The dog days of summer may be behind us, but the best days of cruising are yet to come. If you ask us, the vibrant autumn light, contrasting with crashing waves, provides the perfect backdrop for the Diamond Pass Run.
One of our seasonal cruise offerings, the Diamond Pass Run is a two-hour round-trip that glides through the Inner Bay, past Little Diamond, Great Diamond, Diamond Cove, and Long Island.
The coolest thing about the Diamond Pass Run? You get an up-close look at two of Casco Bay’s more unique islands. Great Diamond and Little Diamond islands are both primarily privately owned, so one of the best ways to see them is from on board one of our ferries! The two islands are connected by a semi-submerged sandbar, which turns into a pretty awesome beach at high tide.
Before WWII, Great Diamond Island was a haven for artists like Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Harriet Beecher Stowe, but the Spanish-American War transformed the island into a military base and Fort McKinley was constructed in Diamond Cove. The fort defended Casco Bay until the end of WWII, and now the old army barracks and officers’ quarters have been renovated into homes and the Diamond’s Edge Restaurant.
The Diamond Pass Run cruises along off the coast, giving riders a glimpse of the cottages and old military structures which dot the shores.
Because we love cruising in the fall (and these two gemstone islands), we thought it might be fun to offer some insider tips for taking the Diamond Pass Run:
- Pack a picnic lunch—The cruise leaves the dock at 11 a.m. through October 31 and runs about two hours, so we’d recommend picking up some snacks and maybe a local beverage or two, to tide you over before a late lunch back on shore at one of Portland’s amazing restaurants.
- Don’t forget your layers—Autumn in Maine is one of the best seasons, but it can be a little cooler out on the water, so it’s always a good idea to have an extra layer handy before coming aboard.
- Stop by the terminal to buy your tickets—All of our cruises are first-come-first-served, so we recommend arriving about 30-45 minutes ahead of time to secure a spot.
- Sit back and relax—Let your worries slip away as you cruise away from the mainland.