If you are new to New England, a cruise of the area is the best way to visit and really enjoy your trip. Board the Grande Caribe from Blount Small Ship Adventures and take your cozy, comfortable cabin along with you on your travels! The cruise we took was “The Islands of New England” and it spent a week cruising along and visiting some of the most well-known locations in New England.
Not an overwhelmingly huge cruise ship, the Grande Caribe instead has space for about 80 passengers in comfortable staterooms just small enough to be homey. The lounge area is furnished with plenty of upholstered furniture and the upper deck includes a shaded area and lots of tables and chairs so there is plenty of room to relax and enjoy the passing scenery. One of the highlights was the wonderful lobster they served us in different ways every day!
The cruise embarks from tiny Warren, Rhode Island where Blount Small Ship Adventures is based, and it’s very nice to park free in their parking lot, hand over our luggage, and walk aboard with no fuss. We made a short trip to Cuttyhunk, the outermost of the Elizabeth Islands in Massachusetts, where we dropped anchor for a quiet night.
Nantucket was our next stop and a bus tour was provided by Blount. We were properly awed at the beauty of the gray shingled New England homes – something we would see on every island on our cruise. Quaint cobblestone streets, bicyclers, lines for the ferry on and off the island, dozens of shops with clothes way above our budget, and a local farmer’s market set up for the morning seemed to epitomize the island.
Martha’s Vineyard the next morning provided another bus tour and we made a stop at the historic Southeast Lighthouse to appreciate the astonishing view and get some photos. Some of us visited the local town of Oak Bluffs for a stroll along the coastline and to see some truly amazing mansions.
New Bedford, MA was once the whaling capitol of the world and their fascinating and historic whaling museum was where we headed the next day after our arrival in port and a walking tour of the waterfront.
Block Island was our next stop and we were greeted by a busy town with shops and restaurants but our bus soon pulled away from town and we saw an island with wonderful views, beautiful oceanfront homes, stone fences, lighthouses, and ponds filled with gorgeous, blooming lily pads.
In Newport, we toured some of the incredible mansions which were summer homes for some of the most affluent families in America a hundred years ago and strolled along the Cliff Walk, a sidewalk which wends along the cliffs overlooking the gorgeous Atlantic Ocean.
We were sorry to head back to Warren on our last day but excited that we had seen New England in this most comfortable way to travel! We vowed to head back to the area as soon as possible.
To learn more about this trip and others like it, visit www.blountsmallshipadventures.com.
By Jan Ross, Staff Writer