Gold Ribbon Banner
Monday, July 15, 2019

A friend lends me his copy of Sea Breezes and how surprised I was when I got to Page 17 of the August 2015 edition to see a great photo of the Grande Caribe which we went on a few years ago.

Grande CaribeMy wife and I both have said it was the best cruise we ever experienced. A bit of background... My wife is a Kiwi and I am a Yank and we live in Australia just outside Melbourne. We told another local couple of our intention of going on the Grand Caribe and they said they would join us. So we were the only real tourists on the ship on our voyage, and we were treated very well.

The ship, as the article says, is small and has cabins for 100 passengers. It only draws about six feet of water, so is able to do the trip it does as some of the waterways are very shallow. It has a bridge which can be lowered to go under low bridges mainly on the Eire Canal voyage. Our trip started in Jacksonville, Florida which is just below the Georgia State border and ended in Warren, Rhode Island the hometown of Blount Industries and also the first home of Brown University. Blount started making small commercial vessels and if you ever went out to the Statue of Liberty, it was probably one he made.

Our ship had 50 cabins on a couple of levels, all with en suites. One dining room with large tables did nicely for the three meals set at fairly early times. The quality of the food was excellent and every day we looked forward to something different. Even had grits one day for breakfast! There was a lounge which was the centre for drinks and entertainment. There was a bar area and provision for cold bottles. The vessel provided setups so there was no cost for drinks, and there is a great open deck up top where we spent all our time while on the go.

Our voyage had 39 passengers, so there was plenty of space topside. There were two captains – a Mr and Mrs called up at the last minute as the original had to stay ashore. It was a perfect combination, as our captains wanted to go north for the summer and knew the waterways due to many, many voyages and they were very pleasant. There was a CIA (Catering Institute of America) trained chef, a couple of college girls who did the waiting and housekeeping, a couple of sailors and an entertainment director.

We did about 100 miles most days and tied up every night. We went via rivers, canals, lakes and even went into the Atlantic from the south tip of New Jersey to New York City. This was a summer voyage! Each time we went into a different State, the Captain would raise the respective State flag - a nice touch. As mentioned, we began in Florida, not far from the home of a cousin, then Georgia where I had a university classmate, then South Carolina where I once stayed in a hotel run my a classmate’s parents. The only time I ever saw a one bar radiator. Then North Carolina – no connection, Virginia – fraternity brother and classmates. Next Maryland where I had another fraternity brother, then New Jersey – my mother’s home state; New York – my home state, though a long way from NYC. Then Connecticut where a cousin’s son lived on Long Island Sound and finally Rhode Island – another fraternity brother.

Because the vessel was so small, we usually docked right downtown often in pleasant yacht clubs with complete security. So although the topography was dead flat, it varied enough to make it interesting. One day on a river, the next in a man-made canal, and of course New York City going around the harbour and then up the East River to Long Island Sound and a festival at St Michaels, Maryland which was terrific. For those interested, we had all sorts of entertainment from movies (and popcorn) talks, musicians, and even an Australian wine tasting night in our honour. Might I suggest if you decide to do this trip you could fly to Miami, Florida and take the train to Jacksonville, then at the end when you arrive at Warren you could spend a few days at Newport, Rhode Island, only a few miles away. A fascinating city with lots of history – yachting of course, first library, first Naval Academy, gigantic summer homes of the rich and famous, etc. From there, it is possible to catch the train half-hour away to anywhere in the United States.

Some of the other trips, as mentioned in the article, would give a good insight, particularly the Eastern States from Chicago to the East. I grew up on the Erie Canal and think a trip on canal would be fascinating. It took about eight years to build, all by hand and the year it was completed the first passenger train from Darlington to Stockton commenced in 1825!

E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For more letters, see the latest edition of Sea Breezes Magazine
Click on the links below to subscribe

Subscribe Graphic

Latest Issue - Look Inside!


