The Maine Windjammer Association
Maine Windjammer Association Newsletter
January 2015
 / VOLUME 14  / ISSUE 1  
What to Expect on your 2015 Maine Windjammer Vacation

Take a minute to see for yourself what makes a windjammer cruise so special!
 

Beginning in late May, Maine’s windjammer captains welcome travelers who are looking for a relaxing adventure that’s completely safe, but still filled with wonder and discovery. So, what draws thousands of people every year?

credit: MB Rolfe
Wonder why Maine’s beaches are so clean? In part because windjammer guests love to clean up trash that’s washed ashore! Here, passengers from the Schooner American Eagle clean up a beach during an island stroll.

Spectacular Scenery

35,000 years ago, receding, mile-high glaciers created Maine’s rugged coast and her 3,500+ islands now covered with pristine flora and fauna. These islands protect Penobscot Bay from larger ocean swells and ensure that the windjammers are almost always within sight of land. Maine’s unique geography means that every day is filled with some of the best sailing in the world and each night is spent at anchor off the shore of a quaint Maine island village untouched by modernity or an uninhabited island where wild deer are the largest creatures afoot.

What to Do

Unlike cruise ships with packaged itineraries and cruise directors, shipboard life on a Maine windjammer is entirely unstructured. Each day’s voyage is based on the weather and captain’s whim, and guests have the opportunity to participate in all aspects of running the ship if they like. Guests sail past lighthouses and lobstermen, through narrow channels and across great bays. Wildlife abounds, from seals and porpoises to eagles and whales. At the end of the day, windjammers set their anchors either off uninhabited islands or tiny fishing villages where guests are free to go ashore and explore. Tucked away off the beaten path, Maine's coastal villages offer a variety of boutiques, museums, galleries and shops, as well as quiet islands perfect for a hike or a swim.

credit: Scott Marx
Every cruise includes a lobsterbake! Here, Captain Barry of the Schooner Mary Day finishes preparing the bake. Dinner is (almost) served!

Scrumptious food

Did we mention the food? Every day is punctuated by mouth-watering meals cooked on shipboard woodstoves by award-winning chefs. The days begin with fresh coffee and muffins, frittatas or perhaps French toast stuffed with blueberries. Lunchtime consists of hearty stews and soups accompanied by crisp salads and freshly baked breads. Supper can mean anything delicious from comfort foods like lasagnas and roasts to gourmet offerings such as seafood paella and seared duck with Moroccan Rub and Sherry Saffron Sauce. And of course, every cruise includes a lobster bake, usually served on the beach of an uninhabited island.

credit: Diane Dudeck
Without the light pollution that hovers over much of the country, Maine’s mid-coast offers excellent star-gazing. There’s nothing like picking out the North Star or connecting the dots between the Big and Little Dippers to feel like a kid again.

Nighttime in Maine

When the day is done, far from the lights and noise of the city, Maine’s windjammers offer up spectacular views of the night sky, perfect for taking in meteor showers and even the occasional aurora borealis. Some passengers gather around the woodstove for a hand of gin rummy or to read while others might enjoy a moonlit row around quiet harbors, complete with stunning phosphorescence and loons warbling in the distance. Finally, guests snuggle into their bunks as the quiet creaking of their magnificent traditional sailing vessel gently lulls them to sleep.

Details, Details…

Each trip lasts 1 – 8 nights, and is a real bargain with prices starting at $250 per trip, all meals, activities and accommodations included. Depending on the size of the vessel, the windjammers host between 21 and 40 guests, with 4 to 10 crew members. Reserve a single, double or triple cabin—they all come with cozy bunks and hot and cold running water.

Mid-coast Maine is home to this historic fleet and many passengers choose to spend time before and after their cruise poking through unique antique and craft shops, enjoying fabulous restaurants and taking advantage of the many state and national parks in the area.

Book Early!

Booking early ensures a spot on your preferred cruise and can even earn you an early-bird discount. For more information about the eight vessels in the Maine Windjammer Association, visit our fleet page.

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1,000 Places to See Proud to be featured in New York Times bestseller: 1000 Places to See Before You Die Leave No Trace Preserving our nation's natural areas in partnerhip with the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics Code of Excellence MWA Windjamming: The Way a Vacation Should Be!
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