Vinalhaven Island Excursion

Carvers Harbor. See more photos below.

This one-day adventure includes a ferry ride across the bay to one of the areas largest working harbors.

DATES

    • Fri, May 19-full
    • Wed, May 24
    • Fri, June 16
    • Fri, June 23
    • Wed, July 5
    • Mon, July 24-full
    • Tue, Aug 8
    • Wed, Aug 16
    • Sun, Aug 27
    • Sat, Sept 9
    • Sat, Sept 16
    • Sat, Sept 30
    • or schedule a private tour for yourself or your group

Check back for additional dates or call to reserve a private tour to accommodate your schedule. For private tour rates go to the Private Rates page.

Rates: Adults – $125, Ages 11-18  – $75, Ages 10 or under – free but must purchase a ferry ticket. All children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. For paying participants fee includes ferry fare, tour, and photo lessons. Does not include lunch. Payment is by cash, check if you are registering early enough, or if you prefer, book online for an additional fee.

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What to expect

Photographic discussions will be on-site and will cover such things as camera settings, controlling exposure, framing, foreground/background relationships, point of view, and capturing the right moment.

Sharing images at lunch. Photo by Steve McKinney.

Our 75-minute scenic ferry ride across Penobscot Bay passes through Hurricane Sound, and The Reach. Scenery will include many small islands including Hurricane Island, Greens Island, and Potato Island. Expect to see marine wildlife such as seals, ducks, ospreys and bald eagles, and occasionally porpoises. We will go over some camera handling techniques while on the ferry. You’ll also have time to enjoy the bay scenery during the crossing. The ferry docks in Carvers Harbor, which is on the edge of the village and is home port for a large lobster fishing fleet.

Chris Clarke’s studio. Photo by Steve McKinney.

Once on the island you will explore the rich granite and fishing history, the rocky coastline landscape, and the working harbor. Strolling through the village we may visit the  historical museum, unique small shops with arts and hand made crafts, an interesting cemetery, a print maker’s artist studio, a fine art gallery, and along the way be able to feel the pulse of the island community.

A little history of the island

One of Maine’s largest quarrying centers from the 19th century, Vinalhaven granite was shipped off the island to be used in many places throughout the central and eastern United States. Building projects include the Brooklyn Bridge, New York City Customs House, Post Offices in Brooklyn, Washington, Buffalo, Cincinnati, St. Louis and Kansas City, the Washington Monument, and the eight huge columns for the nave of the Cathedral of Saint John The Divine in NYC, also other monuments, bridges, dams, private mansions, and more. The granite industry had ceased in the mid-20th century but the lobster fishing business is thriving. Currently, Vinalhaven has the most profitable lobster fishing fleet.

How to prepare

Since we are going to be carrying all that we bring with us for the whole day you’ll want to pack light, yet at the same time bring what you need. If you can, we recommend using a backpack instead of an over-the-shoulder bag.

Please wear good walking shoes. We will be on our feet most of the day. It will be easy walking, mostly on pavement, with the most demanding part being a few small hills.

Weather – This is a rain or shine (or fog) event. Dress accordingly for the weather, and dress in layers. It will be colder during the bay crossings. The ferry does have inside seating, however, if you want to photograph from outside while on the ferry we recommend that you bring a light-weight wind breaker or rain jacket, and a light sweater that will pack easily once you’re on the island.

Camera equipment – Any camera is acceptable. Make sure that your battery is fully charged and bring extra batteries. Make sure that you have plenty of room on your memory card for at least a few hundred pictures. However we do recommend having a second memory card with you. If you have a DSLR you may want to bring additional lenses if you have them. Tri-pods can be bulky and heavy but if you usually use one then certainly bring it along.

Food – Since the sea air can make you hungry, we recommend bringing a morning snack for the ferry ride and definitely pack along some drinking water. We will be having a late lunch on the island. The cost of lunch is not included in the price of the photo tour.

Suggested items – sun protection; sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, etc. We will be outside most of the day.

Warning – There is likely no cell phone reception on the island.

Reservations – A minimum of a 50% deposit is required to reserve your space. The balance is due the day before your tour.

Once you have registered you will be given further information about the tour and how to prepare. Please call if you have any questions before or after registration.

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