Busy cruise ship visit season expected in Maine

Posted May 15, 2010, at 5:18 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — A Greek super-yacht is expected to arrive in Portland next week, the first of a record 71 ships scheduled to visit the city this year.

The Portland Press Herald reports that schedule translates to about 78,630 passengers. Since 2008, the number of cruise ships visiting the state has doubled.

Bar Harbor also expects a record, at 118 ship visits.

Amy Powers of CruiseMaine believes there are reasons for the increase: Cruise lines have been building new boats and sending older ones to the Northeast; the port of New York has created more berthing space, so cruise lines can increase the number of voyages; and stepped-up environmental regulations in Alaska and a new state “head tax” there have prompted cruise lines to move more business east.

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