Blount Small Ship Adventures vs Elite Luxury Kenya - Tour Companies Compared

Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.

Rating Breakdown
Overall — 5
Value — 4.6
Guide — 4.5
Activities — 4.6
Lodging — 4.6
Transportation — 4.6
Meals — 4.7
Overall — 0
Value — 0.0
Guide — 0.0
Activities — 0.0
Lodging — 0.0
Transportation — 0.0
Meals — 0.0
Recent Reviews

Poor contingency planning/execution

1.0 July 2018
Does Not Recommend
  • Value 1.0
  • Guide 1.0
  • Activities 1.0
  • Lodging 3.0
  • Transportation 3.0
  • Meals 4.0
This disorganized mess of a “cruise line” should just drop the “adventures” part of their business name and call themselves “Blount Small Ships”. Their vessel was not seaworthy enough to handle the weather affecting our planned itenerary which in itself could have been overlooked. What really ruined our experience was that despite knowing well in advance the weather and sea conditions, there was such poor contingency planning/execution in providing an alternate itenerary. On top of our intended destination of Block Island getting cancelled, our departure to our consolation prize destination 23 miles away was delayed over an hour because one passenger had not and did not ever show up. This other passenger ended up taking a taxi the extra distance anyway while we sailed 1.5 hours down the bay. Of the two options of piers which the vessel could have docked at, the ship docked at the one that was not in town. This was another questionable decision knowing the weather forecast and that it would prevent the water taxis required to get into town from running. The one thing to do near the pier (Fort Adams) was also closed due to weather. Now after two nights at our consolation prize “destination”, their next ingenious plan is to sail back up the bay to a town we could have biked to from where we initially embarked the vessel with very little to do. When your “cruise ship” doesn’t have any amenities aboard other than a lounge with a tv and a bowl of bar mix and sells itself as a cruise for the destinations that it goes... You need to do a MUCH better job making sure that whatever destination you end up going to actually has enjoyable activities to do other than just keep popping in DVD’s and topping up the party mix.
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Tour Blount Small Ship Adventures Company Reviews

exciting experiences

5.0 May 2018
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
I’ve enjoyed working with Blount for two years now. Passengers on board have nothing but positive feedback and exciting experiences to share. I look forward to cruising with Blount sometime in the near future
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Tour Blount Small Ship Adventures Company Reviews

Magical Lake

5.0 August 2017
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Went on the Magical Lake Michigan Cruise as a solo passenger. The BEST! Amazing captain, cruise director and crew. Great itinerary, food, and excursions. Fellow passengers so friendly and welcoming. Open seating makes for wonderful opportunities to meet and get to know your fellow passengers. I could go on and on a out how fantastic the experience! Daisy
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Tour Blount Small Ship Adventures Company Reviews

Tours 5 Trips 5 Trips
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 308 $ 442
Operator Type Small Ship & Expedition Cruise Line Group Tour Operator
Size Global Operator Local Specialist
Trip Types
  • Small Ship & Expedition Cruises
  • Group Tours
  • Small Ship & Expedition Cruises
Service Level Standard Luxury
  • North America
  • Central America & Caribbean
  • Africa
Known For
  • 50+
  • Adventure
  • Safari
  • Trekking & Camping
  • Luxury
Headquarters Warren, Rhode Island, United States Nairobi, Kenya
Year Established 1966 N/A
Solo Friendly N/A N/A
Tour Languages N/A
Top Trips
Similar Companies
    About Blount Small Ship Adventures

    The family-owned cruiseline, based in Rhode Island, operates two ships: the Grande Mariner, and the Grande Caribe. Their ships date from the late 1990s and while they aren’t equipped with many bells and whistles that modern travelers may be used to, they offer good deck space, vista lounges, and enjoyable food.

    What Makes Blount Small Ship Adventures Stand Out?

    • 84 passengers maximum
    • Strictly casual atmosphere - no need to ever dress up
    • Friendly U.S. staff
    • Unique destinations that big ships can’t reach

    Blount’s motto — “to go where the big ships cannot” – sums up the basis of its appeal. Their small ships can dock at shallow, out-of-the-way ports as well as put in to centrally located urban docking facilities such as Chicago’s Navy Pier.

