By Steve Kaplan
If you are looking for a friendly, intimate family type cruise, then look no further than BLOUNT CRUISES. Their motto is “We go to places where the big ships cannot!!” Their small vessels are engineered to sail into coves, shallow waters, canals and small islands, which make their cruises quite unique.
My travelling companion and I recently experienced their small ship way of cruising on a seven-day Islands of New England cruise. Most of the Blount Cruises depart from either U.S. or Canadian cities, so getting there is easy. No overnight jet-lagged flights to far away countries that leave you exhausted for half the cruise. Getting to a Blount Cruise is as easy as taking a car, train, us or short flight to embarkation cities. As a result, you are in a relaxed frame of mind when you reach their embarkation ports.
We took a relaxing train ride from New York City, NY to Warren, Rhode Island, and in a little over three hours we were on the ship and ready to sail. There were also no long lines to board the ship or complicated forms to fill out.
Our first day of sailing took us down the Sakonnet river to Cuttyhunk, Massachusetts, a remote island off the coast of Cape Cod. That night we dined on delicious fresh lobster. The menu changes daily with such fabulous gourmet dishes as Sea Bass, Mahi Mahi, Salmon, lamb chops, fresh vegetables, fruits and meats.
There is also a full breakfast and lunch every day with mouth-watering delights. In addition, wine and beer are complimentary with every meal. Our second day was my favorite port, picturesque Nantucket. Our guided tour
took us to Nantucket’s quiet harbors, sandy beaches and elegant mansions. Nantucket is a must on your bucket list. Day three was a visit to world famous
Martha’s Vineyard, with “Ginger Bread” cottages of many vibrant colors. Martha’s Vineyard is only accessible by boat or air. It’s a very affluent summer
haven with many celebrities making their homes here. Martha’s Vineyard is also known for its laid back lifestyle, red clay architecture and its natural
The next day we visited New Bedford, Massachusetts, once the capital of the whaling industry. Their Whaling Museum boasts the bones of a fifty foot
whale which, pardon the pun, blew us away. “Thar She Blows,” was the trade mark of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, published in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1851. The fifth day brought us to Newport, Rhode Island, the home of the rich and famous, with million dollar mansions on Bellevue Avenue. We visited the famous Vanderbilt Mansion known as the “Breakers,” which is a seventy-room Italian Renaissance style palazzo on breathtaking manicured grounds. The Vanderbilts made their money in railroading and built this home as a summer palace in the late 1890s. Our last port of call was Block Island, named one of the last “Great Places on Earth” by the Nature Conservancy of NY. We loved the crashing waves hitting the shore next to the Southeast Lighthouse. Block Island has not changed in hundreds of years. It’s a place not to be missed.
For more information, go to blountsmallshipadventures.com.
Photos: (L to R): Block Island, Martha’s Vineyard cottage, Nantucket, and Newport’s Vanderbilt Mansion.