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

Starting at: $5,495 * Price includes special offer Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Portland Head Light, Maine. Credit: Courtesy Maine Tourism Bureau  <i>Pulling the Dory</i> by Winslow Homer. Credit: Farnsworth Art Museum  <i>Weatherbeaten</i> by Winslow Homer, Portland Museum of Art. Credit: Erin Little  Gallery at the Portland Museum of Art. Credit: Erin Little, Portland Museum of Art  Gallery at the Portland Museum of Art. Credit: Portland Museum of Art  Andrew Wyeth, <i>Her Room</i>. Credit: Farnsworth Art Museum  N.C. Wyeth, <i>Morris House</i>. Credit: Farnsworth Art Museum  Artist at work in Camden. Credit: Courtesy Maine Tourism Bureau  Bar Harbor, Maine  Traditional decor in Maine  Bar Harbor Shops  Curtis Island Light, Camden  Schooners and breakwater in Rockland. Credit: Courtesy Maine Tourism Bureau  Lighthouse off the coast of Maine  Schoodic area of Acadia National Park, Maine. Credit: Courtesy Maine Tourism Bureau  View from Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park  Portland Head Light

Art Along the Coast of Maine

A Round-trip Cruise from Portland

9 days from $5,495

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

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

brochure iconbrochure

WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

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

Breathtaking natural beauty coupled with excellent education regarding American artists who painted in Maine.

- Ken H.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

See All Journeys Dispatches ››

SPECIAL OFFER

Save $250 per person on both our 2019 and 2020 departures when you book by July 19, 2019!

Overview

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 cruise showcasing evocative seascapes, charming towns, and art by Maine’s most famous painters—the Wyeths, Winslow Homer, and Thomas Cole.

Highlights Include

  • Picturesque Ports: Cruise through protected waters to experience some of Maine’s most picturesque ports, including Bar Harbor, Rockland, Castine, and Camden, considered the “tall ship capital of Maine.”
  • Art and History: Take exclusive museum tours at the Farnsworth Art Museum and Portland’s Museum of Art, home to works by Maine’s most famous painters. Visit the Penobscot Marine Museum, with its paintings, scrimshaw, models, and 19th-century sea captain’s home, which chronicles the area’s rich seafaring history.
  • Acadia National Park: Travel through the natural beauty of Acadia National Park, made famous by Thomas Cole and Frederic Church.
  • Independence: The 100-guest Independence was built by Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, Maryland. The over-sized staterooms have interior entrances, a king-size bed or two twin beds, a spacious bath, large opening picture windows, and most have private balconies. See more information about this ship on the Tour Details page. Each voyage will also host other leading cultural and educational institutions, which will add to the excitement and energy of the experience.  

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

Breathtaking natural beauty coupled with excellent education regarding American artists who painted in Maine.

- Ken H.

2019 Itinerary

Day 1 — Portland, Maine

Arrive at Portland Airport and transfer to the Residence Inn Downtown Portland - Waterfront located in downtown Portland near restaurants, shops, the ship’s dock, and waterside activities. You will be met by your Smithsonian Journeys Travel Director.

After check-in, there’s time to relax or start exploring Portland. This evening, meet fellow travelers at an exclusive Smithsonian Journeys welcome reception and briefing by your Smithsonian Journeys Expert. (R)

Day 2 — 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. Visit Portland Head Light before returning to Portland to embark the Independence. Enjoy lunch and the sites along Penobscot Bay while cruising to Bar Harbor. (B,L,D)

Day 3 — Bar Harbor

Depart the ship this morning to visit the Abbe Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate, which showcases the history and cultures of the Wabanaki, Maine's Native people, through fascinating changing exhibitions. Then continue to Acadia National Park. Nineteenth-century artists Thomas Cole and Frederic Church were the first to bring public attention to Mount Desert Island. 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. Weather permitting drive to the top of Cadillac Mountain for spectacular views. (B,L,D)

Day 4 — Castine and Belfast

Home to the Maine Maritime Academy, Castine offers spectacular harbor views and an area brimming with history. Enjoy the town’s many examples of early 19th-century architecture and during your walking tour, learn about the town's history while enjoying the charm of this quaint seaport.

After lunch on board, spend the afternoon exploring Belfast on a walking tour that highlights Belfast's history of creativity, innovation, and tradition are evident throughout the city. The 1800s were a time of great prosperity, due to the town's shipbuilding and commerce. The historic district showcases magnificent sea captains' mansions that have been included on the National Register of Historic Places.

Visit the Belfast Museum, that features exhibits telling the city's fascinating story. Join your Smithsonian Journeys Expert and fellow travelers in the Smithsonian Travelers Corner to enjoy conversation and camaraderie. After dinner, enjoy shipboard entertainment. (B,L,D)

Day 5 — Camden

Camden is proud to call itself the "Jewel of the Maine Coast." A quaint seaport town, Camden features 19th-century architecture, a harbor full of classic schooners, and a beautiful backdrop provided by the Camden Hills. A panoramic tour takes you through Camden Hills State Park, with a stop at the top of Mt. Battie, where you will have panoramic views of glistening lakes, Camden Harbor, and the islands of Penobscot Bay.

After lunch, join a local guide for a walking tour through Camden. The tour highlights the history of Camden with its industrial beginnings through its current status as the hub for yachting in Maine. Enjoy the beautiful architecture and landscaping as you stroll through the streets of this quaint port town.

