By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,588)
Portland will host 76 cruise ships this year for the first time. More than 100,000 passengers are expected between May and October which is a record. The 76 ships will also bring more than 40,000 crew with them. The cruise ship activity is in addition to The Cat, which will ferry visitors daily between Portland and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. The ferry service was approved last night by the City Council.
The Cat, managed by Bay Ferries Ltd. will be a faster run between the two ports – taking only 5 hours to make the trip. As in the past, it will be berthed at Portland’s Ocean Gateway terminal. The previous ferry between the two ports, Nova Star, was financially unsuccessful and has filed for bankruptcy – leaving many creditors in its wake.
The first ship arrives in Portland Harbor on Sunday, May 8th and the last visit is on October 29th according to a press release from the city. It will carry about 1,100 passengers.
In 2012, Maine accounted for an estimated $45 million in cruise industry direct spending. The cruise industry generated 801 jobs and wages totaling $27 million in income for Maine workers.