Maine Windjammer Cruises - 80 Years Ecotourism Ahead of Its Time

In 1936 Capt Frank Swift began offering passengers affordable weekly sails  on board a small schooner named Mabel allowing rusticators the opportunity to enjoy a sailing experience previously only available to wealthy yachtsman.  The majesty of those vessels sailing in one of the world's finest cruising grounds was the perfect combination of history, romance, adventure and beauty. As word of his sailing adventures spread, his fleet grew to include 13 schooners hailing from Camden.


Swift's  Maine Windjammer Cruises® continues under the ownership of Capt. Ray and Ann Williamson.  Today the Grace Bailey (1882) and the Mercantile (1916) are the only vessels that remain from Capt. Swift's original fleet. They are joined by our smaller schooner the Mistress.

We're fairly sure Frank Swift did not have carbon footprints and green sustainable living in mind when he began his Windjammer Cruises back in 1936, but as it turns out, he could be considered a real trend setter for today's environmentally conscious vacationers.

His cruises were powered by the wind. Food was locally grown or harvested from the Bay. Water was carried in barrels on deck and cooking was done on a wood burning stove in the galley. Passengers explored the islands bringing out only what they brought in, unless they happened upon a patch of ripe Maine blueberries, in which case I'm sure the cook managed to come up with a special desert.

Following the example of our founder, we rely on the wind to power our schooners, we look to local farmers and fishermen for our food supply, hold to a strict policy of recycling and our passengers join us in treating the islands we visit with respect.

Maine Windjammer Cruises is still committed to giving our passengers not only the finest, but also the most genuine traditional sailing experience available today.