PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Traveling to Maine's islands includes many options.

To get to the Casco Bay Islands, one can take a ferry, a water taxi, or a chartered boat. Those feeling adventurous can kayak or swim.

For those who live on the islands year-round, the ferry is a lifeline, and part of the daily routine, such as getting to work.

According to Casco Bay Lines, the ships transport about one million people, 30,000 vehicles, and 5,300 tons of freight each year.

Those just visiting enjoy the ferry ride in the summer.

"Oh it's beautiful -- the smell of the water, the ocean, you can't beat it," said Jane Leonard, of Raymond. "Any free spirit needs to be out here."

Casco Bay Lines captain Andy Gildart agrees after spending more than 20 years on the water.

"I've thought about what else I would do and I think it would have to be hands-on. I don't think I could be cooped up in a box," said Gildart.

Water taxis are another way to travel. Steve Lazaros decided to become a captain full-time after 20 yeras behind the wheel.

"I was a software consultant and traveled all over the country and I retired three weeks ago. This is my retirement plan," said Lazaros.

Others can take a chartered boat, such as the U-B 85, a decomissioned Navy boat. Captain Gene Willard, who also works for CBL, has been a senior captain for 38 years.

"I love it, I just like being connected with the bay, the people, the islands. I love it," said Willard.

No matter the vessel, passengers tend to enjoy the journey, just as much as the destination.