Maine Windjammer Sailing FAQ
An all-inclusive Windjammer cruise in Maine is probably the most relaxing sailing vacation you’ll ever experience.
You’ll spend about six hours each day under sail meandering through the islands and bays of mid-coast Maine, and every afternoon we’ll drop anchor in the safe, snug harbor off a quiet fishing village or an uninhabited island where you can go ashore and explore. You might cap an exhilarating day of sailing with a beach side lobster bake, star gazing, some folk music or storytelling on deck or perhaps a game of Scrabble around the wood stove.
Here are a few Frequently Asked Questions from first-time guests — for more information about each of our ships, the Fleet page has links to all the individual ship’s websites.
What is the Maine Windjammer Association?
We are the largest fleet of traditional sailing schooners in North America. Built in the USA, all 9 vessels are individually owned by U.S. Coast Guard-licensed captains who work together to ensure the highest standards of safety, comfort and professionalism.
What does it mean that the ships are “owner-operated”?
This means that your captain is your host and the owner of the ship he or she sails. As your hosts, your captain and crew put careful attention into every detail of your cruise to ensure that you have a fabulous vacation. More than half of our guests choose to cruise with us again and again.
Who goes Windjamming?
Everyone! And once they come, they keep coming back, year after the year. From newlyweds to retired couples, knitters’ clubs to family charters, our vessels welcome all who are looking for good times, good food and the unforgettable thrill of Windjammer cruising. We suggest you explore all the ships in our Fleet to learn more about us and our particular vessels and cruise experiences.
Will I get seasick?
We sail in protected waters in heavily built sailing ships, so seasickness is rarely a problem.
What is the weather like?
Maine’s summer weather is quite mild. June has longer days. July and August are the warmest months. September is crisp and clear. With the sea breezes, you’ll want casual clothes for warm and cool weather.
How often do we go ashore?
We sail during the day and anchor in harbor every night. There’s plenty of time to go ashore to experience the places we visit, whether it’s a small fishing village or a deserted island.
What’s there to do on board?
Guests may help sail, if they like, or just sit back and enjoy the ever-changing scenery as we cruise the rocky coast. Read, sunbathe, meet new friends or keep a lookout for seals and porpoises. Enjoy bountiful home-cooked meals, including a traditional lobster feast. Time is unstructured and every day is a new adventure.
What should I bring?
We recommend soft luggage that can be easily stowed: no steamer trunks, please! Regardless of when you’re sailing, you’ll want to bring casual, comfortable clothes, rubber-soled shoes and a raincoat. Lots of layers work best, as the temperature can change quickly. Do bring shorts and bathing suit — even if you don’t go swimming, you might want to sunbathe on deck.
Don’t forget your camera, binoculars, hat, sunscreen and a good book or two. And if you’re musical, bring your small instruments and be prepared to join in! See our page for ideas on what to bring with you.
Can I Bring my CPAP Machine
Yes! All of the windjammers can accommodate CPAP machines. Please make your request at time of booking.
Am I going to be able to get cell service? I need to stay in touch with home or work.
Yes! While a windjammer vacation is really all about unplugging, you’re very likely to have cell service depending on your carrier. Guests are encouraged to use their phones discreetly so as not to disturb the magic of the moment.
What about drinking and smoking?
We provide ice chests for your beverages but we request that alcohol be used only in moderation. There is no smoking below deck on any Windjammer and several of the vessels have a no-smoking policy on the entire ship. See each ship’s website for details.
How do I know which Windjammer to select?
Each of the MWA’s 9 magnificent sailing vessels is unique. You can compare ship stats and visit our Fleet page to link to each ship’s individual website. If you would like more information on each of the MWA Windjammers, you may request 9 free color brochures or call us at 1-800-807-WIND.
How do I make reservations?
Once you have chosen a cruise and are ready to make a reservation, simply call the Windjammer of your choice directly, using their individual toll-free number.
How do I get there?
Maine is off the beaten path — that’s a big part of our appeal. But yes, you can get here from there!
By Car: It is a four-hour drive to Camden/Rockland from Boston. All boats have secure parking available for the duration of the cruise.
By Bus: Concord Coach Lines offers service to Rockland and Camden/Rockport from Boston and from Portland. In Boston the bus has pick-up stops at Logan Airport and at South Station. In Portland the bus leaves from its downtown terminal, which is about three miles from the airport. The bus is clean & comfortable, the driver is friendly, and they offer complimentary movies, music and snacks. Call: 1-800-639-3317 or visit Concord Coach Lines for a schedule.
By Train: Amtrak’s “Downeaster” offers round-trip train service from Boston North Station to Portland, Maine five times a day. Convenient pick-up and drop-off limo service available from Portland to Rockland. Call: Amtrak 1-800-USA-RAIL or The Downeaster.
By Air: (Portland) You can fly to the Portland International Jetport, serviced by Delta, JetBlue, United, Southwest. From there you can rent a car and drive two hours to Camden/Rockland. You can take a taxi or you can take an airport shuttle van. Either of the services below will meet you outside your gate, help you with your luggage and take you right to your windjammer. Schooner Bay Taxi (207-594-5000) or Mid-Coast Limo Service (1-800-937-2424 or email firstname.lastname@example.org).
By Air: (Bangor) You can fly to the Bangor International Airport, serviced by Allegiant Air and Delta. From there you can rent a car and drive 1.5 hours to Camden/Rockland. You can take a taxi or you can take a van. Either of these services will meet you outside your gate, help you with your luggage and take you right to your windjammer. Schooner Bay Taxi & Limo 207-594-5000 for reservations.
By Air: (Rockland) Knox County Regional Airport at Owl’s Head in Rockland offers connections to Boston via Cape Air. Major car rental companies are also available here but you must have your car reserved in advance. Call: Cape Air 1-800-352-0714 for rates, times and reservations. Schooner Bay Taxi & Limo 207-594-5000 for reservations.
There are several franchises in the area: Avis 207-594-2691; Budget 207-594-0822 (Knox County Regional Airports), Enterprise 1-800-736-8222; 207-594-9093 (11 Dexter Street Ext., Rockland).
All rates and fares are subject to change; some carriers may impose gas surcharges to compensate for fluctuating gasoline prices. We urge you to use the contact information we have listed to inquire about current rate information.