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Sail away to Caribbean paradise on the Grande Mariner cruise ship (only 44 cabins). This Caribbean cruise voyage carries you from the remote islands of the Belize Barrier Reef (the world's second longest barrier reef) to the jungles of Guatemala. White sands, swaying palm trees, Mayan ruins, and rainbow-colored reefs are yours to explore on this unique Central America small ship cruise! Relax and admire the stunning scenery and explore in Belize and Guatemala on this adventure cruise, starting and ending in Belize City!

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BELIZE & GUATEMALA CRUISE - 6 Departures in December 2017 & January 2018

12 Days, 11 Nights | Price Starting at $4,599.00
The remote islands and clear blue waters of Belize combine with the lush forests and Mayan ruins of Guatemala on this 12-day adventure. The Belize Barrier Reef, one of the largest and most celebrated in the world, is the perfect setting for kayaking and snorkeling. In Guatemala, explore the roots of Mayan culture at the archaeological site of Quirigua. Your Blount ship is uniquely designed to go where big ships cannot, including up the Rio Dulce, and to scenic and remote islands. A patented bow ramp lets you step directly from ship to sandy shore. An onboard naturalist guides you to breathtaking cayes, reefs and lagoons introducing you to exotic fish, Howler Monkeys, iguanas, and tropical birds.
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The Grand Mariner ship

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Commissioned and built by Blount Boats of Rhode Island in 1998, the Grande Mariner makes her way from Montreal to the Caribbean in the spring. She was refurbished in 2010, with totally new cabin configurations including new décor, new bathrooms, new furniture in the cabins, a renovated lounge, new décor, and brand new furniture. So if you want to take in a few rays on the sun deck, relax and enjoy the vista-view lounge, or just have a few quiet moments in your cabin as the sea drifts past your open picture window, the Grande Mariner is ready. The ship is innovative, with a unique bow ramp for easy access to beaches and for swimming, a shallow draft allowing for explorations where larger ships cannot go, and even glass-bottom excursion boats.

The Grand Mariner has the freedom to go where the big ships cannot. The freedom to steam down rivers, as carved wooden canoes drift alongside. The freedom to enter small harbors, tie up on a local dock, and head inland to explore. The freedom to find a small island, land on the beach and do some sunbathing, miles away from the crowds of tourists. All this freedom comes down to size. The big ships are really, really big, which puts big limits on where they can go. And when it comes time to dock, they only have a few places they can fit. That's why the big cruise lines all go to the same places, and their passengers all end up exploring the same ports. With small ships, the map of destinations opens up. Suddenly, real exploration is possible. On every corner of the map. Exploration that takes you to countless less-travelled ports, rivers, and small islands. Places unchanged by constant tourism. It's the difference between going to a place, and being in a place. And it makes all the difference in the world.

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Everything's different on small ship adventure. These are CASUAL CRUISES, without the hustle, bustle, and chaos of the big ships. You’re joined by fewer than a hundred people. And more often than not, they’re people just like you. Curious. Casual. Adventurous. They’re looking for something more personal than the big ships can offer. Something more than deck after deck of strangers. Every part of your cruise is simply more personal. You’ll dine in a single sitting with an open seating plan, giving you the freedom to meet your fellow travelers. Want to go exploring in your own way? Just grab some snorkeling equipment, or sign up for kayaking or biking. There’s no white glove dining service, no formal attire, and no luxurious cabins. But there is a 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. When it comes time for a good night’s sleep, our ships offer four categories of small ship cruising cabins. Each feature individual air conditioning, which continuously brings fresh air into your room, day and night. Your room also features a private shower and bathrooms, and a fresh, smoke-free environment.

Your accommodations onboard, delicious meals (including complimentary house wine and beer with lunch and dinner), and all onboard entertainment is included. What’s more, the cruises have a historian or naturalist traveling with you, ready to provide information about the sights, people, and wildlife you’re seeing. Your fare also covers things like our glass bottom boat tours, snorkeling excursions, and performances by local musicians, storytellers, and area experts. And you’re invited to “bring your own bottle.” So if you have a favorite bottle of bubbly, a great wine from home, or a certain kind of cocktail you love to sip at sunset, bring it along, and we'll keep it chilled in the lounge. We’ll provide the mixers, barware, and bottle storage, free.
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The best part is, because you're bringing your own drinks, you won't have to worry about ringing up a big bar tab at the end of your trip - and that's certainly worth a toast.

