Today in Port: Key West


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We are used to seeing large cruise ships from NCL, Royal Caribbean, and Carnival in the Port of Key West, but today we were surprised when we spotted the Grande Mariner from Blount Small Ship Adventures.


The ship was docked on the 22 and 23rd of December in Stock Island, a neighborhood of Key West, that doesn’t see large cruise ships – thus sticking with Blount’s slogan “go where the big ships cannot.” The Blount Small Ship Adventures Facebook Page indicates they may be heading to Belize and Guatemala next (but we need to confirm the itinerary).

Blount was originally called American Canadian Caribbean Line, and was started in the 1960s and remains a family-owned operation. Their ships carry no more than 100 passengers and they specialize in small ports and waterways of New England, although they traverse the East Coast and into the Caribbean and Central America.

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Hebrides Cruises Rapidly Expanding


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Small ship adventure company, Hebrides Cruises, which launched in 2014, has announced the purchase of a second vessel, “Proud Seahorse” that adds a bit more luxury to the fleet. The ship has four double or twin cabins, with dazzling hardwood or brass furnishings throughout.

Once a rescue ship, the Proud Seahorse will sail remote areas of Scotland such as Treshnish Isles, Mingulay, the Shiants, the Monachs and St Kilda on 4 to 10 night cruises. These voyages are ideal for wildlife spotting, soaking in the serene views, and getting off the grid, and strolling along the shore lines. Chef-designed meals are prepared from local food specialties of Argyll and the Hebrides.

The rapidly growing cruise line stated that after three successful seasons they had to turn away inquiries due to selling out, and decided to expand. Proud Seahorse is offering eight exclusive itineraries for 2017 to the west coast of Scotland, Hebrides and St Kilda.


Photo courtesy of Hebrides Cruises