A picturesque summer day in beautiful Bar Harbor, Maine.
Photo © 2010 Aaron Saunders

Despite the impact that Hurricane Earl had on the Maritimes a few weeks ago, the Bangor Daily News reports that Bar Harbor, Maine is on track to play host to a record 111 cruise ship visits this year.

The sleepy tourist town, nestled at the base of Cadillac Mountain, only has a year-round population of just under five thousand.  On Thursday, that number will double as Norwegian Dawn, Crystal Symphony and Eurodam position themselves in the harbor and tender their passengers ashore.

Before this year, the record number of cruise ship calls stood at 97 in 2008, meaning 2010 represents a total increase of 14 individual calls; nothing to sniff at considering only 22 visits were recorded in all of 1990.

 Main Street, Bar Harbor.
Photo © 2010 Aaron Saunders

Bar Harbor is the quintessential New England town.  Seafood here is a huge draw, and for good reason: the lobster is likely to be some of the best you’ll ever eat, and there’s no shortage of restaurants catering to those craving the best of the best.  Maine Blueberries are also abundant, and make an excellent compliment to the seafood delights you’re likely to experience.  Grown on low shrubs, these blueberries are exceptionally sweet and flavorful.  In fact, once you’ve tried them, it’s tough to resist buying some blueberry jam or preserves to take home for you to enjoy later!

Bar Harbor’s record cruise ship numbers are further proof of the expansion of the Canada & New England cruise market.  Once only served from September to late October, some lines now call in this region as early as March and April, and Holland America offers regular voyages to the region as early as May.

This year, Saint John, New Brunswick also saw increased port calls, as did Halifax, Nova Scotia and Portland, Maine.  Even with the advent of Hurricane Earl, which disrupted cruise traffic to the region for about a week, many cities along the Eastern seaboard are poised to have their best years ever; a situation which bodes well for passengers and municipalities alike.

For more information on Bar Harbor, including a complete cruise ship schedule, be sure to visit the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce website.


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