State of Maine training ship departs for winter training cruise

CASTINE – The State of Maine training ship will leave Castine on Tuesday, November 16 for the third training cruise of the year. Winter cruises were once commonplace at the Maine Maritime Academy. However, over time, college training developments have been condensed to allow for a single summer trip to places in North America, the Caribbean, and Europe. The recent disruption caused by the pandemic has required a reimagining of cadet training schedules. The next cruise will be the third this calendar year. Two additional cruises were completed during the spring and summer and collectively allowed most of the unlimited license students to recoup training and time at sea lost in 2020.

“The advent of the COVID pandemic essentially caused three years of class to miss their respective summer maritime experiences in 2020. Adjustments to the academic calendar, three cruises and two cadet navigation developments allowed Maine Maritime to catch up. this lost summer. The unique schedule is only possible thanks to the dedication of the ship’s professional crew, faculty, staff and students at MMA who have adjusted to the compressed schedules, dramatically increased sea time and disruption to their lives. life to get us back on track, ”said John Cashman, Midshipman Commander. “We are delighted to conclude this last cruise of 2021 and the opportunities it offers our students to complete their training and obtain their diplomas and licenses. “

On Tuesday, 146 MMA students along with 50 faculty and crew members set sail for their first stop in Charleston, South Carolina. They will be joined by 30 cadets and staff from the US Merchant Marine Academy. The trip’s itinerary includes transit through the Caribbean with additional stops in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Florida before returning to Maine in December.

Led by Captain Gordon MacArthur, the ship’s captain, the educational cruise will include opportunities for students to put into practice what they have learned in the classroom in this unique onboard environment. For some, this is the second half of their first trimester at sea. For others, it is the last sea experience of their Maine maritime education. For visiting USMMA cadets, this will be their first experience at sea, one that we hope will be meaningful and fun.

The 500-foot, 16,000-ton State of Maine training ship was originally ordered as USNS Tanner and served as the Navy’s oceanographic research vessel before being converted in 1997 to meet requirements of MMA training. The fourth ship to bear the State of Maine name, the ship is a modern, state-of-the-art training ship. “Students will complete sea and engine room navigation shifts, perform routine and non-routine maintenance on various equipment, and receive training in a variety of subjects ranging from meteorology and hydraulics to basic use. hand tools, ”says MacArthur. “The opportunity for college students to apply classroom learning and develop skills such as leadership, industrial safety and job planning is what sets us apart from other higher education institutions.

Supporters are welcome and encouraged to view the ship’s departure from the Maine Maritime Academy waterfront or via a live broadcast at Friends, family and fans are invited to follow the ship’s journey through the cruise blog at The ship is due to return to Castine on December 19. The training cruise officially ends on the afternoon of December 21.

Maine Maritime Academy is a coeducational public college located on the coast of Maine that offers degree programs in engineering, management, science, and transportation. The college welcomes approximately 950 undergraduate and graduate students through career-focused degree programs. The annual placement rate for MMA graduates is approximately 90 percent within 90 days of graduation. The college is regularly recognized for providing valuable education by organizations such as the Brookings Institution, US News and World Report, and Money Magazine. For more information, please visit

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