    A drone shot of a boat in the blue ocean

    The line’s founder, ex-oysterman and shipbuilder Luther Blount, was a true innovator in the cruise industry. Blount patented the bow ramp that enabled passengers to walk directly from the ship onto the shore, rather than having to ride small tender boats into port.

    He also patented the retractable pilot house, which, along with the shallow draft of his ships, made it possible to cruise under low bridges and down narrow waterways like the Erie Canal.  

     Who Travels With Blount Small Ship Adventures?

    • Ages 50+
    • Mid-range budget travelers
    • History buffs, culture enthusiasts, and soft adventurers
    An older gentleman kissing his wife on the cheek at the beach

     Blount attracts mostly passengers in their 50s and 60s, with some older and some younger. While the physical level is generally very easy, guests are recommended to be able to walk up steep gangways, step over thresholds and open doors for safety reasons. If needed, stair lifts are available for use on all ships.

    There aren’t a lot of facilities for children, and activities and ports tend to be low-key, and geared toward adults with an interest in history, culture, and soft adventure (kayaks, snorkeling gear, bikes, and other sports equipment are available on board many cruises).

    Top Destinations

    • U.S.
    • Canada
    • Central America
    • Carribean
    A ship's steering wheel with the sun shining against it

    You can explore Great American Waterways and Canadian Lakes on a tour with Blount Small Ship Adventures. The line is one of the few to operate on the Great Lakes, but also travels the Mississippi, Lake Champlain between New York and Vermont, and New York’s Hudson River and Erie Canal.

    Among its more far-flung destinations are Guatemala’s Rio Dulce, a shallow river bordered by rainforest; Mayaguana, one of the most remote islands in the Bahamas; and Canada’s Georgian Bay.  

    Blount Small Ship Adventures Travel Style

    Blount is all about everything that traditional cruise ship vacations are not. For starters, there’s a huge emphasis on keeping things casual. This means everything from no luxurious staterooms and TVs, to open seating dining plans so you’re not restricted to eating within a particular time of day. The best part? BYOB is encouraged! Bringing your own bottles of alcohol is typically restricted on large cruise lines - but none of that here. They’ll provide all the mixers, storage, and barware as well free of charge.

    three people clicking wine glasses with cocktails

    Education is also an important aspect of the Blount experience. Their guest lecturers and local experts provide engaging discussions so you can get an insider’s perspective. This is a great way to get a deeper understanding of a destination beyond what meets the eye.

    Why Choose a Tour with Blount Small Ship Adventures?

    Blount has decades of experience navigating North American rivers, visiting villages and historic ports, as well as taking passengers to lakes and bays that most other cruise lines cannot or will not travel. If you find traditional cruise ship vacations to be over-the-top, perhaps expensive, or you’re simply just looking for a casual atmosphere, Blount Small Ship Adventures might be the change you’ve been searching for!

    About Elite Luxury Kenya

    Also called “Kenya Safaris” this company is very locally minded, offering boutique travel experiences including honeymoon, and fully customized travel.

    What Makes Them Stand Out?

    Elite Luxury Kenya provides a travel experience in Kenya that will introduce travelers to another side of the African safari. No frills, yet comfortable, the travel options seem to distinctly be designed to showcase traveling beyond the safari. Though this is not to say safari’s are not a focus. Rather for them, a safari holiday with them means you’ll get a very diverse tour in terms of activities, excursions, and accommodations.

    Who Travels With Them?

    Those seeking an affordable Kenya, Tanzania, and / or Uganda experience. Their tours are private and completely customizable. As a smaller company travelers may find that accommodations are less luxury in feel than an established luxury safari brand, however you will be very comfortable and well taken care of. And if local touches are important to you, these will make your trip especially enjoyable.

    Where Do They Operate?

    Despite what the name suggests, Elite Luxury Kenya also provides tours in Tanzania and Uganda. Part of their mission is to introduce travelers to Kenya and these other destinations beyond the typical safari. To that end you may enjoy a beach holiday, gorilla trek, or hike up Mount Kenya.

    Why Travel With Them?

    Kenya based and small, traveling with them is a way to support local business and in return have a fully local experience. You will get a sense of the “real” Kenya, while also experiencing all the classic safari moments.

    Tours are led by local knowledgeable guides, and your trip is designed by experts for a personalized touch - this helps ensure your trip to Kenya fulfills everything you want to see.

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