(l-r): Mike Kiernan, Grande Mariner Capt; Sandra Rice, Ontario Tourism Travel Trade Director; Michael Geske, Exclusive Tours Managing Director
Economists and politicians have varying opinions as to how North America’s aging population of retiring baby boomers will affect the economy. The fact is that travel companies will have to face up to the idea that a large portion of the population over the next twenty years will evolve a unique set of needs and demands for their travel experiences.
Michael Geske of Exclusive Tours believes he’s found the perfect cruise product to suit the older demographic that still wants to enjoy travelling. The answer, according to Michael, is to offer a cruise product without the hustle and bustle of a large ship packed with families and noisy kids. Instead, Exclusive Tours and Blount Small Ship Adventures are offering cruises with no more than 96 passengers and no children under 14, allowing for individual attention and a unique experience not found on larger vessels.
Late last month, Michael and the Blount ship Grande Mariner were in Toronto to present this product to the local travel industry. Aboard the ship guests were treated to some cocktails, a short presentation and a delicious lunch prepared by the crew.
One of the major selling points for Blount’s cruises has been that their ships can go where the larger ships simply cannot. In the summer months Blount ships are cruising the inland waterways of the northeast, making frequent stops in historic towns and ports for engaging shore excursions. For the winter months the Blount ships leave the chilly coastlines to cruise the Caribbean, where their small size allows them to come ashore at small secluded beaches.
Another major distinction between Blount Small Ship Adventures and many of the larger cruise ships is that pretty much all the activities available to guests are included. This way guests are completely relieved of any stress born from having to decide which activities they’ll be able to schedule or budget into their experience.
Luther Blount’s ships began cruising over 40 years ago, but it was only recently that they began to incorporate Toronto in their extensive portfolio of North American and Caribbean itineraries. The company has a long history of positive customer reviews and a large contingent of repeat guests. If you’re interested in offering some aging boomers a more personal alternative to the giant cruise ship products, have a look at Blount’s offerings at www.exclusivetours.ca and www.blountsmallshipadventures.com.