If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Cost & Payment
Is the cost listed per person?
Is the trip really all inclusive?
Yes, everything is included, including the wine we serve every evening with dinner. There are no additional taxes or fees. Please read more about our all-inclusive rates, discounts, and accommodation packages.
Please have cash handy for the $20 parking fee per vehicle per trip and the customary 10% gratuity for our hard-working crew.
Will I receive a reminder about my final payment?
Yes, we will send you a reminder email. Your final payment is due six weeks before your sailing date. We prefer checks payable to Schooner Stephen Taber, but you can also pay online with MasterCard, Visa, American Express, or Discover Card.
What about gratuity/tip?
It is customary for passengers to give a gratuity of 10% of their cruise cost to any crew member to share with their crewmates. Sailing on the Taber would not be possible without their dedication and efforts.
What are the Stay/Inn Packages?
Stay at one of the Historic Inns of Rockland or in the charming home of Captain Noah's parents (the previous owners of the Taber) directly before or after your cruise. Read more about our exclusive Sail + Stay Packages.
Schedule + Planning
When can I board/check in?
With an exception for our Down East cruises, any time after 4:00 PM on the first day of your cruise. Our helpful crew will be on hand to handle your baggage and get you settled into your cabin.
Be present from 6:00 to 7:00 PM that evening for the Captain’s Call. Besides receiving important safety information, it’s a good time to meet the crew and your fellow passengers. After that you are on your own for dinner in town. Here are a few of our favorite Rockland restaurants.
The boat remains dockside that night, allowing you to explore the charming town of Rockland. Breakfast the following morning is the first meal we serve. We sail shortly after breakfast, but you will have time to pick up any last-minute items in town before departure.
When do we get back?
We return to Rockland by 11:00 AM on the final day.
I’m driving to Rockland. Where can I park my car?
You can park in our dedicated, on-site parking lot. The cost is $20 per vehicle per trip.
What if I forget to bring something?
Rockland has plenty of stores should you forget to pack an item. Hamilton Marine, just a short walk up from the docks, carries a wide assortment of marine-related items such as rain gear, hats, binoculars, and sunglasses.
What else is there to do in Rockland?
Lots! Rockland is not only the lobster capital of the world but also home to a variety of top-notch restaurants, a vibrant artistic community, specialty shops, outdoor exploring, and more. Check out our list of favorites.
I have a special dietary need. Can you accommodate me?
Of course! Vegan, vegetarian, nut allergy, lactose intolerance – no problem. Just let us know when you book your trip and we will make sure your needs are taken care of.
Will I need to bring snacks?
While you are welcome to do so, it is not necessary. We will indulge you in a floating feast during the entire trip. And if you do get the munchies between meals, leftover dessert and other goodies from the previous meal are usually up for grabs.
May I bring my own beverages?
Yes. We have a dedicated passenger icebox where you can store any special soft or hard drinks that you’d like to bring. We serve water, tea, and coffee all day, juice at breakfast, iced tea and lemonade at lunch, and wine with dinner every night.
Aboard the Schooner
What are the cabins like?
They are simple and small yet comfortable and cozy. Our Accommodations page provides full details.
What are the toilets like?
Read all about our toilets on our Accommodations page.
What are the showers like?
Read all about our shower facilities on our Accommodations page.
I use a CPAP machine. Can I bring it?
Yes! We have central outlets on board, and all cabins have enough space for a CPAP machine.
What is the weather going to be like?
Spring and summer on the Maine coast can bring a wide variety of weather conditions. In June and October, you can expect cooler temperatures. Coastal waters warm up in July and August, perfect for swimming and paddle boarding. With September and October come the changing colors of fall foliage.
You might want to check the forecast for Rockland, and we suggest that you pack so you can dress in layers should it get chilly. See our full packing list.
What about cell phone use and coverage?
While a cruise aboard the Taber provides the perfect opportunity to unplug, we recognize that checking in with the rest of the world is necessary for some. Cellular reception varies widely out on the bay; we estimate 70% coverage.
The Taber is equipped with a state-of-art signal booster for your convenience. Additionally, you are welcome to provide our home office number as an emergency contact; we are rarely out of touch with the captain.
May I help sail the schooner?
Yes! All willing beginners and seasoned sailors alike can take part. Our crew of professional mariners are always happy to explain the workings of the ship, principles of sail, navigation, or the finer points of ropework.
The Taber is rigged just as she was in 1871, so when it's time to man the halyards, feel free to join in!
Am I required to help sail the schooner?
Not at all. You are welcome to simply watch the crew or find something completely different to do. After all, it’s your vacation.
Will I get seasick?
No. The even-keeled steadiness of the Taber combined with the protected waters we cruise make the possibility of experiencing any discomfort from seasickness remote. In addition, there’s no smell of diesel, and as we are not a fishing vessel, you will be spared from fishy odors.
If you are not convinced, ask your pharmacist what would be best.
Is smoking allowed?
No. In order to promote the health and well-being of our passengers, crew, and vessel, we do not allow smoking anywhere on board the Taber. You may smoke in the skiff or during our daily trips ashore.
May I bring portable speakers?
If you feel the need to bring a portable speaker for your favorite playlist, please play at a low volume or use earbuds in consideration of your shipmates. We ask that guests switch to earphones exclusively after 9:00 PM.
What's this about live music?
A little music in the evening is a tradition we cherish, and it’s not uncommon to have an impromptu jam after dinner. The Captain plays the guitar and several more instruments. Bring your assorted instruments and voices if you like.
Do we go ashore?
Yes. Pending cooperative weather, we go ashore daily to explore the quaint fishing villages, artist communities, deserted islands, and national parklands that make our coastline beautiful and interesting.
Where will we sail?
Cruising on the Taber is subject to the wind and the tide. With over 2,200 islands in our cruising ground, each day is designed for maximum enjoyment of the Maine coast. There is no itinerary and plans can change hourly.
There are no unpleasant options – this is why we are in Maine – just classic New England fishing villages, scenic thoroughfares, wide breezy bays, and perfect sunsets. The captain will make itinerary choices based on the given conditions.
What kind of wildlife will we see?
Seals, porpoise, whales of several varieties, osprey, ocean sunfish, eagles, loons, puffins, razorbills, gannets, and heron, just to name a few. Penobscot Bay is one of the most pristine cruising grounds in the U.S. so bring your binoculars (we'll have a few pairs onboard)!
You'll have plenty of time to watch them, all from the quiet deck of the schooner as we sail through their rich habitat. The Captain has spent most of his life following them around the bay.
What about water sports?
For mornings and evenings at anchor, guests are welcome to go for a brisk swim or enjoy the use of our small fleet of rowing skiffs and stand-up paddleboards.
What if we experience bad weather?
On not-so-perfect weather days, we adjust our plans accordingly. On a foggy day, we may explore a charming village or take a hike in Acadia National Park.
If it rains, the crew will rig awnings covering most of the deck space. The spacious yet cozy galley kitchen is always a popular spot.
We generally sail rain or shine, but if there is dangerously severe weather we will of course take shelter in a safe harbor. Please understand that in the unlikely event your trip is delayed or shortened due to prolonged severe weather we do not issue refunds for time spent in port.