Ensemble Travel Group and Blount Small Ship Adventures have launched new partnership that will expand members’ cruise portfolio with “a unique and profitable product that features relaxed, laid-back cruising of closer-to-home, often historic, waterways.”
The cruise line was founded by Capt. Luther H. Blount in 1966 to serve a growing market of adventurous travellers who were interested in travelling America’s historic waterways to areas previously only accessible by private yacht. An engineer and ship builder by trade, over the years Capt. Blount pioneered such innovative design elements as the retractable pilot house, which allows ships to slip under the lowest bridges and fit through tight transit locks, and the Blount bow ramp, which allows passengers to disembark directly from the ship to shore.
Blount recently announced its 2016 product, which features 10 destinations on its Grande Mariner or Grande Caribe 88-passenger vessels. Itineraries range from the “Great American Waterways” and “Bahamian Outer Islands” to “Maine and the Canadian Maritimes” and “Magical Lake Michigan.” Two President’s Cruises are also planned during the anniversary year.
According to Ensemble President Libbie Rice, it’s these closer-to-home, adventure-focused itineraries that appeal to certain clientele.
“We’ve been looking to expand a bit in the niche cruise segment and Blount is a great addition to the Ensemble cruise portfolio,” said Rice. “The product speaks to clients who seek that very casual ambiance yet are interested in exploring, discovering, and immersing themselves into each destination. Plus, being family owned and operated helps deliver that very personal, authentic feel that many travellers are looking for.”
As part of the new relationship, Blount Small Ship Adventures will be conducting several Happy Hour supplier trainings for Ensemble members at the 2015 Ensemble Travel Group International Conference set for Oct. 25-29 at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate.