We offer 1-week, academically accredited overnight sailing adventures for kids ages 13 to 19. These trips provide an immersive experiential education giving teens enhanced leadership skills and life-changing experiences. Seeing land from sea and spending the night at sea changes teens' perspectives. There is absolutely no previous sailing experience required. We would be happy to introduce you to one of our alumni to hear more about their experiences.

2018 Schedule

February 15 to 26, 2018 -- Gulf of Mexico Trip. Fly to Tampa and sail the west coast of Florida. Accredited voyage. Fee of $2,600 includes airfare from Portland, ME to Tampa, Florida, the voyage and all expenses on board and airfare home. Financial aid available those who qualify. For more information, contact Here is a video about this trip.

May 29 to June 1, 2018 -- Casco Bay Cruise on Wendameen. Windham/Raymond School District's Katahdin Program. 

June 5 to 9, 2018 -- Penobscot Bay Cruise on board Schooner American Eagle. Westbrook High School's Compass Academy. 

July 1 to July 6, 2018. Boothbay to Portland.  Join us at Boothbay Windjammer Days and then cruise the Maine coast for 5 nights and days on Schooner Harvey Gamage. Accredited voyage. Fee of $1,250 per student includes room and board on the ship. Financial aid available. 

July 7 to July 14, 2018. Penobscot Bay Cruise. Portland to Penobscot Bay and back on board Schooner Harvey Gamage in cooperation with Baxter High School. Accredited voyage. Fee of $1,250 per person includes room and board on the ship. Financial aid available.

July 15 to July 20, 2018. Portland to Portland. Accredited voyage. Fee of $1,250 per person includes room and board on the ship. Financial aid available. FMI contact 

July 23 to July 25, 2018. Educators' sail. Portland to Portsmouth. 

July 25 to July 29, 2018. Sail Portsmouth 2018. Day sailing in Portsmouth, NH in partnership with Sail Portsmouth and with the other leading New England sail training vessels, Oliver Hazard Perry and Schooner Roseway. Join us. 

August 12 to 17, 2018. Casco Bay Cruise. Accredited 5-night voyage. Fee of $1,250 per person includes room and board on the ship. Financial aid available. FMI contact Sign up here.

Tall Ships Maine will provide any high school student a one semester elective letter of credit for active participation in one of our 5-day programs (credit provided by Falmouth, ME High School). For a description of the academic curriculum take a look at this description. No one is a passenger. Instead, everyone lives aboard and works side-by-side with professional crew to learn seamanship, sail handling, steering the ship and leadership. Teens age 13 to 19 are welcome to apply to join us in 2018. We are interested in working with groups and can often customize programs. Generally, the price of a week at sea is $1,250 per sailor and we offer financial aid for those who need it. 

Please be in touch with questions!

 Learning to navigate on board Fritha in 2015.

What We Teach and What We Learn

As a chapter of Tall Ships America (also known as the American Sail Training Association) we subscribe to the Guidelines for Educational Programs Under Sail, an historic statement of the basic principles of sail training and education. We expect our crews, our vessels, our students and our educators to abide by these guidelines to the best of their abilities. As a potential student or sailing educator, we welcome your comments on these principles which were published over 20 years ago but are still the best available expression of our core principles.

Financial Aid

Tall Ships Maine is a volunteer-run, non-profit educational organization with a mission of ensuring access to the ocean and to the experience of sailing as crew on board tall ships. No matter who you are, we believe you should have the opportunity to experience life at sea. Our partners, the owners of ships like the Oliver Hazard Perry, Harvey Gamage, Wendameen, Schooner Bowdoin, Schooner American Eagle and others, enthusiastically share a passion for this educational mission. 

The biggest barrier to participating in an adventure like this is fear. We understand this. But there is also a perceived financial barrier. We want to allay all your fears. Sailing on a tall ship can be a bit disconcerting at times, but not scary. And paying tuition for your trip should never be scary. We are available to help you with tuition assistance for those with demonstrated need, with financing options and with fundraising plans. We are especially interested in working with groups to raise the needed funds for class trips.

So abandon your money worries and contact us if you are interested in sailing on a tall ship as a member of the crew. Before you call as an individual, please consider a group you could bring together. Your school class, your sports team, you scout troop, your youth organization--these are all great options.

To apply for financial aid, either as a group or an individual, please write to us at expressing your interest and describing your financial situation, either as an individual or a group, in terms you are comfortable sharing with our board and we will reply with a plan for you.

Sail Training Policies

Sailing on a tall ship is an adventure. No two trips are alike. The crews, ships, weather, equipment and many other variables change by the hour and vary widely. Tall Ships Portland believes that learning to adjust to the variety of challenges found on sailing ships is an important learning experience. Excesses of wind, sun, rain, heat, cold, rocking motion and other conditions common on these voyages may lead to feelings of fear, euphoria, seasickness, hunger, homesickness and disappointment often followed by feelings of accomplishment and joy. Sail trainees, by signing up for these programs, agree that safety is paramount, that there is no guarantee of comfort nor any guarantee that sailing trips will begin or end on particular days or locations. Families and sail trainees agree that by working together, they can make the best of the opportunity provided by each voyage. In sum, there is no guarantee of satisfaction with life on a Tall Ships Portland sail training voyage. Life at sea is rewarding but can be hard at times. 

