EASTPORT, Maine — Eastport and a local volunteer who helps promote the town as a destination for cruise ships is being honored with a prestigious award from The World, the world’s largest privately owned yacht, which visited the town for the first time in 2012.
The award will specifically honor Chris Brown, a local businessman and volunteer, for the extra effort he put in amid all the other planning and coordination that went on in the community to prepare for The World’s visit.
“The personalized service and attention to detail that you deliver is well beyond the most stringent industry standards,” reads the announcement that was emailed to Brown.
The World visited Eastport last October, the ship’s first visit to the town. The World is a privately owned yacht with 165 private residences onboard. It’s been circumnavigating the globe since the ship was launched in 2002, according to its website.
Brown said it was a team effort bringing The World to Eastport.
The award “is based on the experience they had in Eastport,” Brown said. “I’m not one to take credit. If it wasn’t for the team of people and merchant groups we got to go on this thing, I wouldn’t be getting anything.”
Amy Powers, director of CruiseMaine, the Windham-based organization that promotes Maine ports to the cruise ship industry, and who worked hard to attract The World to Eastport, said the honor would help Eastport stand out for its exceptional service.
“We’ve been recognized by the best of the best,” Powers said. “They only spent one day in that area and the impression was everlasting, obviously.”
Powers called it “a very, very distinguished award given this ship travels all over the world.”
Indeed, joining Brown in being honored are people and organizations in Bermuda, French Polynesia, Australia and New Zealand.
Brown said The World and its resident passengers “were impressed by little community that came out for them.”
“Cruise ships in Portland and Bar Harbor are a regular event and no one makes a big deal out of any one ship,” he said. Whereas, in Eastport, “the town turned out to welcome them.”
Brown expects the award will help promote Eastport in the future.
“The fact is we come out of it with a service award from one of most demanding lines in the business,” he said. “It is a big deal in that it’s something we can point to [to show] our ability to service the cruise ship industry.”
Brown is the owner of S.L. Wadsworth and Son in Eastport, the nation’s oldest ship chandlery. His family has been in the town for seven generations, he said.
“I’m invested in Eastport and its future,” he said.
Brown and Powers will attend a ceremony to receive the honor in early March in Florida, where The World is based.
Another person receiving the honor from The World is Vaughn McIntyre, who helped welcome the cruise ship to St. Andrews-by-the-Sea, a town on the Canadian side of Passamaquoddy Bay, during the same visit to the area.
The World won’t be visiting Passamaquoddy Bay this year, as it’s off circumnavigating the globe, Brown said. He doesn’t expect to see the ship again until perhaps 2015.