Later, you’ll have time to follow your own path and explore on your own. (B,L,D)

Day 6 — 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 N.C., Andrew, 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)

Day 7 — Boothbay Harbor

Take a walking tour of the 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)

Day 8 — 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)

Day 9 — Portland

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

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)

2020 Itinerary

Day 1 — Depart Gateway Cities for Portland, Maine

Arrive at Portland International Jetport and transfer to the Holiday Inn Portland by the Bay, conveniently located in downtown Portland near restaurants, shops, the ship’s dock, and waterside activities. You will be met by your Smithsonian Journeys Travel Director.

After check-in, there’s time to relax or start exploring Portland. This evening, meet fellow travelers at an exclusive Smithsonian Journeys welcome reception and briefing by your Smithsonian Journeys Expert. (R)

Day 2 — Portland and Penobscot Bay

After breakfast, 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. Visit Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth before returning to Portland to embark the Independence. Enjoy lunch and the sites along Penobscot Bay while cruising to Bar Harbor. (B,L,D)

Day 3 — Bar Harbor

Depart the ship this morning to visit the Abbe Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate, which showcases the history and cultures of the Wabanaki, Maine's Native people, through fascinating changing exhibitions. Then continue to Acadia National Park, where you’ll marvel at remarkable vistas and an abundance of wildlife in this unspoiled habitat. Your excursion will take you to the summit of Cadillac Mountain, the first land in the United States touched by the morning sun; and, for those willing to navigate the steps, Thunder Hole, an inlet naturally carved out of rocks by the sea where waves spout water as high as 40 feet. After returning to the ship, get together with fellow travelers in the Travelers Corner for drinks and conversation. The ship will overnight in Bar Harbor. (B,L,D)

Day 4 — Castine and Belfast

Castine was a significant military site through the American Revolution and War of 1812. Join a local guide on a walking tour through Castine’s Historic District with a stop at the Historical Society. Learn about the town’s rich history and enjoy its scenic waterfront, architecture, gardens, and marvel at the venerable elm trees. Visit the nearby boatyard and Maine Maritime Academy’s waterfront training area, before exploring Castine’s historic district. Continue on your own and enjoy strolling through the unique shops and galleries.

After lunch on board and a short cruise to Belfast, join a walking tour of the town that highlights Belfast's history of creativity, innovation, and tradition evident throughout the city’s historic district. The 1800s were a time of great prosperity, due to the town's shipbuilding and commerce. Visit the Belfast Museum, that showcases exhibits telling the city's fascinating story. Later in the day, join your Smithsonian Journeys Expert and fellow travelers in the Smithsonian Travelers Corner to enjoy a drink, conversation and camaraderie. After dinner, there’s lively entertainment. The ship overnights in Belfast. (B,L,D)

Day 5 — Camden

Camden is proud to call itself the "Jewel of the Maine Coast." A quaint seaport town, Camden features 19th-century architecture, a harbor full of classic schooners, and a beautiful backdrop provided by the Camden Hills. A panoramic tour takes you through Camden Hills State Park, with a stop at the top of Mt. Battie, where you will have panoramic views of glistening lakes, Camden Harbor, and the islands of Penobscot Bay.

After lunch, join a local guide for a walking tour through Camden. The tour highlights the history of Camden with its industrial beginnings through its current status as the hub for yachting in Maine. Enjoy the beautiful architecture and landscaping as you stroll through the streets of this quaint port town.

Later, you’ll have time to follow your own path and explore on your own. (B,L,D)

Day 6 — Rockland

Explore Rockland, an exciting town with a vibrant art community and thriving lobster industry. Visit the museums of Rockland with visits to Owls Head Transportation Museum and Farnsworth Museum. The Owls Head Transportation Museum has one of the finest collections of pioneer-era aircraft and automobiles in the world. More than 100 historic aircraft, automobiles, bicycles, carriages, and engines are on permanent display. Enjoy the museum’s outstanding collection, view late 19th-century automobiles, or even ride in a Model T. The Farnsworth Museum features the permanent collection, “Maine in America,” which focuses on Maine artists and The Wyeth Center. The Farnsworth Art Museum is one of only two centers in the country dedicated to the three generations of Wyeths: N.C., Andrew, and James Wyeth.

Later, attend a Lobster Bake on the shore of beautiful Penobscot Bay. Lunch is served al fresco while local musicians play nearby. After lunch, visit the Olson House, where Andrew Wyeth painted many works including the well-known Christina’s World. Then enjoy a free afternoon in Rockland before returning to the ship for dinner. (B,L,D)

Day 7 — Boothbay Harbor

After arrival, take a walking tour of the 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. In late afternoon, join fellow shipmates for a drink and friendly conversation in the Smithsonian Travelers Corner. (B,L,D)

Day 8 — 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, abound. Bath is also home to the Maine Maritime Museum, which displays a variety of exhibits on Maine's nautical history. Take a tour of the museum and learn about Maine's rich seafaring heritage. From watercraft and lobstering to shipbuilding and sea trade, hear tales of dangerous voyages to distant lands, see how a shipbuilder's family lived during the 1890s, and discover the fascinating lore surrounding Maine's maritime culture. This evening gather for a farewell reception and dinner aboard. (B,L,D)

Day 9 — Portland

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

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)