The Cruising the Great Lakes blog was developed to promote cruising on the Great Lakes and the Gulf and River St Lawrence to Europeans. The blog started with Travel Dynamics International of New York, promoting their 2,354-ton m.v. Yorktown. This 138-berth ship had previously operated in the Great Lakes as Clipper Cruise Lines’ Yorktown Clipper. Travel Dynamics’ first offered cruises on the Great Lakes using the 3,504-ton Le Levant and in 2004 the 4,050-ton Orion, returning in 2009 with the 4,077-ton Clelia II. As in earlier years, the Yorktown operated a full season of Great Lakes cruises between June and September in each of 2012 and 2013. In September 2014 Plantours of Bremen sent their 14,903-ton 400-berth ms Hamburg to make two 16-night round trip Great Lakes cruises from Montreal. The Hamburg had operated into the Great Lakes between 1997 and 2011 as Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ Columbus. Now, we are pleased to introduce yet another vessel to Great Lakes cruising with the 4,954-ton 218-berth Saint Laurent, operated by the Haimark Line (below).
Completed by Atlantic Marine in Jacksonville, Florida, in 2001, as the Cape May Light, this ship will become the largest active American-controlled coastal cruise ship when she re-enters service in 2015. She first sailed in the Great Lakes in 2001, when she operated a series of cruises between Quebec City and Buffalo for Delta Queen Coastal Cruises. In 2009, the Cape May Light was acquired by the Bahamas-based Clipper Group to become the Sea Voyager, under which name she has operated in various roles in Haiti, northern Quebec and Maryland.
The Saint Laurent is the perfect-sized vessel for relaxed and convivial exploration of America’s great coastal waterways. With a 300-foot length and 50-foot beam, on a draft of 16 feet, she has dimensions similar to some of the traditional ships that cruised the Great Lakes before the opening of the St Lawrence Seaway in 1959.
By comparison with the Saint Laurent, the Georgian Bay Line’s 2,317-ton North American, which operated Great Lakes cruises for fifty years, had a lower tonnage but similar dimensions, at 280 x 47 feet, and carried 400 passengers. Her near sister ship, the 2,662-ton South American (right), was slightly larger, at 321 feet and 2,662 tons.
With her compact size, the Saint Laurent is able to manoeuver into secluded waterways and to visit small ports that are inaccessible to larger vessels. Like the Georgian Bay Line ships, the Saint Laurent features a walk-around promenade deck and mostly outside cabins, but unlike the older ships, which were retired in the 1960s, the Saint Laurent is fully air conditioned and every cabin is en suite, in addition to which all the passengers dine at one seating.
Fares include your cruise, all meals, all shore excursions and lectures, welcome and farewell cocktail parties, all soft drinks and wine and beer with lunch and dinner, the on-board educational program and port and embarkation fees. They do not include flights and transfers and you are left to your own discretion to tip your service personnel.
The Cruise People Ltd
88 York Street, London W1H 1QT England
T +44 (0)20 7723 2450 F +44 (0)20 7723 2486
Full details are now available from The Cruise People Ltd of London, from whom international guests can obtain details and make bookings. Please call us at +44 (0)20 7723 2450 or e-mail at the link above to find out more.