With the rise in popularity of cruising there is now so many ships offering loads of itineraries and destinations that it is getting quite difficult to make a decision simply because of the number of choices that are available. There are some magnificent luxury liners out there, some of which are virtual floating cites, but for my personal choice, I do prefer cruising on small ships which offer lots of port visits.
One cruise line which sails only small ships is Blount Small Ship Adventures which was began by ship builder Luther Blount who had a yen for taking people to visit the ports that he loved.
Blount has two ships, the Grand Caribe and the Grand Mariner, both of which cater for a maximum of 88 passengers and have shallow drafts which allow them to go places that larger ships just couldn’t contemplate. He was inspired to design his ships after being told that the Erie Canal’s bridges were too low to allow cruising. Undeterred, Luther Blunt designed a cruise ship with a retractable pilot house which could negotiate the canal, so that now his Erie Canal & Great Lakes: Chicago to Rhode Island cruise is one of his most popular itineraries.
Other great inland and coastal cruises include sailing from New York to Montreal along the Hudson, Erie Canal and St Lawrence Seaway; exploring the coastlines on Maine and Rhode Island; sailing around the islands of New England; sailing the Atlantic coastal route from Rhode Island to Florida; Mississippi River cruises from Nashville to New Orleans and sailing the Gulf Coast between New Orleans and St Petersburg.
Blount Small Ship Adventures also have some unique Caribbean adventures. Unique, because the ships are so small you can pull into small bays and islands which larger ships just can’t negotiate.
Blount ships also have another innovation which gets you from ship to shore without getting your feet wet – a bow ramp which extends from the ship to dry land.
Life aboard the Blount ships is comfortable but casual. The emphasis is on relaxation and enjoyment, but there are no speciality restaurants just well prepared food that is served without airs and graces. Because passenger numbers are small, you get to know the crew and your fellow passengers very well, and because the ships make plenty of shore stops every day has opportunities for passengers to occupy their time and to mix ample time to explore with plenty of scope for relaxing.