Grand Mariner

Grande Mariner

Sailing for Blount Small Ship Adventures

The 84-passenger Grande Mariner is a nimble small ship that takes its guests to destinations unreachable by larger cruise ships.

Commissioned in 1998 and built by Blount in 1998, the Grande Mariner starts most years in the Caribbean before making her way up to Montreal, just in time for fall foliage season. She was completely refurbished in 2010, with totally new cabin configurations, including new décor, washrooms, furniture in the staterooms and a renovated lounge. So if you want to take in a few rays on the sun deck, relax and enjoy the vista-view lounge, or just have a few quiet moments in your cabin as the sea drifts past your open picture window, the Grande Mariner is ready.

One dinner, one shared sunset and one great conversation at a time. This small ship was built with the destination in mind — she features a retractable pilot, a 6 ½ foot draft to cruise shallow waterways and a bow ramp that allows for easy disembarkation on beaches and remote locations.

Thanks to the retractable pilot house invented by Blount Small Ship Adventures founder and shipbuilder Luther Blount, Blount’s cruise ships slip under the famous low bridges of the Erie Canal, past small towns and historic port villages, deep into the heart of America’s past.

Grande Mariner Details

Accommodations.

When it comes to a good night’s sleep, Blount ships offer four categories of small-ship cruising cabins. Classic yacht-style cabins each with private facilities are located throughout the ship. Facilities are the same for all categories and include a head, sink, and continental type show. All cabins have individually climate controlled air conditioning systems that continuously feed in fresh air into your room, day and night. Smoking is allowed on outside deck only so all are cabins are smoke-free.

The average cabin size is approximately 100 square feet. Fresh towels daily, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and a hairdryer are available in each cabin. There’s plenty of storage underneath the beds as well as closet space to hang or store clothing.

Perfect for the solo traveler, in recent years Blount has created designated single cabins. The 60’s single cabins are located on the sun deck with doors that open to the exterior of the ship with sliding windows. Each singles cabin has a twin bed, private shower and toilet. These cabins book quickly, single travelers are recommended to reserve their cabin well in advance or take advantage of other options for solo travelers.

Grande Mariner Deck Plan

Specifications

About sunstone tours & cruises.

  • About Sunstone Tours & Cruises
  • Accessibility
  • Privacy Policy

Travel Insurance. Get a Quote! Travelex Insurance Services

Blount Boats - Warren RI

Cruise Ship Sales

M/v grande mariner.

183′ US Flagged Overnight Passenger Vessel

Photo Gallery

  • Plan My Cruise
  • Cruise Lines
  • Blount Small Ship Adventures

Grande Mariner

grande mariner cruise ship

Commissioned and built by Blount Boats in 1998, the Grande Mariner makes her way up to Montreal, just in time for fall foliage season. She was refurbished in 2010, with totally new cabin configurations including new décor, new bathrooms, new furniture in the cabins, a renovated lounge, new décor, and brand new furniture. So if you want to take in a few rays on the sun deck, relax and enjoy the vista-view lounge, or just have a few quiet moments in your cabin as the sea drifts past your open picture window, the Grande Mariner is ready.

Cruise Planners

Modal title

Get exclusive deals and services, cruise planners travel messages.

Receive texts for:

*Messages and data rates may apply. Text STOP to opt-out or HELP for help. Message frequency varies. By opting in, you consent to receiving SMS messages. Privacy Policy

[WWW]

Note: You must be logged in to add comments

WAVEJourney

  • Connect on Facebook
  • Follow on Twitter
  • RSS for Entries
  • Subscribe via Email
  • About WAVEJourney
  • Travel Bloggers Influencer Network – #TBIN
  • TBINChat on Twitter – #TBINChat #TBIN
  • Bucket List Travelers Travel Advisor Services
  • WJ Contributors
  • Writer’s Guidelines
  • Privacy Policy – WAVE Journey
  • Full Disclosure
  • Book Travel
  • Ocean Cruises
  • River Cruises in Europe
  • Hotel Barge Cruises
  • Adventure Cruises
  • Small Ship Cruises
  • River Cruises in the USA
  • River Cruise on the Mekong River
  • Sailing Cruises
  • Halong Bay Cruise
  • Travel Tours
  • Travel Deals
  • Trip Planning Resources
  • Before You Leave – Resources & Tools
  • Cruise Reviews
  • Train Travel
  • Travel Tours for Disabled
  • Women’s Travel Blogs
  • Camino de Santiago
  • Horse Riding
  • RVing for Women
  • Water Sports
  • Winter Sports
  • Great Places to Sleep
  • Gear and Gadgets
  • Clothing and Footwear
  • Great Eats and Drinks
  • Featured Photos
  • Central & South America
  • Great Britain

Blount Small Ship Adventures – Grande Mariner Ship

Sharing is caring!

Blount Small Ship Adventures - Grande Mariner

Blount Small Ship Adventures – Grande Mariner

WJ Tested: Blount Small Ship Adventures Bahamian Out Island Cruise – Grande Mariner Facts

WAVEJourney joined Blount Small Ship Adventures for their 12-night Bahamian Out Islands cruise on Grande Mariner in March 10-22, 2016. The ship was commissioned and built by Blount Boats in 1998 in Warren, Rhode Island, USA, and is ideal for cruising waters more suited to private yachts. Due to the shallow draft of Grande Mariner’s hull we were able to visit remote, uninhabited and secluded locations – making for a very unique cruise experience.

Grande Mariner in Compass Cay The Bahamas

Grande Mariner primarily cruises a variety of itineraries in the United States; New England and the Great Lakes.

