Haimark Heats Up Small-Ship Segment
PHOTO: This rendering depicts the MS Saint Laurent, which will begin cruising in May in Canada and on the Great Lakes and Atlantic coast. (Courtesy of Haimark Line)
Founded in 2013, Haimark has quickly grown into a major player in the river and coastal cruise market, launching three new ships this year with plans to expand its fleet to nine vessels by 2016.
The company has two luxury expedition cruise brands that operate ships accommodating 24 to 210 guests each.
Starting on May 30, Haimark Line will operate coastal cruising in North, Central and South America on the MS Saint Laurent. Sister company Haimark Ltd. offers river cruises in Vietnam and Cambodia, Myanmar, India, and the Peruvian Amazon.
Originally built in 2001 as the Cape May Light by the Delta Queen Steamboat Company, the Saint Laurent is undergoing a $3.5 million refurbishment that will install new carpets, wall coverings, and lighting.
The ship has 105 staterooms and suites ranging in size from 135 to more than 400 square feet. The décor appears fresh and modern with a color scheme of soothing blues. Staterooms will have beds with deep, premium mattresses, Egyptian cotton sheets, deluxe duvets, and a choice of pillows. All will have individual climate control, magnifying makeup mirrors, L’Occitane bath amenities, spa robes and slippers, big closets and under-bed storage.
The Owner's Suite on MS Saint Laurent
The two owner’s suites will have expansive private terraces overlooking the front of the ship, a complimentary minibar restocked daily, one queen bed and one sofa bed, a sitting area, evening canapés, fresh fruit upon arrival, complimentary laundry service, and the services of a dedicated butler.
The 22 Category AA ocean-view suites on Deck 4 have direct access to the open-air promenade. They have two twin or one queen bed, an armoire, minibar, evening canapés, fresh fruit upon arrival, complimentary laundry service, and butler services.
The Saint Laurent will have two dining venues. The Shearwater Dining Room will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily from a menu of regionally inspired dishes. The outdoor Cliff Rock Bar & Grille will serve buffet breakfast and lunch, while dinner is seated and entrées are cooked on hot volcanic lava rocks. And 24-hour room service is available.
The Cliff Rock Bar & Grille will serve dinner entrées cooked on hot lava rocks.
Throughout the ship, beverages are included and available 24 hours a day, including beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea, mineral water, and soft drinks. Specialty coffee drinks and premium wines and spirits are available for an extra fee. Shore excursions and 90 minutes of Wi-Fi per cabin also are included in the fares.
Other public areas include the Seascape Tavern, an English-style pub with live music, and the Compass Lounge for enrichment presentations and sing-alongs around the piano.
The Saint Laurent’s inaugural voyage departs May 30 on a nine-night “French Canadian Maritimes & Coastal New England” sailing from Montreal to Portland, Maine. Television journalist Dan Rather will sail on the cruise and deliver presentations called “Fact vs. Fiction in Journalism: Misinformation & the Internet,” and “An Evening with Dan Rather.”
The itinerary includes Quebec City, Gaspe Peninsula, Prince Edward Island, the reversing rapids of Saint John, and Acadia National Park.
The Saint Laurent then will continue to sail nine- and 12-night itineraries in coastal New England, the Great Lakes and Maritime Canada through the fall foliage season.
For example, the 10-day “Great Lakes Grand Discovery” sails between Chicago and Toronto on all five of the Great Lakes with two departures in August this year and four in July and August in 2016. The itinerary includes Mackinac Island, Sault Ste. Marie, Detroit, Niagara Falls, and Georgian Bay. Fares start at $4,199 per person, double occupancy.
From late fall to early spring 2016, the Saint Laurent will sail in the Caribbean, Central and South America, offering daily soft adventure excursions aboard Mach 5 Zodiacs in the company of marine biologists, ornithologists and cultural anthropologists.
Meanwhile, sister company Haimark Ltd. in September will launch the 24-guest Mekong Princess on seven-night itineraries on the Mekong River in Cambodia and the Vietnam delta. This spa-focused ship will feature extensive spa cuisine options, daily morning yoga and tai chi, one included spa treatment per guest, active daily excursions, and optional pre- and post-sailing extensions, including the UNESCO World Heritage site of Angkor Wat.
In October, Haimark Ltd. will launch the Amazon Discovery with 22 river-view suites for six-night explorations along the Peruvian Amazon.
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