Portland gets 1st cruise ship of season

Posted June 03, 2011, at 12:22 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — Portland’s cruise ship season is getting under way with a visit from a 98-passenger vessel.

The American Cruise Lines’ ship Independence, the first of 59 cruise ships scheduled to visit port this summer, arrives Saturday morning at the at the Ocean Gateway terminal. The ship will stay overnight before leaving Sunday afternoon for Boothbay Harbor.

The first large cruise ship to stop in Portland will be the 2,250-passenger Enchantment, which arrives June 18.

In all, city officials say they are expecting a record 86,000 cruise ship passengers to visit Portland from June through October.