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: $6,645 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 Aboard the 100-guest Independence

9 days from $6,645

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 ››

Overview

Activity Level 2: Moderate

Expectations: Coastal cruise that pulls into a pier for disembarkation via gangway. Morning and afternoon excursions off ship via motor coach or guided walks from the pier. Moderate pace. Excursions can be over uneven terrain (e.g. cobblestones, city hills, stairs without handrails, the absence of elevators); some longer walks and extensive walking at museums and historic homes.

Appropriate for: Travelers who are physically fit and comfortable with longer days of touring (both walking tours and coach time).

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.

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 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 scenery along Penobscot Bay while cruising to Bar Harbor. Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres will be served onboard each evening before dinner. Enjoy the first of these get-togethers, followed by dinner featuring local specialties. (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 culture of the Wabanaki, Maine's indigenous people, through fascinating changing exhibits. Return to the ship for lunch, then depart for a visit 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 rising sun; and for those willing to navigate the steps, get a closer look at 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 Smithsonian Journeys 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 the 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. Continue on your own and enjoy strolling through the unique shops and galleries. After lunch on board take a short drive to Searspoint to visit the Penobscot Marine Museum that offers a self-guided tour and showcases artifacts and dioramas that tell the fascinating story of life at sea and along the Maine coast. Later in the day, join fellow travelers in the Smithsonian Journeys 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 motor coach tour takes you through Camden Hills State Park, with a stop at the top of Mt. Battie, where you'll have panoramic views of glistening lakes, Camden Harbor, and the islands of Penobscot Bay. After lunch, you’ll have time to follow your own path and explore on your own. Gather this evening for drinks in the Travelers Corner before dinner. (B,L,D)

Day 6 — Rockland

You’ll find Rockland to be an exciting town with a vibrant art community and thriving lobster industry. Spend the morning exploring the fascinating Farnsworth Museum that features the permanent collection, Maine in America, that focuses on Maine artists. The 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 and you’ll be entertained by local musicians. After lunch, visit the Olson House, where Andrew Wyeth painted many works including the well-known Christina’s World. Then enjoy time in Rockland before returning to the ship for dinner. (B,L,D)

Day 7 — Boothbay Harbor

Marvel at the picturesque harbor as you sail in to Boothbay, often called the boating capital of Maine. Depart for 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. In the late afternoon, join fellow participants for friendly conversation in the Smithsonian Journeys 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.”  This morning, enjoy an excursion to visit the Maine Maritime Museum which displays a variety of exhibits on Maine's nautical history. 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,R, 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)