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Tall Ships return to Penobscot River 4-Point Loop next month

Updated: Jun. 22, 2021 at 3:39 PM EDT
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ORRINGTON, Maine (WABI) - Maine’s rich maritime history will be celebrated next month as “Tall Ships” set sail on the Penobscot River.

The Penobscot Maritime Heritage Association is celebrating Maine’s 200th birthday, a year later, by sending these ships on what is known as the 4-Port Loop.

From July 9-18, the ships will anchor in Bangor, Bucksport, Orrington and Searsport.

The event was canceled last year because of the pandemic.

This is the first time the vessels have taken on the Penobscot in 40 years!

There will be several celebrations in the surrounding areas during that stretch.

Here is the full release from the Penobscot Maritime Heritage Association:

The Penobscot Maritime Heritage Association is celebrating Maine’s 200th birthday with a big splash. Tall ships and schooners will ply the waters of the mighty Penobscot River for the first time in 40 years! Historic seafaring vessels will visit various ports in the lower Penobscot River basin from July 9-18, 2021. They will be honoring Maine’s rich maritime past in the waterfront towns that anchor the geographic area known as the 4-Port Loop. This year, the anchors are Bangor, Bucksport, Orrington and Searsport. The 4-Port Loop celebration is proudly presented by Bangor Savings Bank.

The massive square-sailed Tall Ship Nao Santa Maria from Sevilla, Spain will turn heads as it sails from Bucksport, where it will be in port July 9 and 14, to its most northern destination of Bangor on July 15-17. Tours will be given daily. She will be joined by Maine Maritime Academy’s historic schooner, Bowdoin, on July 15 in Bangor. The 175′ U.S. Coast Guard cutter, Abbie Burgess, will be docked on the Bangor Waterfront on July 16 and 17 and will offer tours and information about her special missions. The University of Maine’s 3-D printed boat, 3Dirigo, the largest 3-D printed object in the world, will travel by land and be on exhibit in Bangor, Bucksport and Searsport. American Cruise Lines’ new 288′ 6-story Constitution will be docked in Bucksport on July 17. All the Tall Ships and private boats are invited to a Schooner Gam, where they will gather off the coast of Searsport, which marks the finale to Searport’s 175th anniversary celebration.

Several towns within the 4-Port Loop will be participating in the summer celebration with fun, family-oriented events. They may include Brewer, Castine, Frankfort, Orland, Orrington, Penobscot, Prospect, Stockton Springs, Verona Island and Winterport. Fort Knox will feature Civil War encampments July 16-18. Bucksport welcomes Tall Ship enthusiasts to town on July 17 with family activities including live music on the waterfront, Main Street merchant specials, the Alamo and Northeast Historical Film open house, movies on the sail, and fireworks. Searsport will host the Schooner Gam and a picnic in Mosman Park with live music, movie on the sails and fireworks on July 18. Penobscot Maritime Museum will also curate seafaring exhibits. Orrington will offer waterfront viewing locations and many activities, including the Endless Yard Sale, from July 9-24. Castine will offer the Wilson Museum Open House on July 24. From music to museums, food to fireworks, exhibits to educational activities, the 4-Port Loop will be filled with maritime adventures.

A cell phone app (4portloop.oncell.com for Android phones and 4portloop.STQRY.com for iPhones) will guide travelers through the key historical sites, public access and viewing sites along the 4-Port Loop. It will be accessible whether you are traveling by car, boat, bike or on foot. It is perfect for packing a picnic and taking the family on a drive through the hidden treasures of the Lower Penobscot River basin. The app can be used anytime and year-round.

The mission of the Penobscot Maritime Heritage Association is to provide an historical perspective of the Penobscot River Basin utilizing the collective energy of its citizens to create educational programs which expand awareness of tourism opportunities in coastal Maine and draw attention to the contemporary enterprises that drive the economies of our towns. The goal of the PMHA is to make the 4-Port Loop a vacation destination in Maine and maintain the summer celebration as a sustainable annual event.

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