Pearl Seas Cruises
Pearl Seas Ships
OnboardPacific Seas' Pearl Mist is registered in the Marshall Islands, known as the "Pearl of the Pacific." Its U.S. headquarters share the same Connecticut address as the well-established American Cruise Lines and is the line's "affiliate."
Pearl Mist is a sleek and luxurious vessel planned with obvious references to both the cabin comforts of the latest mega-ships as well as many of the Euro-design influences of the newest cruisers on Continental rivers. Expansive balconies, flat-screen TVs, DVD players, upgraded linens and amenities join fine dining choices and leisure options in an effort to bring a "boutique hotel" feel to the product.
About Pearl Seas CruisesWhile the old saying might well be true -- you can't teach an old dog new tricks -- in this case you might be able to teach a new dog "old" tricks. At least that seems to be part of the idea behind Pearl Seas Cruises, a relatively new operation that covers well-traveled territory but in a significantly different fashion. The line's first ship, Pearl Mist, which debuts in June 2014, will sail well-known routes in the world of coastal/river/island cruising, with summer routes in Canada and the Maritimes, winter cruises in the Caribbean, and East Coast repositioning cruises in between. Despite the existence of a number of established competitors in each of the markets, the Pearl Seas has ambitious plans.
After pushing back the debut Pearl Mist since 2009 because of disputes with shipbuilders Halifax Shipyard Limited, Pearl Seas has set the ship's inaugural season for summer 2014.
Pearl Seas describes Pearl Mist as "luxury adventure," which translates to immersive itineraries that feature ports larger ships can't visit, large cabins and onboard experts.
Beverage and snack service will be offered on deck and in a selection of lounge venues, as will entertainment and enrichment of a low-key style.
The library will be stocked with board games and current volumes and a range of background books reflecting the ship's itineraries and stops.
One of the more interesting aspects of the ship experience with Pearl Seas is the combination of onboard lectures and discussions with shoreside trips and excursions on related topics, often led or hosted by the same person. So when a naturalist, botanist or historian talks about his field of interest one day at sea, he might actually show it to you the next day on land.
Additionally, many of the excursions will feature what one might term "light adventure," with hiking, fishing or scuba as the focal point. Other trips will highlight local lore and crafts, music and food in an attempt to give passengers an opportunity to "touch" the locales they visit.
A range of spa services will be offered onboard with specially trained personnel available for treatments. Exercise equipment is of the multiuse type, allowing for a range of workout options.
Pearl Seas Cruises FleetPearl Mist will be the first of two ships in the line's fleet. It will carry 210 passengers. Interestingly, the ships will feature single-occupancy cabins (12 on Pearl Mist), a rarity these days. Pearl Mist has five categories of regular cabins and suites, ranging from 302 to 580 square feet. All are equipped with Wi-Fi Internet access, flat-screen TVs, DVD players and premium bedding and branded bath amenities. The second ship, yet unnamed, will be slightly larger, with a 240-passenger capacity. It is scheduled to enter service in 2016.
Public spaces are extensive, with a large glass-walled dining room offering water views during single-seating meals. The ships each will have a well-stocked library and two major lounges facing forward over the bow, along with four smaller areas for a drink or quiet conversation, as well as small group gatherings. It should also be noted that all decks will be served by elevators, making handicap access more readily available than on many small coastal and river ships.
Open deck space will provide for sunning and sightseeing, and gym and spa services will be offered.
Technically, the ships will be up to date, with full stabilization, communication and engineering equipment. Diesel-powered, they will be shallow draft vessels, giving them speed between ports and stops, and the ability to enter small and large locales with equal ease.
Fellow PassengersCertain itineraries, just like certain cruise lines or ships, attract a certain kind of passenger. Short trips and mega-ships have their followers, as do long voyages and smaller vessels. Coastal and river trips have generally been the province of the comfortably mature and curious. With the aging of the Boomer Generation and its desire to get up close and personal with the world -- but in up-to-date comfort -- Pearl Seas might have a market ready and waiting. Those same people who have discovered European river cruising and inter-island voyages around Tahiti or the Greek Islands will certainly enjoy the size and style of the product while exploring smaller islands in the Caribbean or visiting the rugged coasts of New England and Canada's Maritimes.
Expect a blend of middle-aged and older folks, educated and well-traveled, mostly American and Canadian, with a healthy dose of the British Isles and their brethren from Down Under, as well as a smattering of Europeans curious to see another aspect of America and the Caribbean.
Depending on the company's desire to pursue it, the ships might also represent an alternative for families looking for quiet quality time or young professionals in search of a comfortable respite from the pace of daily life. Additionally, the ships also offer an excellent opportunity for corporate incentives and reunion groups of many types. While these groups will always be a minority, they do represent potential that can't be ignored.
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