Last month marked the debut voyage of Pearl Seas Cruises, a new small-ship luxury operator that’s offering itineraries through the Canadian Maritimes, the Great Lakes, and the St. Lawrence Seaway, with Caribbean journeys starting in 2015. A sister company to American Cruise Lines, it currently has one vessel: the 335-foot-long, 210-passenger Pearl Mist, complete with six decks and a balcony on each of the 108 cabins. (There are plans to add another ship in the future.)
As for the itineraries, 2014 offerings include a 10-night cruise from Portland, Maine, to Quebec City (from $5,885); a 10-night journey from Toronto to Chicago (from $5,885); a 7-night trip from Portland to Halifax (from $4,150); and a 7-night fall foliage cruise that begins and ends in Boston (from $4,150). Seven- to 11-night Caribbean getaways start at $3,955.
“I do know that they are offering something very different from the usual small ships that cruise along the East Coast of the U.S., the Great Lakes and the Caribbean,” says A-List agent and cruise specialist Betsy Patton. “Given this, I think they could be quite popular with the luxury market that is looking to explore places closer to home on an elegant and luxurious ship.”
Brooke Porter Katz is an Associate Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @brookeporter1.