels Begins

In addition to the Hondius, which launches first in the Arctic before heading to Antarctica in November, a few other polar expedition vessels are set for inaugural sailings in the latter half of 2019 and into 2020, including World Explorer, Magellan Explorer and National Geographic Endurance. In our years of traveling to Antarctica and selling travel in the White Continent, we’ve never seen so many new vessels launching in the region. Read more about these new Antarctica ships, their standout design features and how you can be among the first to get aboard this next-generation of vessels purpose-built for active polar exploration.