Rockland ME City Council has voted 3-2 Monday night, August 13, to impose a limit on the number of big cruise ships that can sail into the harbor.
The vote came at the end of a 3-hour meeting which included 2 hours of public comment, almost exclusively on the cruise liner issue, in which the public was again nearly evenly divided.
The order approved by the city council sets no limits on cruise vessels that carry up to 500 cruise passengers, other than that there can be no more than 2 at a time.
Cruise ships carrying more than 500 passengers would not be allowed for ten months of the year. The only time they can sail into the harbor would be September-October when there would be a limit of 6 per year.
The daily passenger maximum in September-October would be 3000 with monthly limit of 9,000 cruise passengers.
The limits will be annually reviewed.
The berthing anchorage reservations on file at Rockland Harbor Master’s office include 2 reservations for 2018 for cruise liners that carry 500 or more guests.
Crystal Symphony is due to arrive in Rockland on September 4, carrying 940 travellers.
For next year, just 1 reservation has been received for the bigger cruise ships. The sole booking for 2019 is Sapphire Princess which can carry a total of 3,160 passengers.
Cruise ships which already have reservations are exempt from the limits.