After more than two years, the first cruise ship, Norwegian Cruise Lines’ Norwegian Pearl, has returned to call on Bar Harbor, Maine on 14 April 2022. Sailing today with some of the highest levels of COVID-19 mitigation, virtually unmatched by any commercial setting, the return of cruise to Maine’s shores is a huge milestone for the industry.
“Maine is a marquee New England destination offering spectacular scenery, recreational opportunities, and terrific cuisine, and also serves as the gateway to the United States and a port of call along the way to and from destinations in Canada, the Caribbean, and beyond for ocean-going cruise ships,” said Kelly Craighead, President and CEO of Cruise Lines International Association. “Prior to the pandemic, the cruise industry contributed $68 million in direct economic spend and created over 1,000 jobs in Maine amounting to $36 million in wages. The industry looks forward to once again contributing to Maine’s vibrant economy and to share with guests, from the around the world, this treasured destination.”
Since cruising restarted in July of 2020, more than 7.5 million passengers have sailed around the world. These sailings have demonstrated time and time again that the measures the cruise industry has adopted not only go above and beyond what has been expected and required from them, but they are also proving successful in virtually eliminating severe outcomes. As a result, our members are able to identify and address cases of COVID-19 swiftly based on pre-arranged response plans at no burden to public health resources of the communities that we visit. An exceptional achievement that the industry is extremely proud of.
As the industry resumes operations in Maine, and with nearly 100 percent of CLIA members ocean-going fleet projected to be in operation by the end of July 2022, responsible tourism management is not only a top priority for the industry, but it is a business imperative. We are committed to working closely with our port partners and other stakeholders in the communities that we visit so that the relationship is a mutually beneficial one from an environmental sustainability, destination stewardship, and public health perspective.
“As business owners, the return of cruisers means better and more opportunities to not only to see people but to expand our business as well,” said Roxanne and Jay Udasi, owners of Acadia Jewels. “We are excited to see cruisers return, it’s a sign that things are going back to some sense of normalcy.”
The cruise industry is sailing back better, and we know that Maine will be an integral part of the bright future ahead for the cruise community.