“Casco Bay Lines, operates passenger, vehicle and freight service year-round. Casco Bay Lines ensures that passengers have safe, dependable and reliable transportation, and is considered the “lifeline” for the residents of the islands. Casco Bay Lines’ ferries transport nearly one million passengers, 30,000 vehicles and 5,300 tons of freight annually. Casco Bay Lines also delivers the U.S. mail and transports island students to and from Portland. A wide range of scenic cruises and charter trips for celebrations, meetings and sightseeing are available as well.”
This is our fourth visit to Portland, Maine and what I never realised before was that it’s possible to take a trip around the islands of Casco Bay. On day trips we’d visited the Art Museum and done some shopping. Portland still has lots of independent, quirky shops – 3 excellent bookshops just a stone’s throw from our hotel, a hat shop, map shop, wool shops and various craft and fashion/clothes shops, plus some excellent places to eat. During our last stay I visited The Longfellow House and The Portland Observatory. Yesterday following our morning’s outing to LLBean we headed for the Casco Bay Lines booking office and bought two tickets for the afternoon “Mailboat Run”
“An integral part of our island communities, the Mailboat is a true working boat carrying passengers, mail and freight to the islands of Casco Bay—Little Diamond, Great Diamond, Long, Cliff and Chebeague. As the longest-operating service of its kind, this tour is a wonderful way to see the sights of the Bay on the Mailboat cruise.”
There was some commentary on our outbound journey. Various lighthouses were pointed out.
To the middle right is Portland Head Light at Cape Elizabeth the oldest mainland lighthouse in the US
Can you see the tiny Pocahantas Light on Great Diamond Island? The smallest registered lighthouse?
Pumpkin Island : green today but a blaze of orange by October
Fort Gorges an octagonal fort built in 1858
Loading at Cliff Island
And unloading at Cliff Island
Hulks of ships purposely wrecked in order to save the sand bar between two islands
We were allowed ashore briefly at Cliff Island
Returning to Portland after our three hour cruise. Portland Observatory can be seen in the centre
A beautiful and interesting half day on the water.