Lighthouses are iconic structures that are an inseparable part of Maine’s lifestyle and culture. Known as “The Lighthouse State,” Maine has 65 lighthouses situated on its shores, rivers, and even one lake; more than any other state in the nation. In focusing on their impressive appearance, it can be easy to forget their primary function. Lighthouses have been guiding ships and their captains to safety throughout history. Portland Discovery Land and Sea Tours presents the special sights, sounds and stories of these lighthouses in a unique, comfortable, and exciting way.
Why were lighthouses created in the first place? When you take a closer look at Maine’s coastline, the story begins to unfold. Thousands of years ago, glaciers carved out the Maine coastline. As a result, the coastline is a tangled mixture of passages, points, bays, inlets, coves, ledges, and hundreds of little islands randomly scattered throughout the waters. These made safe passage challenging for captains, ships and their crews. Built as guiding lights for mariners that needed help navigating the jagged coastline, lighthouses began operating around 1794.
Placed atop the most dangerous ledges and isles, lighthouses marked the mouths of rivers and points of land. They also provided fixed points of light and sound (using foghorns and bells) that allowed captains to navigate their ships safely through thick fog, moonless skies, and menacing storms.
Our Lighthouse Lovers Cruise: Exceptional Views and Superior Comfort
When the weather is warm and sunny in Maine, there is no better place to be than on the water. That’s why we offer Maine lighthouse cruises, giving our guests unbeatable access to Portland’s busy seaport, clear views of the most notable sights, and the entertaining stories behind them. All this and maybe even few seals to see along the way!
Portland Discovery Land and Sea Tours is Portland’s #1 sightseeing tour company and our lighthouse cruises in Portland, Maine are recognized for our exceptionally clean, comfortable, and well-equipped boats. Our premium sound systems facilitate crystal clear narration, and our knowledgeable and friendly staff will always treat you like our guest. Backed with the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence award, we’re focused on 100% customer satisfaction.
What Will You See on the Lighthouse Lovers Cruise?
First and foremost, you will have exceptional views of some of Maine’s most famous lighthouses that are only accessible by boat! On the 90-minute narrated tour, with lobster boats and seabirds as your backdrop, you can experience these distinctive landmarks for yourself in a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere only our tour company can provide.
- Portland Headlight: This is one of the most instantly recognizable lighthouses on this tour, as well as in the state of Maine. It was first lit with 16 whale oil lamps on January 10, 1791.
- Portland Harbor Breakwater Light (Bug Light): This lighthouse earned its nickname when a cast iron tower (patterned after the Greek monument of Lysicrates in Ancient Greece) replaced an ugly wooden structure in 1875. People thought it was “cute as a bug” and the name stuck.
- Ram Island Ledge Light: This 90-foot lighthouse tower and structure was built in 1905 and is only view able from the water.
- Spring Point Ledge Light: Resembling a giant spark plug, residing at the end of a granite breakwater in South Portland, this lighthouse was built in 1898 to protect mariners from a dangerous ledge in Portland Harbor.
Please note that all of these lighthouse sightings are subject to change based on weather and sea conditions. All of our cruises have a full service bar and premium snack options available. Reservations can be booked online for your convenience, and be sure to talk to us about boat charters for special private events like weddings or corporate functions.
We look forward to sharing this beautiful and unique part of our Maine coastal heritage with you! After seeing these remarkable structures and listening to their one-of-a-kind stories, you will understand why we believe they are just as impressive today as on the day they were built. So grab your camera and come see the best of Portland with Portland’s #1 sightseeing company!