GRANDE MARINER FACTS:

  • Built and commissioned in 1998 by Blount Boats, Warren, Rhode Island
  • Refurbished in 2010
  • Registered in the USA
  • Length = 184′
  • Draft = 6’6”
  • Gross tonnage = 97 GT
  • Service speed = 10 knots
  • Retractable pilot house to pass under low bridges
  • Bow ramp for beach landings
  • Air-conditioning throughout the ship
  • Electricity = 110 volt
  • Public decks = 4
  • Guest cabins = 44
  • Guest capacity = 88 (46 during our cruise)

ADDITIONAL FEATURES:

  • Chair lifts on stairs between dining room/lounge and lounge/sun deck levels.

Grande Mariner - Chair Lift

Grande Mariner – Chair Lift

  • A skiff, kayaks, a glass bottom boat and a BBQ were carried on the sun deck of the Bahamian itinerary

Glass Bottom Boat Excursion with Blount Small Ship Adventures

Glass Bottom Boat Excursion with Blount Small Ship Adventures

  • Bow ramp for beach landings – passengers walk down the ramp, directly down into the water and onto the beach.

Grande Mariner Bow Ramp

Grande Mariner Bow Ramp

GRANDE MARINER PASSENGER FACILITIES:

  • Lounge – Passengers used this space for demonstrations and lectures, entertainment, games, reading, puzzles, movies, BYOB cocktail happy hour.

Grande Mariner Lounge

Grande Mariner Lounge

  • Dining Room – Meals are served at set times in one seating, although tables are not assigned (so passengers can decide which table they sit at for each meal). A coffee/tea/soft drink station is open 24-hours. Cookies are available in the dining room all day long. Wine and beer are included and available at lunch and dinner. Passengers are encouraged to bring their own alcohol on the ship (ice and mixers are provided free of charge) to consume where and when they wish.

Grande Mariner - Table Set for Dinner

Grande Mariner – Table Set for Dinner

  • Sun Deck – A large section of the sun deck has an awning that provided relief from the hot Bahamian sun. Loungers and tables with chairs are available for passengers to use as they wish.

Grande Mariner Sun Deck

Grande Mariner Sun Deck

  • Aft Sun Deck – A small open area at the stern of the ship had a couple of tables with chairs. Plus it was utilized for storing the snorkeling equipment, and there was a stationary bike, eliptical and yoga mats for passengers to use. This was also the area where passengers hung up to dry any clothes they had hand-washed.

Grande Mariner Aft Sun Deck

Grande Mariner Aft Sun Deck

GRANDE MARINER CABINS:

  • There are 4 cabin categories.
  • Cabin sizes range from 72-96 square feet.

Grande Mariner Twin Bed Cabin with a Window

Grande Mariner Twin Bed Cabin with a Window

  • Cabins have private bathrooms (the shower stall and toilet/sink area are separate).
  • Bottled water is provided in the cabins, but water from the taps in the cabin bathroom is safe to drink.
  • There is very limited counter space in the toilet/sink stall (so our hanging bathroom bag was ideal to use when hung on the hook inside the door).

Grande Mariner - Cabin Shower Stall

Grande Mariner – Cabin Shower Stall

  • Each cabin has an air conditioning/heating unit (bring ear plugs as the units are extremely noisy).
  • Storage is very limited in most cabins, but adequate for the relaxed and casual dress code.
  • Closets have a dozen wooden hangers.
  • Life jackets are located in each cabin.

Grande Mariner - Cabin 50A storage

Grande Mariner – Cabin 50A storage

  • Most, but not all cabins, have windows.
  • Solo cabins are available.

Grande Mariner Single Cabin

Grande Mariner Single Cabin

  • The cabin doors can be locked from the inside, but there are no keys to lock them from the outside.
  • There are no safes in the cabins, so we locked our valuables inside our suitcases.
  • A Do Not Disturb magnet is used on the outside of the cabin door for privacy.
  • Bring your own music and/or earbuds/speakers to use in your cabin.
  • There isn’t an alarm clock or TV/DVD players in the cabins.
  • Robes are not available.

BATHROOM AMENITIES INCLUDE:

  • Small bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and body wash.
  • Liquid hand soap.
  • Washcloths, hand towels and bath towels.
  • Body lotion is not provided, so be sure to bring your own.

WAVEJourney was in cabin 50A – a category 4 with fixed twin-beds. A sliding window opened for fresh air out to the promenade deck, and the cabin door opened into the ship’s interior corridor. The cabin was amply spacious and comfortable for our voyage in the Bahamas.

READ MORE: Discovering the Bahamas with Blount Small Ship Adventures

Notes: WAVEJourney were media guests of Blount Small Ship Adventures from March 10-22, 2016. Read our  full disclosure statement to see our review policy.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Small Ship Cruises

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

' src=

Since 2005... Viv Chapleo & Jill Hoelting are the dynamic duo behind WAVEJourney.com - Women's Adventures, Vacations & Experiences ~ Your Journey Starts Here!

WAVEJourney.com is a women's online travel magazine that provides valuable first-hand travel tips, tales, steals and deals to a world-wide audience.

Search WAVEJourney.com

Sign up for wj’s free monthly newsletter, wavejourney is a member of tbin.

WAVEJOURNEY IS A MEMBER OF TBIN

WAVEJOURNEY IS A MEMBER OF ATTA

Contact the adventure creators for custom pyrenees trips.

CONTACT THE ADVENTURE CREATORS FOR CUSTOM PYRENEES TRIPS

ROAMING MAN 4G WORLDWIDE WI-FI HOTSPOT

ROAMING MAN 4G WORLDWIDE WI-FI HOTSPOT

DO YOU DREAM OF BEING A TRAVEL WRITER?