Tall Ships Maine does not operate ships but works with U.S.C.G.-licensed sailing ships operated by licensed professional mariners with trained operational crews. Ultimate responsibility for the safety of our students rests with the ship and its professional crew, not Tall Ships Maine. Tall Ships Maine makes its best efforts to find only the best ships and the best crews to deliver sail training programs. 

Just as in any outdoor program, once a trip has begun, there is rarely any turning back. Each student commits himself or herself to throwing their best into the effort. Similarly, once an individual or group has booked passage on a training voyage through Tall Ships Maine, turning back is not a practical option.  Therefore, if a group or individual decides to cancel, 80% of their fee is refundable 90 days or more before the start of the program, 60% between 89 days and 60 days before the start of the program, 30% between 59 days and 30 days before the start of the program and 0% is refundable if cancellation occurs less than 30 days before the start of the program.  

If a trainee cancels within 30 days of a voyage, Tall Ships Maine will make its best effort to provide another voyage opportunity at a future date at no additional cost. If a student’s berth is filled by another tuition-paying student from the wait list, the original student will receive a refund minus a 20% booking fee.

If Tall Ships Maine coordinates group transportation to and/or from a vessel, refunds of those transportation services are controlled by the policies of the transportation carrier. Tall Ships Portland will makes its best efforts to help secure refunds from these companies when appropriate but travel insurance is recommended.

If Tall Ships Maine (or the ship it has selected) cancels a voyage, Tall Ships Maine will refund or credit 100% of tuition and fees related to the seagoing portion of the voyage.  Tall Ships Portland's liability for refunds is limited to the tuition expenses paid by participants. Liability for travel expenses rests with the third party carrier and the travel insurance policy purchased by each individual. 

There shall be no refunds following successful sail training programs. Success is determined by Tall Ships Maine in its sole discretion. Tall Ships Maine is a non-profit whose mission is to send youth to sea and see them return with smiles on their faces and stories on their lips.

Tall Ships Maine reserves the right to select and or substitute vessels suitable for particular sail training voyages.  

For all voyages, individuals and groups are encouraged to purchase low-cost travel insurance.  For voyages outside the territorial waters of the United States, individuals are required to purchase travel insurance that includes medical evacuation and repatriation coverage.

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Suggested Packing List

This list is suggestive; individual voyages may have different requirements and recommendations

Waterproof bag for personal gear
2-4 T-shirts
1 lightweight wool or synthetic shirt
1 jacket of heavy fleece
1 sweater
1-2 pairs loose-fitting pants
1-2 pairs shorts
1 set long underwear
7 pairs underwear
7 pairs Socks
1 pair of sneakers
1 pair rubber boots
1 hat
Waterproof rain gear (tops and bottoms)
Bathing suit

Sleeping bag and pillow case
1 bath towel
1 swim towel
1 bar soap/facial cleanser Toothbrush/toothpaste Comb/brush
Lip balm with sunscreen
Sanitary items
Prescription medications (to be held by medical officer)
Spare set of eyeglasses with strap
Water bottle
Writing journal

Camera in waterproof case or plastic bag (cell phones are OK in Airplane mode)
Waterproof watch
Flashlight or headlamp with red light capability
Book (optional since there is plenty to read on board)
Extra pair of sneakers
Sandals or water shoes (closed toed)
Sunglasses with strap

Food including candy and gum (unless pre-approved by the Captain)
Hanging jewelry, hoop earrings
Electronic devices
Cash -- you won't need it!




Built in 1893, the iconic Lettie G. Howard has gone from fishing schooner to sailing school vessel as one of the fleet of the famous South Street Seaport Museum in New York City.  During the summer of 2017, she sailed to Maine and took more than a dozen Maine students sailing for one week voyages of discovery.   MORE INFORMATION


Built in Wiscasset, Maine in 1939 for General George S. Patton, he had intended to sail her around the world once the war ended.  This summer she sailed north to Quebec to take part in the international tall ship gathering Rendezvous 2017 and Tall Ships Maine sent students and our summer intern on two legs of the voyage through the beautiful Canadian Maritimes.


There are few tall ships in the world that are run as traditionally - and as well - as the U.S. Brig Niagara in Erie, Pennsylvania. A replica of the relief flagship of Oliver Hazard Perry, she operates top-notch educational programs for all ages, and has collaborated with Tall Ships Maine to extend the same opportunities to Maine teens. The Captain and several crew are graduates of Maine Maritime Academy, and work closely with the institution to further maritime careers.

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The Oliver Hazard Perry is America's leading civilian sail training vessel and also Tall Ships Maine's most popular partner having taken more than 25 Maine students sailing over the past three years including a voyage from Bermuda to Newport in the spring of 2017.   MORE INFORMATION