SPECIFICATIONS:
LENGTH: 184 feet
BEAM: 40 feet
DRAFT: 6 feet, 6 inches
PASSENGER CAPACITY: 88
PASSENGER CABINS: 44

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12 Days: Belize, Guatemala, and The Barrier Reef Cruise Overview

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• Swim and snorkel among a rainbow of exotic fish and live coral along Belize's stunning Barrier Reef.
• An onboard naturalist enhances your cruise voyage.
• Sway to the sounds of a Marimba Band during our top deck cocktail party.
• Step directly from the ship into the crystal-clear water of Placencia’s serene shores during a signature bow landing.
• Enjoy a river cruise among the dramatic gorges of Guatemala’s Rio Dulce.
• Tour Castillo de San Felipe, a 400 year-old Spanish fort.
• Delight in water sports in the unspoiled inner lagoon of the Belize Coastal Zone.
• Ride our glass bottom boat in search of brain corals, parrot fish and sea fans.
• Enjoy Garifuna music and dance lessons on the top deck.

PORTS VISTED:
  • Belize City, Belize
  • Man-O-War Caye
  • Southwater Caye, Belize
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  • Placencia Village, Belize
  • Lime Caye
  • Punta Gorda, Belize
  • Livingston, Guatemala
  • Castillo de San Felipe, Guatemala
  • Nana Juana Resort, Guatemala
  • Casa Guatemala
  • West Snake Caye, Belize
  • Water Cay, Belize
  • Goff Cay, Belize
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Belize and The Barrier Reef Cruise, 12 Days Itinerary
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Day 1
Depart from Belize City
Welcome to paradise as you embark in Belize City for this 12-day adventure along the amazing  Barrier Reef. One of the largest and most diverse reef ecosystems in the world, the Belize Barrier Reef is home to hundreds of species of exotic fish and coral in every color of the imagination, making it an idyllic location for snorkeling and diving. Aquamarine waters and swaying palm trees paint an exquisite backdrop for your small ship cruise adventure. 
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Day 2
Man-O-War Caye & Southwater Caye, Belize
About 40 miles south of Belize City you will explore 2 breathtaking cayes today. Our onboard naturalist helps you uncover the hidden gems of Man-O-War caye, a designated bird sanctuary where you may see magnificent frigate birds and brown pelicans, known to entertain with their aerial acrobats; as well as brown footed boobies, white ibis, ruddy turnstones and blue heron. On Southwater Caye, a private island listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its biological diversity and beauty, discover fascinating reef ecosystems, tropical fish and colorful coral when you swim, snorkel or kayak. Stroll down the white sand beaches and admire the postcard-perfect seascape, before watching the Caribbean sun create a spectacular display of vibrant color as it sets above the gentle waves. 
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Day 3
Placencia Village, Belize
Replete with palm-lined beaches and home to a Garifuna community known for their traditional drumming and dance, this 16 mile peninsula has become known as an eco-destination. Look for the laughing gulls, royal terns, and several sandpiper species that live along the coast here. Experience a bow landing on Placencia Point. Step off the bow ramp of the ship and onto the sandy shore to visit this growing and diverse village.

