American Canadian Caribbean Line, a family-owned small ship cruise line established in 1966, announces it has changed its name to Blount Small Ship Adventures.
According to President Nancy Blount, the re-branding is a natural outgrowth of many positive changes taking place at the company. "Over the past year, we placed an enhanced focus on developing new destinations and types of cruise experiences," she states. "We made a concerted effort to stay true to our roots while delivering the kinds of cruise itineraries today¹s travelers want. Our primary goal was, and still is, to create adventures to places few others can get to."
The new name is a tribute to ACCL founder Capt. Luther H. Blount, founder of the line, who passed away in 2006. "Our name now explains the type of cruise we operate small, informal, yacht-style rather than the locales we visit", notes Ms. Blount, one of three daughters of Capt. Blount who run both the family-owned cruise line and a thriving shipyard. "It¹s reflective of my father¹s spirit of adventure which lives on today. There¹s no question he has left his mark on the industry and continues to be remembered as a travel visionary."
Capt. Blount designed and built a fleet of one-of-a-kind vessels that could take him and his passengers to places no one else could get to. He coined the marketing slogan, "Go where the big ships cannot" to describe the small ship adventure that is perpetuated as the Blount brand. His ships feature patented innovations such as the bow ramps that allow passengers to disembark the vessel right onto the beach, and retractable pilothouses for sailing underneath low bridges and tropical overhanging vegetation. The most recent fleet has been retrofitted over the past three years, with the latest ship the 96-passenger M/V Grande Mariner just recently completed before its departure in May 2010 from the cruise line headquarters in Warren, RI bound for Chicago. Renovations include updates and improvements to cabins, washrooms and common areas such as the main lounge.
"It wasn¹t uncommon for my father to get in a boat and navigate uncharted waters such as the Orinoco River, Rio Dulce or even the shallows of The Bahamas to personally discover a new itinerary," Ms. Blount adds. "Other cruise lines would imitate but could never duplicate the Blount experience. In some areas, our boats remain the only overnight passenger vessels that can navigate the scenic, coastal waterways thanks to their unique design. Our passengers love going where others cannot!"
The cruise line has added new itineraries and ports of call to the Blount Small Ship Adventures 2011 schedule such as New York City to Toronto and Ontario¹s Georgian Bay region. Popular Caribbean itineraries have returned to the schedule as well featuring including St. Maarten and Antigua, the Virgin Islands and The Bahamas. Onboard programs including culinary demonstrations, wine tastings, and performances have been developed as well as in-port kayaking and bike activities. New ships are in the plans, too.