If you are arriving via cruise ship into Portland then you are in for a real treat! Recently named in the top ten nationally as one of the safest, culturally most fascinating US Cities and among the ten "perfect places to live in America," Portland is Maine's business, financial and retail capital and the largest city in the state. Seascapes and cityscapes blend harmoniously in Portland. Historic buildings, an outstanding physical setting on the coast of Maine, a wealth of big-city amenities, a vibrant arts district, traditional working waterfront and diverse retail and dining opportunities are all balanced with the ease and friendliness of a small town.
Both the Arts District and the Old Port are just minutes from your cruise ship. The city is completely walk-able from one end to the other. Stroll with ease and see what you can discover!
Portland's Arts District
In Portland's Art District one can experience all the cultural opportunities of any major metropolitan city but on a much more livable scale - The Portland Museum of Art, housing a permanent collection of paintings by Winslow Homer, Renoir, Degas, Monet, Picasso and other Masters; Merrill Auditorium; the Portland Symphony Orchestra; the award winning Children's Museum of Maine; and Portland Stage Company are all within a ten-minute walk. The city supports a vibrant community of visual and performing artists plus a changing array of exhibits, festivals, concerts and has become well known as an antique shoppers dream.
Portland's Old Port
Portland's Old Port is one of the most successful revitalized warehouse districts in the country. Seamlessly connected to the waterfront, the Old Port is both working waterfront and a chic shopping, dining, and entertainment district. Just steps from the water, one can stroll the cobblestone streets and experience the quaint charm of this district. The boutique shopping, one-of-a-kind stores, restaurants serving Maine's famous lobster dishes or the latest nouveau cuisine, and a vibrant nightlife are all unparallel to any other New England city.
Tour Excursions (Offered via the cruiseline)
Each cruise line offers shore excursions while docked in the Port of Portland. Typically the shore excursion offerings are:
Kennebunkport - Kennebunkport is a picturesque town approximately 40 minutes south of Portland. An historic fishing village which has become a popular seaside tourist destination with a quaint neighborhood of souvenir shops, art galleries, seafood restaurants, hotels, inns, and bed & breakfasts. Claim to fame: President George Bush Sr.'s summer home.
Freeport - Freeport is a beautiful coastal Maine village with over 200 upscale outlets, designer shops, eclectic boutiques, B&B's, hotels, great restaurants & casual cafes. Claim to fame: L.L. Bean headquarters.
Local Tour Options
Just a 5-10 minute walk from your ship you'll find a wide variety of city and harbor tours for your enjoyment. These tours will provide you with history, sights, fun & laughter. Take a narrated
tour the city on a trolley and venture out to the Portland Head Light, sail on a historic schooner, venture out with a true Maine lobsterman, cruise through the harbor on one of our island ferries, or tour boats providing you insight of our rich maritime history, or tour the streets on a segway. There are countless options - see them all here
Getting Around Town
Getting around Portland is incredibly easy. The city is very walk-able and you can experience all that it offers simply by strolling leisurely throughout the streets.
Should you wish to explore outside of town and go North to Freeport or South to Kennebunkport on your own transportation is available. A cab would cost approximately $50 one way to Freeport.
A rental car would be recommended if you wish to visit Kennebunkport.
The city's public transportation system is METRO. This bus system allows you to hop on and off at 11 different locations (route 8A) throughout the city for $5.00 a day. (This is not a narrated city tour)