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Exploring Maine’s Link to the Sea: Camden, Rockland and Belfast

Program Number: 15211RJ
Start and End Dates:
8/18/2013 - 8/23/2013;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Camden, Maine
Price starting at: $997.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: History & Culture
Meals: 13; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Explore the coasts of Maine and be welcomed through the brightly colored doors of towns boasting rich heritage, with residents eager to share their stories. Learn about maritime tradition of three distinct villages located on the shores, where mountains meet the water. Visit sites that aim to preserve culture and community such as the Island Institute, a trove of Maine’s history and discover the Owls Head Light with a local who once called the lighthouse home, a rare experience to be treasured. As you sail the waters of the Atlantic on a classic wooden schooner, search for sea farms lining the coasts that capture the untainted beauty of a lush landscape. Eat at local spots stopped in time, that take you back to tradition, in towns that cherish their history but are proud of their modern accomplishments. And of course, eat lobster, Maine's delicacy and the symbol of a successful expedition! Learn about and explore the hearts of towns that consider visitors their neighbors all while soaking in the midcoast ocean air.


• Admire the 19th century architecture and wealth of stories of Belfast as you stroll along the quaint streets with a local historian.
• Enjoy the captain’s sea stories while sailing Camden Harbor and Penobscot Bay aboard an iconic schooner.
• Visit with museum curators and boat builders, who continue to showcase this classic craft.

Activity Particulars

Walking one mile daily, some uneven terrain; stairs; getting on/off a boat with a narrow gangway. Inn rooms are located on the 2nd and 3rd floor, accessible by stairs only.

Coordinated by Road Scholar.

Camden (Maine)

From atop the cool waters of Penobscot Bay, one can see the Camden Hills and rock-rimmed islands that dot the harbor of this coastal town. Following a tradition of fishing and shipbuilding, boating remains a top recreational activity in Camden.

Charming inn in the heart of downtown Camden.
Meals and Lodgings
   The Inn at Camden Place
  Camden, Maine 5 nights
 The Inn at Camden Place
Type: Inn
  Description: In the heart of downtown Camden, this eleven room inn offers privacy and quiet, convenience and comfort. Tucked behind the main street, but within walking distance of Camden Harbor and all it has to offer - boats and bookstores, cafes, shops and restaurants.
  Contact info: 14 Tannery Lane
Camden, ME 04843 USA
phone: 207-236-4616
  Room amenities: Each room is unique - some with views of Megunticook River, some with sitting areas. All rooms equipped with irons, ironing boards, hairdryers, clock radios, telephones and televisions.
  Facility amenities: Three floors (STAIRS ONLY), parking directly in front of the inn, complimentary wireless internet. The Inn's Common Room has coffee and tea available 24 hours, and a refrigerator and microwave for the use of the guests.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior: Price varies with the season Check with Inn for price and availability.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Price varies with the season Check with Inn for price and availability.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
5:00 pm at the Inn You will be staying at The Inn at Camden Place that night.
  End of Program:
11:00 am at the Inn You will be staying at The Inn at Camden Place the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Free, convenient parking is available at the Inn for the duration of the program. Participants have 24-hour access to their cars.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Camden, Maine
  Nearest highway: Route 1
  Nearest airport:  Portland International Jetport or Owl's Head Airport, Rockland
  From End of Program
  Location: Camden, Maine
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details

Logan Airport, Boston


From Airport




Public Transportation
Cape Air
phone: 207-596-7604
Advanced Reservations Required


Travel Time:


1 hour 




180 miles


Cape Air flies from Logan Airport to Owl's Head Airport in Rockland. Schooner Bay Taxi from Owl's Head to Camden, approximately 20 minutes. call Schooner Bay Taxi for transportation from Rockland to Camden 207.594.5000.


Portland, Maine


From Bus Terminal




Public Transportation
Concord Coach
phone: 800-639-3317


Travel Time:


2 hours 






If you're arriving by bus, you will be dropped off at the Maritime Energy gas station on Route 1. For transport to The Inn at Camden Place, call Schooner Bay Taxi - 207.594.5000.


