One of Maine’s most beloved and visited tourist destinations just severely capped the amount of cruise ship passengers that are allowed to visit the town daily.

Bar Harbor, Maine

Maine’s coastal town of Bar Harbor has high tourist traffic year-round, whether it’s people flocking to the rocky shores in the summertime, leaf-peeping on the mountain peaks in fall, or immersing themselves in the spirit of Christmas in the winter.

As the home to Maine’s iconic National Park, both tourists and locals flock to the infamous spot.

It is such a celebrated place that even the renowned publication Travel + Leisure recently shared an article talking about the new change.

Bar Harbor Caps Daily Cruise Ship Passengers

Because of its beauty and tourist traps, Bar Harbor is a hotspot for cruise ships when weather permits. As Travel + Leisure shared, the daily cap on cruise ship passengers used to be 5,500 but the town just passed a citizen’s petition, Article 3, which now limits daily passengers, including crew, to 1,000.

The final vote came with both acceptance and backlash, as it was a citizen’s petition sparked by the town’s own desires; However, as the article shares, cruise visitors contribute tens of millions of dollars annually to the economy and support hundreds of local jobs.

But, the vote passed by more than 58%, and the majority rules.

While this will limit foot traffic and make the Maine destination way more bearable during tourist seasons, it will be an interesting change to navigate. As shared, 95% of ships that frequent the area have a capacity that exceeds the 1,000-passenger limit enacted by Bar Harbor.

For those of you who may have a cruise coming up, fret not, this does not apply to ships that were booked before July 18, 2021.

While I obviously support anything that boosts our local economy and supports our local shops, it is frustrating and hard to deal with the thousands of people who flock into town on a daily basis during tourist season. Limiting this will give breathing room to workers and locals but it will be interesting to see how it affects business during the summer.

That being said, I have enough faith in Bar Harbor’s tourism and local foot traffic that they will be just fine.

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