Art Along the Coast of Maine

Discover the enduring appeal of Maine's magnificent coastline, an inspiration for evocative seascape paintings by renowned American artists, during our unique cruise.

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 Portland Head Light, Maine. Credit: Courtesy Maine Tourism Bureau  Bar Harbor, Maine  Bar Harbor Shops  Breakwater and lighthouse in Portland. Credit: Courtesy Maine Tourism Bureau  Schoodic area of Acadia National Park, Maine. Credit: Courtesy Maine Tourism Bureau  Artist at work in Camden. Credit: Courtesy Maine Tourism Bureau  Portland Head Light  Schooners and breakwater in Rockland. Credit: Courtesy Maine Tourism Bureau  Traditional decor in Maine  Portland Head Light  Curtis Island Light, Camden  Lighthouse off the coast of Maine

Tour Details



I like the combination of a small cruise ship with the educational aspect of the Smithsonian. The group was small enough to allow everyone to mingle. The emphasis was on art, and it allowed me the opportunity to explore art collections I wouldn't normally have access to. 

Previous Journeys Traveler

Fascinating experience, good company, enriched by educational component. 

Previous Journeys Traveler


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Maine’s magnificent coastline is a delight to visitors and an inspiration to many American artists. Discover its unique and enduring appeal on our popular week-long cruise, showcasing evocative seascapes and paintings by Maine’s most famous painters—the Wyeths, Winslow Homer, and Thomas Cole. You’ll cruise through protected waters to experience some of Maine’s most picturesque ports, including Bar Harbor, Rockland, and Castine, as well as the natural beauty of Acadia National Park, made famous by Thomas Cole and Frederic Church. Art historian Janice Simon provides further insight before exclusive museum tours to the Farnsworth Art Museum and Portland’s Museum of Art, home to works by Maine’s most famous painters. You’ll also visit Camden, considered the “tall ship capital of Maine,” and the Penobscot Marine Museum, with its paintings, scrimshaw, models, and a 19th-century sea captain’s home, which chronicle the area’s rich seafaring history.

July 31 — Portland, Maine

Individual arrivals into Portland, Maine, and the Holiday Inn by the Bay-Portland. Meet fellow travelers and staff at a festive welcome reception. Dinner and the remainder of the evening are on your own. (R)

August 1 — Portland and Penobscot Bay
After a morning lecture, visit the Portland Museum of Art for a guided tour of its superb collection, including works by Winslow Homer, Rockwell Kent, and Frederic Church among others. Next, travel to nearby Prout’s Neck which offers stunning views of the area that inspired many of Winslow Homer’s famous paintings. Visit Portland Head Light before returning to Portland to embark the Independence. Enjoy lunch and the sights along Penobscot Bay while cruising to Bar Harbor. (B,L,D)

August 2 — Bar Harbor
19th-century artists Thomas Cole and Frederic Church were the first to bring public attention to Mount Desert Island and what is now known as Acadia National Park. By the turn of the 20th century, it became a favorite summer retreat for affluent Americans. The Rockefellers were key in preserving the park’s landscape and abundant wildlife. In the morning, enjoy a walking tour of Bar Harbor followed by a bus tour of Acadia National Park, including spectacular Cadillac Mountain. (B,L,D)

August 3 — Castine and Belfast

Relax on board as the ship sails past Eggemoggin Reach and Deer Isle Thoroughfare en route to Castine. Enjoy the spectacular views of Maine’s magnificent wildlife and its majestic coastline. In the morning , fascinating walking tours through Castine’s historic district will highlight the town’s architectural beauty. One of the oldest communities in North America, Castine has had a long and varied history of occupation and was fought over by the British and colonial Americans. Walk past beautiful Federal and Greek revival homes, including former summer homes of literary figures Mary McCarthy, Robert Lowell, and Elizabeth Hardwick. In the morning, visit the Castine Historical Society. In the afternoon travel to nearby Searsport to visit the Penobscot Marine Museum. This cluster of historic and modern buildings chronicles the area’s rich seafaring history through artifacts, vintage photographs, and dramatic marine paintings. Some areas are also dedicated to marine arts such as model making and scrimshaw. Included in the tour is a 19th-century sea captain’s home, furnished with treasure brought back from the Orient (B,L,D)

August 4 — Camden
This morning  cruise to Camden, considered the “tall ship capital of Maine,” and enjoy a scenic tour to Camden Hills State Park. High atop Mount Battie, experience sweeping ocean vistas, rugged coastlines, and panoramic views of Camden, Penobscot Bay, and surrounding islands. On a clear day, you might spot Cadillac Mountain at Acadia National Park! Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at your leisure. (B,L,D)

August 5 — Rockland
Spend the morning at the Farnsworth Art Museum showcasing Maine’s contribution to American art. Also visit the museum’s renowned Wyeth Center dedicated to works by Andrew, N.C., and James Wyeth—America’s first family of art. After lunch, visit the Olson House, where Andrew Wyeth painted many works, including the well-known Christina’s World. Enjoy a free afternoon in Rockland before returning to the ship for dinner. (B,L,D)

August 6 — Boothbay Harbor
Take a walking tour of Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Maine’s first and only botanical garden! In addition to the central gardens of the main campus, the tour includes the Lerner Garden of the Five Senses, a garden created specifically to appeal to each of our senses. There will be time to explore the gardens on your own. An alternative tour will be available to the Boothbay Historical Society, featuring artifacts that reflect the region’s colonial and coastal origins. (B,L,D)

August 7 — Bath
Nestled on the sparkling Kennebec River, Bath perhaps best exemplifies Maine’s nautical heritage. It is a vibrant community that combines its rich, centuries-old background of shipbuilding with its present day claim of being selected as “One of America’s Best Small Cities.” Cultural riches, like the town’s many architectural treasures and unique specialty shops, abound. Bath is also home to the Maine Maritime Museum, where your vessel will dock. The museum is located on the site of a 19th-century working shipyard, and features paintings, models, artifacts, and interpretive exhibits of life at sea and maritime technology. Alternatively, you may take the trolley ride that includes historic narration of the town. (B,L,D)

August 8 — Portland
After breakfast, disembark the Independence and transfer to the Portland Airport for individual flights home. (B)