If you’ve always wanted to sail the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River, there’s a new option in town in the form of Haimark’s recently debuted MS Saint Laurent.
With a total guest capacity of 210 and a crew of 90, the Saint Laurent originally sailed as the Cape May Light, but has been given a thorough $3.5-million refurbishment to bring her up to the standards Haimark has envisioned for her. While Haimark is a prominent player in the Asian river cruise market, the MS Saint Laurent represents the company’s first venture into hybrid river-ocean cruises, with departures scheduled throughout North and South America for the 2015-2016 season.
The staple of the Saint Laurent’s summer 2015 itineraries will be her 10-day Historic St. Lawrence River and America’s Five Great Lakes voyages that sail between Montreal and Chicago or reverse. Departing on July 5, 2015 from Montreal; July 14 from Chicago and August 28 from Chicago, these 10-day voyages will feature port calls in Niagara Falls; Windsor (Ontario) for Detroit; Lake Huron; Little Current, Manitoulin Island; Sault St. Marie; and Mackinac Island.
The Saint Laurent is also sailing a combination river and ocean cruise itinerary that travels from Portland, Maine to Montreal, Quebec. Also spanning 10 days in length, Haimark’s French Canadian Maritimes & Coastal North Atlantic itinerary takes guests to places that simply can’t be seen on the more traditional Canada & New England voyages operated by much larger cruise ships.
Ports of call on these dual Canada & New England voyages include Quebec City; Gaspe Peninsula, Quebec; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; Halifax, Nova Scotia; Yarmouth, Nova Scotia; Saint John, New Brunswick; and Bar Harbor, Maine.
Departure dates for the French Canadian Maritimes & Coastal North Atlantic itinerary are as follows: May 30, 2015 – Montreal Departure; June 8, 2015 – Portland Departure; and October 21, 2015 – Montreal Departure.
In the fall, Haimark is sending the Saint Laurent on a 13-day voyage from Portland, Maine to Nassau, Bahamas. Departing on October 30, 2015, this predominantly ocean-based sailings includes stops in Boston; Newport, Rhode Island; Williamsburg (Norfolk), Virginia; Wilmington, North Carolina; Charleston, South Carolina; Savannah, Georgia; Jacksonville, Florida; and West Palm Beach, Florida.
Winter 2015-2016 has the Saint Laurent cruising the warm waters of the Caribbean, Central America, and the Panama Canal before returning up along the eastern seaboard of North America to Montreal, where she will start another season of cruises along the Canadian Maritimes and the Great Lakes.
Although the Saint Laurent technically began her first voyages earlier this month, Haimark is bringing some star power to her inaugural St. Lawrence sailing. Award-winning broadcast journalist and noted newscaster Dan Rather will sail aboard the May 30, 2015 departure from Montreal.
“We feel incredibly privileged to be able to offer our guests the opportunity to cruise in the company of such an renowned expert in world affairs,” said Tom Markwell, Managing Partner of Haimark Line. “Mr. Rather’s unique perspectives – paired with an extraordinary itinerary onboard the newly refurbished MS Saint Laurent – promises to make this a once-in-a-lifetime event.”
We’ll have more information on Haimark’s new oceangoing river cruise hybrid, the MS Saint Laurent, coming soon here on River Cruise Advisor.