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October 29, 2018

Bucksport aims to pitch itself as cruise ship destination

Bucksport, a 5,000-population town on the Penobscot River, will start pitching itself to major passenger cruise lines this winter, in a bid to boost visits from tourists. The news comes about two weeks after the town welcomed the Hurtigruten Group's MS Fram, the first international cruise ship with a scheduled stop in Bucksport, on Oct. 18.

Bucksport, a 5,000-population town on the Penobscot River, will start pitching itself to major passenger cruise lines this winter, the Bangor Daily News reported, citing Richard Rotella, the town's economic development director.

The news comes about two weeks after the town welcomed the Hurtigruten Group's MS Fram, the first international cruise ship with a scheduled stop in Bucksport, on Oct. 18.

While foreign ships have anchored in Bucksport before, it was only in bad weather or when scheduled destinations were overcrowded, harbormaster Michael Ormsby told the newspaper.

Separately, town manager Susan Lessard said that Bucksport doesn't mind welcoming ships even just as a place to get on buses to Acadia National Park in nearby Bar Harbor.

"Even if most of them want to go [to Acadia]," she is quoted as saying, we'll still get those who want to come here. I am not concerned about being overwhelmed with waves of people."

Bar Harbor and Portland lead the pack for 2018 scheduled cruise ship stops, in a season that runs through early November. Rockland has put a cap on cruise visits to six a year, while several Mount Desert Island towns don't allow cruise ship traffic anymore, according to the BDN.

The cruise industry has a significant impact on Maine's economy, contributing $47 million in direct spending in 2014, according to data posted by CruiseMaine, an organization formed in 2002 to promote the State of Maine as a whole to the cruise ship industry.

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