A small, family-owned boutique cruise company has permanently shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Blount Small Ship Adventures, a Rhode Island-based company with three ships, halted operations earlier this year but made the decision permanent. The cruise operation was a sister company to the Blount Boats shipyard that builds a variety of vessels, including ferry boats, dinner cruise vessels and tugboats.
“Yes, this is confirmation that Blount Small Ship Cruise Lines has ceased operations,” Julie Blount, executive vice president of Blount Boats Inc., wrote in an email to TravelPulse. “The Blount family is selling its three overnight cruise ships and putting all its emphasis on the family shipbuilding business. The reason was due to the coronavirus pandemic.”
The three ships on the market are the 88-passenger M/V Grande Caribe and the M/V Grande Mariner, built in 1997 and 1998, respectively, and the 84-guest M/V Niagara Prince, built in 1994.
The ships were built and designed by the founder of the shipyard, Luther Blount, and included unique, patented features such as ramps that extended from the bow to land, stern swim platforms and a retractable pilothouse so it could slide under small bridges. The cruises operated on the Mississippi River, Lake Champlain, the Hudson River and the Erie Canal.
The company logo was “Go Where the Big Ships Cannot.”
Luther Blount founded the line in 1966 as the American Canadian Caribbean Line. Luther died in 2006 at age 90 and the cruise line changed its name to Blount Small Ship Adventures in 2010.
The news about the closure was first reported by WorkBoat, a North American maritime news source.
Most recently, the Blount shipyard was awarded a contract to build a 90-foot icebreaker/buoy tender for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
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