Cruise ship options in comparison

BAR HARBOR — Voters will consider two zoning amendments affecting cruise ship operations and the former international ferry terminal property at town meeting elections June 13.

The amendment prepared by town officials, Article 12, creates zoning to allow a cruise ship pier to be built, but no final design for a pier or business plan for its operation has been drafted. Article 13 was brought by the citizen initiative process by a group concerned that a pier could lead to unsustainable growth in cruise visitation.


Article 12 would:

  • create a new zoning district for the ferry terminal property
  • allow the property to be developed for cruise ship and ferry use
  • continue the practice of Town Council setting passenger caps
  • aim to shift cruise-related traffic out of the downtown area (Currently, cruise ship tender vessels land at private docks owned by hotel company Ocean Properties Ltd).


Article 12 would not:

  • allow unlimited cruise ship visitation
  • allow anchored ships and berthed ships at the same time in excess of passenger caps
  • commit the town to purchasing the ferry terminal property
  • direct the town to build a pier


Article 13 would:

  • require a town meeting vote to change passenger caps
  • allow hotels as a primary use on the ferry terminal property
  • leave the ferry terminal property split between two zoning districts


Article 13 would not:

  • allow the town to purchase the property under the option agreement with the Maine Department of Transportation
  • allow cruise ships longer than 300 feet to tie up to any pier.
Liz Graves

Liz Graves

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander reporter and editor Liz Graves grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.

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