A Ride On The RiverTripper and you experience
“The Way Life Should Be”
Come explore the exquisite beauty of the tranquil Damariscotta River, on the 50-foot RiverTripper! Stable, spacious decks, and seating for 49 passengers. Just two minutes from Route 1, in midcoast Maine.
The RiverTripper offers daily aquaculture tours, scenic tours, sunset and music cruises, and special sailings for regional festivals and events. We serve the world-famous oysters of Maine, and a full bar. The boat is also available for private parties and charters. Sailing from Schooner Landing Restaurant and Marina, by the Newcastle-Damariscotta bridge in Damariscotta. Fog is rare, and waves are rarer!
Damariscotta, an American Indian term for “river of many fishes” is named for its alewives. Every May, masses of these small herring migrate up the river, then across Great Salt Bay, and finally up the oldest fish ladder in the United Sates, at Damariscotta Mills. They spawn in freshwater Damariscotta Lake.
Shipbuilding was a major industry along the Damariscotta River for 150 years. Square riggers, clipper ships and schooners left here to sail the entire globe, carrying timber, salted fish, bricks, and even ice. Today only one old-time boatyard is still specializing in wooden boats.
Bring your camera to capture seals basking on the rocks of forest reserves, bald eagles and ospreys soaring above coves, and the primitive and marvelous horseshoe crab in its northernmost breeding grounds. We’ll explore hidden bays where you can easily imagine pirates lurking and American Indians hunting in days gone by.
This river also supports the usual compliments of great blue herons, green herons, common loons, double-crested cormorants, greater yellowlegs, and hooded mergansers, just to mention a few. A true bird-watchers’ paradise! Complementing the river’s natural bounty are stately mansions and saltwater farms with fields sweeping down to the water’s edge, and the working waterfront of oyster farmers, clam diggers and lobstermen.
Humans have worked this river for about 13,000 years. Their most famous legacy forms immense, white mounds on the riverbanks. Native Americans harvested and ate the wild oysters, leaving behind the largest prehistoric shell middens in North America. Today the river produces American oysters and blue mussels grown mostly on floating “farms,” as well as wild lobsters and hard-shell clams. About 80% of all oysters grown in Maine are from the Damariscotta River estuary. Even wild oysters are harvested now, from the cleanest river in the Northeast.
You’ll enjoy the sights, sounds, and history of the Damariscotta River on the stable and roomy RiverTripper. This summer the flavors of the river will be presented as well, when oysters and other local delicacies will be available onboard.
Captain Chip Holmes is a boatbuilder, licensed captain, and raconteur, born and raised in the beautiful state of Maine, along the Damariscotta River. When First Mate Olga Oros is not casting off, tying up, or making documentary films, she is tending to a second venture, Damariscotta’s first floatel – floating hotel, the most unique vacation rental on the river: http://maineboathotel.com