In 1966, Blount Small Ship Adventures founder Luther Blount devised a simple business motto that has stood the test of time: "Go where the big ships cannot." Ever since, the company has been offering access to interesting places where big ocean liners could never fit—narrow rivers, scenic fjords, small harbors, and charming ports.
On each cruise, all meals are included, as well as select house wine and beer during lunch and dinner. Refreshments and snacks are available 24 hours a day. You can even bring along your own drinks, and the staff will keep them chilled for you, free of charge. Below, we've listed a few highlights for each of the cruises offered.
Islands of New England Cruise
Rocky shores: Cruise Rhode Island's Narragansett Bay to the tiny isle of Cuttyhunk, Massachusetts.
The islands: Explore Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard off the coast of Cape Cod.
Whaling town: A storyteller weaves tales about the sea in New Bedford, Massachusetts, en route to Block Island off the coast of Rhode Island.
See the Gilded Age mansions of Newport, Rhode Island.
Hearty eats: Enjoy a New England-style lobster bake on board.
Atlantic Coastal Waterways Cruise
History of Savannah: A local expert describes the city's past and native wildlife.
North Carolina beaches: Learn about the coastal ecosystem of Wrightsville Beach.
Seafaring tradition: Listen to stories about the history and customs of seafarers from a storyteller who is part-historian.
Classical Maine and the Northeast Cruise
New England history: Native Rockland, Maine, speaker Sam Ladley discusses the history of the northeast.
Cruise the Cape: Take in the scenery along the Cape Cod Canal in Massachusetts.
Welcome to Canada: A traditional Canadian mountie and a bagpipe player welcome guests to Canada in St. Andrews-by-the-Sea.
Dig in to a traditional Maine lobster dinner.
Salem witch trials: In Salem, Massachusetts, a historian details the infamous 16th-century witch trials.
Great American Waterways Cruise
Four of the five lakes: Cruise Lake Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario on this trip, passing through a total of 30 locks on the Oswego and Erie Canals.
Charming Mackinac Island: Sail past the island and learn about the history of the Victorian enclave.
Good eats: Learn how to make pierogies during an onboard cooking demonstration in Cleveland.
Passport to America: The ship sails through New York harbor and past the Statue of Liberty.
Magical Lake Michigan Cruise
Explore Chicago during an afternoon of free time.
Holland, Michigan: Go sightseeing in this charming town with tulip fields and a historic windmill.
Admire the scenery of Wisconsin's Sturgeon Bay.
Island living: The cruise stops at two Michigan islands—Beaver and Mackinac.
Traditional dance: Attend a traditional German folklore dance performance in Milwaukee.
Hudson, Erie Canal, and St. Lawrence Seaway Cruise
New York, New York: Cruise the New York harbor and see the Statue of Liberty.
Go whale watching on the scenic Saguenay River.
Traverse the Erie Canal connecting the Atlantic Ocean and the Great Lakes.
Sail past the picturesque Thousand Islands that straddle the Canada-U.S. border and disembark to tour historic Singer Castle.
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Cancellation policy & fees: All cancellations subject to $75 fee/person; 60-day cancellation notice required or fee up to 25% of Groupon price applies; 45-day cancellation notice required or fee up to 50% of Groupon price; 30-day cancellation notice required or fee up to 75% of Groupon price; 11-day cancellation notice required or fee up to Groupon price.
Taxes: 0% tax
Additional fees: Required port charge per person not included: $185 Islands of New England; $275 Atlantic Coastal; $225 Classical Maine; $295 Great American Waterways; $165 Magical Lake Michigan; $295 Hudson, Erie cruise; airfare, trip insurance, crew gratuities, optional shore excursions not included