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Grande Caribe & Grande Mariner

Offering soft adventure in casual, unpretentious surroundings

With unique designs that allow easy travel through shallow waters and narrow channels, the Grande Caribe and Grande Mariner offer soft adventure in casual, unpretentious surroundings. The itineraries are specially tailored to the active and inquisitive senior traveler enjoys the absence of crowds and the ability to access unique ports of call.

With no more than 84 guests, it is easy to socialize and make friends with the typically retired, well-traveled and sociable group onboard. The comfortable casual onboard atmosphere promotes relaxation while enjoying the beautiful scenery and interesting activities.

Along the way, your captain and onboard lecturers offer enjoyable informational commentary, as you cruise past the breathtaking scenery. The crew, chefs, guest lecturers, outside entertainment, and land tours are all carefully chosen, to provide a pleasurable and relaxing vacation.

2019 Cruise Prices
Cruise Category I Category II Category III Category III
Category IV Port
Great American Waterways $5,149 $6,899 $7,209 $9,059 $7,829 $295
Magical Lake Michigan $2,369 $3,299 $3,599 $4,529 $3,809 $195
Fall Foliage $4,599 $5,999 $6,199 $7,699 $6,899 $425
The Saguenay $4,599 $5,999 $6,199 $7,699 $6,899 $425
Chicago - Montreal $4,599 $5,999 $6,199 $7,699 $6,899 $425
Rates are per person based on double occupancy and in U.S. dollars. Rates are subject to change. Subject to market conditions, a fuel surcharge may be put into effect at any time. Any such charges will be in addition to your quoted cruise price and will be added to your final invoice. Cabin configurations may vary. Drawings are guides only. Please consult a Reservationist for specific cabin descriptions. Every effort will be made to follow published itineraries, however they are subject to wind, weather and tides. Blount Small Ship Adventures reserves the right to change the rate and change, omit and/or alter stops or consume extra days.
Deck Plans
Grande Caribe
Grande Caribe Deck Plan
Grande Mariner
Grande Mariner Deck Plan
What are the main differences in cabin catgegories?
Category I
These are the lowest priced cabins located main and lower deck. Restricted to either a porthole or no window with doors to an interior hallway. Select Cat I cabins have a marine shower which means that the toilet area and shower are in a shared space.

Category II
All cabins in Cat II are located in the bow of ship on the main deck. These cabins all have porthole window and doors that open to an interior hallway.

Category III
Most Cat III cabins are located on the main deck with large fixed windows (unable to open but let in lots of light). The cabin size of Cat III is slightly larger than Cat I & II.

Category IV
These cabins are the most spacious out of the four categories with large fixed windows that open to allow a natural breeze. All Cat IV cabins are located on the sun deck. You may select whether you would like a cabin that opens to an interior hallway or sun deck.
Grande CaribeGrande Mariner
Draft:6 ft 6 in6 ft 6 in
Length:184 ft184 ft
Beam:40 ft40 ft
Passenger Cabins:4444
Passenger Capacity:8888
Flag:United States
Built By:Blount Industries, Inc. Warren, RI
Extend your Trip
Make the most of your cruise by extending your trip with our pre or post hotel stays. Start or end your vacation at a more leisurely pace, relaxed and with less stress, and spend an extra day and night exploring these amazing cities. 1-Night Onboard Early Arrival Package—$150 per person This package includes Onboard Accommodations with dinner and breakfast onboard the ship. Available in Chicago, IL; Montreal, QC; New York, NY; Deluth, MN. Rate is per person and double occupancy. Airport to ship transfer is available at an additional cost. Reservations are required and must be paid for in advance. Crew gratuities not included.
The casual dining room is perfect for single sitting meals and the open seating policy allows you the freedom to meet many traveling companions. With a maximum of 84 passengers aboard, you can meet and dine with nearly everyone over the course of your trip. The chef-prepared meals are delicious, healthy, and often reflective of the region in which you are traveling. Beverages and snacks are available around the clock. With a little advance notice, dietary restrictions can be easily accommodated.
Onboard Activities, Guest Lectures & Optional Excursions
The ships are perfect for those who enjoy conversations, reading, card playing, and occasional entertainment by talented guests and crew (there is a piano aboard both ships). The ships have three common areas: the lounge; dining room; and outside top deck that all offer options for socializing and enjoying activities while onboard. The Cruise Directors offer a variety of activities for guest participation. Each cruise not only shows you the beauty of the destination visited, but teaches you about their unique history, culture, and wildlife as well. The guest lecturers and local experts provide engaging discussions to give you an insider’s perspective. Enhance your shore experience with the optional excursions. Research is done to offer the best things to see and do at each port, still allowing for free time to give the passengers the option to explore on their own.
Special Features
The patented bow ramps allow passengers to disembark without the need for docks or jetties. Shallow drafts let the ships sail through shallow waterways, while retractable pilot houses are ideal for sailing under low bridges and locks. Each ship also features a stern swimming platform and two launches (one of them with a glass bottom), which can be boarded from the stern. All cabins feature fresh air ventilation systems, which continuously feed in fresh air and remove "used" air.
  • Cruise accommodation as booked.
  • Onboard meals prepared using the finest and freshest ingredients, often including regional specialties.
  • Captain's Welcome and Farewell Dinners, including an open bar cocktail hour and complimentary wine with dinner.
  • 24-hour complimentary snacks, coffee, tea, juices, mixers and soft drinks onboard.
  • Onboard enrichment programs, including lectures and workshops.
  • Complimentary beer and wine included with all lunches and dinners aboard ship.
Not Included in Fare
Transportation is not provided between airport locations and vessel. Also not included are tour protection insurance, optional tours, and gratuities which are at passenger's discretion.
Guests are invited to "Bring Your Own Bottle" (BYOB), just like one does on a private yacht. This unique alcohol policy gives you the freedom to enjoy your preferred beverages without a costly tab at the trip's end. Mixers, snacks, barware, refrigeration and bottle storage space are provided around the clock.
Stair Lifts
Stair lifts are available between the Main, Sun and Top decks on all ships for your convenience.
Throughout the years, many features have been added and the decor refurbished. But one thing has stayed the same- a dedication to a casual cruising experience. No luxurious staterooms. When it comes to a good night's sleep the Grande Mariner and Grande Caribe offer four categories of small-ship cruising cabins. Classic yacht-style cabins each with private facilities are located throughout the ship. All cabins have individually climate controlled air conditioning systems that continuously feed in fresh air into your room, day and night. Smoking is allowed on outside deck only so all are cabins are smoke-free.

