Getting Here & Around

Getting Here

While Vinalhaven feels like it's a world away, getting here is easy. You can choose a pleasant hour and a quarter, fifteen mile ferry ride departing from the state ferry terminal in Rockland, or a ten minute island-hopper flight across Penobscot Bay on our local airline, Penobscot Island Air. If you missed the ferry or even if you'd just like a terrific adventure we’ll dispatch a lobster boat to pick you up in Rockland.

  Penobscot Island Air:
  Cape Air:
  Vinalhaven Ferry:
  Concord Trailways:


7:00 a.m., 8:45 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 1:00 pm*, 2:45 p.m., 4:30 pm.
* Tuesdays the 1:00 ferry leaves Rockland at 1:30.
NOTE: On Sundays during January, February and March, the schedule is 7:00 a.m., 8:45 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 3:15 p.m.

The Ferry

Vinalhaven is served by two ferries, the Capt. Charles Philbrook and the Capt. E. Frank Thompson. The two ferries make simultaneous daily departures, from Rockland and from Vinalhaven, as follows:

The round trip fare from Rockland to Vinalhaven is $49.50 for a Vehicle (including the driver) and $17.50 for a passenger. For additional information please check the Maine Department of Transportation website: While getting on and off the island with a vehicle is not problematic during the off-season, it is otherwise during July & August and we suggest, if you do need to bring a vehicle, that you let us help you with arrangements.

Otherwise, we will see that you get around comfortably. You can rent a car at the Tidewater (see Getting Around) or avail yourself of the Vinalhaven Taxi (207-720-0056).

Getting To Rockland

By Air

Fly in to the Portland Jetport (PWM) and rent a car for the 1.5 hour drive to Rockland (follow directions below coming from the south on I-295); fly to Bangor (BGR) and rent a car for the drive south to Rockland, also 1.5 hours; fly to Manchester Regional Airport, NH (MHT) and rent a car for an easy 3.5 hour drive northeast; or fly directly to the Owl's Head Airport in Rockland (RKD). Cape Air offers three direct flights to Rockland from Boston and return daily staring at $90 round-trip. (800) 227-3247. From the Rockland airport take a taxi to the Maine State Ferry Terminal or fly out to the island with Penobscot Island Air, (207) 596-7500. We'll pick you up on this side.

By Bus

Concord Trailways, with links to and from Boston and Bangor and everywhere in between, stops right at the Maine State Ferry Terminal in Rockland. For a current schedule visit:

By Car

If you're driving from the south, take I-95 North to Exit 52 and follow signs for I-295 North to Falmouth and Freeport. After about three miles and a modest toll, take the I-295 North exit toward Freeport and Brunswick. Continue on I-295 about 16 miles to Exit 28 (Coastal Rte. 1, Brunswick, Bath). Stay on Route 1 to Rockland (It becomes Main Street) and at the far end of the shopping district, the ferry terminal will be on your right, across from the Rockland Harbor Hotel.

If you're driving from the north. follow Route 1 South into Rockland. As you approach the center of town (after leaving behind the big-box retailers and numerous fast-food establishments), Route 1 will veer right just as you reach the north end of Main Street in Rockland; follow it around for three blocks and take a left on Talbot Ave. At the stop sign proceed straight across Main Street to the Maine state Ferry Terminal.

If you're driving from the west, follow Route 17 about 45 miles from Augusta following the signs for ferries to Vinalhaven and North Haven, turn right on North Main Street and follow, through the traffic light, to the stop sign at Dunkin Donuts. Turn right, and take the third left on Talbot Ave. At the stop sign proceed straight across Main Street to the Maine State Ferry Terminal.


Getting Around

Rather than bringing your car to Vinalhaven on the ferry, you can rent a vehicle, often a seven passenger van, here at the motel for about what it would cost to bring yours with you. Alternatively, we will dispatch our own car to get you from here to there or from there to here. You may also avail yourself of the Vinalhaven Taxi (207-720-0056) One way or another we will see that you get around comfortably.

The Tidewater maintains a fleet of comfortable seven speed Townie bikes. These are free to our guests and $20/day for others. We also keep a small flotilla of canoes and kayaks, as well as a paddle board. Either can be rented for $40-60/day and we will deliver them or them and you to a magical island waterway full of admiring seals.

Walking is certainly an option. Many pristine locations are just a lovely walk away, The two town-owned quarries are about a mile from The Tidewater, just far enough to make a nice summer swim seem inviting.

Boat Rides & Other Islands

Although there are several other inhabited islands in Penobscot Bay, only one is easily reached from Vinalhaven. North Haven is only a half-mile from our north shore, separated by the yacht-filled Fox Islands Thoroughfare. A little outboard shuttle will take you and, if you like, your bike, back and forth.

Of the other Penobscot Bay Islands, Matincus is populated by 60 or so stalwarts. Because every day here on Vinalhaven is a clear day, you can see it from your room about 15 miles to the south. Isle au Haut, about the same distance to the east, is also home to about 60 people and much of the island is part of Acadia National Park. Either can be reached, but only with a little advanced planning.

Acclaimed ornithologist and Vinalhaven resident John Drury will take people to outlying islands on a day trip for bird watching ( Let us know and we'll be happy to make arrangements for you. This is a worthwhile boat ride, even if you're not an avid bird watcher (you probably will be at the end). Captain Bobby Warren, an exceptionally accommodating and interesting childhood friend, pilots the 42' lobster boat “SeaBreeze” and will take you on a boat ride you won't forget. Cruise among the small offshore islands, let the kids haul a few traps & steer the boat or cruise all the way around Vinalhaven with a picnic lunch. Captain Mark Jackson conducts an equally enjoyable tour of the islands, their coves, inlets and bountiful sea life ( in a lovely Pullsifer Hampton.  Finally, day sailing adventures can be arranged through

The Tidewater

We welcome your calls and emails and are happy to answer any questions you might have about staying at the Tidwater, visiting Vinalhaven island, or holding a gathering at our facility. We encourage you to fill out the reservation form on this website so that we can check availability on your preferred dates. We will get back to you promptly to confirm your reservation. We look forward to seeing you!

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