The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Eagle, known as America’s Tall Ship, will be in Portland, Maine in August as part of Maine’s bicentennial celebration.

The 295-foot ship will be at the Ocean Gateway from Aug. 6-9 for a weekend of public tours and other events, the Maine Bicentennial Commission, city of Portland and Coast Guard announced Tuesday.

“What an exciting occasion it is for Eagle to arrive in Portland to help celebrate our state’s 200th birthday,” Sen. Bill Diamond, chairman of the bicentennial commission, said in a statement. “We are so honored to be the hosting organization for this visit and to work closely with the city and our local Coast Guard command. We want everyone to come and tour this piece of maritime history.”

Maine marked its 200th anniversary of statehood in 2020. A tall ship festival was among the events that were originally planned as part of the bicentennial celebration last summer but were canceled or postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The nonprofit Maine Bicentennial Commission is aiming to honor the state’s shipbuilding and seafaring history.

“Maine is renowned for the quality of the ships built here, the value of the wood that was used to construct these vessels, and for the variety of activities — from fishing to transportation, recreation to rescue, research to defense. The Eagle is a magnificent reminder of the majesty of sail,” Diamond said.

The ship is based at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, and has a crew of about 60. More than 100 academy cadets will be on board. The Eagle is a three-masted barque that tours the world as a goodwill ambassador while training cadets and officer candidates.

Portland will be the sixth stop of a tour that also includes the Azores, Iceland and Bermuda. The Eagle will arrive in Portland at about 8 a.m. Aug. 6. It will be open for free public tours on Saturday and Sunday. Exact times for tours will be announced closer to the ship’s arrival.

“A visit from Eagle brings many great things to the Portland waterfront,” Coast Guard Capt. Amy Florentino, who commands Coast Guard forces in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont from Sector Northern New England, said in a statement. “It puts the spotlight on the tireless work the men and women of the Coast Guard do year-round on our coast and on Lake Champlain. They act as the constant guardian for those who earn their living or just enjoy being on the water. It’s nice to see them recognized.”

The commission and Sailing Ships Maine will coordinate a weeklong “Bicentennial Sailors Voyage” for Maine teens to coincide with the Eagle’s visit. The voyage, during the first week of August, will be aboard the 131-foot Maine-built Schooner Harvey Gamage.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

(CNN) — American student Nicole Erickson was about to embark on an epic round the world trip. Ahead of her lay two years of adventure that could change her life forever.

But fate had different ideas. The life-changing event happened before she’d even departed: she encountered a total stranger on a ship, and something unexpectedly clicked.

It was the summer of 1999 and 24-year-old Erickson, having just finished a two-year Fulbright scholarship in Germany, was in no hurry to head home.

“I wanted to travel around the world,” she tells CNN Travel today. “So, I took all my savings and packed the backpack and bought a ticket.”

While planning her journey and counting down the days to departure, she took the opportunity for a smaller trip — a week’s sailing vacation organized by the Fulbright Alumni Association on board a tall ship in the Baltic Sea.

Which is how, in September that year, she found herself boarding the wooden schooner Albatros in the Baltic port of Kiel, the only American among a group of around 25 mostly German former Fulbright scholars.

Among the group was Jürgen Guldner, a 29-year-old engineer who’d spent his Fulbright year at the University of California at Berkeley.

“In California I sailed a lot there, on all sort of ships,” recalls Guldner. “So, I thought that was a very interesting nice little adventure to go on a sailing trip on the Baltic Sea.”

Guldner knew a few friends from his time in the United States who were also on board. In fact, a lot of the travelers knew one another.

Realizing she was the odd one out, Erickson immediately introduced herself to everyone, including Guldner. She shook his hand and grinned at him.

“I liked her smile,” Guldner recalls now. He was also impressed, and intrigued by, Nicole’s extroverted, friendly nature — introducing herself to everyone right away seemed very American.

The ship weighed anchor and left the orange roofs of Kiel behind. The travelers got the rundown of the ship, and a reminder from the handful of crew present that they’d all be embracing the spirit of the adventure and helping with the ship’s upkeep.

For now though, the group could relax and gain their sea legs. There was luminous sunshine that first day and Guldner set himself up on deck.

He had just begun reading the book he’d brought with him — “Sophie’s World” by Norwegian author Jostein Gaarder — when Erickson, wandering the deck, stopped to chat to him. Coincidentally, she’d brought the same novel for the trip.

It was the perfect ice breaker and they soon moved away from talking about books to his time in the United States and hers in Germany — and what they were doing next. Erickson spoke excitedly about her round-the-world trip.

It wasn’t love at first sight, says Erickson. But something clicked for them both, and they realized how well they got on.

“Neither of us ever finished the book,” says Guldner, laughing.

Life on board