8 of the best places to visit in New England on board Marae
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Castine, Maine

Sailing yacht Marae is available for charter in New England this summer. The 32.97 metre yacht offers a great sailing experience, no matter whether you are a novice or seasoned sailor, and is the perfect vessel to discover the delights of this famous vacation destination.

Here her captain Frank Ficken shares his insight into some of the best spots in New England to visit while on board.

1. Castine, Maine

Castine, Maine is a quiet village located in the upper reaches of Penobscot Bay. Rich in maritime history, Castine is a charming village that is home to the Maine Maritime Academy as well as two historic forts. After warming up with a stroll through the town, you can increase your exercise level on some of the many hiking trails that offer spectacular views of the bay and town.

Once you have experienced the town, we will take the short tender ride to return to our anchorage. Marae will be anchored in a small bay so little known that it has no name on the charts. It’s a perfect place to sit and relax in quiet solitude and watch the eagles and osprey catch fish for their dinner.

Picture courtesy of Jeff Brown

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Chatham, Mass

Located on Cape Cod, just a few miles across the shoals from Nantucket, is the peaceful town of Chatham, Mass. Famous for its warm, white sand beaches, Chatham is home to the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge — the only designated Wilderness area in southern New England. For history buffs, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has named Chatham one of its "Destinations of Distinction".

After a day of warm beaches and exploring historic towns you can relax and enjoy cocktails or dinner at the Chatham Bars Inn. This 100 year old former private hunting and fishing lodge has been converted into an elegant seaside resort, complete with its own farm providing fresh food to its award winning restaurant.

Picture courtesy of Jeff Brown

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Somes Sound, Mt Desert Island, Maine

For those times when you really want to get away from it all, Marae can take you to the Somes Sound, which splits Mount Desert Island, Maine nearly in half. The only fjord in the eastern US, this deep, narrow passage is seldom visited by yachts. We will sail up between the towering cliffs until the water opens up into a wide, calm bay. If we are lucky, we may see one of the Peregrine falcons which have begun to repopulate the Acadia National Park.

We can anchor for the night in the bay which is a perfect location for making use of Marae’s kayaks and paddleboards while Chef Sue prepares a dinner with fresh lobster and local Maine blueberries for dessert.

Picture courtesy of Jeff Brown

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Bristol, RI

Just a short sail up the Narragansett Bay, north of the bustling seaside town of Newport, RI lies the much smaller and quieter but equally historic town of Bristol. Marae will drop anchor off the famed Herreshoff Marine Museum and the America’s Cup Hall of Fame. As your afternoon will reveal, Bristol is truly a national maritime treasure. At the Herreshoff Museum, you will see dozens of the yachts designed by Captain Nat Herreshoff, the most famous yacht designer in American yachting history, as well as hundreds of artefacts from his career.

As the most successful designer of America’s Cup racers, it’s fitting that on the same site as the Herreshoff Museum is the America’s Cup Hall of Fame, recording the history of the oldest trophy in sport. You will discover the histories of 80 of the most famous personalities from past Cups as well as be able to view models of nearly every challenger and defender of the Auld Mug. There is no better place to observe the history of the pinnacle of sailboat racing.

If you’ve worked up an appetite, there are many fine dining options in Bristol including DeWolfe’s Tavern and the award-winning Persimmon. Or you can enjoy a lobster roll made with lobster delivered straight off the boat at any one of a number of small dining establishments (my favourite is Blount’s Clam Shack) located on one of the most picturesque waterfronts in New England.

Picture courtesy of Jeff Brown

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Cuttyhunk Island

The outermost of the Elizabeth Islands in Massachusetts, Cuttyhunk Island’s main attraction is its large striped bass. The fish have been known to reach up to 73lbs and it is the perfect chance for you to make the most of Marae’s on board fishing gear while watching a beautiful sunset.

After a night at anchor the next morning we can tender you in to enjoy breakfast at the local Fishing Club with the locals. Meanwhile chef Sue will stock up on the freshest oysters and lobster for you to enjoy later.

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock.com

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Nantucket

The picturesque New England island of Nantucket offers dune-backed beaches and cobbled streets packed with American character. I recommend spending at least a couple of days here to make the most of the town and to take the opportunity to test Marae’s sailing prowess. I first started sailing out of Newport in the 1980s and I love introducing guests to the delights of superyacht and dinghy sailing.

Once you have worked up an appetite on the water you can head into Nantucket and enjoy some of the best fish restaurants in the region. The town is also home to some wonderful marine galleries and boutique shops if you fancy enjoying some retail therapy.

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock.com

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Martha's Vineyard

It would be a shame to visit New England and not take in the pretty harbours and iconic lighthouses of Martha’s Vineyard. The island has six towns but I normally dock at Edgartown Harbour as it has the prettiest architecture and a bustling atmosphere.

Despite being the largest island in New England, Martha’s Vineyard has escaped large scale commercialisation. With no chain restaurants it is the perfect place if you want to feel like you have stepped back into another time.

If you are feeling active then bicycles are one of the best ways to discover some of the island's green farms and beautiful beaches. Alternatively you can make the most of Marae’s vast array of water toys or simply relax on deck and make the most of your vacation with family and friends.

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock.com

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Newport

The busy town of Newport is the heart of New England and a great place to start or end your vacation on board Marae. The town is bustling with sailing action and if you want to get involved the crew can arrange for you to take part in a local regatta using Marae’s on board laser.

Newport is also the historic playground for America’s finest so there is plenty to do on dry land. I think the best way to take it all in is via a helicopter tour before exploring some of the town’s famous mansions by foot.

Picture courtesy of Jeff Brown

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