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Day 4
Lime Caye & Punta Gorda Town, Belize
Lime Cay, part of the Sapodillas Cayes Marine Reserve, invites you to swim, snorkel or kayak in its spectacularly clear waters or lounge on its pristine beaches for a day of perfect relaxation. Stop in Punta Gorda before you pass into Guatemala. This southernmost city is a seaport and fishing town that is also home to a unique mix of Garifuna, Creole and Mayan cultures. Explore the village market, and browse an array of family-owned shops.
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Day 5
Livingston, Guatemala
In Eastern Guatemala, Livingston sits where the mouth of the Rio Dulce meets the Gulf of Honduras. With no roads to Livingston, the only way here is by boat. Explore the local village, enjoy a cool drink at a unique cafe or simply relax by the river.
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Day 6
Castillo De San Felipe & Nan Juana, Guatemala
Going where larger ships cannot, you cruise the gorgeous Rio Dulce brimming with lush, dramatic gorges. You may spot white egrets in the trees, and even the secretive keel-billed toucan, the national bird of Belize. Explore Castillo de San Felipe, a 400-year-old Spanish fort built to protect Lake Izabal from pirates. Later, dock where sailboats do at the Nana Juana Eco-hotel and Marina. Here you will relish in the spectacular setting, with its private bar, pool and hot tub. You may choose to venture off into the heart of unspoiled tropical forests on an optional jungle trail and canopy tour.

Sailing to Lago Izabal through the dramatic Río Dulce gorge is incredibly scenic. The river takes you over thermal springs and through the incredible green canyons of Cueva de la Vaca, lined with giant tropical trees, whose steep walls are a tangle of orchids, bromeliads and jungle foliage with its forests of mahogany, palms, and tropical hardwoods.

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Day 7
Nana Juana, Guatemala
Take an optional excursion that transports you to the 8th century as you tour the Quirigua Mayan Ruins, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Here, a recent birding group had the pleasure of seeing a turquoise-browed motmot with its “tennis racket” like tail. Behold outstanding 8th century monuments and a series of carved stelae, considered by archaeologists to be the finest example of Mayan carving anywhere. The Classic Period Maya site of Quiriguá, set amidst a banana plantation, has the tallest stelae (35 feet) of the Mayan world and zoomorphic geoglyphs that are sure to astound!


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Day 8 & 9
Punta Gorda, Belize
Heading back to Belize, you once again cruise the spectacular Rio Dulce filled with howler monkeys, toucans and picturesque waterfalls. Return to Punta Gorda for a day of relaxation. Belize's southernmost city of Punta Gorda, a seaport and fishing town that is home to a unique mix of Garifuna, Creole and Mayan cultures. On an optional tour, indulge in the decadence of traditional Mayan chocolate as you visit a local cacao farm and learn how cacao farming supports the community. Continue at a chocolate factory, where the beans are made into a treat you can sample. This afternoon, lounge in the sunny splendor of the top deck or stroll along the waterfront.


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Day 10
West Snake Cay & Water Caye, Belize
At gorgeous West Snake Caye, another bow landing takes you directly into the unspoiled inner lagoon of the Belize Coastal Zone, where you can swim, snorkel or kayak in the sparkling clear waters. Anchor this evening in serene Water Caye, where stunning seascape views unfold under the Caribbean stars.
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Day 11
Goff Caye, Belize
The tiny island of Goff Caye sits on the edge of the Barrier Reef. Here, warm waters support thriving populations of lobster and conch. Tonight in Belize City, enjoy the tones of a local steel drum band and celebrate Belize with your fellow travelers and new friends during a festive farewell celebration.
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Day 12
Disembark in Belize City
Disembark today in Belize City, Belize.

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207:18 Dates rates

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Belize City Pre-Cruise Package – $325 per person
Make the most of your cruise with our onboard early arrivals. Spend an extra day to get settled in and explore in Belize. Discover the captivating Altun Ha Mayan ruins and admire Belize’s diverse animal life.

Altun Ha ruins
A ceremonial site dating to the Mayan Classic Period, Altun Ha’s two sprawling plazas boast 13 temples, including the awe-inspiring Temple of the Masonry Alters. After an authentic Belizean lunch, enjoy a bird-watching boat tour at Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, where exotic birds like the Jabiru Stork and the Peregrine Falcon live and thrive. Passengers must arrive in Belize City one day prior to the cruise’s departure.
Includes:
• 1-night stay onboard ship
• Airport to ship transfers
• 1 dinner and breakfast onboard
• Guided tour including admission and transportation
• Lunch at Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary
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Excursions during the cruises
Enhance your onshore experience with our optional excursions. We strive to research and offer the best sights and experiences at each port that we know you won’t want to miss. We compliment this with free time, giving you the choice to match your own unique interests and lifestyle. New pre-sold excursion packages will be available 90 days prior to departure. Individual excursions may also be purchased onboard with the Cruise Director. Below is a sampling of our experiences in the Caribbean - note that some may be optional.

