Rockland, Maine, will be the August home port of Blount Small Ship Adventure’s 83-passenger cruise ship Grande Caribe.
The 184’x40’x6’6” shallow-draft exploration vessel began a 12-day, 11-night itinerary along the Maine coast to New Brunswick, Canada, on July 29. The trip runs from Rockland to Bar Harbor and Eastport, Maine, before crossing the international boundary line in Passamaquoddy Bay to visit a variety of niche ports in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia before arriving at the port of Saint John, New Brunswick, on Aug. 9. On Aug. 11, the ship will follow a reverse itinerary back to Rockland.
The cruises mark the first time Blount Small Ship Adventures has offered an itinerary out of Rockland. A Blount spokesperson said the cruise is not on the 2017 schedule, but did not rule out future itineraries from Maine.
"The coast of Maine has always been a favorite cruise location for the Blount Family and a personal favorite of mine,” said Nancy Blount, president of Blount Small Ship Adventures.
“We have great respect for the Blount family. Their ties to Maine run long and deep,” said Amy Powers, director of CruiseMaineUSA, a group that works to promote the state to the cruise ship industry. “Not only have they been cruising the coast of Maine for 45 years, but they have also built most of the passenger and car ferries in the state of Maine in their Rhode Island shipyard.”
Blount has a pair of small ships, the Grande Caribe and the the Grande Mariner, both built by Blount Industries, Warren, R.I., in the late 1990s. The ships were refurbished in 2009 and 2010, respectively. The company offers itineraries around the U.S. and plans to cruise to and from Cuba in 2017, according to its website.