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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.
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.
During this holiday, you will have the opportunity to enjoy shore excursions in a different harbor each evening.
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.
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.
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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.
The closest airport is Augusta State Airport (AUG).
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