For the first time in its history, the members of the Maine Windjammer Association have developed a Code of Excellence that expresses the values of its membership and defines the hallmarks of an MWA windjammer cruise.
Key points range from being owner-operated and offering round-trip cruises to hiring practices and the guarantee of a lobster bake on every trip. The eight-point Code of Excellence reflects the most important aspects of windjamming that its members hold dear, and every bullet point is about enhancing the guests’ experience, and ultimately ensuring the fleet remains strong for future owners, crews and guests to enjoy.
In 1977, a group of captains from mid-coast Maine came together to form the Maine Windjammer Association in order to promote the industry further and wider than any one captain could do individually.
As the years went by, the captains added another mandate to their mission: to ensure the highest standards of safety, comfort and professionalism. By working together closely and sharing knowledge and experience, everyone’s business practices improved. Senior members passed on expertise and guidance to newcomers, while younger members brought fresh perspective to the group.
|photo: Fred LeBlanc
|Captain John Foss of the Schooner American Eagle shares a wave.
Today’s MWA includes eight vessels and represents the largest fleet of traditional sailing schooners in North America. The new Code of Excellence is an acknowledgment that guest satisfaction is ultimately what drives everyone’s business practices in the MWA fleet.
This winter, the captains reflected on what the MWA means to each of them and why it’s important to continue to work together in an industry as unique as windjamming. Captain John Foss of the Schooner American Eagle summed it up best: “This fleet gives meaning to the sailing days of the past; it’s a community of historic schooners like no other. Both as individuals and as a group, we work hard to ensure guest satisfaction because customer endorsement is absolutely our best form of advertising.” All of our MWA captains share this sentiment, and look forward to sharing the experience with you soon.
For more information about the Maine Windjammer Association, visit our website.