Written by Missy Johnston
Start this yacht charter itinerary in Camden, Maine for a terrific yacht charter cruise of “Down East”, Maine. Join your charter yacht in Camden Harbor. There are many attractive shops and restaurants near the waterfront and stores for provisions. The Waterfront Restaurant is a popular place with a deck overlooking the harbor to sit for a drink or take a stroll down Bayview Street to Cork’s, a wine bar with light dining. Along the streets of Camden, close to the harbor, are cute little boutiques with gifts and souvenirs. Leave Camden to explore Penobscot Bay, cruising either down towards Owls Head or across to Islesboro Island. Anchor off Pulpit Harbor, one of the prettiest and most protected anchorages on the coast. There are many excellent, uncluttered harbors, with various channels, coves and islets to explore.
In the morning, after breakfast, head east through Fox Island Thorofare and head southeast to the area called Merchant’s Row, just south of Deer Isle. There are many islands here with beautiful small coves in which to anchor for the evening. One favorite is between McGlathery’s and Round Island. There is also a good cove on the north side of McGlathery’s. Both islands are owned by Conservation Groups and are fun to explore. Overnight.
Lobster Fishing Boat
Cruise down to Vinalhaven, southernmost of the larger islands in Penobscot Bay. With its rugged shoreline, satellite islands, and scores of coves and anchorages, the eastern shore is full of gunkholes (deep indentations which may dry out at low tide) to explore. After having lunch, make your way over to Winter Harbor, one of the most rustic and unspoiled anchorages in Vinalhaven. Be sure to visit Seal Bay, equal to Winter Harbor for its unspoiled scenic beauty. And for a touch of civilization head into Carver’s Harbor, watching out for the many boats on mooring balls, and head ashore to visit the village of Vinalhaven. There are about 1200 year around residents on the island, many of whom live around the village of Vinalhaven, which is a traditional Maine fishing village. The harbor is home to one of the largest number of lobster fishing boats in the world. Overnight.
Butter Island-Photo Credit Missy Johnston
A short early morning cruise will have you on the Isle au Haut, a great place to stretch your legs with over 30 miles of hiking trails belonging to Acadia National Park. Or stop at Butter Island, west of Deer Isle. Butter Island is a great day stop for a beach picnic or a walk up Montserrat Hill for a wonderful view of the surrounding islands. After lunch cruise to Northeast Harbor. On the main street of this little harbor town, you will find attractive galleries and boutiques. Take a taxi ride up to one of the many trails offered by Acadia National Park. Overnight.
Bass Harbor Lighthouse, Acadia National Park
Leave early for Hancock Point in Frenchman’s Bay. Sorrento Harbor in Frenchman Bay has beautiful views of Cadillac Mountain and Mount Desert Island. Enjoy a seafood lunch before cruising to Bar Harbor to overnight. Very interesting art galleries, gourmet grocery, general stores and wine shops line Cottage Street in Bar Harbor near the harbor. This is a little Maine village that is fun to explore, with remnants from the Gilded Age of “summer cottages” along with a museum. For those interested in golfing, Kebo Valley Golf Club is close by and open to the public for tee times. Take a ride up Cadillac Mountain for an incredible view of the surrounding islands. Overnight.
Docks in Bar Harbor
After finishing breakfast, cruise up Eggemoggin Reach. If you get away early you can go around the north end of Long Island and then south-southwest to the mouth of the Reach. Eggemoggin Reach is often clear of fog even when it is thick elsewhere, and as its name implies, you can usually reach either up or down, if sailing. If you fancy classic wooden boats, swing by Center Harbor and check out the beauties that are usually floating about in close proximity to Joel White’s yard. After lunch continue on to Buck’s Harbor and enter on either side of Harbor Island. Anchor overnight.
Down East Maine
Before breakfast enjoy a brisk walk ashore. Then cross over to Dark Harbor, Islesboro Island for lunch. It’s a short cruise across to Camden for your last night aboard.
Disembark in Camden.