In all the excitement about the refurbishment of the American Queen, its scheduled departure from Memphis on Apr. 27, and new jobs with Great American Steamboat Co., we almost missed the 1st overnight cruise ship to pull out of Memphis since 2008.
It happened this past Saturday, Apr. 14. Passengers boarded the 99-passenger Grande Caribe at the Memphis Cobblestone Landing for a 9 day trip south to New Orleans.
Less opulent than the American Queen and not steamboat-style, the smaller ship notes that it is BYOB to cut down on bar tabs, carries kayaks, a raft, and bikes on board, and offers photography workshops and lectures, which may be an appeal to a younger, adventure travel market. The quoted price for the cruise ranges from $2,699 to $3,389 per person, but a special 2-for-1 rate was offered on this maiden voyage.
Built by Blount Boat Co. and operated by Blount Small Ship Adventures of Warren, RI, Grande Caribe was commissioned in 1997, renovated in 2009, and sails routes that include Belize, US, and Canadian waterways. Click for information about the itinerary or to book a spot on the repeat of this cruise Treasures of the Mississippi: Memphis to New Orleans, scheduled for Dec. 10 -18, and for more information about the the ship.
For information about the American Queen, its April 27th departure, itinerary, entertainment, christening, pricing, and future trips to and from Memphis, click HERE.