ROCKLAND, Maine — The City Council voted 3-2 Wednesday night to pass a cruise ship policy that will not limit the number of boats, the size of the ships allowed in the port, nor how often large ships visit.
The draft policy presented at the beginning of the meeting intended for the city to accept only six large ships of more than 800 passengers per year and only 15 medium cruise ships that would hold 150 to 799 passengers per year.
The council voted to strike any restraints on the industry.
Some council members called any measures to limit the cruise ship industry premature as the harbor master reported that only three large ships are scheduled to visit the port in the next two years.
The policy also will charge cruise ships $8 per passenger. These fees will go toward public services, including police, but also will be used to improve the Rockland waterfront.
Among concerns raised by Rockland’s Harbor Management Commission are that the more populated ships may result in tourists overrunning the parks and possibly stress local police, fire and emergency medical service resources.
Business leaders in the community supported the vote.
“I’m excited we will have an unrestricted opportunity,” said Frank Isganitis, a local business owner.