Get on the water this summer with a boat tour (and more)!
Sunshine and warm winds invite us to get on the water each summer. We can rent a couple of kayaks for a relaxing river paddle or ride the Casco Bay Lines ferry and enjoy the views of the islands. And when it comes to boat tours, there’s plenty to choose from. We can sail with wine, haul lobster traps in Casco Bay, cruise Maine’s rivers (with breakfast in hand) and take a ride out to an island for a classic clambake. Just some of the options for getting on the water this summer:
Lobster Bake with boat tour of Little Swan Island
Richmond boat launch, off River Road near the intersection with Main Street, Richmond
June 17, July 15, Aug. 19 and Sept. 16, 3:30–6:30 p.m.
Enjoy a boat tour of Little Swan Island, located at the head of Merrymeeting Bay, and then hit the campground for a full-on lobster bake, complete with all the traditional sides. You’ll have your fill of clams, lobster, corn, potato, salad and dessert. The whole family is welcome, and be sure to dress for the weather and bring along your camera and binoculars. The tour is $40, advance payment required.
Songo River Queen
841 Roosevelt Trail, Naples
June 24 to Sept. 4: cruises at noon, 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m daily. Pre-season cruises in June on Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 2 p.m.
Step aboard the Songo River Queens, a replica of the famed Mississippi River Paddle Wheelers, for a leisurely cruise in Long Lake. It’s a scenic journey, with views of the Causeway, Mt. Washington, Long Island, Arrowhead Point and Arrowhead Lodge, among others. Hang out on the upper deck or enclosed lower deck, and there’s a food court and cocktail bar on board, too. A 1-hour cruise: $15 adults, $8 children, under 4 free; 2-hour cruise: $25 adults, $13 children, under 4 free.
Nor’easter Deep Sea Fishing
4 Western Ave., Kennebunk
7:30 a.m. to 4:30 every day in the summer, weather permitting
Every visitor to Maine should experience deep sea fishing at least once—and you might get hooked! The Nor’easter steams out from Kennebunk, just steps from Dock Square. The 42-foot commercial fishing boat takes up to 24 passengers out about 35 miles to Jeffrey’s Ledge, one of the richest fishing grounds in the area, to angle for cod, haddock and pollock. U.S. Coast Guard-licensed Capt. Mike Perkins supplies the rods, reels, and all gear, including his own handmade jigs, and will show you how to use them. The mate will fillet your fish for you before you get off the boat (so get your fish fry recipe ready!). The trip is $85 per person.
Scenic Breakfast Cruise
Finestkind Cruises, 70 Perkins Cove Road, Ogunquit
Departs daily at 9 a.m.
Start the day right with a breakfast cruise along the coast of Ogunquit. This 1.25-hours tour goes north to the Island Ledges (where you might just spot some seals), and it includes hot coffee, orange juice and a freshly baked muffin from Bread & Roses Bakery in downtown Ogunquit. Finestkind also offers a Nubble Lighthouse cruise, a lobstering trip and cocktail cruises. Cruises are $28 for adults and $14 for children.
Happy Hour with Damariscotta River Cruises
47 Main St., Damariscotta
5–7 p.m. most evenings
Have your happy hour on the water with a cruise on the Damariscotta River aboard The River Tripper. Plenty of oysters, drink specials, snacks, beer and wine are served at Olga’s Boat Bar. Take in the river views—including oyster farms and seals—as the sun goes down. Damariscotta also offers a seal-watching and oyster farms cruise and an oyster-tasting cruise with wine. Cruises are $16–$31.
Sunset Wine Sails with Wine Wise
Aboard Frances, Maine State Pier, Portland
Most Saturday and Sunday evenings, 6–8 p.m., into September; some Friday sails, too
September sails run earlier, 5:30–7:30 p.m
There’s a lot to love here: sunset, sailing in Casco Bay and wine. Sommelier Erica Archer will pour the wine and give you a fun education on how to taste like a pro (or at least leave you with wine-drinking tips you can use later). It all takes place aboard the stunning 74-foot sailboat Frances, and you’ll watch the sun go down from water. There are wine and oyster sails, too. Wine sails are $75 in advance, $80 day of ($95 in advance/$105 day of for wine and oyster sails).
Cabbage Island Clambakes
22 Commercial St., Fisherman’s Wharf, Boothbay Harbor
Scheduled daily June 17 through Sept. 10
Getting to dinner was never so much fun. You’ll get to Cabbage Island in Linekin Bay aboard the Bennie Alice, enjoying the scenery of Boothbay Harbor along the way. On the island, you’ll feast on Maine lobsters and clams and all the fixin’s. This trip happens rain or shine (in case of rain, not to worry, there’s an island lodge with indoor fireplace to keep you warm and dry). Tickets are $67.50 and include a boat ride and clambake.
Lucky Catch Cruises
170 Commercial St., Portland
Four cruises daily (five in July and August), except Sundays
Get a feel for lobstering (and views of Casco Bay that can’t be beat) with a Lucky Catch cruise. You’ll get to help haul the traps, measure the lobsters, and learn some neat things about lobsters and other sealife. You can also just kick back and enjoy the sights (lighthouses, historic forts and Seal Rock). And if you’d like lobster for dinner, you can buy from the day’s catch and take your lobster to nearby Portland Lobster Company to have it cooked. Cruises are $35 for adults, $33 for seniors, $30 for ages 13–18, $20 for ages 2–12 and free for under 2.