One of the more unique activities we’ve done on vacation was going on a cruise on a working lobster boat. Lucky Catch Cruises in Portland, Maine offers 90-minute cruises on which you can learn all about trapping lobsters, by doing it yourself. Lucky Catch takes passengers on cruises only in the summer; the rest of the year it is a commercial lobster boat.
This is not your ordinary sightseeing cruise. You and your kids will be outfitted in an apron or bib overalls in preparation for the work you will do.
Captain Tom and his crew will take you to multiple trap sites where you will haul up the traps and check to see if there are any lobsters in them. They’ll show you how lobsters get stuck in the traps.
Sometimes crabs or starfish get caught in them. Those get tossed back in the ocean at the end of the cruise.
If a lobster was trapped, it needs to be measured and inspected to find out if it is a keeper or not. They will show you how to use a device to put rubber bands around the claws of the keepers.
New bait (which consists of dead fish) then needs to be put into the trap. The adults on our cruise were quite happy to allow my kids to refill the bait on every trap.
Then you get to push the trap back into the water.
While sightseeing is not the primary goal of the cruise, the lobstering routes pass through some scenic locations and the crew is happy to snap some pictures of your family. Three different cruise routes are available; all are scenic and have terrific views of various sights including civil war forts, lighthouses, harbor seals, and scenic cliffs.
It is recommended that you make reservations in advance because they do sell out. The price of a cruise is $25 for adults, $20 for teens, and $15 for kids. Toddlers who are under 2 are free. Lobster cruises are available Monday – Saturday. On Sundays, lobstering is prohibited by Maine law during the summer months. Special excursions are offered on Sundays.
Any lobsters caught during the cruise are available for purchase. You will certainly want to taste the fruit of your labors, so go ahead and buy some. Any trip to Maine ought to include eating some lobster.
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