The guides and outfitters below provide multi-day Maine schooner cruises on the Maine Coast in classic American schooners or replicas. Some of the ships were designed specifically for “Windjamming” on the Maine coast. Some of the original schooners date back to the 1870s and have been named National Historic Landmarks.
A Brief Introduction to the Maine Coast
Maine is the northernmost and easternmost state in the U.S. With its inlets and rocky outline, the Maine coast (3,478 miles) is as long or longer than the coast of California with 3,000+ miles of coastline. Picturesque coastal towns include (north to south) Portland, Bath, Boothbay Harbor, Rockland, Camden, Belfast, Castine, and Bar Harbor, all cities with a history of fishing and sailing. Acadia National Park near Bar Harbor is visited by over three million people a year. Lighthouses dot the coast. The term “Downeast” refers to the northern Maine coast and has more to do with wind direction and sailing than geographical location. In the summer prevailing winds along the New England coast blow from the south. So ships sailing from Boston sail “down east” to reach ports in Maine. Maine tides are some of the most extreme in the country ranging from about eight feet in southern Maine to over 18 feet along the Downeast coast. Maine, and particularly the Maine coast, is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the U.S. One of the best ways to experience the Maine Coast is from the deck of a classic or replica schooner on Maine schooner cruises.
See the Maine Coast on a Multi-Day Schooner Cruise
All of the guides and outfitters included in the graphic below operate multi-day sailing trips on the Maine coast in classic American schooners or replicas. Schooners are sailing vessels with two or more masts originally built in the early 18th century and into the 19th. They were known for their upwind efficiency. Schooners were the preferred choice for pirates, privateers, slave ship owners and others. Trips range from three days to a week or longer and include all meals, visits to coastal Maine towns and villages and deserted islands for beach cookouts. Ships are owned individually by U.S. Coast Guard-licensed captains. The trips sail during the day and anchor in harbor every night. Guests may help sail or just sit back and enjoy cruising the Maine coast. Most of the schooner operators below are members of one of two associations of The Maine Windjammer Association or Maine Windjammer Cruises.
Outfitters Providing Multi-Day Maine Schooner Cruises
Here is a graphic presentation of all outfitters and guides providing multi-day Maine schooner cruises with summary information about each one and links to their websites. Outfitters are included in the graphic in alphabetical order. Every effort has been made to include ALL outfitters and guides who provide multi-day sailing excursions on the Maine coast in classic schooners or replicas. If you know of outfitters who provide these types of experiences but are not included here, please contact Brown’s guides firstname.lastname@example.org with their name and contact information and they will be added if they meet the criteria for inclusion.
Schooners Providing Multi-Day Trips on the Maine Coast
|SCHOONER||DESCRIPTION||#OF PASSENGERS||LENGTH OF CRUISE||COMMENTS|
|American Eagle||Launched in 1930 from Gloucester, MA. 112’ long||26||3-11 days; Sail 8 days to Stellwagen Bank to observe whales||The last fishing schooner built in Gloucester|
|29||3-6 nights||Depicts an 1880 English fishing trawler, including red ocher sails|
|Grace Bailey||Built in 1882 in Patchogue, New York. 123’ long||29||5-day and weekend cruises||Sailed to the West Indies in the fruit trade|
|Heritage||Built in 1983 along the lines of schooners that sailed the Maine Coast. 145’ long||30||3-6 days||The newest schooner carrying passengers along the Maine coast|
|J & E Riggin||Built as an oystering schooner in 1927 in Dorchester, NJ. 120’ long||24||3-6 days||Named a National Historic Landmark in 1991|
|Ladona||Launched in 1922 in Boothbay Harbor, ME. 82’ long||17||3-7 nights||Served as a submarine patrol vessel for the Navy in WW II based in New York Harbor|
|Lewis R. French||Launched in 1871 in Christmas Cove, ME. 65’ long||21||3-6 nights||No inboard engine. Relies on 3,000 square feet of sail for propulsion|
|Mary Day||Launched in 1962. 125’ long||26||3-6 days||The Mary Jane was the 1st windjammer built specifically for passengers|
|Merchantile||Built in 1916. 115’ long||29||3-4 days||Shoal-draft design allows exploration of secluded ports|
|Mistress||Built in 1960 on Deer Isle, ME. 60’ long||6||Flexible||Fills a niche for people who want to go windjamming but want more privacy|
|Stephen Taber||Launched in 1871. 110’ long||22||3-6 days||No inboard engine means no set itinerary. Captain says, “My job is to make the best of every day.”|
|Victory Chimes||Built in 1900 in Phillips Yard in Bethel, Delaware
|40||3-5 days||The only 3-masted schooner in the Maine Windjammer fleet|