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Nantucket Clipper ~ Carribean to Charleston to Cape May? 3.8.2006

By Nick Colin

NORTH CAPE MAY — American cruise ship the Nantucket Clipper is expected to dock at the Cape May-Lewes Ferry’s terminal here in April and October.
The Delaware River and Bay Authority is in negotiations with owner Cruise West to bring the cruise ship to the area, according to spokesman Jim Salmon.
“We sent out the licensing agreement about three weeks ago and are waiting for it to be signed and returned,” he said Salmon.
Delaware River and Bay Authority Deputy Executive Director Donald Rainear revealed the plan at the county’s Transportation Infrastructure Conference Feb. 28.
He said there was “the possibility of more trips and another cruiser down the line.”
The idea was brought to the table by local business leaders, said Salmon.
“The plan is to promote local businesses and to give them some exposure,” he said. “It is more or less a pilot effort that, gauged by the financial feasibility and success, will help us decide on the course we will take in the future.”
Cruise details, including exact dates, costs, and destinations have not yet been announced, according to Rainear.
The small cruise ship is expected to stop in North Cape May as part of its East Coast Excursion. The vessel is currently in the Caribbean being refurbished before it departs for Jacksonville, Florida.
From there it will travel to Charleston, North Carolina, and continue to work its way north, which would include its stop here.
The Nantucket Clipper was purchased by Cruise West from the Clipper Cruise Line Fleet along with the Yorkstown Clipper Jan. 17.
It can accommodate up to 102 passengers and is 207 feet long and 37 feet wide with a draft of eight feet, making it ideal for cruising shallow waterways.
An average cruise on the clipper lasts for about eight to nine days, operating on an itinerary that covers the East Coast, Great Lakes, Caribbean, Alaska, Mexico, and Central America.
It operates from March until around January before heading to Maine.   
It has outside cabins, an observation lounge that serves as the primary gathering place for social gatherings and briefings, and a promenade.
The cruise ship also employs a historian who explains and recaps each day’s events.
Contact Colin at: (609) 886-8600 ext. 35 or ncolin@cmcherald.com

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