Citing the large volume of feedback on the subject, Bar Harbor Town Council on Tuesday, April 7, cancelled all scheduled cruise ship calls through the end of June 2020.
According to councilor Jill Goldthwait, councilors had received an “extraordinary volume of email” from residents concerning the expected visits from cruise ships, a number of which have had passengers and crew get sick from Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Many who live in Bar Harbor recommended cancelling the 2020 cruise season altogether (around 200 ship calls scheduled between late April-early November) that is projected to bring almost 300,000 passengers to the port town. The town council had already cancelled two calls scheduled for late April. Some cruise companies had cancelled additional visits on their own. Cruise ship calls in Portland (Maine’s 2nd-busiest) scheduled on/before May 12 have also been cancelled.
Industry observers are expecting cruise operators of large ships that can carry thousands of people to cancel their Maine calls from April through June 2020 because of a ban through July 1 on cruise operations in Canadian waters. In keeping with federal maritime laws, foreign-registered cruise ships make calls in Canada as part of each sailing along the Maine coast.
Cruise ship calls are considered a major contributor to the coastal tourist economy of Maine each summer. According to cruise industry studies, each year passengers and cruise lines spend tens of millions in Maine.
Some cruise ships have cancelled Bar Harbor calls after June 30.
MS Zaandam has cancelled visits scheduled for July 5, August 30, September 13, and September 27, but still has 9 visits scheduled between July 3-October 24. The Holland America ship cut short a South American sailing last month after 4 passengers onboard died, 2 of them from COVID-19.
Ritz-Carlton Evrima cancelled visits scheduled for September 29, October 4, and October 26.
For Coronavirus updates on cruise ship quarantines (infected passengers and crew) and top-pandemic countries (COVID-19 cases and deaths, daily updated statistics) see at CruiseMapper's Norovirus page.