Portland, Maine


From Airport




None - Car Required


Travel Time:


2 hours 




120 miles

Driving Directions
  From the South to Camden Route 95 North to Route 295 North in Portland. Follow I-295 to Exit 28 (Brunswick) and take Route 1 North (about 44 miles). After the town of Waldoboro make a left turn onto Route 90. Follow Route 90 to the end, approximately 15 minutes, and turn left onto Route 1 North again. (Route 90 bypasses the busy town of Rockland). As you enter downtown Camden you will come to a stop sign with blinking yellow light, go straight through the light and take your second left onto Washington Street. Go straight through the stop sign and the Inn's parking lot is the first one on the right.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Welcome Reception and Orientation
(Sunday, August 18)
 Arrive To: Check-in to The Inn at Camden Place anytime after 3:00 p.m.
 Afternoon: Join your fellow travellers in the Common Room of the Inn for a welcome reception and brief orientation to the stimulating week ahead. Receive your welcome packets .
 Dinner: Welcome dinner in town. View the beautiful Camden Harbor.
Accommodations: The Inn at Camden Place
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Sail, Power and Steam Museum and The Island Institute
(Monday, August 19)
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast at your leisure. Coffee and tea is available in the Inn's Common Room - 24 hours.
 Morning: Listen to sea stories, shanties and other heroics on the high seas at the Sail, Power and Steam Museum on the grounds of the historic Snow's Shipyard in Rockland. neighborhoods.
 Lunch: Lunch together.
 Afternoon: This afternoon, enjoy about The Island Institute - a non-profit organization dedicated to sustaining and maintaining the working waterfronts and islands off the coast of Maine. Of the 5000 miles of coastline, only 20 miles are still designated "working waterfront" and of the over 300 once inhabited islands, only 15 have year round residents today. The challenges facing the fishermen and islanders are daunting. Learn about a lobsterman's life and life on an island.
 Dinner: Dinner together at a local Camden restaurant.
Accommodations: The Inn at Camden Place
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Searsport - The Penobscot Marine Museum and Belfast - The Museum in the Streets
(Tuesday, August 20)
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast at your leisure
 Morning: Enjoy the early morning ride up the coast to BlueJacket Shipcrafters, the oldest ship and boat modeling company in the U.S.. Go on a private, behind-the-scenes tour of the workshops, metal foundry and gallery where more than 100 ship models are on display. The next stop is the oldest maritime museum in Maine - the Penobscot Marine Museum. Enjoy a self-guided tour of the campus - including a classic New England Town Hall, the First Congregational Church and a 19th-century sea captain's home. The buildings house the various exhibits depicting a life of "working the bay." It's the focus on the real-life experiences of the men, women and children who lived and worked on the great square-rigged ships in the 19th-century that brings the "Great Age of Sail" to life and makes the Penobscot Marine Museum unique.
 Lunch: Lunch together in Belfast.
 Afternoon: Join your historian for a walk through Belfast's historic downtown whose architecture reflects the affluence generated by the wealthy sea captains and ship builders of the 19th-century. Belfast and Searsport were once considered the most affluent towns on the east coast due to the extremely prolific and lucrative shipbuilding and seafaring merchant class. After its heyday in the 19th-century to its decline in the 1970's, Belfast's present day eclectic mix of working class Maine, back-to-the-landers, artists, boatbuilders and retirees have brought about its recent emergence as one of the "top ten culturally cool towns in the country" as sited by USA Today.
 Dinner: Dinner together at one of Camden's favorite local restaurants.
Accommodations: The Inn at Camden Place
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Historic Windjammer Cruise
(Wednesday, August 21)
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast at your leisure
 Morning: Welcome to the world of the Maine Windjammer! All aboard one of oldest and original daysailing windjammers in Camden Harbor for a two-hour adventure. The captain regales you with stories, points out the varied wildlife, lobster pots and lighthouses and explains why the lobster fishing industry is so important to Maine's economy and "sense of place."
 Lunch: Lunch together.
 Afternoon: This afternoon is yours to explore! Perhaps a hike up Mt. Battie, or a trip to the Farnsworth Art Museum, or, or, or . . . so much to do!
 Dinner: You are on your own for dinner this evening and the choice is yours - stay in Camden, go next door to Rockport or down to Rockland.
Accommodations: The Inn at Camden Place
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse, Maine's Lighthouse Museum and Owl's Head Light
(Thursday, August 22)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at your leisure
 Morning: This morning you head "up" on the way down to Rockland with a stop at the Rockland Breakwater Light. In 1827, a small lantern was placed at Jameson Point at the entrance to Rockland Harbor. By 1881, at the height of the shipping trade, it was apparent that a proper lighthouse was needed and work began on the 0.8 mile stone breakwater. Construction lasted until 1899 and the small beacon was moved farther and farther out as the breakwater extended. The next stop is the Maine Lighthouse Museum where you are joined by an authentic lighthouse keepers daughter for a private presentation of "Living in a Lighthouse", stories and slides of her childhood. Afterwards,a guided visit to the Museum's exensive collection of Fresnel lenses. Learn about the history of this collection and the importance of the Maine coast's lighthouses.
 Lunch: Lunch together.
 Afternoon: This afternoon explore the - the Owl's Head Lighthouse, authorized in 1825 by President John Quincy Adams. There are many stories associated with Owl's Head Light . . . and a dog named Spot. You'll hear them all!
 Dinner: A farewell dinner celebration tonight at one of Camden's premier seafood restaurants.
Accommodations: The Inn at Camden Place
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Everything You Wanted to Know About Lobsters . . . But Were Afraid to Ask
(Friday, August 23)
 Breakfast: Continental breakfast at your leisure.
 Morning: How can you tell the males from the females? What's a keepah? Join Captain Alan Philbrick as he answers those questions and more! A lobsterman for over 30 years, the captain has vast knowledge of various habitats, history and local ocean ecology as well as all things lobster - past, present and future.
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  Camden, Maine Camden Hills State Park
30 miles of hiking trails with access from five major trailheads. Auto road and hiking trail to the summit of Mt. Battie and Mt. Megunticook. For additional information, visit
  The Farnsworth Art Museum
This world-class art museum has over 10,000 paintings, sculptures, watercolors and fine art objects throughout 12 galleries and two historic properties. "Maine in America", the permanent collection, showcases the works of the greatest names in 19th and 20th-century American art from Homer to Hopper. American Impressionists are represented by Frank Benson, Childe Hassam and others who found inspiration in the Maine landscape. The Wyeth Center showcases works from three generations of Wyeths and provides one of the world's most prominent venues for viewing the breadth of their work. For additional information, visit
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

