Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
hisfirstm8

Portland - Maine Day Trip Tours

Recommended Posts

We are looking for an excursion for a stop in Portland.  We would like to go to Kennebunkport.  I looked at an independent tour company online - Maine Day Trip Tours.  Does anyone have any experience with this company or any recommendation on a private tour company for us to use.  Thanks for all the help and information!~!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've not heard of them. Just keep in mind its about a 35 minute or so drive to Kennebunkport. While its nice to visit, I'd personally stay in Portland.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like it may be pricey, as they are a somewhat custom tour arrangement.  Not sure what the big draw is for Kennebunkport for cruise ship excursions, other than Walker's Point.  Aside from views of the Bush's compound and shopping at Dock Square, not sure that I'd drive a half hour each way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So would you just suggest staying in town in Portland.   Suggestions?  Should we tour or just explore on our own?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, hisfirstm8 said:

So would you just suggest staying in town in Portland.   Suggestions?  Should we tour or just explore on our own?

Virtually everything in Portland is in walking distance (about 3/4 mile from the pier).  Touring on your own would be my recommendation.  I have heard of, but never taken, the Portland Fire Engine Co, which uses a vintage fire truck as a tour bus.  Check my posts in other threads on this forum regarding Portland, for suggestions of what to see and where to eat.  Portland is a well known foodie destination.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I enjoyed the segaway tour of Portland,  the guides showed and explained a lot, and found the tickets 1/2 price on Groupon.   They also have a top notch science museaum

 

 

Edited by newcruiser1956
added

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the suggestions.  Maybe we will do some research and just tour around Portland.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, hisfirstm8 said:

Thanks for the suggestions.  Maybe we will do some research and just tour around Portland.

 

A couple of things I've recommended in the past for Portland are schooner tours of Casco Bay, or the Casco Bay Ferry "mailboat run", which leaves at about 10am, and takes 2-3 hours, depending on the amount of cargo.  This ferry brings not only passengers to the islands of Portland, but also their supplies.  Islanders will shop at mainland grocery stores, where their order will be packaged up and delivered to the ferry terminal, then palletized by island.  Once a month is "propane delivery day" when the islanders' gas deliveries are made.  The ferry skipper will give a running commentary on each island, and island life in Casco Bay.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the suggestions. I have made notes from your suggestions above.  I have read some of your other posts and have enjoyed what I am learning.  If you were to choose one place for lunch, which would you suggest.  My husband loves seafood, but I am more of a land lover.......

 

Thanks,

Barbara

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IMO, Portland is an excellent place to just stay in the port and DIY.  Walk through the Victorian house neighborhood, take the narrow-gauge railway and visit the railway museum.  We have not done the fire engine tour or Casco Bay ferry, but they both sound like good choices.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/12/2019 at 7:16 AM, hisfirstm8 said:

Thanks for the suggestions.  Maybe we will do some research and just tour around Portland.

 

My mom and I will be in Portland the beginning of October and we are doing:

 

The fire engine tour. If you do the first tour of the day, they pick up at the cruise ship terminal.  It's a 50 minute tour which leaves plenty of time for other things.

 

We are also doing a Lighthouse Lovers Cruise.  Mom loves lighthouses, so we'll get to see Casco Bay and up to 4 lighthouses all from the water. It's a 1 hour tour.

 

After lunch, we're going to take a ride on the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad and tour the museum.  The train ride itself is only about 35 minutes.

 

A nice leisurely day yet filled with so much to see.  Can't wait.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the best to mix "surf and turf" is Boone's Fish House and Oyster room, which does dynamite seafood, and some nice steaks as well (the owner also owns the Grill Room just up the street, which is probably the best steak house in Portland).

 

One thing I always recommend to folks coming by ship, is to forget the lighthouse tours, and get up early in the morning.  About 45 minutes before docking time, the ship will pass very close by the famous Portland Head Light, giving a unique photo opportunity to get it from the seaward.  You will also pass close by Bug Light and Spring Point lights in South Portland as well as Ram Island Ledge light, which is on a rock in the middle of the bay.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, chengkp75 said:

One thing I always recommend to folks coming by ship, is to forget the lighthouse tours, and get up early in the morning.  About 45 minutes before docking time, the ship will pass very close by the famous Portland Head Light, giving a unique photo opportunity to get it from the seaward.  You will also pass close by Bug Light and Spring Point lights in South Portland as well as Ram Island Ledge light, which is on a rock in the middle of the bay.

