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CLIA welcomes cruising's return to Maine

Norwegian Pearl at Bar Harbor on April 14
Cruise Lines International Association welcomed the return of big-ship cruising to Maine after more than two years with Norwegian Pearl's visit to Bar Harbor on Thursday.

(Last year, small-ship operator American Cruise Lines made 165 calls in the state.)

'Maine is a marquee New England destination offering spectacular scenery, recreational opportunities and terrific cuisine, and also serves as the gateway to the United States and a port of call along the way to and from destinations in Canada, the Caribbean and beyond for oceangoing cruise ships,' CLIA President and CEO Kelly Craighead said.

$68m in direct spending pre-pandemic

According to CLIA, pre-pandemic, the cruise industry contributed $68m in direct spending and created more than 1,000 jobs in Maine, amounting to $36m in wages.

'The industry looks forward to once again contributing to Maine’s vibrant economy and to share with guests from the around the world this treasured destination,' Craighead said.

As earlier reported, some 360 calls at Maine ports are scheduled this season. 

More than 7.5m have cruised since July 2020

Since cruising restarted in July 2020, more than 7.5m passengers have sailed around the world. CLIA said this demonstrates the effectiveness of COVID-19 measures that go above and beyond requirements and have virtually eliminated severe outcomes.

Member lines are able to identify and address cases of COVID-19 swiftly, CLIA said, based on pre-arranged response plans at no burden to public health resources of the communities visited.

Aiming for mutually beneficial relationship

'We are committed to working closely with our port partners and other stakeholders in the communities that we visit so that the relationship is a mutually beneficial one from an environmental sustainability, destination stewardship and public health perspective,' the association added.

Roxanne and Jay Udasi, owners of Acadia Jewels in Bar Harbor, expressed their excitement to see cruisers return, adding: 'It’s a sign that things are going back to some sense of normalcy.'