Commercial maritime publication WorkBoat has reported that Blount Small Ship Adventures—given the COVID-19 situation—is working to sell all three of its small cruise ships and will cease operating the line. Instead, it will apparently turn its full attention to its core shipbuilding business.
In WorkBoat's article, published August 18, the publication extensively quoted Marcia Blount, president and CFO of the Warren, RI, company, who stated that with the COVID-19 situation and cessation of cruising throughout the industry, the company has opted to not restart cruising but instead to focus on its core shipbuilding business. Seatrade also reported today that the ships are up for sale and that the line is ceasing small ship cruises.
Captain Luther Blount founded the line in the 1960s. Since then, the line has operated on North American rivers and along coastlines with the 98-passenger Grande Mariner, the 100-passenger Grande Caribe and the 76-passenger Niagara Prince. WorkBoat reports they've been advertised for sale at $6 million, $5.6 million and $2 million, respectively. Travel Agent has asked several small ship lines about their interest and have not yet received comment.
Blount, who died in 2006, was a legend in maritime circles and founded the Blount shipyard in 1949. He also held multiple U.S. patents for everything from maritime toilets to a retractable pilothouse design. Marcia Blount told WorkBoat that she believes her father would have understood the decision, given the current circumstances.
The line's website, though, still has a message stating: "Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are temporarily ceasing operations. We hope to be sailing again in 2021. If you have any questions, please send an email to: [email protected]"
We've asked the line for comment.