Schooner Bowdoin Sets Sail for Educational Cruises in the Canadian Maritimes

Posted on: June 9, 2017

CASTINE, Maine—Maine Maritime Academy’s schooner Bowdoin, a National Historic Landmark and the Official Vessel of the State of Maine, will be home to three groups of students in the Vessel Operations and Technology program this summer. Students will be sailing coastwise and offshore as part of sail training courses during which they learn to navigate and maintain the vessel to fulfill degree requirements and competencies toward a U.S. Coast Guard limited license.

Bowdoin will be participating in the Tall Ships Rendez-vous 2017 events this summer, so all port visits and open boat hours will be coordinated with other participating ships. Bowdoin’s first stop will be Summerside, Prince Edward Island, Canada, June 30 to July 2. Other ports include:

July 7-9              Havre-Saint-Pierre, Quebec, Canada
July 11-13          Saguenay, Quebec, Canada
July 18-23          Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
July 29-31          Corner Brook, Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada
August 4-6         Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
August 10-12     Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada
August 15-16     Digby, Nova Scotia, Canada
August 18-20     St. John, New Brunswick, Canada
(Schedule subject to change; visit for updates)

Maine Maritime Academy is the only college in the United States with a dedicated sail training program that leads to a U.S. Coast Guard license as mate on an auxiliary sail vessel. Students may start with no prior sailing experience and graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree, a U.S. Coast Guard license, and all necessary certificates.

Bowdoin’s Captain, Will McLean, earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Vessel Operations and Technology with a Sail Training Concentration, graduating in 2012. He came to Maine Maritime Academy this spring following a winter sail schedule with Call of the Sea, an educational nonprofit dedicated to environmental education through sailing. There, he was Captain of the Schooner Seaward, an 82-foot classic staysail schooner, conducting 6-day charters in the Sea of Cortez. Previous to working with Call of the Sea, he was Senior Chief Mate/Relief Captain on the SSV Robert C. Seamans with Sea Education Association for three years.

The schooner Bowdoin enjoys a long history of seafaring education and Arctic exploration. Commissioned by explorer Donald B. MacMillan to facilitate his work in the high northern latitudes, Bowdoin has made 28 trips to the Arctic, 25 of them before 1954 under the command of MacMillan. MacMillan sold Bowdoin to the U.S. Navy for use in World War II during the Greenland Patrol. After WWII, MacMillan bought the ship back and continued to sail her for nine more years around Greenland. After MacMillan’s retirement the boat belonged to the Schooner Bowdoin Association until 1988 when Maine Maritime Academy purchased the vessel for the purpose of training students. It was at this time that Bowdoin became the Official Vessel of the State of Maine and was designated a National Historic Landmark.

The public can follow the adventures of the schooner Bowdoin throughout the summer. Visit or follow the cruise on facebook at Arctic Schooner Bowdoin.

Maine Maritime Academy is a co-educational, public college on the coast of Maine offering 22 programs of study in engineering, management, science, and transportation. The college serves approximately 950 undergraduate and graduate students in career-oriented degree programs. The job placement rate for MMA graduates exceeds 90 percent within 90 days of graduation. The college is consistently recognized for providing a high-value education by organizations such as the Brookings Institution, U.S. News and World Report, and Money Magazine, which ranked MMA the number-one Best Public College in America in 2014 and 2015.