Finding it hard to break into the travel writing business?

Linden Gross, a two-time New York Times bestselling writer—and a writing coach to other bestselling writers—offers one-one-one travel writing coach sessions .

And when your piece is ready, you can publish it on her TravelswithLinden website and get that all-important first online clip.

POPULAR POSTS

  • Travel USA: Wine, Sunsets and Jazz in Key West
  • Travel Greece: A Glimpse of the Greek Islands
  • Travel Portugal: How to Ride Porto’s Metro System
  • WJ Tested: Scottish Highlander Hotel Barge Review

CroisiEurope Deborah Hotel Barge Cruise in France

Wj tested: costa mediterranea norway cruise review, wj tested: costa mediterranea norway & northern europe itinerary highlights.

  • Hiking Tour of the Camino de Santiago with Portugal Green Walks

WJ Tested: Celebrity Cruises Silhouette Transatlantic Itinerary Highlights

Wj tested: celebrity cruises silhouette transatlantic cruise review, wj tested: holland america line nieuw statendam review, march 2019 travel tips and tales newsletter.

  • February 2019 Travel Tips and Tales Newsletter
  • Travel Wisconsin: Osthoff Resort Christmas Market

Travel Canada: The Best Way to Spend 72 Hours in Quebec City

  • January 2019 Travel Tips and Tales Newsletter
  • Cruise to Bermuda with Celebrity Cruises

Travel Washington: Bellingham is Ideal for Lovers of Beer & Adventure!

  • Travel USA: Washington, DC – The Heartbeat of America
  • Cruise Bermuda on Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas

A NEW KIND OF TRAVEL OUTLET

Are you a traveler looking for a resource that goes beyond the basic guidebook?

Or maybe you’re a travel writer still looking to hone your craft and finally publish your work.

Either way, check out the highly subjective and positively personal TravelswithLinden.com .

CroisiEurope Deborah Hotel Barge Cruise in France

Maine Windjammer Adventure on Schooner Mary Day

Adventure of the Seas Canada & New England Cruise – Day 11

Adventure of the Seas Canada & New England Cruise – Day 11

Adventure of the Seas Canada & New England Cruise – Day 10

Adventure of the Seas Canada & New England Cruise – Day 10

Adventure of the Seas Canada & New England Cruise – Day 9

Adventure of the Seas Canada & New England Cruise – Day 9

' src=

March 2019 Travel Tips and Tales Newsletter By WAVEJourney Greetings! Spring is here in the Northern Hemisphere and WJ has big travel plans! How about you? Chat with us and let us know where you’re going, what you’re doing, and ask for the advice and travel tips you need to enhance your adventures. After a […]

Added By WAVEJourney on 03/26/2019

WJ NEWSLETTERS

TRAVEL CANADA: QUÉBEC WINTER CARNIVAL

Wj tested: discovering history-rich quebec city, travel canada: exploring quebec’s eastern townships, connect with us.

grande mariner cruise ship

  • Destinations
  • Privacy Policy

© 2016, ↑ WAVEJourney

Privacy Overview

grande mariner cruise ship

Grande Mariner

Grande Mariner

  • Shipyard Blount Industries
  • Length 55.70 m
  • Beam 12.10 m
  • Tons 829 gt
  • Passengers 91
  • Crew/Pax ratio 1 : 5.35
  • Currency USD
  • Language English
  • Flag United States
  • Central America
  • Southern America

grande mariner cruise ship

Schöne Kreuzfahrt zwischen Belize und Mexiko

Ich habe dieses kleine Schiff ausprobiert, als ich noch auf der American Canadian Cruise Line unterwegs war. Ich erinnere mich an guten Service, angenehme Umgebung und eine sehr schöne Reiseroute.

  • Embarkation
  • Comfort and design
  • Cleaning/Maintenance
  • Gym and Spa
  • Theater shows
  • Internet service / Wi-fi
  • Baby club / Teen club
  • Guest service
  • Entertainment
  • Bar service
  • Main restaurants quality
  • Buffet restaurants quality
  • Speciality restaurants quality
  • Would you cruise this ship again?
  • Do you recommend this ship?
  • Value for money
  • Language assistance

grande mariner cruise ship

  • Disembarkation
  • Maintenance
  • Service in restaurants

Travel Squire

A Cruise on Lake Michigan

The captain had some bad news. The Grande Mariner, our cruise ship, was not going anywhere today. Docked at colorful Navy Pier in Chicago, and ready to head out on an adventure on Lake Michigan, it was stationary for the day and would remain so. The lake was apparently experiencing weather far out beyond the shores of Chicago which was keeping us moored a little longer.

Grande Mariner

In all our years of cruising we’d never experienced a cruise that was grounded because of weather but Blount Small Ship Adventures was determined to still make this experience memorable. They immediately made plans for a cruise of the harbor on a large sailing ship in the morning and offered an architecture cruise of the city on the Chicago River in the afternoon, at no cost to the passengers.

Grande Mariner Cabin

It was really pleasant to return to the Grande Mariner though, after a day of adventures in Chicago. It was our home away from home and quite comfortable. The ship holds only 98 passengers and although the cabins are comparatively small, they’re well designed and have plenty of room for two large bags. Our cases slid easily under the bed, a plus when you’re in a cabin for a week and don’t relish tripping over them the entire time.

Grande Mariner Dining Room

The ship has a large bar and lounge area with comfortable seating. An unusual and pleasant benefit of cruising with Blount is that they encourage passengers to bring their own wine and spirits onboard, even offering to store it for them and providing mixers and snacks. Passengers can also get a soft drink from the fountain behind the bar at any time and also in the large dining area downstairs.

