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“Educational and great lobster, too”
Review of Island Cruises

Island Cruises
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Awarded Yankee Magazine's "Best Island Tour," we are the Bar Harbor area's favorite boat cruise and a family owned business now in our 22nd year. Operating out of Bass Harbor to the islands of Blue Hill Bay, we offer exclusive access to what many consider one of the most beautiful parts of the Maine coast, as well as its prettiest harbor. Being off the beaten path, our formula for success is offering the highest quality experience at some of the lowest rates on Mount Desert Island. Try out our 11:00-2:30 Lunch Cruise to Frenchboro; established in 1820 and one of the last year round island fishing communities in Maine, Frenchboro is a place that many people find hard to believe still exists in our busy, high-tech world. Or, join us for the 3:00-5:00 Nature Cruise, where you'll see seals, bald eagles, and even haul a lobster trap or two. We cherish your business and our many return customers, and you'll find that it shows from start to finish.
Reviewed July 23, 2013

This is our 2nd year taking the lunchtime cruise to Frenchboro, and both times we have said that the Frenchboro lobster is the sweetest! We always learn something from Capt Eli, and if its a hot day, being on the water under his expert guidance and commentary is a must. If its a cooler day, bring layers.

Thank Skeptika
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"captain eli"
in 54 reviews
"lobster fishing"
in 50 reviews
"nature cruise"
in 46 reviews
"lobster trap"
in 50 reviews
"lunch cruise"
in 40 reviews
"harbor seals"
in 29 reviews
"lobster industry"
in 28 reviews
"bald eagles"
in 57 reviews
"salmon farm"
in 19 reviews
"saw seals"
in 14 reviews
"fishing village"
in 10 reviews
"local history"
in 9 reviews
"great tour"
in 9 reviews
"fishing industry"
in 9 reviews
"bar harbor"
in 24 reviews
"two hours"
in 10 reviews
"different types"
in 7 reviews
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332 - 336 of 355 reviews

Reviewed July 16, 2013

It was the best $25 we spent while at Bar Harbor/Acadia. It takes you close to seals that are sunning themselves on the rocks, we saw numerous bald eagles and the guide explained lobster harvesting and pulled up a cage to show us the sizes, how they tell sex and all kinds of information. It is a little hard to find on opposite side from Bar Harbor and about a 25 minute drive but well worth it. We had taken the whale watching the day before which cost twice as much and we had just as much fun on this tour for half the price. We came home with great pictures.

Thank Rex G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2013

As others have shared, these trips are both excellent, enjoyable and informative. One incorporates the opportunity to explore a fishing village on foot for lunch as well as exploring around the islands, the other is shorter and does not have any landing. What a wonderful combination of learning about Maine and its fishing heritage, seeing a wide variety of animal life, and beautiful views on an exceptional craft. Captain and crew are so accommodating. A real value as well. Worth driving to Bass Harbor, even if you are staying elsewhere, for this experience.

Thank Jazzophyllum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 4, 2013

After having a very hard time choosing from so many boat tour options-on recommendation from a local woman(along with several excellent reviews of this tour on tripadvisor)-we decided to do the Bass Harbor Island Cruise. We were not at all disappointed & were extremely pleased with the cruise. We were lodging in nearby Bernard, so only a 5 min drive to Bass Harbor, but would tell anyone staying on the other side of the island (Bar Harbor) that this is worth the drive. We really wanted to go on a whale watching boat,but did not due to our son having a history of motion sickness. The Island Cruise was not our first choice,but turned out to be a #1 choice!!!!!! The small boat size/capacity compared to the large whale watching boats,creates a very personal atmosphere & experience. Captain Kim did a great job,not only in taking us around the islands to get the best views, but gave informative & interesting discussion on the history of the area,lobstering/fishing industry & lifestyle, and a great educational hands on live lobster/trapping demonstration.
While we did not see the whales or porpoises, the harbor seals were really neat to see & a huge hit with the kids (and adults). We saw several bald eagles, and the coastal scenery was really amazing. You just can't fully experience MDI without seeing by boat- you really must get off the roads & out on the water to see the sights best!
This cruise was worth every penny- we really enjoyed it!
Best of all, none of us,(even our motion sick prone son),had even a shred of queasiness- so if you worry about sea sickness- this is the boat tour for you!!!!!

Thank t e
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 17, 2012

And we have taken a number of such tours in the US and other countries. Ely and Robin were great. I have substantial mobility impairment but this was accessible although I must use a walker, no small thing because the other cruises from various locations around Mt. Desert Island were not so accommodating. I say this just in passing for those who may also have trouble getting around but would like to do one a scenic boat tour. I hasten to emphasize that this is a great experience. We had the chance to learn about the history and fishing culture of this part of the Maine Coast from Ely whose family goes back a ways in Bass Harbor. The highlight of this aspect of the cruise came when Robin controlled the boat while Ely pulled up a lobster trap and went through what it takes to collect a legal lobster (he got two from the four in the trap - he also pulled out a sea cucumber and if you've not seen one of those critters you should). Both Robin and Ely know the local wildlife and took us out to surrounding islands where we saw bald eagles, harbor seals, gray seals and many sea brids. They offer two cruises, one of which includes a visit to one of the islands. We took the scenic tour without a stop. It lasted a tad more than 2 hours and was more then worth the price of admission.

Thank Ml W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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