Boat Tour Outfitters
Many people say that a trip to Maine is not complete until you venture out onto the water. With its spruce-topped islands, tall lighthouses, spouting whales, and rich maritime traditions, the state is a boater's paradise, and a day on the sea – or even an upcountry lake – is often the most memorable part of a vacation here. And there are so many options. Boat tour outfitters can be found along the length and breadth of the coast and all through the state's interior. You can take your pick from a kayak to a tall ship, from a classic lobsterboat to an historic steamer. You can go deep sea fishing, puffin watching, lighthouse cruising, island clambaking, or simply enjoy a sunset cruise as the sun drops colorfully down behind the mountains.
Most boat tour operators fit in one of the following broad categories. There are the small-craft tours. These would include a canoe or kayak trip or a moose safari. There are the nature cruises – this might include a search for whales, a visit to one of the puffin colonies that dot the coast, or a naturalist-guided tour through the waters off Acadia. There are the windjammer rides – these graceful old schooners offer day trips and overnights all up and down the coast. There are the fishing and lobstering trips, those classic deep-sea outings where you spend a day angling for cod and tuna, and the rides with lobstermen where you see what it's like to haul a trap. There are cruises into history, where you look for lighthouses or forts or head out on a venerable vessel. There are the charters – where the destination and duration is yours to choose. And these are just the start. Whatever you'd like to do on the water, you'll find a boat tour operator that will take you.
Boat tours can be found in almost every Maine community, but the best places to look are the larger coastal communities and the resorts. Chambers of commerce in these places will have extensive lists of the many options available.