Treasures of Quirigua: Discover Mayan Ruins
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Visit the Archaeological Park and Ruins of Quirigua, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, located on the Motagua River in Guatemala. Inhabited since the 2nd century A.D., Quirigua had become the capital of an autonomous and prosperous state during the reign of Cauac Sky (723-84), in part because of its location at the juncture of several important trade routes. The ruins contain outstanding 8th-century monuments and an impressive series of carved stelae (tall stone or wood slabs usually decorated or inscribed), and sculpted calendars that constitute an essential source for the study of Mayan culture and civilization. While the site is smaller than the more famous sites of Tikal and Copan, Quirigua remains an important Maya site because of its wealth of sculpture, including the tallest stone monuments ever erected in the New World. Stela “E” stands in the Great Plaza with a total shaft height of 35 feet, including the 10-foot buried portion holding it in place. This enormous monolith, weighing approximately 65 tons, is the largest stone ever quarried by the ancient Maya. The stelae are considered among archeologists to be the finest examples of Mayan carving anywhere, and have been preserved in amazing detail. The monuments include long panels of glyphic text that are considered to be among the most complex and beautiful of all Maya stone inscriptions. After visiting the site in the early 1930’s Aldous Huxley wrote that Quirigua’s stelae commemorated “man’s triumph over time and matter and the triumph of time and matter over man.” Learn about the history of the United Fruit Company Banana Plantation and of the discovery of the Quirigua site during the company’s expansion. The United Fruit Company played an important role in preserving this important site when it set aside 75 acres around the ceremonial center as an archaeological park, leaving a protected island of jungle among the plantations. Transportation is included from our dock at Nana Juana Resort, on the Rio Dulce River. The tour includes a ride of approximately one-hour through the lush Guatemalan countryside.
(Approximately 4 hours, optional cost of $70 per person.)

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Traditional Mayan Chocolate Farm & Factory Tour
Indulge your sweet tooth with the decadence of handmade chocolate! With its tropical lowland climate, southern Belize has the ideal conditions for growing cacao – the fruit that is processed into chocolate. Used by the ancient Mayans as a unit of currency and also ground into a warm, dark drink seasoned with pepper, today cacao is enjoying a new popularity as a cash crop for Mayan farmers. A small and hearty tree, cacao can be grown organically, prevents erosion, provides habitat for wildlife, and offers an alternative to slash and burn farming. Begin your excursion at a Belizean cacao farm, where you will tour the facilities, experience a hands-on demonstration on traditional Mayan chocolate-making, and share a delicious lunch with the farmer and his family. Learn firsthand about sustainable farming and Fair Trade practices from Toledo’s own farmers. Return to Punta Gorda for a private tour and tasting at a modern artisanal single origin chocolate factory – a sweet conclusion to this mouth-watering adventure.

Monkey River Tour & Jungle Walk
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This is your opportunity to experience the Belizean Jungle on a guided boat tour up Monkey River. View beautiful flora and fauna as you travel through broadleaf subtropical forest on your way to Monkey River Village. Be on the lookout for green iguanas diving into the water, troops of howler monkeys racing through the trees, birds darting about and crocodiles basking in the sun by the rivers bank. Learn about Monkey River Village which was born of the banana industry. In its hay day the town grew to 2500 people, now its population is 217. Later follow your guide in a hike through the jungle on the lookout for Howler Monkeys. Learn about these vegetarian creatures, their habitat and experience for yourself why they were named “howler” monkeys. Your adventurous excursion will come to an end with a short stop to watch Manatees.