Most Popular

  • Major Boost for Steamship Shieldhall +

  • Oil Leak Survey of WWII British Tanker Wreck +

  • Saint Brandan - "Vital Spark of the South Atlantic" +

  • Six LNG Carriers Join BP Fleet +

  • Tragedy of the “Stellar Daisy” +

  • 1
  • 2

Latest Products

Maritime Log

  • Clyde’s Vital Role in Onshore Windfarm +

    Clydeport Clydeport has played a vital role in the building of the UK’s largest onshore windfarm on Eaglesham Moor, just 20 Read More
  • Museum Says ‘it’ is the End of the Line for ‘Her’ +

    Scottish Maritime Museum The Scottish Maritime Museum, at Irvine, has abandon hundreds of years of maritime history and tradition and decided to stop Read More
  • Six LNG Carriers Join BP Fleet +

    BP Partnership Class Six new 173,400 cu m capacity LNG carriers have joined the fleet of BP Shipping, of London. Read More
  • Warehouse Boosts Import of Forest Products +

    Freight A new £17mn warehouse is to be built at Liverpool by the national logistics provider Jenkins which specialises in paper, Read More
  • Inmarsat Takeover Deal Agreed +

    Inmarsat Global Xpress The supplier of global satellite communication services to the shipping industry, Inmarsat, of London, has accepted a $3.4bn takeover bid Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

North America

  • Largest LNG Carrier Sails From West to East +

    Al Safliya The largest LNG tanker to use the Panama Canal since it was expanded less that three years ago passed through Read More
  • Oil Leak Survey of WWII British Tanker Wreck +

    Coimbra Wreck The US Coast Guard were evaluating a plan to remove oil from a tanker that was sunk in the Second Read More
  • Line Sells Long Beach Container Terminal +

    Long Beach Container Terminal The Hong Kong shipping group Orient Overseas (International) Ltd (OOIL) is selling its Long Beach Container Terminal, California, to a Read More
  • Terminal to be Extended After Record Year +

    Viau Montreal The Viau container terminal at Montreal, Canada, is to be expanded so that it can handle 600,000 teu a year. Read More
  • Line Sails Back to Port in Partnership +

    ZIM Ningbo The Israeli shipping company Zim returned to the port of Seattle, Washington, on Apr 5 as part of the 2M Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3


  • Special Navigating System to be Fitted to VLCCs +

    AR Nav Following two-ship trials, augmented reality (AR) navigation systems are to be installed on 21 very large crude oil carriers (VLCCs) Read More
  • Work Starts on Hybrid Series +

    Grimaldi Hybrid In China, construction has started at the Jinling Shipyard on the first of the Grimaldi Group’s new hybrid roll-on, roll-off Read More
  • Tragedy of the “Stellar Daisy” +

    Stellar Daisy The very large ore carrier Stellar Daisy, 266,141dwt, was owned by Polaris Shipping, of Seoul, South Korea, and had been Read More
  • Line’s Special Offer to Help Clean Up the Seas +

    The Ocean Cleanup The Singapore shipping company APL is providing free shipping for the non-profit Ocean Cleanup organisation that is working to develop Read More
  • World’s Largest LNG Carrier is on the Way +

    DNV GL Model The World's largest LNG carrier, with a cargo capacity of 270,000 cu m, is being developed by the only builder Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Naval Focus

  • Fourth Dreadnought Named HMS “King George VI” +

    Dreadnought Class UK News The fourth member of the new Dreadnought class of nuclear powered ballistic missile submarines will bear the name Read More
  • US Navy Orders Flight II Landing Platform Dock +

    LDP30 American News The contract for the construction of LPD30, the first Flight II Landing Platform Dock of the San Antonio Read More
  • US Navy Seeks Faster Ship Delivery +

    FFGX Rendering American News The future frigate program for the US Navy is getting fully underway and some idea of the urgency Read More
  • HMS “Dragon” in £75 Million Narcotics Seizure +

    HMS Dragon British News Whilst on patrol in the Gulf, the Type 45 destroyer HMS Dragon seized and destroyed ten tonnes of Read More
  • New Generation of Enterprise Confirmed +

    USS Enterprise American News On 31 January, the US Department of Defense announced the awarding of a block buy contract with Huntington Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Ferry World

