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Rockland, Maine is a quintessential New England coastal town, brimming with historic buildings, cool restaurants and above all, lobster; this is the self-styled lobster capital of the world. The town is nestled along the rocky coastline of central Maine, just a few hours by ship to either Boston or Nova Scotia, Canada. It has an independent, authentic feel, and offers plenty to do on land and water just a stone’s throw from the port.
When you book Rockland, Maine cruises, you’ll find that location is everything in this pretty port. The small city and its protected harbor are surrounded by rocky peninsulas, old-growth forest and sandy beaches. You can venture out into the sea for lobster fishing, or explore lush green wilderness and nature preserves nearby. You’ll get the feeling of being part of a true New England maritime community from the second you step off the ship.
Maritime history enthusiasts will be impressed by the exhibits, artifacts, and art housed at Rockland’s Sail Power and Steam Museum, located at the Old Snow Shipyard on the waterfront. Learn about the rich history of boating, yachting, fishing, naval positioning, and maritime trade. See relics from some of the first steamships in the region, as well as historic sextants and vintage photographs. This is a great learning experience for anybody interested in Rockland’s long-standing connection to the sea.
A walk along the Rockland harbor trail is the perfect way to enjoy the natural splendor of the town’s setting. The trail follows the curve of the bay from the breakwater to Snow Marine Park, making it one of the best ways to see everything Rockland has to offer all at once.
This trail follows the shoreline and winds around the city’s harbor and commercial districts downtown. It is paved in some parts, with sun-warmed wooden boardwalk in others. Bring comfy shoes and your camera, and enjoy the brisk Atlantic Ocean breeze as you stroll from the city shore to the rocky coast.
Lobster fishing is an art, and the people of Maine have perfected it over the years to the point of world fame. While on one of these fabulous cruises to Rockland, Maine, take a tour on a local lobster boat. There are plenty of options to see the lobster trapping process in action, both on shore or out at sea. Many local lobstermen and women use techniques that are over a century old, and sustainable practices are required by law to ensure no overfishing or ecological damage occurs.
The most popular food in Maine is, of course, lobster. You’ll find some of the best lobster dishes you’ve ever had in Rockland, whether you’re sampling the wares of a local pub, a chic restaurant, or a food truck.
From the port, head to Main St. downtown to explore some of the city’s favorite eateries and cafés. Don’t miss the lobster roll or corned beef sandwich at Clan Maclaren, a famous sandwich shop. Then grab a frothy pint of craft beer at the Rock Harbor Pub. Get a fresh boiled lobster with butter the Maine way at the Lobster Shack to round out your lobster feast in Rockland.
Rockland is a city inextricably linked to the sea. Like many Maine coastal towns, its history lies in British colonial conquest, followed by centuries of vital trade and fishing. The culture is laid back, enormously welcoming, friendly, and maritime-oriented. People in Rockland love to be on the sea, whether relaxing on the beach, in the water on a boat, or soaking in the sunrise from their seaside homes. Rockland, Maine cruises are great for those who want a New England adventure at a relaxing pace, with a tremendous local spirit to highlight their experience.
The port facilities in Rockland, Maine are adjacent to the city’s downtown center, and are a historic site in their own right. This port has been modernized in recent years, but dates back centuries as the commercial hub for the area. Getting on and off your ship is quick and easy, and you’ll find both Main St. and Park St., the city’s most bustling areas, just a short few blocks away.
Rockland is a small city, with more of a small-town feel than an urban one. It’s very easy to get around the downtown area by foot, and bicycles are also very welcome, particularly on the Harbor Trail. Taxis are not as common as they would be in other larger port cities, however you can book a taxi or private shuttle ahead of time to take you around the area, or around the city itself. There's a regular, though infrequent bus service that will take you downtown and to a number of historic sites as well as the Rockland Shopping Plaza.
On cruises to Rockland, Maine, you’ll find art, clothing, artisan candy, and nautical souvenirs available right outside of the port area. You can also buy engraved jewelry, hand-carved stones, and even replicas of famous ships. There are no major shopping centers in or around Rockland, so expect to do mostly boutique shopping here during your stay.
In Rockland, the local currency is the US dollar, and there are a few exchange stations available if you’d like to change another currency into dollars during your trip. ATMs are everywhere downtown and on Main St., although there are fewer once you leave the center of town. Tipping is customary and expected at all restaurants, bars, and for most tours. A standard 15-20% is considered the norm for good service.