Keeping it sustainable with AdventureSmith Explorations

Todd Smith, visionary founder of AdventureSmith Explorations, is leading the way in sustainable travel.

It is not an easy task to find companies, cruise lines, tour operators, and hospitality organizations willing to step into the spotlight to talk about their sustainability plans. While compiling my roundup of sustainability leaders, I ran across Todd Smith.

Todd Smith
At the helm of AdventureSmith Expeditions, Todd Smith

Expedition Cruises & Wilderness Adventures

Todd Smith from AdventureSmith Explorations offers what he calls “a new style of adventure travel,” which combines small vessels, expert guides, and sustainable practices to experience nature and wildlife up-close.

His cruises and tours consist of specially outfitted yachts, small ships and wilderness lodges that serve for naturalists to lead small group explorations into the wilderness.

Smith is a fan of small ship cruise experiences off-the-beaten-path, away from crowds allowing his guests a chance to connect with nature and the local community.

When asked about sustainable practices in the cruise industry, Smith points out that that “small ships have always been inherently low impact.” Adding that, “as a closed system that does not visit port regularly, small ships need to be efficient with resources and minimize waste.”

Because of space limitations, Smith and I discussed the challenges that small ships have in terms of space, which naturally leads to creative ways to reduce and reuse products. Smith also noted that small ships are more likely to employ local people and purchase local commodities than their big ship cousins.

Small ships, little impact

Smith points out that many small ships have taken this concept further to enhance guest experience and further reduce environmental impact.

Island Spirit in Alaska is outfitted with a bank of solar and generator charged batteries that allow them to shut off generators at night allowing guests to experience Alaskan solitude.

Several boats in the Galapagos have achieved certification from Smart Voyager which considers rigorous environmental and social standards to decrease impact and ensure benefits to local populations.


  • 2005 Outside Magazine Best Trips of the Year
  • 2006 National Geographic Traveler – 50 Tours of a Lifetime
  • 2007 Conde Nast World Saver Award – Conservation
  • 2008 National Geographic Adventure – Best Travel Companies on Earth
  • 2011 Travel Age West Trendsetter Award
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