Schooner Bowdoin Sets Sail for Educational Cruises

Posted on: June 15, 2018

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 two 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’s first two stops of the summer were Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada and Ingonish Harbor, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia.

Other ports include:

June 14-16: Burgeo, Newfoundland
June 17-18: Francois, Newfoundland
June 19-20: Englishtown, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia
June 21-24: Lunenburg, Nova Scotia
June 28-July 6: Cruising Penobscot Bay
July 6: Castine – end of training course CR-214
August 12-25: Training course CR-313
(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, William 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 in the spring of 2017 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, Money Magazine and U.S. News and World Report. For more information, visit