American Canadian Caribbean Line Homeports in Chicago
For six years the U.S. flagged American Canadian Caribbean Line, America's original small ship cruise line, has made calls at Chicago on Great Lakes cruises. Increased passenger and travel agency demand for more unique lakes adventure cruises, resulted in ACCL adding a whole summer of cruises from Chicago. They include several 7-day Lake Michigan circumnavigation cruises in addition to others departing, arriving, or continuing through Chicago to the Atlantic coast or Mid America.
ACCL's Niagara Prince is America's only cruise ship that can pass beneath Chicago's bridges allowing it to connect the Great Lakes to the Mississippi and Mid- America. It is one of three specially built small ships that operated exclusively out of Navy Pier Chicago, making 2000 its first entire summer season in the Great Lakes. For the past 33 years, Warren, Rhode Island has been home port for all ACCL vessels. The 84-passenger Niagara Prince is specialized with unique new features like bow landings, allowing passengers to disembark onto remote islands and beaches along Lake Shores that other cruise ships cannot do. The shallow draft makes a spectacular Great Lakes itinerary even better by getting into rivers and inlets to exotic places. Ports of call include places like Manistee, South Manitou Island, Mackinac Island, Washington Island, and Milwaukee with bow landings along the shores of Lake Michigan.
Also from Chicago, the Niagara Prince sets sail to Warren, Rhode Island and return. These 15-day trips cruise Lake Michigan, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario and then to Rhode Island via Erie Canal, Hudson River and Long Island Sound. In addition to many Lake destinations there are many stops on the Erie Canal to explore on this itinerary.
Chicago is the start of ACCL's 15-day Fall Foliage/ Great Lakes/ Quebec City cruise. This cruise includes Lake Michigan with stops at Wyandotte, MI, Cleveland, OH, Buffalo, NY, and points in Toronto and French Canada, with exotic cultural and entertainment potential at many fascinating stops and things to see and do.
The original Chicago itinerary commenced 30 years ago aboard the Mount Hope. In 1998 the new Grande Mariner sailed to Chicago on its inaugural cruise.
American Canadian Caribbean Line Adds
7-Day Belize Itinerary
Passengers Can Opt for 7- or 12-day "Best of Belize" Winter Cruises
American Canadian Caribbean Line (ACCL), Inc., the original the small ship cruise line headquartered in Warren, R.I., added five new 7-day itineraries to its popular Belize/Barrier Reef destination, beginning February 25, 2000.
"We took the best our traditional 12-day Belize itinerary had to offer and condensed it into a week-long cruise," states ACCL founder and President Luther H. Blount. "Travelers will enjoy this Caribbean island region filled with unforgettable natural wonders, river gorges, and evidence of ancient Mayan culture. Belize has the second largest Barrier Reef in the world and is famous for world-class snorkeling. Our Belize cruises are truly an incomparable adventure of a lifetime."
A pre-cruise package is available for all Belize cruises, including tours of the Xunantunich Mayan ruins, Guanacaste Park, and the unique Belize Zoo which is built right into the jungle allowing animals to live in their own natural habitats. During the cruise, the ship's launch takes passengers to a rookery to view hundreds of frigates and boobies or ride ACCL's glass bottom boat for viewing the Barrier Reef teeming with colorful fish and marine animals.
All Belize cruises are aboard ACCL's 84-passenger Niagara Prince, which features the patented bow ramp and shallow draft allowing passengers to disembark onto exotic beaches and remote areas without the need for docks or jetties.
Small Ship Cruise Line Offers Live
Passengers Can SCUBA Dive In the Ship's Lounge
Passengers cruising the Caribbean can now observe live video of underwater sea life from the ship's lounge. American Canadian Caribbean Line has installed full color underwater exploration cameras on its fleet of small ships.
At night, with special underwater lights, rare tropical fish perform a colorful dance as they dart about. The cruise line features the underwater show on all thirteen Caribbean adventures. Small ship cruising in coastal areas has always offered the unique advantage of getting to exotic, difficult to reach spots. Small ships can maneuver into special areas where coral, fish populations and specific marine artifacts are clearly visible and easily photographed.
The special TV cameras can be submerged up to 150 feet deep, offering spectacular views of what's going on beneath the ship. "Our passengers will be able to see what deep-sea SCUBA divers see," states ACCL Founder and President, Luther H. Blount. "Observers occupy a safe, comfortable and dry seat in the lounge as the large-screen TV monitors the underwater environment live from the camera's eye -- as if they themselves were the SCUBA divers."
"It's going to be an education and an adventure," promises Capt. Blount. "We are proud to be using cameras developed by J.W. Fishers, a leader in underwater exploration equipment." Fishers technology is credited with discovery of pirate treasure as well as aid to law enforcement. Most recently, similar technology has received much attention with the Titanic explorations.
"The entire underwater world is there for us to capture. Lights on the stern have always attracted fish. Now, we will be able to see them up close." says Blount. For daytime use, the ship can pass slowly over a coral bank or an old hulk or even maneuver into a school of fish. ACCL cruising now offers a changing underwater panorama via the camera's many angles.
"This unique underwater perspective of the ocean is available exclusively on ACCL ships," says Capt. Blount. "We believe we are the first cruise line to offer this." This winter season, thirteen cruises will bring passengers to clear water Caribbean spots. Observation cruises include world famous Belize Barrier Reef and similar reefs surrounding Bonaire, Bahamas and the Virgin Islands.
ACCL's fleet is the newest in the industry, featuring three small cruise ships, which carry no more than 100 passengers. The lounge on ACCL ships is designed to accommodate all passengers at once, thus providing a good view of the large-screen TV from any seat.
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Revised: April 29, 2002