Maine Windjamming – a Carfree Vacation

Ditch your car and take a carfree vacation along the Maine coast.  

Ah, t
he summer road trip a classic vacation experience that everyone must experience at least once.  But this summer, with gas prices soaring and restaurant reservations hard to come by, perhaps you want to give your wallet a break Ditch your car and find a budget-friendly road trip alternative aboard a Maine windjammer. 


A cruise on a Maine windjammer offers travelers a chance to spend a few days exploring the coast of Maine without a car, without worrying about dining out, finding hotel reservations, or filling up the gas tank. Rather than studying a map, grab a book or binoculars, spread out on the deck, and soak in the sun. Leave the driving to your captain. Leave the meal planning to your onboard chef. Tuck away your car keys and leave it all behind.   

Schooner Victory Chimes sailing along the Maine coast

Schooner Victory Chimes. Photo by Fred LeBlanc

Windjammers sail among the countless islands of MidCoast Maine. These are the quiet, less traveled parts of Maine’s coast that can’t be reached by vehicle. On these islands are pristine beaches, gentle hiking trails, and small communities where families have supported themselves by fishing for generations. You won’t find chain restaurants or motels but you’ll find mom-and-pop shops and artist galleries with one-of-a-kind goods.  

two porpoise swimming in the ocean photo by Barry King

Porpoise Photo by Barry King

Maine’s spruce-clad islands are home to bald eagles and osprey and the crisp smooth waters are home to abundant wildlife. Don’t be surprised if a few porpoises swim alongside the boat for a while.  And, of course, among the islands and harbors are many of Maine’s majestic lighthouses.  Maine’s windjammer cruises begin in Penobscot Bay, home to about 20 lighthouses, many of which can only be seen by boat. The list includes Curtis Island lighthouse, Owls Head lighthouse, Heron Neck lighthouse, Eagle Island lighthouse, Browns Head lighthouse, and Goose Rocks lighthouse, to name a few.  

Burnt Coat lighthouse sitting on Swan's Island Maine Photo by Fred LeBlanc

The further Downeast you might sail by (or even hike out to) Burnt Coat Harbor Lighthouse. Photo by Fred LeBlanc