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Robust Canada/New England program reflects range of lines, issues

Bar Harbor - setting for the June 7-9 symposium
Fourteen cruise brands will be represented at the Canada/New England Cruise Symposium in Bar Harbor, Maine, reflecting the variety of operators visiting or considering the region where summer deployment is on the rise.

They range from new small-ship line Haimark Travel to Royal Caribbean International, which will deploy Anthem of the Seas in Canada/New England in fall 2016, and from Disney Cruise Line to Viking Ocean Cruises, which—so far—sails exclusively in Europe. Canada/New England summer stalwarts Holland America Line and American Cruise Lines/Pearl Seas Cruises are among the other brands registered.

'It's a great representation because this region attracts such a variety of income levels and activity levels, with fall drawing the older travelers and summertime cruises the multigenerational families,' said Amy Powers, director of CruiseMaineUSA, the 2015 symposium organizer.

The diversity extends to the conference topics of the June 7-9 event. With summer cruises on the rise, experts will address how lines are broadening their shore excursions to appeal to more active visitors, families with children and multigenerational travelers. And, with a very large ship like Anthem of the Seas coming to the region, there will be discussion about what has to happen to ensure seamless operations.

In a region that aims to be proactive on regulatory matters, experts will field topics such as the US Coast Guard's proposed cruise terminal security regulations, Customs and Border Protection matters and how industry is coping with the first season of the North American Emissions Control Area's 0.1% sulfur limit.

Other topics include the shared task of sustainability, an update on the effectiveness of the voluntary right whale ship strike avoidance initiative and a water quality assessment. Another session will deal with emerging trends, and regional updates will be presented by the leaders of CruiseMaineUSA, Cruise Atlantic Canada, Cruise the Saint Lawrence, Cruiseport Boston and NYCruise.

The presidents panel consists of Adam Goldstein, president and chief operating officer, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.; Charles Robertson, chairman and ceo, American Cruise Lines/Pearl Seas Cruises; Hans Rood, president, Haimark Travel; and Charlie Ball, evp land operations & customer service for the Holland America Group. The moderator is Carolyn Spencer Brown, editor in chief, Cruise Critic.

The emerging trends session, moderated by Cruise the Saint Lawrence executive director René Trépanier, has scheduled speakers including Russell Daya, director, deployment, maritime & safety, Disney Cruise Line; Matt Grimes, owner's representative/product development, Viking Cruises; Tom Spina, vp port operations, Norwegian Cruise Line/Oceania Cruises/Regent Seven Seas Cruises; and Dustin Nason, director, worldwide port operations, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd.

The regulatory panel features Tom Dow, vp public affairs, Carnival Corp.; Rich Pruitt, vp safety & environmental stewardship, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.; and Susan Monteverde, vp governmental affairs, American Association of Port Authorities. The moderator is Michael Vanderbeek, deputy director, Massport/Cruiseport Boston.

Among the speakers for the sustainability session are Jane Disney, Mount Desert Island Water Quality Coalition; Tom Anderson, director of shore excursions, Princess Cruises/Holland America Line/Seabourn; and Royal Caribbean's Rich Pruitt.

An official welcome will be extended by Maine Office of Tourism director Carolann Ouellette, Maine Department of Economic & Community Development commission George Gervais and Bar Harbor town manager Cornell Knight.

Some attendees will begin their familiarization tour of New England in Boston and visit greater Portland, Bath, Boothbay Harbor, Rockland, Camden, Belfast and Bucksport en route to Bar Harbor.

Until May 8, a block of rooms is available at the Harborside Hotel, Spa & Marina in downtown Bar Harbor.