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4 Days Culinary Holiday in Maine

Food Vacations in USA

If you love to cook, want to travel, and enjoy sailing, this is the culinary getaway that you have been looking for. Immerse yourself in the natural bounty of land and sea, with spectacular scenery and savory substance, gathered from chef Annie’s own garden, local farms, and farmers markets. This Maine food cruise is a recipe not to be missed, if you are passionate about food and in search of a unique epicurean experience. It is the perfect blend of relaxation, cooking, laughing, entertainment, and, of course, eating.

Meet the instructors

Jon & Anne
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  • Hands-on cooking lessons
  • Learn to cook with wood and flame
  • Learn to sail an authentic historic ship
  • Cooking discussions covering a wide range of topics
  • Cook aboard a historic ship
  • 3 nights accommodation


3 days with instruction in English
Spoken languages: English
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The J. & E. Riggin is a beautiful old two-masted schooner, that has been rebuilt to accommodate 24 passengers and a crew of 6. She was built in 1927, as an oyster dredger for Charles Riggin in Dorchester, New Jersey and is one of a very few vessels of this kind that still sail today. The name, J. & E., comes from the names of Mr. Riggin’s two sons, Jacob and Edward. This windjammer has enjoyed the reputation of being able and fast and lays claim to having won the only official oyster schooner race ever held in 1929 on the Delaware Bay. After being rebuilt and rerigged as a passenger vessel, the Riggin has sailed Penobscot Bay, since 1977. She was designated a National Historic Monument in 1991.

The Riggin is fully equipped with GPS, radar, and radio. She meets all coast guard requirements for construction and safety equipment. Certified to carry passengers, she fully meets all requirements for stability and watertight integrity. With her sleek lines preserved, the Riggin is still the fast and reliable sailor that earned the respect of the oystermen on the Delaware Bay. Just as she was when she was built, the Riggin has no inboard engine. Her sixteen-foot diesel-powered yawl boat, built by captain Jon Finger, can be used during calm spells for maneuvering into or out of tight harbors. The Riggin‘s superior sailing ability allows you to cruise by the islands and coastal scenery without the noise and fumes of an engine that would otherwise disturb the spell.


The Riggin’s eleven cabins are cozy, yet comfortable as on any boat. With seven cabins that have two twin beds, two cabins with three twins, and two cabins with a double bed, each features a number of wonderful touches including homemade quilts and soaps. Each cabin has a sink with cold running water and overhead and reading light over each berth, along with fresh sheets, warm blankets, pillows, and towels. Every cabin also has a porthole that provides light and can be opened for fresh air and ventilation. The toilets, also known as heads, are clean and well ventilated, and are located above deck. If you wish to rinse the salty sea air from your tresses, you willl be happy to know that there is a hot freshwater shower available, as well.


During your cruise, you will savor the taste of Maine and cook alongside Annie, aboard the historic Schooner J. and E. Riggin, where you will prepare creative comfort food, cooked with fire and passion on the ships antique wood stove. Learn from chef Annie’s 30 years of experience and take-in practical culinary ideas, tips, and Annie’s secrets to building flavor, improvising with ingredients you have available, and utilizing different herbs and flowers you can grow yourself to make creative dishes at home. All menus will showcase Annie’s love for seasonal and quality ingredients.

Topics covered

  • Breads: to knead or not to knead, sourdough or quick breads, baguette or stirata; the world of bread is big and the options are many
  • Soups, stews, and sauces - from stock to pistou, you will learn how to make super tasty and healthy soups, stews, and sauces, before sampling them for lunch or dinner
  • Eat your greens: lesson on how to combine veggies, what to do to make them interesting, and how to preserve them, if you just have too much to use in a week’s time
  • Pasta: from lobster and parmesan ravioli to traditional German spaetzle, fresh pasta is a special way to make a meal shine and Annie makes them all
  • Leftovers and other unmentionables: for some, leftovers have a bad reputation, but in Annie’s galley, they just spell flavor. You will learn how to cook creatively with what you had rather than always using a recipe. Leftovers will become the workhorse of your kitchen
  • Cooking with wood and flame: backyard wood-fired clay ovens are joining backyard barbecue, as a delicious way to add flavor to your meals. Whether it is a wood stove like our grandmothers used or the common grill of today, learning to use flame and wood heat well is another tool to add to your cooking arsenal
  • Open mic: this will be a chance to talk food and play together over the meals. Join Annie in the morning, as she creates the meal plan for the day, providing an opportunity to ask questions and find answers to the things you want to know

Included excursions

During this holiday, you will have the opportunity to enjoy shore excursions in a different harbor each evening.