Grande Mariner Sundeck

A large sun deck tops the ship, furnished with plenty of chairs and lounges to enjoy the scenery. Once we left Chicago, it was extremely pleasant to relax there with the sun beating down on our faces while marveling at how large Lake Michigan is. The lake covers hundreds of miles which surprised us and when you’re in the middle of it there’s no land in sight.

Milwaukee Art Museum

On the next day when the weather hadn’t improved, Blount arranged for a bus to transport us to nearby Milwaukee, a stop on the itinerary and a beautiful city that doesn’t disappoint, sprawled along Lake Michigan’s shores with lots of trees, vast expanses of green, and a reputation for hosting a plethora of festivals. The Milwaukee Art Museum was especially impressive with over 30,000 works of art but what was truly interesting was the architecture. The Quadracci Pavilion, the most recognizable of the three buildings making up the museum, was designed by the award winning Spanish architect, Santiago Calatrava. The gull-like white wings which flare out above the building comprise a 217-foot wingspan, a moveable sunscreen, which unfolds twice daily in a remarkable display of creative engineering.

Milwaukee Art Museum Glass Sculpture

Even though we only had one day in Milwaukee, we managed to fit in a quick tour of the city, a foodie tour, and a brewery tour. Milwaukee Food and City Tours offers a variety of foodie tours in town, including one that includes the local restaurants on Brady Street, a historic area where Italian and Polish immigrants settled. Theresa Nemetz, the company’s founder, offered us a mini-tour to save some time which included sampling some delicious local specialties and an insider perspective on this interesting neighborhood where she and her husband grew up.

Food Tour

Touring a local brewery is usually a favorite of the guys and my husband is no exception. We found the tour of Lakefront Brewery the perfect way to end our day in Milwaukee. For only $7, you get a tour of the brewery, a souvenir glass and four 6 ounce pours of whatever brews you choose. Afterward you can hang out with other brew lovers in the visitors’ area with a large bar.

Lakefront Brewery

The weather did finally clear and we cruised away from our berth at Chicago’s Navy Pier on a gorgeous, sunny day. The sapphire blue waters of Lake Michigan spread to the horizon as we headed to quiet Beaver Island, quaint Holland, Michigan, and other ports. The most interesting stop for us was lovely Mackinac Island.

Mackinac Island Downtown

Made famous in the romantic film “Somewhere in Time” and perched on top of Mackinac Island like a grand dame, the Grand Hotel is truly a joy to visit. Beautifully furnished with exquisite period furniture and old fashioned rocking chairs on the front porch, we couldn’t resist stopping to enjoy a panoramic view of the island. Here we enjoyed a buffet lunch with so many choices of fresh, local foods, then toured the property which included watching tidbits of the movie partially filmed there.

Mackinac Island Carriages

Cars are not allowed on the island, so a carriage tour of the island was a requirement. We finished our day on Mackinac with a bike ride on the seven mile bike trail that runs completely around the island and provides scenic views of the lake.

Mackinac Island Bike Path

Our Blount Small Ship Adventures cruise proved to be an eye-opener in many ways. This small ship line offered a perfectly relaxing and alternative way to see big cities, small ports, and a few of the many islands in Lake Michigan.

Blount Small Ship Adventures

461 Water St.

Warren, Rhode Island 02885

866-730-5265

www.blountsmallshipadventures.com

Marine Link

  • Advertising
  • Shipbuilding
  • Coastal/Inland
  • Law & Regulations

Blount Industries' M/V Grande Mariner

LOGO

September 2, 1999

Related News

Gulf intercoastal waterway closed after barge strikes bridge in galveston.

(Photo: Galveston County Office of Emergency Management)

A section of the busy Gulf Intercoastal Waterway has been closed to vessel traffic after a barge allided with a bridge that…

Van Oord Launches Giant Offshore Wind Installation Vessel

Boreas vessel (Credit: Van Oord)

Van Oord has launched its new offshore installation vessel Boreas at the Yantai CIMC Raffles Offshore shipyard in China.The…

Brunvoll System to Propel Cyan Renewables New SOV

Illustration for Cyan Renewables new SOV (Credit: Vard Design)

Brunvoll has signed a contract with Vard for the delivery of a comprehensive propulsion and maneuvering system for Cyan Renewables'…

Cyan Renewables, Hyundai to Set Up Offshore Wind Vessel Suply Chain in South Korea

(Credit: Cyan Renewables)

Cyan Renewables, a portfolio company of Seraya Partners, has entered into a strategic collaboration with Hyundai Asset Management…

Sponsored Content

Evaluating marine license insurance providers.

Evaluating Marine License Insurance Providers

For professional mariners, safeguarding their USCG credentials with marine license insurance is vital. Yet, not all insurers offer the same caliber of service and expertise.

Revolutionized Fleet Management with ABS Wavesight Nautical Systems™ Mobile

Revolutionized Fleet Management with ABS Wavesight Nautical Systems™ Mobile

As the maritime industry continues to rapidly advance with increasingly stringent regulations and ever-evolving technology, staying ahead of the curve requires embracing innovative technological

GLO Marine: Acting as a Vessel Upgrade Department in the hybridization of the MV Mygan.

GLO Marine: Acting as a Vessel Upgrade Department in the hybridization of the MV Mygan.

In a showcase of expert project management and engineering precision, GLO Marine successfully integrated a mild-hybrid prototype onboard the MV Mygan, a 6000 tonnes deadweight cargo ship.

