Haimark’s MS Saint Laurent Ideal For Destination Driven Experiences
by Vanessa Lee
Elana Karpman, Manager Brand Marketing,
Cruise Strategies ready to board the
MS St. Laurent
The Cliff Rock Bar & Grille
The MS Saint Laurent
The Shearwater Dining Room
The Observation Deck
often we see a cruise ship docked in Toronto harbour with a great city skyline
view on a sunny October day. But last week I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to tour Haimark Line’s
MS Saint Laurent,
previously the Sea Voyager, which has been plying the Great Lakes, cruising in the Maritimes and along the St
Lawrence Seaway this summer. She will shortly
head down the U.S. east coast to
spend the winter in warmer climes with Caribbean,
Panama Canal, Costa Rica, South and Central
America (including the Orinoco River) itineraries along with a few cruises that feature Cuba stops.
So it was certainly an opportune time
to see this new addition to the Haimark fleet.
in April as the
MS Saint Laurent, the vessel has room for about 200 guests but
normally, with single accommodations will have about 170 - 180 or so with a
crew complement of 80. We were given a tour by the affable Hotel Manager Eckart
who has many years of experience on both ocean-going and river cruise
more well known for their fleet of exotic river cruise ships which sail the
Mekong or the Irrawaddy as well as the Peruvian Amazon. So this vessel is
a bit of a departure from their norm and has
been nicely renovated. At just under 5000 gross
tons, she is quite an adorable little ship with a happy crew and even
more importantly, happy guests.
the key features and details you need to know about and also in my opinion, the
kind of clientele that would suit the ship. The staterooms are quite
nicely appointed and decorated but not very large in some categories.
They have a small bathroom with shower only, beds that can be twins or a queen and a small flat-screen TV with
wooden bedside tables, a dresser/armoire and other necessary mod cons. They
remind me of a river cruise stateroom in size but are more traditional in feel. The vast majority are outside but none
have true balconies although some open on to a non-private deck area and offer
outdoor chairs (Deck 4).
rooms are decorated in calm, soothing shades of
blue and gold. The main Compass Lounge on
Deck 2 is the spot for overflow lunch buffets, cocktails, lectures and movie
nights as well as the occasional
entertainment from a duo. Adjacent to the Lounge is a charming tavern called
the Seascape Bar; this has delightful stained glass windows (never seen that on
a ship before) 2 large
TV’s and tables that can easily accommodate bridge groups for card
also an outdoor grill area called the Cliff Rock Bar and Grille which
offers a casual breakfast and lunch buffet weather permitting and a hot
rocks focus where guests can grill their own meats and fish at their tables for
a seated dinner – with 2 reservation times –
7 and 7.30 pm. Heaters are also in this area for
evenings or when the ship is cruising cooler
climes. This will be a very popular
spot when the ship is in the tropics. Add to this another lovely outdoor deck area for relaxing and
lounging as well as an Observation Deck lounge – great for wildlife spotting –
so a small ship with good outdoor deck space which is important on this type of cruise.
also has a small spa, a logo and sundries shop and a really quite lovely dining
room called the Shearwater. House wine for lunch and dinner is included and
premium wines can be purchased if required.
This is a
port intensive, destination driven cruise ship ideal for guests who would also
enjoy river cruising and would likely be in their 60’s to 80’s. The crew is
mostly European (and appeared to be very engaged and service-oriented). Room service is provided for breakfast only.
Every evening there is a cocktail event with some included drinks and nibbles
followed by dinner from 7.30 – 9.30. Think river cruising on the ocean concept.
ship is a part of the experience but this recently refurbished Haimark vessel
is designed to cater to those guests searching for new destinations – the port collectors, those who wish to learn about
a range of subjects and those desirous of
experiential cruising. Social camaraderie is a big part of the onboard guest
experience and many notable lecturers and speaker programmers are included –
Dan Rather was a special speaking guest on a cruise this
I like this
brand – they appear to be thoughtful and attentive and caring. All good things
and I believe there is a strong market for this kind of ship and cruise
experience and equally it would be ideal for groups of various sizes – including
full or 1/2 ship charters.