An integral part of Portland, Maine's island communities, the mailboat is a true working boat carrying passengers, mail and freight to the Casco Bay's Little Diamond, Great Diamond, Long, Cliff and Chebeague Islands. As the longest-operating service of its kind, this Maine Mailboat Run Cruise tour is a wonderful way to see the sights of the Bay.
Little Diamond Island was known as "Little Hog Island" during Colonial times. It is part of the city of Portland, and as of the 2000 Census, the island had a year-round population of five. Great Diamond Island has a year-round population of 77. The island is not easily accessible by motor vehicle, and has a limited network of roads. At low tide, Little Diamond Island connects to Great Diamond Island via a semi-submerged sandbar.
Like other Casco Bay islands, Long Island was originally inhabited by Native Americans until settlers arrived in the 1600s. Colonel Ezekiel Cushing purchased the island in 1732 and is credited with being the first westerner to settle and build a house on Long Island. During World War II, Long Island served as a fueling depot for the U.S. Navy. Supply stations and army buildings were constructed on the island, and many of these buildings still stand along the shore.
Cliff Island is the smallest year round island in Casco Bay. Chebeague (pronounced: shuh-BEEG) is one of Maine's most beautiful islands. At 3 miles long and 1 miles wide, Chebeague is the largest island in Casco Bay and is home to over 360 year round people and over 4,000 summer residents The island has a storied history of sailing, notably the stone sloopers, men who carried ballast for the sailing ships of 19th-century America and later granite for many of the country's most spectacular buildings, including the Washington Monument. The many lovely Greek Revival homes on the island were built by these sloopers.
Please note: Restroom facilities are available on board for your convenience.
Reviewer: Sally Chitwood
We went on this tour last fall and it was an amazing experience. I would give it a 5 star rating for experiencing the ambiance of New England islands!
Reviewer: Phyllis Cloman
This excursion is a trip on a mail ferry among the islands around Portlamd. We thoroughly enjoyed it! Locals travel on this ferry amd items are transported to the islands so it is an authentic experience rather than a touristy boat ride. The narration is limited and informative. Brief stops with time to grab a drink at local shops are fun. But the ability to chat with those on the ferry was great fun too. If you are tired of scripted narrative tours, hop on the ferry and sit back. Relax and enjoy the view.
Reviewer: Steve Reader
We both really enjoyed this one. Very scenic, unhurried pace. Would do it again anytime.
Reviewer: Dian Rohr
This mailboat tour was A-One. They not only deliver mail -how about your next dining room table! A pleasant day was had by all.
Just as described. Enjoyed the scenery and the information about the islands.