Any Entry Level

Operations chief, second officer - mixed work schedule, damage controlman, second assistant engineer (d).

Evaluating Marine License Insurance Providers

Help Wanted: US Maritime Industry Struggles to Fill Key Gaps

Subscribe for Maritime Reporter E-News

Maritime Reporter E-News is the maritime industry's largest circulation and most authoritative ENews Service, delivered to your Email five times per week

  • CruiseMapper
  • Grande Mariner deck plans

Grande Mariner deck 3 plan (Lounge)

Deck layout and review, review of grande mariner deck 3 (lounge).

  • Observation Lounge is the ship's main lounge served with drinks by its own bar. The lounge has single-seating capacity (can accommodate all passengers) and have direct access to the Promenade Deck (wraparound outdoor open-air deck space).
  • The lounge also serves the Blount cruise company's onboard enrichment program - activity workshops, themed lectures, video presentations, music parties, open bar cocktail hour.
  • Passengers are allowed to bring their own bottled alcohol (wine and spirits) on the ship.

Lounge Deck cabins are in the following categories:

  • Category 3 (60B) - one double bed (non-convertible to twins), sliding window, en-suite bathroom, entry door opens to an outdoor (promenade) deck.
  • Category 3 "Single Outside" (60A, 62A) - one lower bed, sliding window, en-suite bathroom, entry door opens to an outdoor (promenade) deck.
  • Category 4 (50A-B, 56A-B, 57B, 70A-B, 80B, 81B) - two lower beds, sliding window, en-suite bathroom, entry door opens to an outdoor (promenade) deck. Some cabins can be fitted with double beds. Some staterooms' entry doors open to an interior hallway.

grande mariner cruise ship

America’s Most Scenic Small-Ship and River Cruises

Columbia and snake rivers.

T hese nine-day American river cruises on the American Queen Steamboat Company's American Empress sail from Vancouver, Washinton to Portland, Oregon and show you a glimpse at some of the most gorgeous scenery in the Pacific Northwest. From the paddle wheeler, you'll get to see the dramatic waterfalls at the Columbia River Gorge, the pioneer town The Dalles, and sea lions and filming sites from the hit 1980s film, The Goonies in Astoria.

Rivers of Wine Theme Cruise on the Columbia and Snake Rivers

These seven-night American river cruises on the UnCruise Adventure's S.S. Legacy sail round trip out of Portland, Oregon cruising a similar route to American Empress but focusing on wine. A sommelier and guest wine expert sail with passengers for the week, serving as an onboard resource and hosting tastings. There are also wine tastings, vineyard tours, and wine cave tours in Columbia Gorge, Walla Walla, Red Mountain, Columbia Valley, and the Willamette Valley and guests get to taste old-vine varietals and wines from eco-cultivated vineyards. River cruises are also popular across the pond.

Adventure Theme Cruise on the Olympic Peninsula

Sailing round-trip out of Seattle through Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands on an elegant little yacht, this seven-night cruise on UnCruise Adventure's Safari Quest includes kayaking, paddle boarding, and plenty of hikes. There are also opportunities to spot bald eagles, sea lions, and whales and to enjoy local seafood, including oysters and clams.

Upper Mississippi American Heartland Theme Cruise

This river cruise from Chicago to St. Louis is on American Queen Steamboat Company's newest ship, the American Duchess , a paddle wheeler as majestic as her older sisters, with the same iconic red paddlewheel. You'll see the towering skyscrapers of Chicago and get the perfect photo op of St. Louis's famed arch. The focus of this cruise is American history, and you can see towns that were settled as trading posts by French explorers, visit the site of the first Lincoln-Douglas debate in Ottowa, Illinois, and check out places from Mark Twain's writings in his hometown of Hannibal, Missouri. Want to learn even more of America's backstory? Start with these 16 best cities for American history buffs .

Ohio River Cruise

These 11-day cruise tours on American Cruise Line's Queen of the Mississippi travel from St. Louis to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania visiting Louisville, Kentucky and Cincinnati (among other towns) along the way. You'll get a behind-the-scenes tour of Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby, and tour the Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati. In Cape Girardeau, you'll see everything from Trail of Tears sites to Civil War battlefields. Best of all, expect plenty of bluegrass music and mint juleps along the way.

Music Cruise on the Cumberland River

These seven-night American river cruises from Nashville to St. Louis also on American Cruise Line's Queen of the Mississippi will take you to the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Grand Ole Opry, and the Johnny Cash Museum and then heads on to St. Louis for a celebration of blues music.

Mississippi River Bourbon Theme Cruise

Cruise up the Mississippi River from Memphis to Louisville on the American Queen Steamboat Company's American Queen, with private tastings and cooking demos along the way, as well as lectures by historians. This special sailing, offered annually in July, also includes the opportunity to sample rare and vintage bourbons as well.

Lake Michigan

On this eight-day cruise roundtrip out of Chicago on Blount Small Ship Adventures's Grande Mariner , you'll visit Mackinac Island, Michigan, home to historic homes and plenty of rocking chairs as well as Sturgeon Bay in Wisconsin's Door County, where you'll see lighthouses and plenty of yachts.

Lower Mississippi from New Orleans to New Orleans

See—and eat—the highlights of New Orleans—from beignets to po' boys—before setting sail on American Cruise Line's America Song . You'll head to Natchez and Vicksburg in Missouri for Civil War sites and St. Francisville and Houmas House, Louisiana for historic plantations with a stop in the middle in Baton Rouge to see the Louisiana State Museum and the capital buildings. Occasionally, the line also offers a food-themed cruise out of New Orleans, too.

