CASTINE, Maine — Maine Maritime Academy's training ship State of Maine returned to its homeport of Castine Saturday morning. It was the ship's third and final training cruise of the year.
More than 200 crew members included Maine Maritime midshipmen, faculty, staff, and crew as well as midshipmen from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York.
The ship left for Charleston, South Carolina on Nov. 16. After a two-day port call, the ship sailed to St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, and Port Canaveral, Florida.
The State of Maine typically departs for a training cruise each spring. Due to the pandemic, three cruises took place this year to make up for the lost time.
That decision allowed more than 300 students to complete cruise training programs and earn sea time as part of their U.S. Coast Guard license program this school year.
Among the families eagerly waiting to see their child were John and Jane Frazier. They traveled from the state of Washington to be in Castine for their son Jack's return. The family plans to spend Christmas in Maine at their second home in Castine.
"I'm looking forward to some home-cooked meals from mom ... This is probably one of the few times I'll be able to spend some time with them because once I get out of here I'm going to be out to sea for a considerable amount of time trying to upgrade my license," Jack said.
The family said they're hoping for lots of snow so their first holiday in Maine will be a white Christmas.
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