The cool sea wind… the rolling azure waves… and the beautifully timeless old schooner carrying you through this coastal paradise. Welcome aboard the Stephen Taber, one of Maine’s most enjoyable and authentic ocean experiences.
The Stephen Taber first set sail in 1871. At 142 years old, she is the oldest schooner in continuous service in the United States. Her captivating charm and beauty are on full display from the moment you set foot on the dock. As you board, everything on the ship shines and glows from meticulous care of the captain and her crew. It’s as if you’ve traveled backward in time and boarded the Stephen Taber for her maiden voyage.
The staterooms are cozy and accessible, each having its own sink and comfortable bunks. One could never have imagined that a schooner could be quite so roomy and relaxing. After a day of sailing, the captain will anchor the ship along a calm, serene coastline. Finding restful sleep aboard the Stephen Taber comes easily.
The crew is a group of expert, spirited sailors who quickly become your friends along the journey. While they clearly hold your safety and comfort in high regard, they eagerly look to include you in the sailing of the ship. Hoisting the sails, raising the anchor, tacking through a breezy bay and going aloft make this trip much more than a leisurely cruise (though that’s yours if you want it) and provides you with the perfect blend of adventure and luxury. Captain Noah and the crew also know how to have fun– the captain especially has an effusive and charismatic love for sailing and sharing it with good friends and great food.
The exhilaration of sailing is complemented by some of the tastiest food that’s ever been served on a foredeck. Chef Anna is up at 4 AM and cooks nonstop until she turns in at night. Cooking from a wood stove in the galley she produces hearty, delicious meals complete with fresh bread, salad and dessert. Coffee, tea and hot chocolate are available throughout the day. At dinner time the captain finds a cozy cove to drop anchor. Wine and appetizers are served, followed by a magnificent dinner.
The Stephen Taber offers many special events throughout the sailing year. One cruise features chef James Tranchemontagne from The Frog And Turtle, a gastro pub in Westbrook, Maine. Not only is James an expert chef with an encyclopedic knowledge of culinary arts, his personable, friendly manner adds to the overall festive atmosphere. The authentic experience of sailing aboard a historic Maine schooner combined with Chef James’ delicious banquet make this trip one that should not be missed.
After dinner, lanterns are lit and the captain grabs a harmonica and a few guitars (one for him and one for anyone else aboard that wants to jam along). Everyone is invited to join in an evening of laughter and singing. Once you decide you’ve packed enough enjoyment into one day, you retreat to your cozy stateroom, wake up to another delicious breakfast, raise the anchor, and set sail on another adventure exploring Maine’s pristine coastline.
The Stephen Taber cruises run from late May through early October, and offer a wide variety of activities and themes, with 2-6 day Maine windjammer cruise vacations.
A journey on the Stephen Taber is about reconnecting with the past, with a way of life nearly forgotten. It’s about seeing life through new eyes, viewing the unspoiled beauty of the sea and the rocky Maine coast with the wondering eyes of a child. Getting away from the stress and pressure of everyday life and reconnecting with family… being at peace in your soul, listening to the soft call of the gulls and enjoying luxury cuisine and fine wine with friends old and new.
That is what the coast of Maine means to me. What will it mean for you? Come aboard the Stephen Taber… and discover for yourself everything that this beautifully unique Maine experience has to offer.