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Escape the Bar Harbor crowds! We are located in beautiful Bass Harbor, just 30 minutes from Bar Harbor surrounded by Acadia National Park. Join us for a public nature cruise or private boat charter to enjoy fishing, sailing, or sightseeing! 


From $40

On this 2 hour tour, you will learn about Maine’s fishing industry, see wildlife, haul a few lobster traps, and enjoy stunning views of Acadia National Park. We cruise past Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse and experience the outer islands of Blue Hill Bay, where you’ll see seals, nesting birds, and more. This nature cruise of Blue Hill Bay and Bass Harbor is one you won’t forget!

From $440

Our private sightseeing charter allows you to enjoy the beauty of Acadia National Park from the water! View lighthouses, Cadillac Mountain, and wildlife such as seals, eagles, porpoises, & more. Our local captains will help you customize your trip for a wonderful day on the water.  Visit an offshore island for a picnic, hike or dockside dining (4hrs min).


Boat Tours

Island Cruises offers a leisurely, interactive introduction to the outer islands, wildlife, and history of the Bar Harbor and Acadia area. Spectacular wildlife abounds—from sunbathing seals to majestic osprey and eagles, all observable in their natural habitats. It’s no wonder that the Audubon Society, Nature Conservancy, and Maine Coast Heritage Trust have all made such strong commitments to Blue Hill Bay.

A quiet and relaxing alternative to other Bar Harbor boat tours, Island Cruises is based out of Bass Harbor. We have been family-owned and operated for 30 years. Our primary vessel, the 40-foot R.L. Gott, is a lobster-style passenger boat that carries a small and friendly crowd of no more than 49 passengers.

We’re the perfect venue to see seals, porpoises, herons, osprey, eagles, and other wildlife up close and personal, and haul a lobster trap or two—all while experiencing beautiful scenery and learning the lore of Bass Harbor and Maine’s rich fishing history from local captain Eli Strauss. Whether you enjoy wildlife or just peaceful scenery, Island Cruises has a great trip for you. Step aboard one of our boats for an experience you’ll never forget.

Custom Charters

If you want your own private boat trip you can customize a sail or power boat charter for up to 6 people.  The ultimate way to experience the Acadia coast and create a unique memory of Maine.  Join us on Fifinella our 2320 Parker or Monterey our 2520 Parker, for fishing trips, wildlife, lighthouse trips, or an excursion to an island to enjoy trails few get to see.  Take a sail on Motu Iti and enjoy the fresh ocean breezes and natural beauty of the Maine coast.

Escape the crowds of Bar Harbor, Ocean Drive and Cadillac and head to the “quiet side” of Mount Desert Island for a boat tour or charter with Island Cruises.

On your way to us from Bar Harbor, drive through historic Somesville and see original white clapboard houses, church, library, museum and mill pond spilling into the harbor. Take in the scenic Echo lake, formed by glaciers and bordered by Acadia National Park’s Beech and Acadia Mountains. Next, make some time for Southwest Harbor, a small village with great restaurants and shops and a long tradition of boat building; the original home of Hinckley, Morris Yachts, and master wooden boat builder Ralph Stanley. You can also visit the Wendell Gilley Museum to see his famous bird carvings and decoys.

When you join us for a tour or charter, prepare to get the best up close views of Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse, seals, eagles, lobster and other Maine wildlife, and real insight into what is so special about the coast of Maine. You won’t regret making your way to Bass Harbor, the classic Maine fishing village we are so fortunate to call home.

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Bass Harbor Island Cruise

Amazing!! Informative on historical, biological, cultural and economical level! Our guide Eli and his wife Robin were wonderful. Eli had so many interesting facts and stories to share and he was well spoken and extremely interesting. Despite the cold temps we all enjoyed it very much. Even without seeing bald eagles, harbor seals, gray seals, porpoises, lobsters and other birds it would have been a great tour.

– Sophia T. | TripAdvisor
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We took the Afternoon Nature Cruise on the RL Gott. We saw eagles, seals and even saw a dolphin. The captain was extremely knowledgeable about the islands and their history, and it fascinating to see and learn about them, the salmon hatchery, and lobster fishing. It was also really cool to see him pull in a lobster trap and learn about the lobsters and crabs inside. I would highly recommend this affordable 2 hour cruise!!

– Scott B. | TripAdvisor
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Wonderful nature cruise!

The two hour afternoon nature cruise was very enjoyable. Capt. Eli is very knowledgeable about the history of the islands in the Gulf of Maine, and provided details of the people and marine life that live(d) on or around the islands. We saw seals, eagles, porpoises, a salmon farm and a cormorant rookery. Capt. Eli also retrieved a lobster trap to explain how lobsters are caught and measured. A worthwhile experience!

– James L. | TripAdvisor
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Great boat trip

Capt. Eli and first mate Jill were great hosts for our trip. Eli is very knowledgable about the islands and gets the boat real close to the rocks so you can see a light house plus various wild life like seals, porpoises, and on our trip we even saw a bald eagle. The trip included a stop for lunch at the town of Frenchboro on the Island of Long Island. Its a great little fishing village. On the way back Eli hawls up a lobster trap and talks about the lobstering industry in Maine. The entire trip is awesome and well worth it!

– Dave F. | TripAdvisor