Blount Small Ship Adventures has two small ships that each accommodate 96 guests. They sail the Caribbean in the winter - mostly in and around Belize - and spend the rest of the year sailing US rivers, the Great Lakes, and the Coastal US waters.
The ship's cabins are small (under 150 sq ft) and about a third of them have "yacht" bathrooms (there is no separation between the sink, toilet, and shower). The Caribbean cruises include many snorkeling and diving opportunities. In the spring, summer and fall the itineraries focus on US and Canada sight seeing.
There’s something about small ship cruising that brings out the explorer in you. And it usually starts the moment you slip into your first few ports, step off the ship, and take a look around.
You notice that these places don’t seem to be bracing themselves for a crush of tourists. That people are out running errands. Living their normal lives. You’ll see the buildings, the swaying trees and the sky. And suddenly you'll realize that you’re not in the shadow of a huge cruise ship.
It’s the power of treading lightly. Of going beyond the usual tourist meccas. It’s exploration, the way it should be.
Cruise small, and you’ll meet the locals. Not at a souvenir booth on a pier. But on their street. In their neighborhood. You’ll share a few laughs, and maybe even share lunch. They’re the kind of experiences you can only have when you get to know a place through its people.
Small ship cruising means finding adventure in small towns. On isolated beaches. And in the friendships that always seem to form onboard. One dinner, one shared sunset, and one great conversation at a time.
Because when you see the world on a small ship, you stop being a tourist, and start becoming an explorer. Is there any other way to travel?
Get Closer -
Explore the Nooks and Crannies of Your World
In many ways, the size of the ship is the most obvious feature of a small cruise adventure. But what does cruising on a smaller ship really mean for your vacation? In a word, it means freedom.
The freedom to go where the big ships cannot. The freedom to steam down rivers, as carved wooden canoes drift alongside. The freedom to enter small harbors, tie up on a local dock, and head inland to explore. The freedom to find a small island, land on the beach and do some sunbathing, miles away from the crowds of tourists.
All this freedom comes down to size. The big ships are really, really big, which puts big limits on where they can go. And when it comes time to dock, they only have a few places they can fit. That's why the big cruise lines all go to the same places, and their passengers all end up exploring the same ports.
With small ships, the map of destinations opens up. Suddenly, real exploration is possible. On every corner of the map. Exploration that takes you to countless less-travelled ports, rivers, and small islands. Places unchanged by constant tourism.
It's the difference between going to a place, and being in a place. And it makes all the difference in the world.
Ships - Blount operates two identical ships, built in the US with special features (bow bridge allows you to walk straight from ship to shore, a retractable pilot house to fit under low bridges, and a glass bottomed observation window for use around Belize) adapted to river and coastal cruising. Cabins are small, just over 100 sq ft. Most have been remodeled but some still have "yacht" bathrooms (no separation between shower, sink, and toilet). It is important to understand about cabin and bathroom size before committing to these ships.
Itineraries - the Caribbean trips are most like expedition cruises - lots of water activities. The US coastal and river cruises are more focused on US and Canadian culture. As with small ships in general, the itineraries are visiting locations that would be difficult to see any other way.
Value - like all small ship operations, Blount Adventures is not cheap. Most of their trips average a little over $400 per night per person. The real value comes from the uniqueness of their itineraries.
The following are a few samples of itineraries with prices - click the link for details:
Caribbean - Belize - 14 nights - Cat 3 $5700 pp (a little over $400 per night). Limited to Cat 3 to insure a bathroom with a separate shower.
New York to Montreal - 12 nightrs - Cat 3 $5164 ($430 per night)
- 14 nights - Cat 3 $5824 ($416 per night)