Cruise tourism in expected to have gone overboard in Maine

Published on : Monday, June 11, 2018

Cruise tourismTwenty years back, Valerie Peacock was the assistant harbormaster here and the influx of a cruise ship was a new event. A great passenger liner would drop anchor, and locals hanging around the town pier, adults read the paper; kids play around with bicycles, teens jigging for pollock – would stop and stare at the spectacle.

 
“It was kind of exciting, and people would come in to town just to see them,” says Peacock, now an education consultant. “People were coming to town in a different way, and the ships were exciting, and we as harbormasters had to work out how to get the tenders into the town pier and how to get the people on and off them.”

 
“The town never stopped to think if they wanted the cruise ship or not,” she adds. “It just happened.”

 
After almost two decades, the novelty has vanished. Bar Harbor hopes 230,000 cruise ship passengers to March on shore on Water Street this year, a 257 percent jump from 2003, roaring traffic with tour buses and overwhelming sidewalks for blocks around on busy fall days. From the top of Cadillac Mountain, the 17 storied tall ships with 6,400 passengers and crew will dwarf the Porcupine Islands and add plumes of exhaust to Acadia National Park’s most famous vista.

 


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