  • Russian Adventure +

    Ocean Adventurer To the North East Coast and arriving at Aberdeen for the first time for many months, I witnessed a passenger Read More
  • CalMac Heritage +

    Columba I include a fine poster and artist’s image of the famed Macbrayne paddler Columba. Read More
  • Further Delay for LNG Powered Glen Sannox +

    Glen Sannox The drama surrounding the much delayed new ferries for Caledonian MacBrayne continues to rumble on with the latest, not unsurprising, Read More
  • Pentland Ferries Loses Appeal +

    Hamnavoe Scotland’s Pentland Ferries has lost its appeal against Scottish government state aid for ferry services between the mainland and the Read More
  • Oscar Goes to Italy +

    Oscar Wilde Irish Continental Group has entered into a bareboat hire purchase agreement for the sale of its 1987-built Oscar Wilde to Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Sail Review/Coastal Comment

  • Norweigan National Day +

    Thorodd I was in Montrose on the Norwegian National Day, 17 May, when its independent constitution from Sweden was confirmed in Read More
  • Port of Aberdeen Fifty Years On +

    Aberdeen Harbour Extension Project When I first arrived in Aberdeen in 1968, I couldn’t believe my luck. Read More
  • Thames Tributary Barges +

    Lady of the Lea Most of the rivers flowing into the Thames had their own barge type. Read More
  • Dry Rot and Dry Dock +

    HMS Victory For some time Victory, the 110gun ship of the line, has had trouble with dry rot and is in danger Read More
  • Everards Eulogy +

    Greenhithe Scottish maritime interests particularly may mourn the loss of Geo Gibson. Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

From the Lookout

  • Lifeline Cash for “Waverley” Agreed +

    Waverley The Paddle Steamer Preservation Society (PSPS) has announced that it will provide immediate funding to support efforts to “Save The Read More
  • Viking Glory Celebrates Keel Laying +

    Front Altair The construction of Viking Glory is proceeding on schedule. Read More
  • The Majestic River Rhine +

    MS Charles Dickens In September of this year, my wife and I enjoyed a wonderful Riviera Travel river cruise on the majestic River Read More
  • What Next in the US-Iran Saga? +

    Front Altair Over the last year, the escalating trade war between the US and China has created many headlines, not least in Read More
  • Modus Expands Fleet of Hybrid Autonomous Vehicles +

    Saab Seaeye Modus has placed an order with Saab Seaeye for the next vehicle in its Hybrid Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (HAU V) Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Cruise News/Superyacht News

  • Damen Group Superyachts +

    Amels With 25 projects underway, business is booming for Amels, the Dutch luxury yacht builder. Read More
  • Singer Andrea Bocelli Trades Up in Size +

    Stella del Nord Andrea Bocelli, the blind Italian tenor and song writer whose work spans both popular music and classical opera is a Read More
  • Plans for Greenock Terminal Approved +

    Greenock Ocean Terminal Plans have been approved for an iconic building on the banks of the Clyde at Greenock to welcome cruise ship Read More
  • Leixoes Cruise Terminal, Gateway to Porto +

    Leixoes Cruise Terminal With the growth of the cruise industry, many ports worldwide have been active in developing or improving their port facilities. Read More
  • Two Distinctive Ships Headed for Chinese Market +

    Spectrum of the Seas and Costa Venezia The Spectrum of the Seas (169,379 GT), Royal Caribbean International’s first ship in the Quantum Ultra Class, embarked on the Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Ships, Ports and Places

Suez Canal

The Creation of the Suez Canal - Part Two

IAt the end of 1858, the company’s Works Committee convened for the first time. It included an impressive assembly of Read More
Mv Saint Brandan

Saint Brandan - "Vital Spark of the South Atlantic"

In 1876, James Gardner commissioned a small vessel to transport quarried stone from Ballachulish to Glasgow. He also opened an Read More
  • 1
  • 2

Companies, Events and Other Features


Tribute to the "Mercury"

In the summer of 1968, the training ship Mercury in the Hamble River closed down after many years of training Read More
SS Eastern (2)

MT Arthur Foss

“The last vessel to escape Wake Island before Japanese forces captured the island” Read More
  • 1
  • 2