FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
If the event is listed as sold out on the website is it really sold out or do you hold tickets aside?
Yes, when an event is listed as sold out, it is in fact sold out. There are no more tickets available on an event that is listed as sold out.
If tickets become available to a sold out event we'll make them available on this website AND we’ll announce their availability on the Facebook event page. Tickets are always available on a first-come-first-served basis. If you mark yourself as ‘interested’ on the specific Facebook page you'll receive alerts from Facebook when we communicate about that event (i.e., tickets sold out, tickets available, etc). This is our new 'waitlist' system.
It’s just not possible for us to call a long list of people on a traditional wait list as most people have already made alternate plans, and/or are not available to answer the phone. And we’re usually not in the office on weekends to make phone calls or send emails.
Where do we meet?
Wine & Food Walks/Spirit Walks: The meeting place will be announced by email the Wednesday before a Saturday walk and the Sunday before a Thursday. Please arrive 5-10 minutes before our start time.
Wine Sails: Maine Sailing Adventures/The Frances is located on the Maine State Pier at 56 Commercial Street (where Commercial Street meets Franklin Street). The signage from the road is not so great. Casco Bay Lines is right there as well. You'll walk down the paved road to the pier with the Whale Wall on your left and the Casco Bay Ferry Terminal on your right. Keep walking on to the Maine State Pier (past gate 5 of the Casco Bay Ferry Terminal). On the pier, to the right, you will see two sheds for two sailing companies. Please wait by the Maine Sailing Adventures/Frances shed. You do not need to check in there. We will come to get everyone to board the sailboat Frances 15 minutes before our scheduled departure.
Where do I park?
It is imperative to allow extra time for travel to and parking in Portland, Maine. On street parking is difficult to find in Portland and is limited to 2 hours maximum. There are many parking garages and lots in Portland. View the downtown map to see which one is convenient for you.
For the Wine Sails, we usually have good luck finding a spot in the garage on the corner of Fore and Pearl streets. The Casco Bay Ferry Terminal Parking Garage at the Maine State Pier is usually full with seasonal island residents’ cars. We suggest you avoid driving on Commercial Street in the Spring and Summer months ... is usually at a crawl.
What is your weather policy?
Wine Sails: We will not sail in the rain or heavy fog. If there is a chance of rain, we will send an email out to everyone in the morning to touch base. If by chance the sail is cancelled due to inclement weather we will reschedule you on another sail, issue you a refund, or a credit, whichever you prefer. The Captain will keep an eye on any weather issues and try to make the call roughly an hour before departure time or sooner if it appears that rain or fog is imminent. Sometimes the weather is so iffy that we need to make the call at the last minute. That is the nature of sailing.
Wine & Food Walks/Spirit Walks are held rain, snow, or shine. If rain or snow is in the forecast please bring an umbrella along with you.
How much does a private tour cost?
A private event is essentially a buyout. Wine Sails accommodate up to 42 attendees and Wine & Food Walks/Spirit Walks accommodate up to 22 attendees. The cost of a private event is the number of attendees allowed multiplied by the ticket price. For groups smaller than 20 people it often makes more sense to purchase the number of tickets that you need for our highly-rated public events. We do recommend purchasing all the tickets at once to ensure that everyone in your group has a ticket before the event sells out.
Do you do private events outside of Portland?
We sure do. As long as we are not scheduled for an event in Portland, we can travel to you. We frequently do wine appreciation events in private homes, restaurants, and businesses throughout Maine and New England. We have even traveled as far as New Jersey, Las Vegas, and San Diego for our customers. Just let us know what you are thinking and I am sure we can make something work based on schedules and availability.
Is there any food served on the Wine Sails?
Most Wine Sails include a very nice fruit, cheese, and crackers selection. Some include fresh shucked oysters. Other may include more food. Please refer to the description of each event to determine the amount of food being served. We cannot accommodate dietary restrictions on the wine sails but guests are welcome to bring along something to eat if they cannot eat what we are serving.
Will we receive tickets in the mail?
We do not send tickets in the mail. So many people forget them and it causes issues with a necessary on-time departure. Your email receipt are your “tickets.” You will receive an email 3 days prior to your event confirming your reservation and letting you know the meeting place.
What time do I need to arrive?
Wine Sails: Please arrive no later than twenty minutes before your scheduled departure time to be in line for our walk to the boat. Traffic into Portland can be quite heavy so be sure to allow extra time. Old Port vehicle and pedestrian traffic is a major challenge. We suggest you avoid driving on Commercial Street ... is usually at a crawl.
Note: If by chance you do arrive later than 20 minutes before departure, you will find that we have already made our way to the boat for boarding and departure. You might be able to catch-up ... after the second shed you will see the gangway to walk down to the dock. Proceed down the gangway to the dock and walk to the end of the dock to The Frances. We will be leaving the dock on time.
Wine & Food Walks/Spirit Walks: Please arrive inside our starting location no later than 5-10 minutes before our start time. The meeting place will be announced by email the Wednesday before the walk.
What is the attire?
Wine Sails: Chances are that it will be much warmer on land for the beginning of our wine sail and get cooler as the evening progresses and the temps drop as the sun sets out on the bay. So please bring a warm sweater, jacket, or something to wrap up in with you. The Captain also asks that non-marking flat shoes or sneakers. She also asks to not wear high-heel shoes for safety reasons and for maintaining the beauty of the boat deck.
Wine & Food Walks/Spirit Walks:Please wear comfortable walking shoes and dress for the weather.
What is your cancellation/no show policy?
Because of our size, cancellations affect us significantly. If we are able to sell your tickets we can refund your ticket price minus the $10.00 credit card transaction fee per ticket OR reschedule you to a different date that has availability (there is no credit card transaction fee in this case).
You are always welcome to send a friend or family member in your place or sell your own tickets. Just make sure we have the ticket holder's email address so we can send them the event notifications so they are aware of where to find us and any day-of weather related notifications. There are no refunds or reschedules for no shows or if we are not able to resell your tickets. Makes sense, right?
Note: Always let us know if you will not be able to make it as sometimes people are calling 30 minutes before, or waiting at the dock, in hopes of joining us (but not always). We will make every reasonable effort to sell your tickets, but there is no guarantee. The sooner we know, the better the chances.
How many people does each event or trip accommodate?
Wine Sails accommodate up to 42 attendees
Wine & Food Walks/Spirit Walks accommodate up to 22 attendees
Small-Group Trips: Most of our small-group trips include 8-12 people. Some may include less, depending on the region. Please refer to the description of each trip to determine the trips attendance capacity.