It’s probably not a surprise to anyone that Maine’s biggest and busiest cruise season is autumn. The leaves are changing, there’s a crispness in the air, and people are exciting to get out and explore before cold winter days kick in.
The first day of fall saw the season’s busiest day this year, with ships coming into Eastport, Rockland, Bar Harbor, and Portland. It’s projected that Maine will see the most cruise guests ever this year, with a total of 283,000 expected to visit by the end of October.
Portland is also expected to break their 100,000 cruise passenger mark this season. Although last year saw more ships in the city than this year will, passenger count is up by 6 percent nonetheless. The city welcomed the ship Arcadia and her 2,016 passengers on Thursday morning, which had set sail from London. Many of her guests were visiting Portland and the United States for the very first time. Arcadia passenger Janine Harris was asked what she was looking forward to in Portland; “Just this quiet little American town, really. The way America should be, the way you see it on the TV.” What a neat welcome to our country!
Bar Harbor saw the highest cruise traffic on Thursday, where three ships made port carrying nearly 5,000 guests all together.
The latest data from the visitors bureau show cruise guests spent approximately $6 million in Maine in 2014. It sounds like the northeastern state has a booming tourism economy, and it is well deserved.
Information via NBC affiliate MLBZ2