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Small ship luxury cruising will see a new brand next year as Pearl Seas Cruises launches the all-balcony 210-passenger Pearl Mist. Prolonged arbitration with its Halifax-based shipyard had delayed the ship’s completion, but she is scheduled to set sail in June.
Charles Robertson, owner of Pearl Seas, has tailored the ship and her itineraries for maximum crossover from his successful American Cruise Lines, which cruises the inland waterways and rivers of the U.S., from the Mississippi to New England and Alaska.
Pearl Mist is not, at least initially, headed to destinations that will radically extend the company’s geographical offerings. Robertson said that American Cruise Lines passengers have indicated where they want to sail, and the line is responding to demand.
With her first cruise scheduled for June 25 out of Baltimore, the ship will sail 10- to14-night cruises in the Canadian Maritimes, Great Lakes, Atlantic Coast, St. Lawrence Seaway and in the Caribbean/Bahamas. The winter schedule is not yet posted, and the line is still firming up all policies, according to Robertson, who characterized the product as “pampered exploration.”
Pearl Mist offers unusually large staterooms, which start at 302 square feet, and suites up to 580 square feet, all featuring balconies. Bathrooms include showers and, in some suites, bathtubs. All accommodations have flat-screen televisions and DVD players, and the ship has free Wi-Fi access. All beds are king size and many can be split to twin. There are some connecting rooms in addition to the suites, which the company will reconfigure into living room and bedroom on request. The ship also has single staterooms and some accommodations are designed for wheelchairs.
Robertson sees Pearl Mist as the optimum size to get into unusual destinations and very well suited to his guests’ demographic: well educated, affluent, well traveled, 55-plus and primarily North Americans and Europeans, but with a solid contingent from Australia/New Zealand. The company does get some multi-generational groups — mostly older couples and adult children, and sometimes three generations. Theme cruises are also being developed to attract guests with special interests.