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Steal away on a Maine windjammer

Posted by Hilary Nangle  July 20, 2010 09:12 AM

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Want to escape summer's heat, take a vacation, and control costs? Book a cruise aboard a Maine windjammer. Cool breezes, brine-scented air, crying seagulls, the whoosh of wind in the sails, and the creaks of a wooden boat make it easy to forget the mainland heat. The dozen member vessels of the Maine Windjammer Association sail the waters of Penobscot Bay and beyond during three- to seven-day all-inclusive cruises: One price covers onboard accommodations, food, and fun.

Most of the windjammers in the Maine fleet are historic ships. While most cabins aren't plush, they're cozy and do the job. You'll fall asleep to water lapping against the hull; and awaken to sea gulls crying. Windjammer cooks pride themselves on their culinary skills. Expect hearty all-you-can-eat meals: soups and chowders, scrumptious salads, sandwiches, big breakfasts, and fabulous dinners -- and always at least one lobster bake.

And here's the best part: The best sailing days of summer are ahead, with cruises offered through early October. Go now  to escape the heat; later to enjoy the foliage.

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  • Anne Fitzgerald, Globe Travel Editor
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  • Eric Wilbur, Boston.com staff
  • Kari Bodnarchuk writes about outdoor adventures, offbeat places, and New England.
  • Patricia Borns, a frequent contributor to Globe Travel, writes and photographs travel, maritime, and historical narratives as well as blogs and books.
  • Patricia Harris, a regular contributor to Globe Travel, is author or co-author of more than 20 books on travel, food, and popular culture.
  • Paul E. Kandarian, a frequent contributor to Globe Travel, writes and photographs New England and Caribbean stories.
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  • Hilary Nangle, author of Moon Maine, Moon Coastal Maine, and Moon Acadia National Park, writes about soft adventure, skiing, cultural travel, and food.
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