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What:The river cruise company is bringing its newly refurbished 204-passenger MS Saint Laurent to Canada, the Great Lakes and Central America in 2015.
Why It Matters:The debut of the MS Saint Laurent illustrates the rising demand for cruising in and around the North Atlantic region — just this year, Pearl Seas’ new 210-passenger Pearl Mist started servicing the area as well. It also marks Haimark’s expansion into ocean cruising. Until now, the small-ship company has operated on the Mekong, Amazon, Ganges and Irrawaddy rivers. MS Saint Laurent will sail nine- and 12-day itineraries and offer six Zodiacs for excursions after its multi-million dollar refurbishment.
Fast Facts:- MS Saint Laurent was previously named Sea Voyager and was built for American Classic Voyages.
- In South and Central America, the ship will sail routes from Nassau, Bahamas, to Cartagena, Colombia; Cartagena to San Jose, Costa Rica; and San Jose to Lima, Peru.
- Passengers can explore many ports along the way, including Panama’s Coiba Island and the Darian Gap, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
What They Are Saying:“We are extremely proud to unveil our first ocean going vessel and have already sold 50 percent of the 2015 departures,” said Tom Markwell, managing partner of sales and marketing for Haimark Ltd. “We are excited to provide travelers with more choices for small ship exploration in these regions and we have carefully planned itineraries that will excite and educate our guests. The ship was designed to create a harmonious and balanced environment with its surroundings, creating tranquility and comfort for travelers on board. Combining the sophisticated MS Saint Laurent with itineraries containing culturally-rich exploration and complimentary shore excursion programs will satisfy pent-up consumer travel demand for domestic cruise product."