Jon Finger
Captain Jon is a lifelong sailor, who has cruised the Maine coast for more than a decade. He began his sailing career on Lake Michigan. He served in the US Coast Guard on the Academy’s tall ship Eagle and the icebreaker Mackinaw. Having been crew on a research vessel in Bermuda and serving as captain on charter yachts from Maine to the Caribbean, he sails his ship with the artful skills handed down from the best traditions of the 19th century windjammers and safely commands the J. and E. Riggin to and from many destinations along the coast of Maine.
Anne Mahle
Annie is not only a licensed captain, but also a skilled professional cook with over 20 years in the food industry. She studied at the Culinary Institute of America and then worked in the restaurant industry for eight years, training for three years under a Swiss chef. Anne was drawn to the Maine coast from her native Midwest and, after graduating from Michigan State University, she spent three years working in the windjammer fleet, both on deck and in the galley.


This holiday will take place in Maine, United States. You will set sail and journey over the coast, visiting different harbors along the way.



  • Cooking classes
  • Fishing
  • Sailing
  • Swimming


  • Beach nearby
  • Dining area
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Kitchen
  • Special menu request


  • Toiletries
  • Wedding


The wonderful menu adds to the historic feel of your cruise. Much of what will nourish you all week comes from local farms and Annie’s ever expanding garden. The eggs come from her chickens, the meat from down the road, and the cheese from the top, award-winning cheese-makers in the state. To begin with the highest quality and freshest of ingredients allows for simple, yet elegant meals that are at once healthy and charming.

Each morning, as you lay snug in your berth, Annie is up stoking the fire of her Atlantic Fisherman wood stove, as she churns out the day’s pies and breads, such as caramelized onion bread, Irish soda bread or whole wheat, and walnut bread. As you wake to the rich smell of freshly brewed coffee, roasted locally, Annie is cooking a delightful breakfast feast; whether it is fresh baked muffins, boiled eggs, homemade granola, yogurt and dried fruit, or Maine blueberry pancakes, slab bacon, and sliced melon.

Lunch, often served on deck amid the sea air and rugged scenery, is usually a hot soup or stew such as curried lamb and lentil stew served with a spinach salad and an almond-honey dressing - and maybe one of the breads and desserts that came out of the oven earlier in the day. Sometimes, the captain will pick out just the right deserted island beach and prepare an authentic lobster bake with all the trimmings, including extra lobsters for those who somehow manage to have room left over!

Because Annie uses the freshest of ingredients, there is not a set menu. Meals for your trip are based on what is coming out of her garden, the local farmer’s markets, and being delivered by the CSA share.

Sample menu for breakfast

  • *Assorted melon wedges
  • Butcher's cut bacon
  • Fresh juice
  • Maine blueberry pancakes

Sample menu for lunch

  • Almond poppy seed cake
  • Clam, salmon haddock, or seafood chowder
  • Garbanzo bean and roasted eggplant salad
  • Lemon and chive biscuits
  • Oyster crackers
  • Pickles

Sample menu for dinner

  • Basmati rice
  • Green peas with mushrooms
  • Poached salmon with tri-pepper salsa
  • Roasted red pepper and artichoke dip with tortilla chips (pre-dinner appetizer)
  • Strawberry shortcake
  • Whole wheat walnut bread

Things to do (optional)

  • Enjoy the nature
  • Go fishing
  • Go for a swim
  • Learn new recipes
  • Learn to sail
  • Play guitar
  • See the local wildlife
  • Sing along with the crew
  • Sunbathe

What's included

  • 1 traditional Maine lobster bake
  • 3 nights accommodation
  • Daily homemade meals
  • Hands-on cooking sessions with chef Annie
  • Shore excursions
  • Tax

What's not included

  • Additional activities
  • Additional beverages
  • Additional meals
  • Airfare
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel expenses
  • Travel insurance

How to get there

Arrival by airplane

The closest airport is Augusta State Airport (AUG).

Driving directions

  • Follow I-95N until you can merge onto I-295N via exit #44 (S. Portland/Downtown Portland)
  • Continue on 295N to the Brunswick/Coastal Route 1 exit #28
  • From Brunswick, travel on Route 1 to Rockland (approx 53 miles)
  • Once in Rockland, go to your third light and turn left onto Main Street and pull into the right hand lane
  • At the stop light, turn right onto Tillson Ave.
  • Take a left onto Captain Spear Drive; there is a sign for Windjammer Wharf just before the street sign
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