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The Expert in Baby Boomer Travel

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Beaver Island

The Grande Mariner also ventures to Central America and the Caribbean. Photo from Blount Small Ship Adventures.

The Grande Mariner also ventures to Central America and the Caribbean. Photo from Blount Small Ship Adventures.

Sixth in a Series

When it comes to cruising, you can usually divide people into two camps: those who like big ships and those who like small ships.

On our recent “Magical Lake Michigan” cruise with Blount Small Ship Adventures, I don’t know how many times I heard other passengers say they would never take a big ship cruise.

The notion of traveling on a floating city of 2,000-6,000 people just didn’t interest them.

Small Ships Vs. Large

Cruising on a small ship — usually defined as one carrying 200 or fewer passengers (though often far less) — does have plenty of advantages:

* Getting on and off the ship takes virtually no time, while on a big ship, you often have to wait in long lines to do either.

*… Continue reading

The former King Strang Hotel overlooks the Beaver Island waterfront. Photo by Catharine Norton

The former King Strang Hotel overlooks the Beaver Island waterfront. Photo by Catharine Norton

Third in a Series

I’m sure that many residents of Michigan have heard of Beaver Island, even if they haven’t actually visited there. But when I saw it on the itinerary for my recent “Magical Lake Michigan Cruise” aboard the Grande Mariner from Blount Small Ship Adventures, it had me scurrying to my atlas.

It turns out that Beaver Island is the largest island in Lake Michigan: about 13 miles long and three to six miles wide. But it’s remote and sparsely populated — with only about 550 year-round residents — and it can only be reached by boat or small plane.

Ferries serve the island from the mainland in warm months, but when the weather gets cold and the northern reaches of the lake ice over, Beaver Island residents mostly have to hunker down… Continue reading

The Mackinac Bridge connects Michigan's Upper Peninsula with the rest of the state. Photo by Dennis Cox/WorldViews.

The Mackinac Bridge connects Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with the rest of the state. Photo by Dennis Cox/WorldViews.

First in a Series

Having been born in Michigan, reared in Indiana, and then returned to Michigan to attend college before moving to the West and East Coasts, I often wince a bit when I hear friends in the latter refer to the Midwestern U.S. as “flyover country.”

I’ve even been guilty of a bit of snobbery myself when I’ve noted that most of our friends in California and New York originally came from the Midwest — “but had the good sense to get out.”

I’m now officially retracting that statement, which was based on my childhood memories of bitterly cold winters, hot, humid summers, and what I perceived as a lack of cutting-edge cuisine and culture.

After spending last week cruising Lake Michigan with Blount Small Ship Adventures in the company of… Continue reading

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According to government and private surveys:

  • Leading-edge baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1955) and seniors account for four out of every five dollars spent on luxury travel today.
  • Roughly half the consumer spending money in the U.S.--more than $2 trillion--is in the hands of leading-edge baby boomers and seniors.
  • Baby boomers (born 1946-1964) travel more than any other age group.
  • When asked what they would most like to spend their money on, baby boomers answered “travel” more than any other category, including improving their health or finances.

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