Custom boat tours give a chance to get out on the water in Maine and explore the midcoast from a new vantage point.
Traffic-weary travelers wanting to escape the highway. A photographer seeking new angles on coastal Maine scenes. History buffs exploring legend and fact. A family planning an outing, complete with picnic, sunning, and swimming. A young man looking for a romantic spot to propose. All these folks need to find Captain Ed Rice and the River Runner in Bath, Maine.
Driving coastal Route 1 is like unfolding a picture, every mile opening a new view. But even if one explores the thousands of oceanfront miles from Kittery to Lubec, some of the most interesting Maine coastlines will be missed.
Many Maine coast vacations miss the “other” coast of Maine: the rivers, watery highways for both commerce and pleasure. These territories of water are as rich in life, both wild and human, as any piece of land. Every river is a living force, with centuries of its own stories and a unique view of life along and between its banks.
Exploring Midcoast Maine on the River Runner
In midcoast Maine, Captain Ed Rice and the River Runner stand ready to take guests to places never seen from the highway. Ed Rice is a native of the area and has grown up on the rivers of the midcoast. He knows their stories and their secrets, and he wants to share what he knows and enjoys.
Capt. Ed provides the boat and local knowledge for those who want to explore the midcoast rivers. His pontoon boat is comfortable even for those wary of being on the water. Its special design also allows boat access to spots on the river that other boats may not be able to reach. His river cruises give guests a new view of this part of Maine’s coastline.
The River Runner might float through the serene paradise of the Georgetown marshes, where even travel by boat is limited and must be timed with the tides. Capt Ed can navigate the channel known as Hell’s Gates or stop at the lobstering village of Five Islands, where hungry boaters enjoy a meal on the wharf at the lobster pound. One route wanders by towering cranes in the Bath shipyards, and another spotlights the wildlife everywhere on the mighty Kennebec River. Photographers get closeups of ospreys on nests on channel markers and curious seals investigating river travelers.
Cruising on the River Runner gives a different view of human life on the river, too. River communities cluster toward the waterways; docks and marinas connect to this heart and hub of coastal life. Traveling by boat offers glimpses of exclusive summer neighborhoods and quirky hideaways that would never be seen on a drive down the peninsula. The River Runner may thread between sturdy lobster boats in a fishing harbor or glide past sleek, expensive sailboats in an exclusive sailing community.
Reminders are everywhere in the history that has floated on these ancient highways. The ghostly Mary Barrett lies dying in the river; she’s an old schooner that carried the river’s ice to places as far away as the tropics before the days of refrigeration. Names whisper the mystique of old legends: Sasanoa, Wiscasset, Arrowsic, Montsweag, Kennebec. The unlikely name of Robin Hood keeps popping up–not the leader of the merry green men, but an Indian chief who sold much of the surrounding land to early settlers. The strange round Fort Edgecomb still stands sentinel on Davis Island, ever watchful against attack from the river.
Nothing is more symbolic of the Maine coast than lighthouses, and a lighthouse tour with Capt. Ed gives visitors a sense of the lifeline those beacons string all along the boundary between land and water.
Custom Boat Tours
Capt. Ed happily does custom cruises on the rivers of the Midcoast. For the photographer, the family picnic, or the history buff, he’ll design a trip built around the interests of his guests. The romantic young man might want to hire the River Runner as a water taxi to a favorite restaurant and afterward, float home at sunset and propose under the stars.
Capt. Ed’s goal is to give his customers an experience of coastal Maine that can never be accessed from the highway, and a river cruise with him could be the highlight of any Maine vacation. Even those who have traveled Route 1 dozens of times will find new discoveries along this coast of Maine.