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I have not seen anything here about the windjammer cruises. I have been on three, although it was about nine years ago. I went out on the Heritage which is out of Rockland, Maine. There is also the Maine Windjammers Assoc which has other older restructured ships. These are great if you are looking to see the coast of Maine and want to stop in some of the smaller ports, have a real downeast lobster bake, and just relax. Of course, it is definitely not the same as what you get on the larger cruise ships. It is very casual, home cooked basic meals with wonderful chowders, fruit plates, homebaked breads and deserts. It you want to help "crew" they will show you how to haul the mainsails up, sing shanties, etc. The accomodations are rustic but comfortable. If you would like to try sailing on a coastal schooner, I would highly recommend trying one. I believe you can contact the different schooners and they have short videos available to show you what a cruise would be like. We ended up buying our sailboat after going on a couple of these cruises.

 

I would recommend starting with the Heritage first as it is a little more people friendly in that there are stairs instead of ladders to get below decks. They also have two heads and a hot water shower.

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Check out this message board:

 

Windjammer Barefoot Cruises

The cruises I am talking about are strictly out of Maine. They are small ships which carry between 18-35 people and stick to the NE coastline. These are not luxury cruises or charter cruises. They are not affiliated with the windjammer barefoot cruises at all.

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Thank you for this information. I am definately going to book one of these soon. In all honesty, if I had seen this before I booked my Alaska Cruise, I would have gone with the sailing ships.

I ordered the 12 ship information package and can't wait to see it. The Maine Windjammer Association website was great and full of information.

Thanks again!

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Thanks for this post. We're from the east coast, and have never been to Maine. We keep trying to get there, and I think combining this with some time up there in the late summer, early September, I think it would be great.

 

Great info!

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Thank you for this information. I am definately going to book one of these soon. In all honesty, if I had seen this before I booked my Alaska Cruise, I would have gone with the sailing ships.

I ordered the 12 ship information package and can't wait to see it. The Maine Windjammer Association website was great and full of information.

Thanks again!

I am happy to pass this info on to people who are looking for something different. The scenery is beautiful and the crews on my cruises were great. Just remember that this is very casual. You will want to bring jeans, sweatshirt and rain gear; in early morning and late evening it gets foggy and damp out there. The ships do stay within site of shore and they do make several stops along the way. You need to BYOB as there is no "bar" setup, but they do supply iced tea, coffee, juice, etc. The videos should explain all that. It is a great way to see the coast of Maine if you have never been there. I think you will definitely enjoy it.

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Going to bring this thead to the top as it's time to think about planning a trip to Maine. Years ago, I sailed on the Stephen Taber numerous times. LOVED IT! And would go in a heart beat now, though my DH would stay ashore.

 

Rockland and Camden, Maine are the best! Can't compare to a "traditional" cruise other than you're aboard a sailing vessel on the water. :D

 

I'd be happy to answer any questions.

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Going to bring this thead to the top as it's time to think about planning a trip to Maine. Years ago, I sailed on the Stephen Taber numerous times. LOVED IT! And would go in a heart beat now, though my DH would stay ashore.

 

Rockland and Camden, Maine are the best! Can't compare to a "traditional" cruise other than you're aboard a sailing vessel on the water. :D

 

I'd be happy to answer any questions.

Boy, I second that! I have been on the Stephen Taber many times starting when Jim Anderson owned her way back in the 60's then a bunch of times when Ken and Ellen Barnes were her captains, and now I'm set to go on her again in September with Ken and Ellen's son Noah as Captain. Can't wait. Bring *warm* clothes - think wool. September sailing can be better than summer sailing and I prefer that. Hope this helps. Joyce

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Maine schooner cruises are great fun! As others have mentioned above, they are very different from traditional cruises ships...closer to a luxury camping trip.

 

I was on the J&E Riggin out of Rockland in 2007 (http://www.mainewindjammer.com/index.html). The owners and captains, Jon and Annie are great. Annie is a chef of some renown and produced delicious meals from a galley with only a wood stove. Bring warm clothing and if you plan on helping with the sailing (fun, but not required), bring some leather gloves.

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I am going to check this out, too. Maine Windjammers sounds exactly like our style of cruising. You might enjoy visiting CruiseArabella.com, to learn more about Arabella, a three-masted tall-ship that carries 40 passengers. Cruises offered for New England, Chesapeake Bay and in Caribbean. One gorgeous ship, a fun and superb crew.....we did New England (Newport, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket) and will be doing Spanish Virgins in Caribbean soon.

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I can't say enough good things about the Stephen Taber. If you are planning a Maine Windjammer Cruise, this is your ship!

 

We went the first time in 2004 after seeing a brochure about Maine Windjammers while staying at the Navy Lodge in Brunswick Maine in 2003. We ordered information, picked the Taber, and set sail in August.

 

Since then, we have made it our "even year" vacation sailing in 2006, 2008, 2010. We have taken adult children and friends with us. We all love the ship and the crew (not to mention the food!!!!)

 

Captain Noah takes us ashore someplace every day so we can "stretch our legs" and we have seen many places we would have never seen traveling any other way. Every week there is a lobster bake and Noah buys oodles because he feels that at least once in a person's life they should hear, "Would you like another lobster?"

 

We are already looking forward to our next trip in 2012!

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I did a 4 day sail in mid-August 2011 on the Mercantile, one of the Maine Windjammers. There were 3 things that made the trip a disappointment--stuff that might not be an issue on a different boat. Basically, I loved the concept of a windjammer cruise, but this one didn't match expectations (that I got by reading the literature, which turned out not to be very accurate). First, we only went ashore on one day, and this was a real problem for most of us, who had been expecting to go once/day. Second, while the literature promised the cabin would be "small but comfortable," only the "small" was true. BEWARE! Look at the pictures of accommodations for other Windjammers, see pictures and comments online and you'll see some of the Windjammers are far more reasonable in terms of comfort than others--the Mercantile has Hobbit Holes, not really fit for normal sized humans. Finally, our Captain and crew weren't really interested in telling us about the history, nature, or anything about where we were sailing. On some other Windjammers, crew are more devoted to this. So--choose carefully among the windjammer opportunities. I wouldn't choose the Mercantile again.

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I sailed on the Adventure in 1974 and 1976, it was very basic. Bunk beds, no showers, shared toilets (maybe 3 on the whole boat). Great homemade food, fantastic crew, great captin - Jim Anderson, the best of time.

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Sailing on the Stephen Taber July 2013 - the posts in this thread go back a while. Anyone done this recently? We have slept on our 18ft sailboat, so the accommodations won't be a big surprise. What about the stops to stretch your legs - are they typically towns or uninhabited islands?

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I did a Wind Jammer cruise over New Years in '87 - 88 out of St Thomas on board the Harvey Gamage. I wanted something different from the normal cruise ships. It was bare bones, very interesting. We are now doing cruise ships only but would maybe like to do a Wind Star cruise some day.

Allan

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