Maine Maritime Academy Training Ship State of Maine to Depart May 8 for European Ports

Posted on: May 3, 2019

CASTINE, Maine—Maine Maritime Academy students, officers, and crew will depart Castine on Wednesday, May 8 at approximately 2:00 p.m. on the Training Ship State of Maine (TSSOM) for the annual training evolution to foreign and domestic ports of call. This year’s itinerary includes stops in Vigo and Barcelona, Spain; Portsmouth, England; Tallinn, Estonia; Oslo, Norway; Boston, Massachusetts; and Searsport, Maine. Schedule and ports are subject to change.

Under the direction of Brendan McAvoy, interim master of the Training Ship State of Maine, the educational cruise will commence in port on Sunday, May 5 for pre-sailing preparation. Captain McAvoy, of Belfast, Maine, has served on the MMA faculty and has held the position of chief mate of the State of Maine for 22 years. He most recently captained the ship from New York to Castine following a maintenance period in 2018. Captain Leslie Eadie, who has served as captain of the vessel since 2011, is taking the summer off.

Well-wishers are welcomed and encouraged to view the vessel departure and return from the Maine Maritime Academy waterfront or via livestream at Friends, family, and fans are invited to follow the ship’s journey through the cruise blog at

The ship will host the traditional family day sail on the return leg from Searsport to Castine on Saturday, July 13. For this section of the trip, Second-Class students (Juniors) may invite their parents aboard. The day sail allows parents the unique opportunity to see the high level of technical proficiency and leadership achieved by the students. Training cruise activities will continue in port through Monday, July 15.

According to sea time and instruction required by STCW (Standards for Training, Certification and Watchkeeping), total cruise length is 70 days. Students pursuing an officer’s license from the U.S. Coast Guard as a third mate or third assistant engineer are required to train at sea during their first three years at the Academy. Freshmen and juniors sail aboard the State of Maine while sophomores are assigned to merchant ships worldwide. In past years, MMA training cruises have taken students to Aruba, Bermuda, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Poland, Portugal, and Russia, as well as other European, Caribbean, and U.S. destinations.

The Training Ship has limited internet connectivity while on cruise. Bangor Daily News will continue to donate daily news service, sending statewide, national, and world news, sports, and business articles via email.

Complementing the educational focus of MMA’s training cruise, students sailing aboard the State of Maine will launch two five-foot unmanned mini-sailboats built by students in the composite fabrication department at the United Technologies Center in Bangor, Maine. Richard Baldwin, founder of the MiniBoat Research Collaborative, volunteer-teaches and assists in the design of the miniboats with the goal to develop an economical ocean research platform with an array of scientific sensors and limited steering capabilities that will enable the study of ocean wind and current patterns by school and community groups. For more information, email

The 500-foot, 16,000-ton Training Ship State of Maine, originally commissioned as the USNS Tanner, served as a Navy oceanographic research vessel before being converted in 1997 to accommodate the training needs of the college. The fourth vessel to bear the name State of Maine, the ship is a modern, technologically advanced training vessel.

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 is approximately 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. For more information, visit