Penobscot Bay Food Cruise! July 19–24, 2015

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Photographs from the 2014 Penobscot Bay Food Cruise courtesy of Leslie Fraser: Fraser Rustics


Once again, Down East has teamed up with the schooner Stephen Taber to offer our readers an unforgettable week of food and sailing with one-of-a-kind excursions that will bring the Maine experience to life.

To book a space on our Penobscot Bay Food Cruise Reader Trip from July 19 – July 24, visit the Schooner Stephen Taber, call 1-800-999-7352, or e-mail The price for the trip is $1648 per person.


Cruise Itinerary

Day 1 (July 19)

Welcome aboard! Meet Captain Noah as you board at Windjammer Wharf in Rockland. Once you’re settled in, you’ll take a short walk to visit Fiore Artisan Olive Oils and Vinegars for a tasting of their products. After the tasting, you’ll head over to In Good Company for our special Welcome Dinner with Down East editor in chief Kathleen Fleury. In Good Company features locally grown and harvested food that will be paired with wine and cocktails from locally owned and operated Sweetgrass Winery and Distillery.


Day 2 (July 20)

Start with breakfast aboard the Taber and then you’re off! Down East visuals editor and photographer Mark Fleming will spend the morning — under sail — sharing tips and showing you how to take better vacation photos with your camera or smartphone. He’ll also instruct how to set up and use Instagram so you can be a part of the weeklong Down East Instagram Takeover. During the afternoon, you’ll enjoy an island excursion to Islesboro, where you’ll be treated to an exclusive luncheon with Down East contributing editor and food historian Sandy Oliver. Sandy will provide a tour of her extensive garden, from which she will have harvested many of the ingredients for your lunch. Once you’re back aboard the Taber, you’ll take in the sunset with dinner underway.


Day 3 (July 21)

Plan on a relaxing day aboard, traveling wherever the wind and tide take you during this day of free sailing. You’ll pause in the afternoon to experience a quintessential Maine lobsterbake ashore a deserted Maine island. Once back on board, plan on spending some time under the stars, taking in the quiet beauty of Penobscot Bay by night.


Day 4 (July 22)

After a morning sail to Isle au Haut, you’ll participate in a private chocolate-making workshop with one of Dessert Professional magazine’s named top ten chocolatiers in North America and Down East Book author Kate Shaffer at Black Dinah Chocolatiers. Wine, cheese, and dinner will be waiting for you back aboard the Taber.


Day 5 (July 23)

In the morning, you’ll sail through the Fox Island Thorofare and East Penobscot Bay, viewing some of the best scenery Penobscot Bay has to offer. In the afternoon, you’ll rendezvous with aquaculture expert Adam Campbell of North Haven Oyster Co. for an oyster sampling paired with some of the best beers from Maine’s very own Allagash Brewing Company.


Day 6 (July 24)

A final morning sail brings you back to Rockland to debark.


Licensed massage therapist Leslie Fraser will once again be joining us so you can book daily massages throughout your cruise. And, inquire about adding a post-cruise spa treatment or shower to your package.


Here’s what some of last year’s attendees had to say:

“Fantastic Down East cruise that absolutely went above expectations. Love to do this every year.” –Jean

“The Down East Cruise was most enjoyable and I was thrilled to be onboard for the inaugural year! A few days on the Stephen Taber is good for the soul — the beauty, energy, warm and caring staff made this trip one to always remember! Many thanks!” –Susie

“The daily itinerary was perfect, all of our meals absolutely delicious, the company excellent, it could not have been a more fun, adventurous and exciting sail around Penobscot Bay…” –Paula

“It was really fantastic in almost every way. Highlight: Oyster night, lobster bake, hike on Isle au Haut to Black Dinah, lunch in Sandy’s yard, and days of delight on the boat itself. Anna’s food on board was superb.” –Joanna

“Incredibly wonderful trip! The weather was near perfect, the crew was great. Would definitely do this trip again. It was fun to see some of my favorite Maine places from the water.” –Lynne

“Every day of this cruise was an adventure of culinary, social and sensory delight. Commodore Noah, you have created a spirit of camaraderie and fun. Many thanks to Anna for her delicious, really sumptuous appetizers and meals. To Tiffany, Kenya and Tyler I am so very impressed with the ease with which you manage sails, anchor as well as all the other stuff necessary for guests. Next time Rufus and I will be able to help a bit more with the complicated lines, sheets, etc. We loved the combination of events and down time. All perfect. Fair sailing to you all until next summer.” –Rufus & Jessica

“The Down East cruise met its mark! Every day was unique. The crew was hard working and enjoyable. Anna’s food was especially wonderful. Her laugh needs to be packaged up. It was such a pleasure to hear her burst out laughing. Calm waters are not the usual thing on the Maine coast and even though not great for sailing the calm water was soothing. Captain Noah and the crew made the trip memorable.” –Darryl & Sharon

“Oh so grateful for the opportunity to massage guests and crew aboard the lovely Taber this week. Memories for a lifetime. Thank you, Commodore! And congrats on your acquisition.” –Leslie

“I enjoyed the fact that something special was happening every day.” –Susan

“Trip #1 and I trust the first of several. We have been coming to Maine for 28 years, but these were special days and different from our other times here. My salute to your long hours, hard work, planning, coordination and very good sport, insuring that a fine time was had by all. Sailing on a classic schooner in a beautiful part of the world, at this time of year, is really easy to get used to doing more regularly! My thanks to you all. Also great to see how the people on the islands and region have created successful businesses. The entrepreneurial spirit lives down east.” –Richard


Questions about the cruise? Fill out the form below with your query and someone from Down East will get back to you.

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