As travelers look for new ways to explore our world, they are turning to more personal travel experiences shared with smaller groups. One of the fastest growing sectors of travel today is small ship cruising, and interest in the waterways of North, South and Central America is booming. Don’t miss out on selling this profitable travel style. Small ship cruising throughout the Americas will attract new clients and also offers former clients an alternative to long-haul river cruising and escorted touring. A Blount Small Ship Adventure is a perfect option for providing your clients with a unique way to travel.
Named by USA Today and 10Best as one of the 10 Best River Cruises for 2016, Blount Small Ship Adventures (BSSA) was founded by Luther Blount in 1966 and remains family owned and operated today. An engineer and ship builder by trade, and an avid adventurer at heart, Luther believed that in order to have a truly authentic cruising experience you had to either own your own yacht, or have a friend who did.
Because Luther Blount owned such a yacht in the early 1960’s, he invited many friends to join him and his young family as they explored hidden and hard-to-get-to destinations; some of which he discovered while delivering the boats he built. When a waiting list for Luther’s trips became necessary, the idea for creating a small ship cruise line was born.
With a commitment to “going where the big ships cannot”, and making travelers feel like they were “sailing on a friend’s yacht,” BSSA grew from one 16 passenger vessel to a fleet of three 83 passenger ships—each built to be different by design.
Cruising with BSSA means sailing the waters less traveled in a personal, uncrowded way. Going places that are inaccessible to larger cruise ships, docking where private yachts dock, and getting away from manufactured experiences are all values that have driven this company for five decades.
“We take adventurous and curious travelers on unscripted journeys to places big ships can’t go,” said Nancy Blount, the President & CEO of BSSA. “We believe the freedom of stepping directly off our ships and into adventure is the difference between going to a place, and being in a place. And our welcoming and casual atmosphere, along with some of the friendliest staff and crew in the business, ensures that sailing with Blount still feels like sailing on a friend’s yacht.”
Why Sell Small Ship Cruising in The Americas?
Interest in the romance of river cruising has grown dramatically over the past decade….and that trend shows no signs of slowing. Many Americans who have taken European river cruises are now looking for new, closer-to-home ways of experiencing our world. Exploring historic waterways like the Erie Canal or St. Lawrence Seaway; the scenic and charming Atlantic Coast; or the relaxing, undisturbed treasures of the Caribbean have now become bucket-list leaders. And this can be very lucrative for travel agents.
The Benefits of Selling BSSA:
- Competitive commissions
- Compelling consumer offers
- Group rates & charters
- Discounted travel for you
- Happy repeat clients– a BSSA 60% Retention Ratio keeps travelers coming back to you
In addition, if you join the BSSA STARS Travel Agent Certification program, you can earn extra commission on all Blount cruises. Plus, travel with BSSA and you can earn back the cost of your trip after you make 5 bookings within 12 months of your return date.
Travel Agent Discounts:
Receive between 40%-75% off regular departures, based on bookings made between 45 and 14 days of departure. Aggressive companion discounts also available.
Who Is The Typical Small Ship Client?
55+ years old
Couples and Solo travelers
College and Post College Educated
Has taken European river cruises and escorted tours
Enjoys a smaller “yacht club” type atmosphere
Interested in history and culture
Innovative Ship Designs
The unique features of BSSA’s small vessels allow unparalleled access to destinations that are simply out of reach on larger cruise vessels. Access to tiny islands, secluded coves, and small river inlets are part of every Blount itinerary. An ingenious retractable pilot house allows ships to glide gently beneath the lowest bridges and through locks, earning BSSA the distinction of being the only overnight cruise line able to transit the entirety of the Erie Canal. A 6’ draft allows navigation through shallow rivers, harbors and canals, bringing travelers to places only private yachts can go. And, the signature “bow ramp” takes adventurers directly from the ship onto shore. Imagine the faces of unsuspecting locals relaxing on the beaches of Belize as this ship approaches, landing directly on the sand!
A Different Kind of Cruise Experience
On a Blount cruise, guests will never stand in lines or feel lost in the crowd. With only 83 passengers, every cruise experience will always feel exclusive and personal. A famously friendly staff and crew consider every guest to be a part of the Blount family, creating an inviting and casual onboard atmosphere.
Crew-members are consistently recognized by travelers for their expertise, knowledge and desire to make every guest’s adventure the most memorable experience possible. As a family-run business, many of the crew have been part of the Blount family for decades. Taking a genuine pride in delivering unique experiences, they love to share their insights of the regions, waterways and cultures being experienced.
Every cruise adventure is enhanced by onboard activities including guest speakers and destination experts, lectures by historians and naturalists, and live local music. Bicycles and kayaks are available for those interested in getting even closer to a destination. Travelers may also choose to personalize their adventure with optional excursions at nearly every port.