Maine Coastal Cruises

Maine Windjammer Association's Lewis R. French is a dramatic 21-passenger schooner that offers two- to six-night cruises in the summer and through the month of September out of the town of Camden, Maine. The schooner, which dates back to 1871 and is a National Historic Landmark, has no engine, and powers through Penobscot Bay just with the wind in its sails. You can help out with the sails, and watch for porpoises and eagles.

Newport, Nantucket, and Martha's Vineyard Cruise

This sailing yacht, the Arabella , may winter in the Caribbean, but it summers in the northeast, home of lobster rolls, lighthouses, and clambakes. The five-night sailings in July, August, and September let you travel to the area's loveliest beaches under billowing white sails.

Chesapeake Bay Cruise

This seven-night cruise on American Cruise Line's Independence sails round-trip out of Baltimore to Oxford, St. Michael's, and Annapolis, Maryland as well as Yorktown and Williamsburg, Virginia. You'll visit coastal fishing villages and eat plenty of hard-shell blue crabs, and get to visit Baltimore's famed aquarium.

Hudson River Valley Fall Foliage Theme Cruise

This eight-day American river cruise on American Cruise Line's American Constitution sails round-trip out of New York City before taking you to Hyde Park, the Catskills, and West Point as well as Sleepy Hollow, all in upstate New York. But in addition to the history in the region, the highlight of the cruise is easily the changing colors of the autumnal leaves.

Savannah to Baltimore

Cruise one of our favorite 12-day American river cruises in the Southeast on Blount Small Ship Adventures's Grand Mariner and you'll spend your days exploring Beaufort by horse-drawn carriage and wander the cobblestone streets of Charleston, South Carolina as the port town of Annapolis. Read on to discover the best cruise to take every month of the year .

The post America’s Most Scenic Small-Ship and River Cruises appeared first on Reader's Digest .

queen mississipi

grande mariner cruise ship

Blount Small Ship Adventures

Global operator

Service level

Travelers age

Trip prices

$1,999 — 4,999

Tour languages

Quick Links:

Trips other travelers liked

Marrakech To Fes with luxury Camp-3 days

Marrakech To Fes with luxury Camp-3 days

“Where the mountains meet the sea”- Kotor Bay, Lovcen & Skadar Lake National Park

“Where the mountains meet the sea”- Kotor Bay, Lovcen & Skadar Lake National Park

Ice to Sun 2023: Argentina & Brazil

Ice to Sun 2023: Argentina & Brazil

4-Days Cuyabeno

4-Days Cuyabeno

Highlights of Turkey 10 Day - Istanbul - Cappadocia - Ephesus and Pamukkale

Highlights of Turkey 10 Day - Istanbul - Cappadocia - Ephesus and Pamukkale

Brazil (North): See & Experience it ALL in 13 Days, 1st Class Custom Tours

Brazil (North): See & Experience it ALL in 13 Days, 1st Class Custom Tours

Family Fun In Cambodia

Family Fun In Cambodia

Discover Albania

Discover Albania

Member savings.

Sign in  to see which companies give additional savings to Travelstride Members (it’s free)

  • Small Ship & Expedition Cruises
  • North America
  • Central America & Caribbean

Compare with Blount Small Ship Adventures

View all tour company comparisons

How well do you know the world?

Blount small ship adventures reviews & ratings, exciting experiences.

I’ve enjoyed working with Blount for two years now. Passengers on board have nothing but positive feedback and exciting experiences to share. I look forward to cruis...

Unique itinerary and amazing people!

Wonderful small ships

Wonderful small ships that go where bigger ones can't. Great crew and staff.

A super way to see New England

A super way to see New England. I went on the New England island tour for 6 days - but they also have other routes that look great! The ship was comfortable and th...

very good trip

Just wanted to say thank you to all the staff on the Grand Caribe for a very good trip. Love watching that dough being worked daily in the galley. The areas we visit...

See all Blount Small Ship Adventures reviews

Gifts Card

Editoral Review of Blount Small Ship Adventures

The family-owned cruiseline, based in Rhode Island, operates two ships: the Grande Mariner, and the Grande Caribe. Their ships date from the late 1990s and while they aren’t equipped with many bells and whistles that modern travelers may be used to, they offer good deck space, vista lounges, and enjoyable food.

What Makes Blount Small Ship Adventures Stand Out?

  • 84 passengers maximum
  • Strictly casual atmosphere - no need to ever dress up
  • Friendly U.S. staff
  • Unique destinations that big ships can’t reach

Blount’s motto — “to go where the big ships cannot” – sums up the basis of its appeal. Their small ships can dock at shallow, out-of-the-way ports as well as put in to centrally located urban docking facilities such as Chicago’s Navy Pier.

A drone shot of a boat in the blue ocean

The line’s founder, ex-oysterman and shipbuilder Luther Blount, was a true innovator in the cruise industry. Blount patented the bow ramp that enabled passengers to walk directly from the ship onto the shore, rather than having to ride small tender boats into port.

He also patented the retractable pilot house, which, along with the shallow draft of his ships, made it possible to cruise under low bridges and down narrow waterways like the Erie Canal.  

 Who Travels With Blount Small Ship Adventures?

  • Mid-range budget travelers
  • History buffs, culture enthusiasts, and soft adventurers

An older gentleman kissing his wife on the cheek at the beach

 Blount attracts mostly passengers in their 50s and 60s, with some older and some younger. While the physical level is generally very easy, guests are recommended to be able to walk up steep gangways, step over thresholds and open doors for safety reasons. If needed, stair lifts are available for use on all ships.

