With breathtaking views of the magnificent coastline, we will have the opportunity to discover Maine’s maritime heritage aboard the Independence. Designed specifically to navigate inland waterways and bays, our exclusively chartered vessel easily navigates these calm waters, providing an otherwise unattainable perspective.
Throughout the cruise local historians and naturalists will join us, allowing travelers to gain a new perspective on all Maine has to offer. Highlights of the included shore excursions are the natural wonders of Acadia National Park, Cadillac Mountain, Rockland’s Farnsworth Art Museum, Owls Head Transportation Museum, Penobscot Marine Museum, and the beautiful towns of Portland, Castine and Belfast.
Richard Wagner, Ph.D., AIA, is founding director and professor, Master of Arts in Historic Preservation program at Goucher College. He is also principal with David H. Gleason Associates, Inc., Architects where he specializes in historic preservation and rehabilitation projects. He earned his Ph.D. in architecture from the University of Edinburgh and his B.Arch. from the University of Virginia. Dr. Wagner previously served as Urban Program Manager and Director of Special Initiatives for the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s National Main Street Center. He is currently a member of the Maryland Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and founder and board member, College Park City/University Partnership, a development corporation. Dr Wagner also holds appointment as research professor in historic preservation at The George Washington University.
Day 1 — Portland, Maine
Individual arrivals at the Holiday Inn by the Bay. Meet fellow travelers and staff at the welcome reception followed by dinner on your own. Overnight at the Holiday Inn by the Bay. (R)
Day 2 — Portland
After a morning lecture, visit the Portland Museum of Art for a guided tour of its superb collection, including works by Winslow Homer, Rockwell Kent, and Frederic Church among others. Next, visit Portland Head Light before returning to Portland to embark the Independence. Enjoy sights along Penobscot Bay while cruising to Bar Harbor. (B,L,D)
Day 3 — Bar Harbor
19th-century artists Thomas Cole and Frederic Church were the first to bring public attention to Mount Desert Island and what is now known as Acadia National Park. By the turn of the 19th century, it became a favorite summer retreat for affluent Americans. The Rockefellers were key in preserving the park’s landscape and abundant wildlife. In the morning, enjoy a bus tour of Acadia National Park, including spectacular Cadillac Mountain, followed by free time in the afternoon. (B,L,D)
Day 4 — Castine
Relax on board as the ship sails past Eggemoggin Reach and Deer Isle Thoroughfare en route to Castine. Enjoy the spectacular views of Maine’s magnificent wildlife and its majestic coastline. In the afternoon, fascinating walking tours through Castine’s historic district will highlight the town’s architectural beauty. One of the oldest communities in North America, Castine has had a long and varied history of occupation and was fought over by the British and colonial Americans. Walk past beautiful Federal and Greek revival homes, including former summer homes of literary figures Mary McCarthy, Robert Lowell, and Elizabeth Hardwick. Later in the day, visit the Castine Historical Society. (B,L,D)
Day 5 — Belfast & Camden
Travel to nearby Searsport to visit the Penobscot Marine Museum. This cluster of historic and modern buildings chronicles the area’s rich seafaring history through artifacts, vintage photographs, and dramatic marine paintings. Some areas are also dedicated to marine arts such as model making and scrimshaw. Tour a 19th-century sea captain’s home, furnished with treasures brought back from the Orient. A short afternoon cruise brings you to Camden, considered the “tall ship capital of Maine.” This charming town offers a wealth of historic and cultural attractions, including top art galleries. Take a scenic tour to Camden Hills State Park. High atop Mount Battie, experience sweeping ocean vistas, rugged coastlines and panoramic views of Camden, Penobscot Bay, and surrounding islands. On a clear day, you might spot Cadillac Mountain at Acadia National Park! (B,L,D)
Day 6 — Rockland
Spend the morning at the Farnsworth Art Museum, showcasing Maine’s contribution to American art. Also visit the museum’s renowned Wyeth Center dedicated to works by N.C., Andrew, and James Wyeth—America’s first family of art. For lunch, enjoy an authentic lobsterbake served with lobster, clams, mussels and corn on the cob. After lunch, visit the Olson House, where Andrew Wyeth painted many works, including the well-known Christina’s World. Enjoy a free afternoon in Rockland then return to the ship for dinner. (B,L,D)
Day 7 — Boothbay Harbor
Take a walking tour of Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Maine’s first and only botanical garden. In addition to the central gardens of the main campus, the tour includes the Lerner Garden of the Five Senses, a garden created specifically to appeal to each of our senses. There will be time to explore the gardens on your own. An alternative tour will be available to the Boothbay Historical Society, featuring artifacts that reflect the region’s colonial and coastal origins. (B,L,D)
Day 8 — Bath
Nestled on sparkling Kennebec River, Bath perhaps best exemplifies Maine’s nautical heritage. It is a vibrant community that combines its rich, centuries-old background of shipbuilding with its present claim of being selected as “One of America’s Best Small Cities.” Cultural treasures abound, including the town’s many grand examples of American architecture and unique specialty shops. Bath is also home to the Maine Maritime Museum, where your vessel will dock. The museum is located on the site of a 19th-century working shipyard, and features paintings, models, artifacts, and interpretive exhibits of life at sea and maritime technology. Alternatively, you may take the trolley ride that includes historic narration of the town. (B,L,D)
Day 9 — Portland
Disembark the Independence, and transfer to the Portland Airport for individual flights home