Bar Harbor, Maine Votes to Drastically Reduce Cruise Ship Visits
As a life-long and avid cruiser, I actually completely understand this. Though passengers who have upcoming cruises with stops in Bar Harbor, Maine may not be as understanding.
Over the last decade or so, the port of Bar Harbor has exploded in popularity as a cruise ship destination during the summer and autumn months. However, the city council is moving forward with plans to significantly reduce the number of passenger ships the port welcomes each year.
Ships from cruise lines all over the world including Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Holland American and others dock in Maine all 'tourist-season' long each year. But how many ships total do you think visit Bar Harbor, Maine each year on average?
If you guessed 25, you're wrong. If you guessed 50, 100, even 150, you're still wrong. In fact, you're still off by a whole heck of a lot. The port is expecting some 180 cruise ships in the 2022 season alone. However, that could all be changing, and fast.
The city council voted to adopt a draft of a new policy that, when implemented, would reduce the number of ships allowed to visit the port each year. The proposal could even impact this upcoming Maine tourist season by potentially taking the number of ships visiting from 180 to 110.
That may not seem like a massive change, but if you guesstimate the average number of guests getting off and visiting from any given ship could be around 3,000, that's a reduction of an estimated 210,000 cash-spending patrons to local shops and businesses. (That's my own math, not the city's!)
According to WABI TV 5, the council is also going to seek advice from a maritime lawyer before they make any concrete decisions. Bar Harbor town Councilor Goldthwwait said,
”I believe that every single person on this council expressed a need for limits. We maybe haven’t arrived at exact numbers yet, but we are united in understanding what the community asked us for, and that is to limit the volume of ships, people, however you want to describe it.”
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