Wed. Jun 7th, 2023

This previous week’s arrival of a cruise ship with the biggest quantity of passengers to take a look at Eastport is a prelude to a quantity of midsize vessels that will be coming to the island city this fall.

The Zaandam, a 778-foot Holland America Line cruise ship with 1,345 passengers and more than 550 crew members on board, arrived for a day in Eastport on Might 22.

“It was possibly the most prosperous cruise ship take a look at the port has ever had,” stated Chris Gardner, executive director of the Eastport Port Authority. “All of the passengers gave rave critiques of Eastport, saying, ‘It’s a gem’ and ‘What a wonderful city you have.’”

He noted region corporations reported “a tremendous day” in sales, with Raye’s Mustard posting the ideal single day ever in financial activity. Other passengers inquired about purchasing house in Eastport.

“It was a huge audition for us, and we nailed it,” Gardner stated of the take a look at.

Destinations North America (DNA), which is now the coordinator for onshore activities by the passengers, rented buses and arranged for trips to the Roosevelt Campobello International Park and Calais, along with whale-watching and walking tours. About 165 passengers went on the trips, although other individuals got off to stroll about the town.

Gardner says DNA brought “a level of professionalism” to the tours, which “went off without having a hitch.”

“All of the men and women who got us right here deserve the credit,” he stated of the day’s achievement, mentioning in specific Tessa Ftorek, Chris Brown and Jett Peterson.

Visits scheduled for fall

In the course of the Might 15 meeting of the port authority board, Gardner noted that, although the port authority desires all cruise ship visits to go nicely, this take a look at was specially crucial, as it “may lead to a stronger connection with Holland America in the coming years.”

The Zaandam is the biggest cruise ship that Eastport will see this year, and Gardner points out that cruise ship corporations like Holland America are hunting at altering the ports they take a look at in Maine, which is getting driven by the restrictions that Bar Harbor is searching for to impose on cruise ship passengers.

Final fall, the residents of Bar Harbor authorized an ordinance putting a 1,000-per- day cap on the quantity of passengers that can disembark. Considering that a quantity of regional corporations have filed suit difficult the ordinance, it has not however taken impact.

“It’s a tremendous chance, if we do this correct,” Gardner stated. “The alterations in Bar Harbor are generating Eastport that considerably extra appealing to the sector.”

He noted the island city will continue “to stay the friendliest cruise port in Maine.”

Only 3 ports in the state — Bar Harbor, Portland and Eastport — can deal with ships getting into from other nations, considering that they give customs clearance and have safety plans authorized by the U.S. Coast Guard, so a quantity of the lines that had been going to Bar Harbor are thinking of Portland and Eastport.

“We can not take the mega-vessels — these are going to Portland — but we hope to extend the season and fill in the middle for the duration of the summer time, when Eastport showcases its ideal.”

Midsize cruise ships in the 400-foot to 700-foot variety have scheduled 13 visits to the city this fall. Amongst the lines that will be coming in September, October and early November are Hurtigruten, whose vessel the Roald Amundsen stopped by Eastport final year, Viking Ocean Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Ponant, American Queen Voyages, Windstar Cruises and Oceania Cruises.

Destinations North America took more than arranging the tours for passengers in Eastport, as the regional coordinators for the port authority, Chris Brown and Tessa Ftorek, have decided to step back.

“We’ve gotten out of the tour company,” stated Gardner. “Other ports that host cruise lines companion with the business to conduct tour packages.”

Although Eastport has not had the volume of cruise ships and passengers to warrant making use of Destinations North America in the previous, that is now altering.

The cruise lines contract straight with DNA, “which removes us from any liability” for the duration of the tours, Gardner says. Although Destinations North America will set up their personal tours, the port authority can employ them “to run something on our behalf, like setting up vendors in the welcome center.”

On Might 9, the port authority held an informational meeting with interested company partners about the ongoing cruise ship activities and the alterations brought on by Chris Brown and Tessa Ftorek’s semi-retirement. Destinations North America is now the conduit for how region corporations can make contact with a cruise line.

In the course of the meeting there was some discussion about how activities that DNA may not be performing, such as alerting regional corporations about cruise ship arrivals or group promoting, should really now be the duty of the Eastport Location Chamber of Commerce.

“DNA will present insurance coverage and make sure a level of professionalism” for the duration of the onshore tours, Gardner noted.

Other company

In other company for the duration of the Might 15 meeting of the port authority board, the tugboat policy was revisited. The port authority board had voted at its April meeting to suspend its policy that all ships coming and going to the port terminal need to be accompanied by a tug, no matter if or not they need to have one particular.

Soon after the board met with the president of McAllister Towing, Brian Fournier, they decided at the Might meeting not to suspend the policy. The escort requirement is a security measure in case a ship loses energy.

For the subsequent importation of wood chips, scheduled for June, the port authority is operating to have the bulk conveyor method no longer use direct energy supplied by Versant Energy and rather use its transportable generators, which will save the port authority cash more than the extended-term for the reason that of the hikes in electric prices.

The function is getting completed each by Riverside Electric and in-home, and the price to make the transform and relocate the generators is anticipated to be about $ten,000 to $15,000.

The port authority is operating with the new terminal operator, Logistec Terminals, to arrange for extended-term berthing at the Estes Head pier each for a Cooke Aquaculture vessel and a tugboat owned by a new towing business operated by Ellic Motram.

The floats on the north side of the breakwater have been anticipated to be placed back in the water for the duration of the week, and installation of the replacement crane on the south side is anticipated in the coming weeks.

Sign up for the Downeast Monitor, a free of charge newsletter made by The Maine Monitor, to remain informed of what’s taking place in Washington County.This story was initially published by the Quoddy Tides, and is republished right here with permission. 

Edward French is the editor and publisher of The Quoddy Tides, a twice a month newspaper founded by his mother Winifred French in 1968. The Quoddy Tides, primarily based in Eastport, is the most easterly newspaper published in the United States and covers eastern Washington County, Maine, and western Charlotte County, New Brunswick, which includes the Fundy Isles.

By Editor

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