Enjoy a nature cruise aboard the Elizabeth T, a real Maine lobster boat! Haul lobster traps, visit Somes Sound, and see a seal colony on a perfect size boat for sightseeing, island picnics, and lobster fishing demonstrations.
Mount Desert Island Sailing Tour
Morning, Afternoon and Sunset Sail
- Passenger Please enter children as passengers.
- Private Charter For up to 6 people
Discover Mount Desert Island
Welcome aboard a classic Friendship Sloop and sail the smooth waters of Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park. The Friendship Sloop is a traditional Maine sailboat, built for fishermen in the town of Friendship around the late 1800s. These sail-powered workboats are spacious, very maneuverable, and stable, making them the preferred boat to haul lobster traps under sail. Our sailing excursions depart from Southwest Harbor and Northeast Harbor and explore the protected waters inside the Cranberry Islands. Sailing here is incredible with a reliable breeze, flat water, and beautiful views of the mountains of Acadia and Mount Desert Island. Enjoy great wildlife viewing, including seals, osprey, porpoise, and bald eagles. Take a photo as we sail past the Bear Island Lighthouse. If the wind is fair, you could make your way up into Somes Sound, a rare glacially carved fjard with towering granite cliffs. Or sail by a large osprey nest on your way to East Bunker Ledge where seals sun themselves on the rocks. Escape the crowds and relax aboard a classic Maine sailboat with stunning scenery of Acadia.
Sailing excursions are booked as Shared or Private Charters.
Shared trips are enjoyed between two or more different parties and priced per person. Private charters are excursions exclusively for your party and are priced at a single rate for the whole boat. A private charter allows us to cater the cruise more to your wishes, such as sailing instruction, island picnics and a dinner cruise. For more information about private charter options please call us.
All trips have a six-passenger maximum. You are welcome to bring along your own favorite beverages or food. We have an electric cooler, wine openers and cups.
Our sailing route depends on wind and tide at the discretion of the captain. The following trip descriptions are based on a typical summer day in Maine but our weather varies greatly especially in early or late season. While our summer weather is generally beautiful, please keep in mind that fog, rain and thunderstorms are all part of the Maine experience. For up to date weather information and trip expectations please call the office and review our cancellation policy.
Morning in Maine is generally calm and peaceful until the sea breeze begins to fill in. The morning sail begins at 10 am, usually with smooth water and light wind which allows for excellent wildlife sightings like porpoise, seals, and sea birds as we gently glide through the water. We’ll work our way out of the harbor and look for wind in the Western Way, or sail to Somes Sound Fjard, Bear Island Lighthouse, and the Cranberry Islands. By the end of the sail, we’ll return to the harbor with a steady afternoon breeze filling the sails and heeling the boat. The morning sail is a great choice for first time sailors, young children, or wildlife enthusiasts.
The sea breeze is at its strongest between 1:30 pm and 4:30 pm, which makes the afternoon trip our most lively sailing experience. After motoring out of the harbor and setting sails we’ll pick a route that includes as much of the highlights as possible. We often sail to the Cranberry Islands, Bear Island Lighthouse, and Somes Sound Fjard. With a fair wind, we may also go to East Bunker Ledge where a colony of seals are sunbathing, swimming, and feeding. Throughout the sail, your local captain will answer questions about the area’s history and wildlife and share what it’s like to live on an island in Maine.
There is nothing like a sunset as seen from the sea. Artists and photographers will tell you the light here in Maine is amazing. The afternoon breeze gradually mellows as we sail past the rock-bound coast of Bear Island and the Cranberry Islands. Enjoy a snack on board while the sun slips behind the Western Mountains of Acadia. Feel free to bring your own favorite beverages to enjoy this calmer, beautiful sailing experience. Porpoise and seals are commonly seen in the smooth water of a sunset sail.
Sailing aboard a Friendship Sloop is a safe, comfortable experience. These working vessels are designed for stability with a heavy full keel. More importantly, all our trips sail within the protected waters of the Cranberry Islands, so you can generally expect calm water. Seasickness is extremely rare. We refurbish our vessels every year, thoroughly inspecting for any necessary repair and maintenance. The large cushioned cockpits ensure plenty of room for guests. There is a small toilet on board, blankets for cool weather, and an electric cooler for food and drinks. Our captains are Coast Guard licensed and we carry all safety gear including lifejackets (adult and child), first aid kits, and fire extinguishers.
You may cancel your reservation without charge up to 48 hours prior to your scheduled departure. If you cancel within the 48 hour period or fail to show up at boarding, you will be responsible for the full amount of the charter/cruise. Weather related cancellations will be determined by the Captain. If your charter/cruise is cancelled due to weather and we are unable to reschedule the trip to your satisfaction, you will not be charged.