Tuesday night, July 7, town councillors voted to take that step after ACL-American Cruise Lines presented a plan to resume sailings this summer with itineraries visiting several Maine coast towns.
According to Paul Taiclet (ACL's VP), the company's safety plan included testing requirements and reduced passenger capacity (on all ships) to ~60 passengers and 40 crew per vessel. He added that passengers would be required to follow local ordinances, including mask-wearing. Taiclet said the company had spoken with first responders and local hospitals about plans for transporting and isolating passengers that might contract the virus.
However, Bar Harbor officials were against the idea. According to Councilor Jill Goldthwait, local residents were already on edge about the Coronavirus, particularly as many tourists returned to Mount Desert Island while cases continued to rise.
The council overwhelmingly voted to close the port city to cruise ships for the remainder of this year's season. Only one councillor, Stephen Coston, supported the plan from American, saying that he viewed the relatively small vessels from the company as more like a floating hotel, with lower risk than bigger ships.