Mystic Seaport honors American Cruise Lines founder

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Charles A. Robertson (center) receives the America and the Sea Award in New York City on Nov. 5. Pictured with Robertson are Mystic Seaport president Steve White (left) and Board Chairman J. Barclay Collins (right).

Charles A. Robertson (center) received the America and the Sea Award from Mystic Seaport on Nov. 5 in New York. He is shown with Mystic Seaport president Steve White (left) and board chairman J. Barclay Collins. Photo credit: Mystic Seaport/Dennis A. Murphy.

Mystic Seaport honored Charles A. Robertson with the 2014 America and the Sea Award.

Presented annually by the museum, the award recognizes an individual or organization whose contribution to the history, arts, business or sciences of the sea best exemplify the American character.

Robertson received the award at a Nov. 5 gala held in his honor in New York.

Engaged in the maritime industry since 1973, Robertson pioneered the small-ship cruise industry in the United States with his founding of American Cruise Lines, now the largest cruise company in the country. He is a recognized expert on cruise ship regulations in the United States. His firms have designed and built 12 small cruise ships and about 70 other commercial vessels up to 320 feet.

He has won national and international sailing events, including the 1988 Newport to Bermuda Race, the Queen’s Cup and the U.S. National Championship in the Atlantic Class.

"As the chairman and CEO of American Cruise Lines, Pearl Sea Cruises and Chesapeake Shipbuilding, it has been Charlie Robertson's mission to get people out on the water, a mission he has accomplished," Mystic Seaport board of trustees chairman J. Barclay Collins said in a statement.

In addition to receiving the America and the Sea Award, Robertson is celebrating 25 years of service as a trustee of Mystic Seaport. An important adviser and resource to the shipyard staff, he is chairman of the watercraft committee.

The event netted slightly more than $400,000 to support the maritime education and preservation work of Mystic Seaport.

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