News : Isles of Shoals Steamship Co. adapts for success

Jul 8, 2014

Published on Seacoast Online.

By Katie Seraikas

July 08, 2014 2:00 a.m. 

PORTSMOUTH — From its fresh, new logo with its recognizable flagship the M/V Thomas Laighton to the debut of a smaller passenger boat, the M/V Celia Thaxter, the Isles of Shoals Steamship Co. is aiming for a summer season better than any other.

The catalysts behind the changes are new owners Capt. Jeremy Bell and Capt. Jerod Blanchette, who have been with the company since 1997. The two began as summer interns from Maine Maritime Academy and haven't missed a summer with Isles of Shoals Steamship Co. since.

"We've been there for a long time, so we definitely wanted to make change," Blanchette said. "We saw it shrink over the last few years. Now we'd like to expand it back up, maybe do some catering events, obviously get the second boat, kayak tours ... a lot more."

As soon as they were named new owners, Bell and Blanchette hit the ground running. They launched a new Web site that is accessible via mobile devices, which makes scheduling trips and cruises easy for customers. They've renovated the M/V Thomas Laighton to include a better sound system which allows live music to be heard throughout the boat. The newly acquired 50-passenger M/V Celia Thaxter will run tours for smaller groups throughout the summer, including chartering late-morning runs to the Isles of Shoals.

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