A Letter From The President: Small Ship Cruising in 2017
Over the years I’ve often been asked what is my favorite Blount adventure. For me, Blount cruising began when I was a young girl. My Dad, Luther Blount, would pile me and my siblings onto the family boat and head out to fish, explore and just spend time together, away from it all. Back then the cruises weren’t official Blount Small Ship Adventures or even our earlier business – American Canadian Caribbean Line. But, they were filled with special moments that would last a lifetime. I didn’t realize then that my journey would cross over from family vacations, into a family business now celebrating more than 50 years. Throughout it all, my Father was also my mentor passing the reigns for the business to me in 2006. Luther’s leadership taught me many lesson both as a daughter and as an employee. These are the values that we continue to operate the business by today:
Always innovate. My Father, the quintessential inventor and boat builder, knew early on that a business needed to be different in order to be meaningful. He built Blount boats to be different by design. A patented retractable pilothouse meant we could go where other ships could not. Inaccessible places like the Erie Canal suddenly became accessible to Blount travelers, taking them to scenic wonders like the 1000 Islands. Today, we still get excited to transit waterways that are inaccessible to other ships. And in 2017 we plan to include Cuba in our portfolio of cruises, continuing to innovate.
We are a family at sea. This was a guiding principle for us from the time we were taking those family vacations. But it quickly turned into how we treated our travelers. My father used to say, “I want people to feel like they are cruising on a friend’s yacht.” Creating a casual atmosphere where good food, fun entertainment,interesting activities and camaraderie remain our priority.
Stay curious. Luther Blount was an engineer by schooling but a passionate adventurer at heart; and he combined these two things with his love of being out on the water. We take pride in continuing to find unique waterways and interesting destinations off the beaten path that we can explore together.
Disconnection can often create the best connections. Truly getting away means disconnecting at times. We love when our travelers put down their phones, put away their tablets and engage in good old conversation. Immersion in the world around us creates connections with the people in our lives.
Never forget where you came from. Our heritage is something we not only take pride in, but something we gain strength from. From family values to our RI roots, we believe that relationships and experiences are at the center of it all.
People have asked me what it takes to keep a family business growing after 50 years. The answer comes from these lessons and a legacy that lives on at both BSSA and at our sister company Blount Boats, which is forging new paths in boat building and recently delivered the first ever wind-farm vessels in the U.S. And now our spirit to innovate has been passed to a 3rd generation of Blounts who are actively involved in both sides of our family business.
As we celebrate our 50th year, I want to thank you for sharing your spirit for adventure with us these past years. We know many of you have traveled with us 5, 7 or even 15 times; and we love seeing your familiar faces come onboard. Our commitment to offer you a casual way to travel to unique destinations with friends remains our number one goal.
President, Blount Small Ship Adventures