June 30, 2014
Back-to-Back cruises = Two Weeks of Heaven!

courtesy: Schooner Stephen Taber
Camden windjammers Lewis R. French and Angelique tack across Penobscot Bay.

Given the gorgeous Maine coast – with its more than 3,000 islands, cool breezes, abundant wildlife, quaint villages and the scrumptious shellfish, there’s more than enough to see and do in Maine to fill up an entire summer’s itinerary, not to mention a week. And that’s exactly what some people are thinking when they book back-to-back cruises aboard Maine’s windjammers. We spoke with three different passengers from all over North America who found that one week doesn’t satisfy their windjammer cravings and so, they book two week-long cruises back-to-back.

credit: Jamie Boyle
Joan Kritzberg discovered windjamming aboard Schooner Heritage in 1997 and she’s been coming every year since, usually 2 weeks at a time.

Says Californian Joan Kritzberg who sails aboard Heritage, “My first week, I had no idea what to expect, then, as soon as the Heritage came into view, I knew for sure I’d made the right choice. My roommates were compatible (how could I not like people who like sailing?) The food was awesome. The weather was great. The shore trips were fascinating. At the end of the week, I was eager to reserve a spot for the next summer’s sailing.”

After two years of sailing just one week, Joan became a back-to-backer. She says, “By 1999, trips 3 and 4, I rationalized that back-to-backs would justify the travel time and expense. By then I had begun to realize how very different each cruise is, and wanted to experience every nuance. In 2004, trip 12, I finally convinced my brother to join me, and now we are both back-to-backers. (This) is the first travel decision we make every January, whether we'll sail in June, July or August, and the whole travel calendar is built on that.”


Frank “Luke” Lukaszewski first start sailing in 1997. A retired maintenance mechanic from Chrysler Corporation, Luke lives 60 miles north of New York City and looks forward to sailing at least 2 back-to-back cruises every season.

Frank “Luke” Lukaszewski of New York sails aboard the Victory Chimes and says, “The first couple of years, I only came for one week. After about 3 years, I said to myself, ‘Next year I’m coming for 2 weeks.’ And I’ve been doing that ever since. People say, ‘You’re coming back? That’s so long.’ And I say, ‘Just wait! This week goes so fast.’ And it does. That second week goes fast, too.”


Angela Kirby has sailed aboard the Mary Day many times, but this year she’ll be taking back-to-back cruises with her husband. Angela enjoys getting involved in schooner projects, as evidenced by the finished pudding she’s holding that will be mounted on Arno, the Mary Day’s yawlboat.

Canadian Angela Kirby is anticipating her first back-to-back cruise this year, though she and her husband Stuart have enjoyed many cruises aboard Schooner Mary Day. “Over 25 years ago we were recommended the Mary Day by a business colleague and it was a truly amazing experience. We learned the ropes, literally, by hands-on participation – participating as much or as little as we chose; experiencing good and poor weather conditions but through it all was the great feeling of participating in something that was unique. Snuggling down in our bunks at the end of the day, being lulled by the gentle rocking of the schooner as she lay at anchor is something hard to put into words.”

How did two Canadians fall in love with windjamming along Maine’s coast? “The majesty of the sails, the feel of the wind as you are under sail, trusting in nature, the peace at night, the lack of pressure or rush, being with a group of like-minded people who also would not be there if they didn’t enjoy it! With MS (Multiple Sclerosis) I am unable to participate in the deck work as much as I would like but there are other ways to be involved – in the galley, learning knotting techniques or old sailing ways of getting by, with crew members only too willing to instruct in their free time.”

Joan Kritzberg shares a similar story about the experiences and sights that made her fall in love with windjamming: “Wind, water, tree-covered islands, barren granite ledges. A whale, just often enough to make it plausible that we'll see one today. Lighthouses, mansions, cottages. Sloops with bright colored spinnakers. Seals, porpoises, osprey, eagles. Puffins. Big expensive yachts motoring along, sails furled. A windjammer magically appearing out of the fog. Tall masts and white (or red) sails slipping between nearby islands. Lobster men roaring past to reach the next buoy. Hauling on a line and watching the sail catch the wind. Dropping the topmasts to go under the Deer Isle Bridge. Sunsets and rainbows. Foghorns. FOOD! Glorious food!”

After sailing for many years, Luke always recommends that people try a full week of sailing. “I think some people are afraid to go for a full week their first time. One of the reasons I like the full weeks is because we tend to go further because we have more time. Usually the first day of the full week, the captain will sail further than he normally does and you’ll see things you wouldn’t normally see.

For more information about cruises aboard one of the eight vessels in the Maine Windjammer Association, visit our website.

Published by Maine Windjammer Association
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