Just weeks after Port Saint John and the province jointly announced the findings of the home porting feasibility study, Blount Small Ship Adventures has confirmed that it will originate a Bay of Fundy cruise itinerary out of the Port City.
Port Saint John was deemed well-suited to become a home port for expedition-class ships, according to the results of the feasibility study. Blount’s customer offerings and line of ships fits well within this expedition-class of vessels, carrying 98 passengers on 7-16 day tours focused on unique destinations, educational opportunities and adventure.
“We are very pleased to be able to confirm that Blount Small Ship Adventures will be homeporting one of its cruises in Saint John in 2015,” said Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister Trevor Holder. “The Blount line will be the first to offer cruises where passengers will start or end their cruise experience right here in New Brunswick, and this signals to other similar companies that we’re anxious for their business, too.”
The Bay of Fundy experience and the unique features of the area are all drawing interest in the region. As recognition of the brand expands, the province and Port will be looking to expand this niche business line.
“Unlike the average visiting cruise ship, our Port won’t be the first stop for Blount passengers. They’ll experience the city before our world-class port becomes a gateway to this region’s natural wonders. We’re proud to be part of this bigger picture and be an economic driver for culture-building industries like hospitality, tourism and retail in the province,” said Peter Gaulton, chair of Port Saint John’s board of directors.
The feasibility study examined the strategic position of Port Saint John on the Canada-New England itinerary of expedition-class ships. It evaluated tourism offerings of Saint John and what steps Port Saint John needs to take to become a home port of expedition-class ships. These are often high-end, niche-market vessels, carrying 50 to 200 passengers plus crew. Expedition cruises are often geared toward adventurers with specific interests such as exploring nature.
During a call to Port Saint John, passengers spend an average of $60 to $80. In the case of home porting, passengers spend up to twice these amounts. Most passengers visiting home ports stay at least one night in a hotel while spending money on meals and other incidentals.
“We are thrilled to announce this partnership and our continued commitment to New Brunswick and Port Saint John,” said Nancy Blount, President, Blount Small Ship Adventures. “We have already been operating in the destination as part of Blount’s ‘Classical Maine and the Northeast’ cruise, and know it is beloved by our customers for its historic cities, charming maritime villages and the beauty of its rocky shores jutting into the Atlantic Ocean. Beyond the stunning backdrop it provides, we understand the economic impact of calling Port Saint John home, and are proud to partner with the destination and contribute to its tourism development.”
Blount Small Ship Adventures epitomizes the best of small ship cruising, offering highly authentic and personal experiences aboard amazing ships that can simply go where the big ships can’t.