The cruise ships Maasdam, in rear, and St. Laurent lie at anchor in Frenchman Bay off Bar Harbor on a calm morning last year. Bar Harbor was recently named a top cruise ship destination. ISLANDER FILE PHOTO

Bar Harbor is named top cruise destination

BAR HARBOR —Bar Harbor has just been named a top-rated U.S. and Canada cruise destination in Cruise Critic’s Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards.

Cruise Critic is a leading cruise review site and online community. These awards are given to 15 regions worldwide and are based on consumer ratings submitted with reviews on the Cruise Critic website.

“Many times the cruise ship passenger is visiting Maine, and specifically Bar Harbor, for the first time, and they fall in love with the area,” said Martha Searchfield, executive director of the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce.

Data from Cruise Maine show that more than 33 percent of all passengers visiting Maine commented that they intend to return for an extended land-based stay to a port visited by the cruise ship they were on.

“We are so excited to be named the second-most popular cruise destination in the U.S. and Canada, following San Francisco,” said Searchfield. “The cruise ships that port in Bar Harbor are a very important economic driver for the area. We’ve found that individual passengers spend about $108 a visit, which includes ship-sponsored tours.”

Maine’s cruise ship industry generated $47 million in direct spending to the economy and 755 jobs and wages, totaling $26 million in income, in 2014.

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