The Oldest Running Mailboat is the Best Way to Cool Off This Hot Maine Summer
I found the best remedy for this hot sticky Maine summer.
Sure you could crank the air conditioning, but I prefer nature's AC. It's been relentless these past few weeks. And whoever said it is right, it's not the heat - it's the humidity. But there IS the perfect way to cool off and it's under 20 bucks ($17 for adults cheaper for kids and seniors) and it's the best few hours you're gonna spend. Casco Bay Lines Mailboat Run!
Their mailboat run is THE longest-running service of its kind! This is hands down, no contest, the most unique and interesting way to cruise Casco Bay. It's been running for 150 years!
The Maquoit II typically makes the Mailboat Run every day (see most updated schedule here). It's about 3 hours long (could be a bit shorter or a bit longer depending on cargo) and goes to five different islands. You just find your spot on the deck, or if you need to take cover, plenty of seating inside.
Pack a cooler full of drinks and treats. I made sandwiches for the afternoon cruise. It was almost 90 degrees in Portland when we left the dock. At points during the trip, I thought I would need a sweatshirt! Ahhhh, sweet relief! The five islands that the Mailboat Run visits are:
- Little Diamond
- Great Diamond
We made one stop at Cliff Island where we could get off and visit the Cliff Island Store and Cafe. Grab an ice cream or beer and make your way back to the boat. The one amazing thing about Casco Bay Lines is that they can stick to a schedule like nobody's business!
The Captain even points out some of Portland’s coolest historical landmarks including Ft. Gorges – a fort that never saw battle but seems to still stand guard over the harbor. And Luckse Sound – where ships were sunk during WWII to keep enemy submarines out of the harbor.
But if you aren't in the mood for a history lesson because you just want that cool air. You can sit back and let them do all the heavy lifting.
So, don't bother putting in the AC, you know it will be over before you know it. But if you just need to stop sweating for a good solid three hours, hop on the Mailboat Run and you'll have the best time ever!