Master Suite on the Pearl Mist
Have clients desiring to sail the Great Lakes in style? This summer you’ll have a new booking option—the small-ship, oceangoing Pearl Seas Cruises, which is owned and operated by the same folks that own American Cruise Lines, a river line sailing in North America.
Marketed as “redefining luxury adventure,” the new Pearl Seas Cruises will start with one new, six-deck ship, Pearl Mist, which is undergoing final outfitting at Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, MD. The 210-passenger vessel is 335 feet in length with a 56-foot beam. Pearl Mist will be registered in the Marshall Islands.
Following a pre-launch event in Baltimore, Pearl Mist will begin its inaugural season with an 11-night sailing from Baltimore to Halifax, Nova Scotia, on June 25. From there, the small ship will begin a series of seven-, 10- and 11-night Canadian Maritime and Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway/Thousand Islands cruises. It will reposition to the Caribbean for winter 2014-2015.
Onboard Pearl Mist
“We’re pretty full for this coming year, some voyages are sold out,” says Susan Shultz, director of sales, Pearl Seas Cruises, but she added that space is still available for some 2014 voyages and for winter 2014-2015 sailings.
What clientele is best for this product? If you have clients 55 and older who have sailed on American Cruise Lines, they’ll likely enjoy Pearl Mist. First, they’ll already be primed for small-ship sailings operated by the same company and close to home. Second, they’ll also appreciate some of the same product perks they experienced on American Cruise Lines such as a complimentary cocktail hour with hors d’oeuvres before dinner, as well as beer and wine with lunch and dinner.
Pearl Seas Cruises has multiple itineraries originating from Quebec City.
Pearl Mist’s staterooms and suites will be very spacious by any cruise standard—ranging from 302 to 580 square feet. All 108 staterooms, including 10 single staterooms, will have private exterior balconies; most will have sliding glass doors. All accommodations will be accessible via interior corridors. An elevator will connect all passenger decks and the ship will have several wheelchair-friendly staterooms.
Each stateroom will have a full-sized private bathroom and a large, flat-screen satellite TV with a DVD player. Wi-Fi will be available throughout the ship. Suites will encompass two rooms plus bath with 580 square feet of space. All guests will enjoy complimentary room service. Laundry services will be available.
While acknowledging that mature travelers will be attracted to the ship, Shultz also expects Pearl Mist to “probably attract a bit younger crowd than on American Cruise Lines” as well. The new ship will carry bicycles and kayaks for guest use. “It will be more adventurous along the lines of redefining luxury,” Shultz says. Agents might also tap into the multi-generational travel trend, for families who want a small ship experience closer to home and to avoid the hassle and cost of flights to Europe or Asia.
Outside, open sun decks—located on the forward part of Deck 5 and all of Deck 6—allow passengers to sit and enjoy scenic views. Sun shades will be available on Deck 6. Inside the ship there are six lounges, a library, theater and lecture room, computer workstations, fitness area and spa treatment room, as well as a small onboard medical facility.
Pearl Mist’s glass-enclosed dining room will be open seating; dining dress is resort casual. Planned onboard entertainment includes “live” music such as light jazz, culinary demonstrations, musicians/performers from local ports of call, and lectures focused on the history and ecology of the destinations visited.
This summer, Pearl Mist will operate 10- or 11-day “Great Lakes and Georgian Bay” cruises from Toronto to Chicago or in reverse on July 30, August 9, 20 and 30. Ports of call include Windsor, Midland, Parry Sound and Little Current, Ontario, as well as Mackinac Island and Holland, MI.
On July 9 and October 8 and 18, the ship will sail 10-night “Canadian Maritimes” cruises between Portland, Maine, and Quebec City, calling at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; Nova Scotia; and Iles de la Madeleine, Gaspe, Perce and Saguenay Fjord, Quebec.
For clients seeking 14-night cruises, the Pearl Mist in September will sail between Chicago, Montreal and Portland on two different cruises calling at Trois-Rivieres and Quebec City, and Kingston, Ontario.
In addition, an 11-night “Great Lakes and Thousand Islands” cruise between Quebec City and Chicago is planned. Ports of call include Clayton, NY (Thousand Islands), Toronto, Niagara Falls, Windsor, Sault Ste. Marie and Holland, MI. On October 29, Pearl Mist will reposition southward via a 14-night cruise from Portland, ME, to Freeport, The Bahamas. Port calls will include Williamsburg, VA; Boston, MA; Charleston, SC; Savannah, GA; and Jacksonville and West Palm Beach, FL.
On November 15, Pearl Mist will reposition southward via an 11-night cruise from Baltimore to Nassau, The Bahamas. Port calls will include Williamsburg, VA; Wilmington, NC; Charleston, SC; Savannah, GA; and Jacksonville and West Palm Beach, FL.
Between February and May 2015, it will operate seven-, 10- and 11-night Caribbean/Bahamas voyages. The ship will sail seven-night “Caribbean Discovery” cruises from either St. Martin or San Juan, depending on dates.
New 10-night roundtrip “Grand Caribbean Cruises” will operate from San Juan, while 11-night “Path of the Explorers” itineraries will operate southbound from West Palm Beach to St. Martin or northbound from San Juan to Freeport.
Pearl Seas Cruises plans to visit many smaller Caribbean destinations that bigger ships don’t or can’t visit, such as Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands; St. Croix, U.S.V.I.; and Saba.
On all Pearl Mist itineraries, guests will have at least one complimentary shore excursion at each port; premium tours will be available as will bicycling and kayaking options.