Cayos Cochino Marine Reserve & Garifuna Village
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Escape for a day to the beautiful Archipelago of Cayos Cochinos; once dubbed “diamonds in the rough”. Cayos Cochinos forms part of the second largest barrier reef system in the world known as the Meso-American Barrier Reef System. Learn more about these marvels of nature with a stop at Marine Park Headquarters. Enjoy snorkeling or diving in the waters of the Cayos, unparalleled with beautiful sea life, coral and sponges. An eco-hike to Cayos Grande light house is sure to be interesting; be on the lookout for the “almost extinct” Pink Boa. Your excursion would not be complete without a stop at a Garifuna village, where you will learn the history of these proud people. Two dives are included in this excursion.
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Cruise Details, Notes, and Features

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SINGLE TRAVEL: Several options are available if you are traveling alone. We have select cabins configured as single accommodations and priced for single occupancy only. We also offer a “Willing to Share” program that allows you to avoid a single supplement and pay a per person rate for a double occupancy room. You will be waitlisted for a same-gender traveling companion, however should no other person reserve under this program you will be placed alone in that double occupancy cabin. We also have designated double occupancy cabins you may reserve at an additional cost. Please ask your reservationist for details.

MEALS: We provide breakfast, lunch and dinner. We pride ourselves on serving fresh, creative dishes, many representative of the local cuisine. For the convenience of our passengers, menus are posted daily. We are happy to accommodate certain dietary restrictions provided we are notified in advance. Refreshments and snacks are available 24 hours a day in the lounge and dining room. Select house wine and beer is included during lunch and dinner service. There is an open seating policy to encourage meeting as many of your traveling companions as possible.

Wi-Fi is installed on our ships. Signal strength and availability may vary by port and access may not always be available and cannot be guaranteed.
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BYOB: We are one of the few cruise lines that allow passengers to bring their own beverages onboard. We believe our BYOB benefit gives you the freedom to choose when and what you want to consume. Plus, you will never leave our cruise with a large bar tab! We do include select house wine and beer with lunch and dinner during meal service. We also provide mixers, ice, snacks, and cold and dry storage in our lounge where you can serve yourself anytime you choose.

SNORKELING: There is a limited supply of onboard snorkel equipment available on a first-come basis. To guarantee your personal snorkeling opportunities daily as well as for a better fit, we do recommend that you bring your own gear.

GRATUITIES are not included in cruise fare and are at the complete discretion of the passenger at the end of the cruise. While we hesitate to recommend a certain level of tipping, many of our passengers have indicated they appreciate some guidelines. The common industry standard is $12-$14 per passenger, per day. Passengers may use traveler’s checks, personal checks or cash for gratuities.
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OPTIONAL EXCURSIONS, along with itineraries, reading lists and other cruise information, will be sent out 90 days in advance of departure date. Pre-sold excursion packages will be available for purchase at this time, and can be paid with your final cruise payment. Individual excursions may be purchased onboard, but we encourage early bookings to secure your spot since some excursions are first-come-first serve (or have limits). Your final documents package with additional cruise information and boarding passes will be mailed approximately 30 days prior to departure

ITINERARY: Every effort will be made to follow the published itinerary – wind, weather, tide, and nature providing. With unforeseen circumstances, the Captain reserves the right to change, omit or add stops, change the route, or consume extra days.

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BOOKINGS and FINE PRINT

Contact us to receive a reservation form. A deposit of $400 per person is due to confirm your reservation is made. Payments can be made by check or credit card (MasterCard, VISA or Discover). Final payment of balance is due 60 days prior to date of sailing. All reservations are subject to a minimum $75 per person cancellation charge. Passengers may cancel subject to the charges listed below. Cancellation fees per person from date of departure:
60 days or more = $200
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59 days – 45 days = 25% of fare
44 days – 30 days = 50% of fare
29 days – 11 days = 75% of fare
10 days or less = 100% of fare
There shall be no right to any refund except as stated, and 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 circumstances beyond passengers’ control. We strongly encourage all passengers to purchase trip insurance. Once purchased, trip insurance is non-refundable. Travel insurance policies included "cancel for any reason" are available and information will be provided.

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Deck Plan & Cabins

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You are welcome to call us anytime at 1-239-992-9660, or toll free at 800-446-9660, or email us at travel@GoExploring.com for more information.
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Thank you for the interest in our adventures of discovery!