There aren’t a lot of facilities for children, and activities and ports tend to be low-key, and geared toward adults with an interest in history, culture, and soft adventure (kayaks, snorkeling gear, bikes, and other sports equipment are available on board many cruises).

Top Destinations

  • Central America

A ship's steering wheel with the sun shining against it

You can explore Great American Waterways and Canadian Lakes on a tour with Blount Small Ship Adventures. The line is one of the few to operate on the Great Lakes, but also travels the Mississippi, Lake Champlain between New York and Vermont, and New York’s Hudson River and Erie Canal.

Among its more far-flung destinations are Guatemala’s Rio Dulce, a shallow river bordered by rainforest; Mayaguana, one of the most remote islands in the Bahamas; and Canada’s Georgian Bay.  

Blount Small Ship Adventures Travel Style

Blount is all about everything that traditional cruise ship vacations are not. For starters, there’s a huge emphasis on keeping things casual. This means everything from no luxurious staterooms and TVs, to open seating dining plans so you’re not restricted to eating within a particular time of day. The best part? BYOB is encouraged! Bringing your own bottles of alcohol is typically restricted on large cruise lines - but none of that here. They’ll provide all the mixers, storage, and barware as well free of charge.

three people clicking wine glasses with cocktails

Education is also an important aspect of the Blount experience. Their guest lecturers and local experts provide engaging discussions so you can get an insider’s perspective. This is a great way to get a deeper understanding of a destination beyond what meets the eye.

Why Choose a Tour with Blount Small Ship Adventures?

Blount has decades of experience navigating North American rivers, visiting villages and historic ports, as well as taking passengers to lakes and bays that most other cruise lines cannot or will not travel. If you find traditional cruise ship vacations to be over-the-top, perhaps expensive, or you’re simply just looking for a casual atmosphere, Blount Small Ship Adventures might be the change you’ve been searching for!

Unlock Community Benefits

Travel better together.

  • Save favorite trips and itineraries
  • Get insider insights
  • Receive personalized recommendations
  • ... and much more

More Details

Solo friendly.

  • No single supplement

Travelstride featured in

About the company.

We take you away from the usual, beyond traditional cruising, and closer to adventure. We bring an area to life with onboard historians and naturalists, wine-tastings, photography workshops and culinary demonstrations. In port, you'll experience the authentic flavors of a region from kayaking to horse-drawn carriage rides.

Our trademark bow ramp can literally take you from ship to shore, but we also dock where private yachts dock making the places you want to see as accessible as possible. And with no more than 96 guests there are never over-crowded spaces or herding in port...making your cruise a casual, relaxing and personal adventure.

Blount Small Ship Adventures Trips & Specials

Great American Waterways (on the Grande Mariner)

Great American Waterways (on the Grande Mariner)

Locks, Legends & Canals of the Northeast (on the Grande Caribe)

Locks, Legends & Canals of the Northeast (on the Grande Caribe)

Locks, Legends & Canals of the Northeast (on the Grande Mariner)

Locks, Legends & Canals of the Northeast (on the Grande Mariner)

Islands of New England (on the Grande Mariner)

Islands of New England (on the Grande Mariner)

Locks, Legends & Canals of the Northeast (on the Grande Mariner)

Want a tailor-made trip instead?

Your trip, your way, planned by an expert:.

  • You choose budget, destinations, activities, transport & lodging type
  • Expert designs the itinerary for you, and once approved, takes care of logistics

Top Blount Small Ship Adventures Trip Categories

Blount small ship adventures company ranking by category, similar companies, about travelstride, find your perfect trip, travel confidently.

COMMENTS

  1. Grande Mariner Itinerary, Current Position, Ship Review

    MV Grande Mariner cruise ship was launched in 1998 as a USA-built and flagged passenger ship with max capacity 118 people. The vessel is owned and operated by the US travel company "Blount Small Ship Adventures" and was specifically designed for coastal and river cruising. Just like the sistership Grande Caribe, Mariner features a retractable ...

  2. Grande Mariner

    The 84-passenger Grande Mariner is a nimble small ship that takes its guests to destinations unreachable by larger cruise ships.. Commissioned in 1998 and built by Blount in 1998, the Grande Mariner starts most years in the Caribbean before making her way up to Montreal, just in time for fall foliage season. She was completely refurbished in 2010, with totally new cabin configurations ...

  3. Blount Small Ship Adventures Grande Mariner Cruise: Expert Review (2023)

    Grande Mariner Review. American-built in 1998, Grande Mariner carries American officers and crew and up to 83 passengers. The shallow draft of 6'6" allows safe navigation in bodies of water and ...

  4. Blount Small Ship Adventures

    Dining on board BLOUNT small cruise ships, the Grand Caribe and Grande Mariner, is a comfortable and casual affair. An open seating plan, so you can meet new friends at every meal. Meals are prepared with attention to local ingredients and recipes, and complimentary beer and wine are included with lunch and dinner on most itineraries.

  5. M/V GRANDE MARINER

    © 2024 - Blount Boats - Warren RI | All rights reserved Scroll to Top

  6. Grande Mariner

    Commissioned and built by Blount Boats in 1998, the Grande Mariner makes her way up to Montreal, just in time for fall foliage season. She was refurbished in 2010, with totally new cabin configurations including new décor, new bathrooms, new furniture in the cabins, a renovated lounge, new décor, and brand new furniture.

  7. Grande Caribe Itinerary, Current Position, Ship Review

    Just like the sistership Grande Mariner, Caribe features a retractable pilothouse (navigation bridge) which allows passing under low bridges. The ship's shallow draft (just 2 m / 6 ft) allows it to operate on canal and river cruises, as well as near-shore cruising expeditions. The vessel (IMO number 8978631) is currently USA- flagged (MMSI ...