Amenities and Comfort
- Sailing with no more than 83 passengers means a personal, uncrowded journey that goes beyond cruising
- 50 years of experience in small ship cruising and expert boat building ensures innovative itineraries, customer safety and satisfaction
- Different by design—because of the way they are built, Blount boats take you where other ships cannot go
- Locally inspired, delicious cuisine
- An informal and casual cruising experience—like sailing on a friend’s yacht
- Private cabins are air conditioned with individual in-room climate control
- New single-occupancy cabins invite single travelers to come aboard at a special rate
- Onboard lectures bring destinations to life
- Kayak and bike rentals are available for individual discovery
- A stern swimming platform, skiff, and glass bottom boat allow travelers to get even closer
- A fitness area on aft deck features exercise bikes, full size and mini step machines, yoga mats, tension bands, and lightweight dumbbells
- A unique BYOB policy and complimentary mixers allows guests to bring along their favorite beverages while avoiding high bar tabs
- Free wine and beer is served with lunch and dinner
Three common areas, including the lounge, dining room and outside top deck, all host activities while onboard including:
- Wine tastings
- Photography workshops
- Culinary demonstrations
- Games, movies, and reading
- Local musicians, historians, and naturalists
With Blount Small Ship Adventures, every meal is a feast for the senses. Expert chefs create culinary delights with perfectly cooked meats and flavorful seafood, accompanied by fresh produce, home-made soups and breads, and creative salads. Topping meals off are decadent desserts. Cuisine is tailored to reflect the regions visited on each itinerary, helping guests feel truly immersed in each destination’s local culture. Freshly baked pastries are available all day long and complimentary wine and beer is served with lunch and dinner. As guests indulge in each culinary masterpiece, they can admire the passing scenery through the large windows in an open-seating dining room.
Potato and Leek Soup
Watermelon and Feta Salad
Roast Beef and Swiss on Rosemary Focaccia
Complimentary Wine and Beer
Strawberry and Arugula Salad
Fresh Herbed Loaf
Creamy Shitake Risotto
Sugar Snap Peas
Grilled Filet Mignon with Wild Mushroom Demi Glaze
Pan Seared Mahi Mahi with Peach, Pineapple, Mango Salsa
Complimentary Wine and Beer
Cheese Plate and Crackers
Fresh Baked Pastries (available 24 hours)
Cruise itineraries for 2016 include:
The Bahamian Out Islands: 12 and 16 days
Southern Treasures: 8 Days
Atlantic Coastal Waterways: 16 Days
Maine & The Canadian Maritimes: 12 days
Islands of New England: 7 Days
Magical Lake Michigan: 8 Days
Exclusive “Signature Series”
Perennial favorites are part of a “Signature Series” programs including:
Great American Waterways: Chicago to Warren, RI
Sail four Great Lakes and many of America’s most iconic waterways! Begin your voyage in Chicago and explore the welcoming small towns of the Great Lakes region. Enjoy a day in Cleveland, OH, and admire the natural beauty of Erie, PA. Discover the treasures of Buffalo, NY and Rochester, NY, and watch as the ship’s retractable pilot house is lowered to transit the iconic Erie Canal! Sail the scenic waterways of eastern New York State, and behold the dazzling lights of Manhattan during a nighttime sail through New York Harbor before concluding in Warren, RI.
16 days, 15 nights, departing May 18; June 4, 15; July 2, 27; August 10
Locks, Legends and Canals of the Northeast: New York City to Montreal
Embark in dazzling New York City, then discover the spectacular beauty of the Hudson River Valley. Enjoy a full day of cruising the historic Erie Canal, and behold the foothills of the Catskills Mountains in Cooperstown, NY. Transit the Oswego Canal, gaze at the majesty of the Thousand Islands region, and cruise the St. Lawrence Seaway as you cross into Canada! Explore enchanting Three Rivers, QC, and enjoy an organ recital in the town’s awe-inspiring chapel. Stroll the cobblestone streets of Old Town in French-inspired Quebec City, QC, then discover vibrant Montreal, QC. A performance by local musicians is the perfect conclusion to your unforgettable adventure.
14 days, 13 nights, departing August 28; September 12; October 12, 14
Islands, Castles & Canals is one of the special President’s Cruise sailings with Nancy Blount, featuring special hors d’oeuvres, exclusive activities, and other surprises throughout the voyage.
Islands, Castles and Canals: Boston to Montreal
Embark in Boston, MA, the birthplace of American history! Discover the scenic islands of Martha’s Vineyard, MA and Block Island, RI, then admire the sweeping beauty of the Hudson River Valley and the Catskills Mountains. View the historic castles in New York’s stunning Thousand Islands region, then cross into Canada and sail the St. Lawrence Seaway, a system of locks, canals, and channels. Enjoy a private organ recital in the enchanting town of Three Rivers, QC, and explore Quebec City, QC, often considered the most romantic city in North America. A full day in Montreal, vibrant with culture, history, and artistry, is the perfect conclusion to your voyage.
16 days, 15 nights, departing September 27
BSSA offers one of the best values in small ship cruising! Prioritizing comfort over luxury and frequently offering specials, guests can earn discounts by booking two trips in a calendar year; or traveling as a group of 10 passengers or more. They can even earn a FREE cruise with Blount’s Frequent Cruiser rewards!
One of the most popular features of a Blount cruise is the “BYOB” policy—guests are encouraged to bring their own beverages onboard! This unique alcohol policy gives our travelers the freedom to enjoy their preferred beverages without a costly bar tab at the trip’s end. Mixers and snacks are on the house, and barware, refrigeration, and bottle storage space are provided around the clock.
With cruises starting at just $1,999 per person and departures from easily accessible ports, all your clients are sure to find a cruise they will love with Blount Small Ship Adventures.
Set Sail with Blount Small Ship Adventures
Celebrate BSSA’s 50th anniversary in 2016 with special offers and programs! For more information or to order your FREE catalog, visit www.blountsmallshipadventures.com or call 800-556-7450. For access to an agents-only website, featuring marketing and sales tools, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Welcome aboard!