How big are the cabins?
Being able to 'Go Where The Big Ships Cannot' takes a boat built to be much smaller than most overnight cruising vessels. The average cabin size is approximately 100 square feet.

Are there private balconies or suites?
The vessels do not offer private balconies or suites. However, we do have a public outer deck and cabins with both windows and doors that open to the outside.

How much storage is available?
The cabins offer plenty of storage underneath the beds as well as closet space to hang or store clothing.

What is included in the cabins?
Fresh towels daily, shampoo, conditioner, body wash and a hair dryer are available in each cabin.

Are there TVs in the cabins?
There are not TVs in the cabin. The cabins simply serve as a comfortable place to rest your head after a day's worth of adventures. While cruising with BSSA, you will disconnect from the hectic world around you. Enjoy the 180-degree vista view lounge- the ideal place to get to know your fellow passengers as glorious, scenic landscapes unfold before you. Go upstairs and you'll find the upper deck, the perfect place to catch a breathtaking view or catch a few rays.
Single Occupancy
Exclusive Single Occupancy is 175% of a single fare in certain cabin classifications. Cabins available for Exclusive Single Occupancy are as follows: Grande Caribe in 20s cabin classification as well as cabins 10A and 10B; Grande Mariner in 20s cabin classification as well as 10A, 10B, 30A, and 30B.
Minimum age of children accompanied by an adult passenger is 14 years.
Deposit and Payment
A deposit of $500 per person is required within 7 days of reservation, to secure your cabin. Final payment is due 90 days prior to departure. Personal checks, VISA and MasterCard are accepted.
Travel Insurance
We strongly recommend the purchase of trip cancellation insurance, which is available for coverage of expenses in conjunction with cancellation due to illness or accident. Baggage insurance is also recommended. In the event that you must cancel your participation in a travel program, trip cancellation insurance may be the only source of reimbursement.
Cancellations of confirmed reservations must be made in writing and received by Great Lakes Cruise Company, and are subject to a $250 per person administrative fee, in addition to the following terms:
Cancellation received prior to departure Cancellation fee per person, based on total per person fare
60 days or more $250 per person
59-45 days 25% of fare
44-30 days 50% of fare
29 days or less 100% of fare
In addition, passengers will be charged all administration costs incurred by Company on behalf of passenger. Administration charges may be levied for ground or air portions or other services associated with voyage or special requests and changes. There shall be no right to any refund except as stated above and Company shall have no obligation or liability to passengers for cancellation and/or non use of all or a portion of a voyage or other services, whether or not due to causes beyond passengers' control.

Aboard the ship

Small Ship Cruising (video)

Cruising American Rivers (video)

Sturgeon Bay, WI

Category I Cabin

Category II Cabin

Category III Cabin

Category IV Cabin

Cabin Restroom

Top deck of Grande Mariner

Dining aboard Grande Mariner

Grande Caribe bar

Singer Castle

Rochester Sunset

Sturgeon Bay, WI

Oswego, NY

Navigating the Locks

Navigating the Locks

Mohawk River in New York

Grande Mariner

Grande Mariner

Docked in Chicago

Docked at Mackinac

Docked at Mackinac

Mackinac Island, MI

Mackinac Island, MI

See more destination photos in our gallery