While no one can say for sure just how many cruising enthusiasts have embarked on the magnificent journey around the Great Loop, it’s safe to say the number ranks in the thousands with the epic adventure gaining in popularity as more baby boomers reach retirement.
THE CRUISE OF A LIFETIME
One might question the lure of this pilgrimage which tests the strength, stamina and determination of both man and vessel. Ask one of the many members of America‘s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association, an organization dedicated to enhancing the overall experience for those dreaming of the voyage, planning their Great Loop adventure or those who have conquered the cruise of a lifetime.
The Great Loop, also referred to as the Great Circle Route is the circumnavigation of Eastern North America. The entire journey typically ranges between 4,500 and 7,500 miles depending on the selected course through the Great Lakes, Canadian Heritage Canals, Intracoastal Waterways, inland rivers and Atlantic Ocean.
BENETEAU’s powerboats division launched its new Swift Trawler range in North America just over a year ago. It didn’t take BENETEAU long to understand cruisers’ love affair with the Great Loop. Given the Swift Trawler 34 is a performance-based cruising boat offering impressive fuel efficiency at a time when cruisers need it most, the boat builder decided to test her true performance and comfort where the rudder meets the water – around The Great Loop.
The boat, appropriately named The Greatest Loop embarked on her maiden voyage in mid-May 2012 and end in Annapolis, Maryland in September 2012. She was outfitted with the latest equipment available in the marine industry including her engine, a Cummins QSB5.9 312KW (425HP) Diesel. Marine publications throughout North America and Europe were aboard The Greatest Loop for specific segments of the journey to document and shared with their readers experiences both on water and land along the way.