No extra cruisers! Prime Maine port votes to severely prohibit cruise ship guests

The residents of Bar Harbor, Maine, have had it with cruise ships and cruisers.

By a large margin, they voted on Tuesday to severely prohibit the variety of cruise passengers that would go to the resort city on any given day, in a transfer that would have a major influence on cruises to the area.

The voters handed a petition that may restrict the variety of cruisers who can come ashore within the city to simply 1,000 a day, far fewer than at the moment go to Bar Harbor on some days throughout the the height summer season vacationer season.

Some cruise ships that go to Bar Harbor corresponding to Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas can carry almost 5,000 passengers.

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The vote, which got here within the wake of rising complaints about cruise-ship guests within the city, might imply most of the vessels that at the moment cease at Bar Harbor will now not be capable to name there.

About 58% of three,053 residents who voted have been in favor of the petition, with roughly 42% in opposition to it — a 16-point margin. Bar Harbor has a inhabitants of round 5,000 folks.

The vote got here simply two months after Bar Harbor’s city council voted to implement limits on cruise-ship passengers that have been strict however not almost to the diploma of what was specified by the petition.

The city council in September formally authorised an settlement with the cruise business that positioned caps on cruiser arrivals throughout the vacationer season of between 30,000 and 65,000 a month beginning in 2023. The settlement included day by day caps in cruise customer arrivals that ranged from 3,500 to three,800 folks a day, relying on the month.

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The settlement additionally banned ship arrivals throughout the shoulder-season tourism months of April and November.

Associated: 6 methods you’ll be able to smash your cruise right away

“We now have had a transparent message from the general public that they need cruise ships decreased,” Bar Harbor city council member Erin Cough stated on the time. “We have been requested by our group to do one thing, and that is our greatest effort at doing one thing that’s affordable.”

Each the city council’s effort to restrict cruiser visits and the success of Tuesday’s petition come amid rising unease within the city about hovering numbers of cruise guests. Some residents have referred to as for a whole ban on cruise ships, whereas others have needed to see important cutbacks in ship arrivals, citing rising congestion within the city.

The variety of vessels visiting Bar Harbor, the gateway to Acadia Nationwide Park, has grown quickly lately, excluding 2020 and 2021, when the COVID-19-related shutdown of the cruise business brought on ship arrivals to lower.

In 2019, Bar Harbor welcomed 157 cruise ships that carried 250,164 passengers. This yr, projections referred to as for 174 cruise ships to reach carrying 292,212 passengers. Ultimate numbers for 2022 haven’t but been launched.

In a 2021 survey of Bar Harbor residents and enterprise homeowners, 55% of respondents stated they considered cruise ships as having a destructive influence in town.

Bar Harbor is only one of a rising variety of locations together with Venice, Italy, and Key West, Florida, the place residents have been calling for limits on ship arrivals, citing congestion and different detrimental results.

Cruise strains that function voyages with stops in Bar Harbor embody Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruises, Holland America, Oceania Cruises, Silversea Cruises, Windstar Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

Tuesday’s vote to severely restrict cruise ship passenger arrivals might face authorized challenges from the cruise business.

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