Bar Harbor Considers Further Limiting Cruise Port Calls

The town of Bar Harbor in Maine is surveying its residents regarding cruise ship stops, according to News Center Maine. The NBC-affiliated local news site said that Bar Harbor is not anticipating any cruise ship visitations in 2021, but it is “looking to make some possible changes for when the ships do return.”

“I’m very interested to hear what a majority of our residents think and also to hear what the businesses think,” Bar Harbor Town Councilor Gary Friedman was quoted as saying.

“Some believe that all businesses love cruise ships, but that’s just not true. Many of them don’t benefit and even feel that their businesses are hurt by the impacts of cruise visitation,” Friedman added.

The councilor acknowledged to News Center Maine that the cruise ship visitation generated a million dollar per year pre-pandemic but added that many Bar Harbor residents are against these port calls.

According to News Center Maine, Friedman believes that the survey results will provide the information the town council needs to help it “eventually draft a local referendum question about cruise ship guidelines.”

Friedman said that possible changes to cruise ship stops could be “limiting the number of days a week that cruise ships are allowed,” “limiting the number of ships per season,” “limiting the number of passengers in town on a given day.” He added that so far, the response to the survey has been large and indicating – at least, preliminary – that most people want to see “some kind of limits to cruise ship visitation.”

According to News Center Maine, Bar Harbor’s current limitations allow 3,500 passengers in July-August and 5,500 guests throughout the rest of the year.

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