I've seen your suggestion about getting up to see Portland Head from the sea.  I've got it in my notes to try and do this, but my mom probably won't get up that early and truth be told, since Portland is now the last stop on our cruise rather than the first, I may be too tired to get up that early.  So we'll go with the next best thing I guess.  Might be a little bit less rushed too if we aren't watching lighthouses, then we can get ready for breakfast and be off the ship quickly for our 8:30 Firetruck tour.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, hisfirstm8 said:

Thanks for the suggestions. I have made notes from your suggestions above.  I have read some of your other posts and have enjoyed what I am learning.  If you were to choose one place for lunch, which would you suggest.  My husband loves seafood, but I am more of a land lover.......

 

Thanks,

Barbara

 

 

 

We love Gilbert's for lunch in Portland, a couple blocks from dock, great chowder, lobster roll and nice outside area. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another vote for the mailboat run.  Another plus is that it's a very short walk from where the ships dock.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

 

One thing I always recommend to folks coming by ship, is to forget the lighthouse tours, and get up early in the morning.  About 45 minutes before docking time, the ship will pass very close by the famous Portland Head Light, giving a unique photo opportunity to get it from the seaward.  You will also pass close by Bug Light and Spring Point lights in South Portland as well as Ram Island Ledge light, which is on a rock in the middle of the bay.

 

I'd like to try this. Approaching from the south, is the view better from port or starboard side?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, dutchclogs said:

 

I'd like to try this. Approaching from the south, is the view better from port or starboard side?

Portland Head, Spring Point, and Bug Light will all be on the port side.  Ram Island Ledge will be on starboard.  You may find better visuals though from forward (as you approach) or aft (after passing).  I'd get up on the open upper decks for the ability to range around for photo opportunities.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you!  DH preference was for a port side balcony cabin for our Grandeur cruise in July, so we're good to go if the weather doesn't play ball.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

July should be a good time, most likely not raining, and little chance of fog.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are booked on the Portland Discovery City and Lighthouse Trolley Tour, 105 minutes.  It will be port day #5 in a row for us (out of 7 in a row) so we aren't planning anything too strenuous.  We are coming from Bar Harbor, so I take it our best view would be port side?  Too bad, as we are starboard.  However, we will be in a Panoramic OV Cabin on Deck 12, so maybe I can be up  and moving in time to get a couple of quick photos as we come into port at 7 AM?  Weather permitting, of course (We are on the October Snowbird Migration Cruise) The cruise line just changed up our itinerary and we are doing some back tracking at that point.   We are also losing a couple of hours in Portland, but as I said, we had planned a quiet day, anyway.  We hope to have time grab some Holy Donuts! before our Lighthouse Tour and a Seafood Lunch afterwards with some of our CC friends before heading back to the ship.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Coming from Bar Harbor, on the starboard side, you should have nice views of many of the "Calendar Islands" of Casco Bay (so named because there are supposedly 365 of them), and views of Portland itself as you come in.  Fort Gorges in Portland Harbor will be on the starboard side.  The downtown Holy Donut usually has a line outside before opening, and once they run out, they close up, so plan on getting there asap.  Views of Portland Head will be a little further away entering port.  What time do you sail away?  You could get views of Portland Head from starboard side with the sun setting behind it on sailaway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

Coming from Bar Harbor, on the starboard side, you should have nice views of many of the "Calendar Islands" of Casco Bay (so named because there are supposedly 365 of them), and views of Portland itself as you come in.  Fort Gorges in Portland Harbor will be on the starboard side.  The downtown Holy Donut usually has a line outside before opening, and once they run out, they close up, so plan on getting there asap.  Views of Portland Head will be a little further away entering port.  What time do you sail away?  You could get views of Portland Head from starboard side with the sun setting behind it on sailaway.

We sail away from Portland at 3:30 pm. Thank you for the information. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/12/2019 at 4:02 AM, chengkp75 said:

Sounds like it may be pricey, as they are a somewhat custom tour arrangement.  Not sure what the big draw is for Kennebunkport for cruise ship excursions, other than Walker's Point.  Aside from views of the Bush's compound and shopping at Dock Square, not sure that I'd drive a half hour each way.

Royal Caribbean offers a combo tour for both towns if that is your cruise line.  I've booked and think I will be pleased with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/13/2019 at 3:10 PM, chengkp75 said:

One of the best to mix "surf and turf" is Boone's Fish House and Oyster room, which does dynamite seafood, and some nice steaks as well (the owner also owns the Grill Room just up the street, which is probably the best steak house in Portland).

 

One thing I always recommend to folks coming by ship, is to forget the lighthouse tours, and get up early in the morning.  About 45 minutes before docking time, the ship will pass very close by the famous Portland Head Light, giving a unique photo opportunity to get it from the seaward.  You will also pass close by Bug Light and Spring Point lights in South Portland as well as Ram Island Ledge light, which is on a rock in the middle of the bay.

Wow, love that tip! This is a great thread as I'm reading through. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • 2019 Cruisers' Choice Awards
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...