The busiest cruise port in Maine, Bar Harbor, had its first call on April 28 when ms Zaandam arrived in Frenchman Bay. The 1,400-passenger vessel was back in port on Friday as she made the return leg from visiting Canadian ports. Amadea called on May 5.
Bar Harbor is expected to get 177 visits in 2019, and Portland (Maine’s 2nd-busiest cruise port) is scheduled to get one hundred. There are fewer bookings than there were in 2018 when a total of 181 visits were scheduled but at least 20 cancellations limited the number of actual calls to around 160.
Most often, bad weather is the reason for canceled cruise calls in Bar Harbor, where vessels drop anchor in Frenchman Bay and ferry travelers ashore via tenders. More than 100 of the visits to Bar Harbor are scheduled from September through November. Of Portland’s one hundred scheduled calls, 58 are due during that same period.
If none of the scheduled calls to Bar Harbour is canceled, the port town would handle 275,000 cruise passengers this year, assuming all the vessels are fully booked and all guests come ashore. Portland ME would handle over 150,000 passengers in 2019 if none of its scheduled calls is canceled.
According to economic impact studies, cruise ship companies and passengers directly spend tens of millions in Maine each year.