Down East: A Maritime History of Maine

Author: Lincoln P. Paine

Description: Walter Cronkite writes: "a fascinating introduction to the history of a unique culture I have known and loved for many years. The author draws on the work of a diverse and capable selection of authors, including John Smith, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and John Marin. Paine's economy of phrase and clarity of purpose make this book a delight for anyone curious about the past or interested in the future of the great state of Maine."

Coastal Maine: A Maritime History

Author: Roger Duncan

Description: At 550 pages, this is not for the faint-of-heart, but is the classic for all things nautical, privateers and pirates, shipbuilding, fishermen and yachtsmen, coastal ecology, and American Colonial history

Letters from the sea, 1882-1902: Joanna and Lincoln Colcord's Seafaring Childhood

Author: Parker Bishop Albee

Description: Captain and Mrs. Lincoln Colcord of Searsport, Maine, set sail to circumnavigate the world in 1866. Their two children, born and raised at sea, realized as adults their `exotic youth at sea` was remarkable. They sailed with their parents until they were school age, visiting ports around the world. Parker Albee uses the treasure trove of actual letters from the Colcord's, along with Joanna's and Lincoln's later writings. "Richer than any treasure of gold brought up from the ocean bottom, these recently discovered letters are priceless additions to our maritime history. Extraordinarily well written, they are great reading and dandy tales of the sea, more exciting than fiction for their total authenticity," wrote Walter Cronkite.

With Reckless Abandon: Memoirs of a Boat-Obsessed Life

Author: Capt. Jim Sharp

Description: Imbued with a sea captains outlook on life and the optimistic attitudes found in overcoming obstacles from battling childhood polio to preparing and maintaining a 100-year-old wooden schooner this autobiography regales the life of a leading windjammer captain and tugboat skipper. Packed with wonderful characters and salty adventuresfrom a mutinous cook to sailing through noreastersthis inspirational life story takes readers from ports of call in Florida and the Bahamas to the foggy shores of Maine.

The Lobster Coast: Rebels, Rusticators, and the Struggle for a Forgotten Frontier

Author: Colin Woodward

Description: One of America's most iconic and compelling cultures, theobstering communities of coastal Maine, face serious challenges. In this riveting history, award-winning journalist Colin Woodard reveals Mainers' increasingly difficult struggle to hold on to their communities.

The Secret Life of Lobsters: How Fisherman and Scientists are Unraveling the Mysteries of Our Favorite Crustacean

Author: Trevor Corson

Description: In this portrait of an island lobstering community, an eccentric band of renegade biologists study the secret undersea lives of lobsters. The Boston Herald wrote that journalist Trevor Corson "serves up a savory blend of history and science along with a satisfying course of lobster and human behavior."

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