Cruise – Little Cranberry Island with Sea Princess Cruises

Sea Princess is a small boat cruise line running out of Northeast Harbor Mount Desert Island, Maine. To get to the cruise port of departure follow the directions below:
From Bar Harbor:
•Take Route 233 west out of Bar Harbor
•Take a left on Route 198 south into Northeast Harbor.
•Follow signs to marina, town pier, and/or the Chamber of Commerce.
•Turn left onto Harbor Drive or Sea Street leading down to the marina.
•Free parking in large parking lot near the tennis courts.
•Buy Sea Princess tickets at the Visitor Center located beside the tennis courts.

From Ellsworth and points north:
•Take Route 3 South to Mount Desert Island. As you come over the bridge, bear right onto Route 198.
•Follow 198 to the traffic light in Somesville and turn left (continuing on 198).
•Follow Route 198 south into Northeast Harbor.
•Follow signs to marina, town pier, and/or the Chamber of Commerce.
•Turn left onto Harbor Drive or Sea Street leading down to the marina.
•Free parking in large parking lot near the tennis courts.
•Buy Sea Princess tickets at the Visitor Center located beside the tennis courts.
Your boat is small and open topped so even in summer it can be very cool on the water.

New photo by Wanderlust Family Adventure / Google Photos
New photo by Wanderlust Family Adventure / Google Photos
New photo by Wanderlust Family Adventure / Google Photos

As the boat makes its way to Little Cranberry Island you pass the Bear Island Lighthouse,

New photo by Wanderlust Family Adventure / Google Photos

and see basking seals on rock ledges.

New photo by Wanderlust Family Adventure / Google Photos
New photo by Wanderlust Family Adventure / Google Photos

The highlight of the trip is a stop at Little Cranberry Island with its wonderful little fishing village. You pull up to a long wharf which is along side the working dock of the village. There are a number of cars parked by the dock probably used by the fishermen who are out to sea.

New photo by Wanderlust Family Adventure / Google Photos
New photo by Wanderlust Family Adventure / Google Photos

The small museum is a short stroll up from the dock. If your boat has a NPS ranger as your guide he will have the key to the museum and be able to open it up for exploration. If you are a passport to the National Park stamp collector be sure to ask the ranger for the unique passport stamp available in the museum.

New photo by Wanderlust Family Adventure / Google Photos

A slightly longer stroll will bring you up into the small village of Isleford. On your left you will pass the small church and on your right will be the general store. They usually open for the cruise docking and will have fresh baked pastry you can purchase as well as soft drinks and snacks.

New photo by Wanderlust Family Adventure / Google Photos

As you walk through the town you will see locals sitting on their front porch which could be a scene from just about anywhere in the country but then you think about the isolation and realize that this is a lifestyle few experience. Talk to the locals at the general store and try to get some understanding of what living on an island is really like.
Back on the boat for the trip back to Mount Desert Island keep your eyes open for the guilletmots a seabird in the Auk family as they frolic in the surf.

New photo by Wanderlust Family Adventure / Google Photos
New photo by Wanderlust Family Adventure / Google Photos
New photo by Wanderlust Family Adventure / Google Photos

A trip into Somes Sound finishes your short cruise home. Acadia National Park is a fantastic vacation destination and there is plenty to do on land but you would be doing yourself a disservice if you did not get out onto the water. As far as I am concerned you cannot go wrong with a small boat day cruise anywhere in Maine.

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