Carnival Corp. cruise ships may be blocked from U.S. harbors

BAR HARBOR — According to the Associated Press, a federal judge threatened earlier this month to block Carnival Corp. from docking cruise ships at U.S. ports as punishment for a possible probation violation involving alleged dumping and falsifying of records.

A final decision will be reached in June. If enacted, the ban “would affect us for sure,” said Charlie Phippen, Bar Harbor’s harbormaster.

Carnival owns nine cruise brands, including Princess, Holland America, and P & O Cruises, all of which have ships that regularly visit Bar Harbor.

According to the 2019 cruise ship schedule, Carnival-owned cruise ships, with passenger capacities ranging from 450 to 3,560 are scheduled to make 45 visits to Bar Harbor this season.

Phippen said a ban on Carnival-owned cruise ships “would affect businesses that are expecting those cruise ships to arrive.”

Sarah Flink, Executive Director of CruiseMaine said in a statement,

“We expect Carnival to comply with any court orders and we hope and expect that these issues will be resolved and Carnival ships will visit Maine as scheduled this season,” Sarah Flink, executive director of CruiseMaine, said in a statement. “As an advocate for our coastal communities, we will continue to work with our cruise line partners to make sure [the coast is] safe and clean.”

The cruise ship company has acknowledged incidents in court findings including dumping gray water into Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park, dumping plastic waste into the ocean, and falsifying records ahead of court-ordered audits. The company is accused of violating a five-year probation that began in April 2017, and requires a third-party auditor to inspect ships.

Becky Pritchard
Former Islander reporter Becky Pritchard covered the town of Bar Harbor and was a park ranger in Acadia for six seasons.
Becky Pritchard

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