  8. Blount Small Cruise Ships

    Over the years, Blount has continuously updated their ships to keep everything on board modern -- including cabins, dining, amenities, and other aspects of life on the Grande Caribe and Grande Mariner. With each Blount cruise ship, travelers will get an in-depth look at life on the Great Lakes while taking a break from the hustle and bustle of ...

  9. Grande Mariner deck plan

    Grande Mariner deck plan review at CruiseMapper provides newest cruise deck plans (2024-2025-2026 valid floor layouts of the vessel) extracted from the officially issued by Blount Small Ship Adventures (Small Cruise Lines) deckplan pdf (printable version).. Each of the Grande Mariner cruise ship deck plans are conveniently combined with a legend (showing cabin codes) and detailed review of all ...

  10. Grande Mariner

    Port of Rochester is one of the stops of the Grande Mariner, a cruise ship owned by the Great Lakes Cruise company.The 1,184 foot long, 100 passenger vessel docks at the Port of Rochester as part of a 15-night cruise called the Great American Waterways tour.The cruise starts at Chicago, travels through the Great Lakes and ends in Rhode Island.

  11. Grande Mariner cabins and suites

    Grande Mariner cruise ship cabins (passenger staterooms) are in the following categories by deck: Lower Deck 1. Category 1 "Inside" (20-21-22-A-B) - one double bed (non-convertible to twins), one bunk bed (above), no window, en-suite bathroom, entry door opens to an interior hallway. Main Deck 2. Category 1 - upper and lower beds (10A, 10B) or ...

  12. Blount Small Ship Adventures Grande Mariner Cruise Ship: Review, Photos

    Blount Small Ship Adventures Grande Mariner Cruises: Read 19 Blount Small Ship Adventures Grande Mariner cruise reviews. Find great deals, tips and tricks on Cruise Critic to help plan your cruise.

  13. GRANDE MARINER Current Location

    CruiseMapper provides free cruise tracking, current ship positions, itinerary schedules, deck plans, cabins, accidents and incidents ('cruise minus') reports, cruise news. CruiseMapper. Tracker; Ships; ... Grande Mariner Small Cruise Lines. Last Report: May 29, 2020 16:11 UTC. Review Deckplans. Year of built 1998; Length (LOA) 56 m / 183 ft ...

  14. Blount Small Ship Adventures

    WAVEJourney joined Blount Small Ship Adventures for their 12-night Bahamian Out Islands cruise on Grande Mariner in March 10-22, 2016. The ship was commissioned and built by Blount Boats in 1998 in Warren, Rhode Island, USA, and is ideal for cruising waters more suited to private yachts.

  15. Grande Mariner

    The cruising world reviewed by you. Check out the Reviews of Grande Mariner with opinions, advice and cruise passenger experiences. Offers, information and departure calendars on Cruising Journal.

  16. Grande Mariner Cruises, Lake Michigan

    The Grande Mariner, our cruise ship, was not going anywhere today. Docked at colorful Navy Pier in Chicago, and ready to head out on an adventure on Lake Michigan, it was stationary for the day and would remain so. The lake was apparently experiencing weather far out beyond the shores of Chicago which was keeping us moored a little longer.

  17. Blount Industries' M/V Grande Mariner

    September 2, 1999. Blount Industries newest cruise ship, M/V Grande Mariner, was built for American Canadian Caribbean Line, Inc. It is the second in a new line of Grande Class small cruise ships ...

  18. What You Need to Know About the Great Lakes Cruising Boom

    Eight ships will cruise the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River this year between May and October, including Blount Small Ship Adventures' Grande Mariner and Grande Caribe; St. Lawrence Cruise Lines' Canadian Empress; Plantours Kreuzfahrten's Hamburg; Croisieres M/S Jacques-Cartier's Jacques-Cartier for active cruisers; Pearl Seas ...

  19. Grande Mariner deck 3 plan

    Grande Mariner deck 3 plan (Lounge) layout - review of all facilities, activities, amenities, deck layouts ... Observation Lounge is the ship's main lounge served with drinks by its own bar. ... The lounge also serves the Blount cruise company's onboard enrichment program - activity workshops, themed lectures, video presentations, music parties ...

  20. America's Most Scenic Small-Ship and River Cruises

    On this eight-day cruise roundtrip out of Chicago on Blount Small Ship Adventures's Grande Mariner, you'll visit Mackinac Island, Michigan, home to historic homes and plenty of rocking chairs as ...

  21. Great American Waterways (on the Grande Mariner)

    Small Ship Cruise. Sail four Great Lakes and many of America's most iconic waterways! Begin your voyage in Chicago and discover the welcoming small towns of the Great Lakes region. Enjoy a day of exploration in Cleveland, OH, and admire the natural beauty of Erie, PA. Discover the treasures of Buffalo, NY and Rochester, NY, and watch as the ...

  22. Grand Mariner Reviews, Ship Details & Photos

    While prices are updated daily, please check with the booking site for the exact amount. Cruiseline.com is not responsible for content on external web sites. Find everything you'll need to know before sailing on Grand Mariner. Including Grand Mariner reviews, ship details, photos, dining, and more!

  23. Blount Small Ship Adventures Profile [2024]

    Editoral Review of Blount Small Ship Adventures. The family-owned cruiseline, based in Rhode Island, operates two ships: the Grande Mariner, and the Grande Caribe. Their ships date from the late 1990s and while they aren't equipped with many bells and whistles that modern travelers may be used to, they offer good deck space, vista lounges ...