Liberty of the Seas, a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, passes by Bald Porcupine Island on its first visit to Bar Harbor on Aug. 31. It can carry 3,634 passengers, more than any other ship visiting here this season. 71 cruise ship visits are planned in the next 49 days. PHOTO COURTESY OF BARRY GUTRADT

Fall brings harvest of big ships



BAR HARBOR — The fall “shoulder season” has arrived here, which means a shift in the flow of tourists in town.

In the summer months, families on vacation from elsewhere in the United States come in their own cars and camp or stay in hotels. Now that kids are back in school, attention shifts to the waterfront, where 71 cruise ship visits are planned in 49 days.

The ships arrive between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m., and most leave the same day between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. The smaller ships Independence and American Glory, both under 250 feet, tie up at the town pier and stay overnight.

Two ships will be here on their “maiden voyages,” or first visits to Bar Harbor this fall. AIDAdiva is set to arrive Friday, Sept. 25. Like the other ships in the AIDA line, which is a subsidiary of the Carnival Corporation, AIDAdiva features a distinctive paint scheme including a face with big red lips on the bow. AIDA caters to the German-speaking market and young, active adults. The Sphinx-class cruise ship was built by Meyer Werft and launched in 2007. She carries 2,050 passengers and 646 crew.

On Sept. 30, Bar Harbor welcomes Regal Princess. Princess Cruises, a brand owned by the Carnival Corporation, operates some of the largest ships to visit here. Regal Princess stretches 1,079 feet and can carry 3,600 passengers and 2,000 crew. She was built at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, and launched in 2013.

A boarding party including representatives from the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce often travels out to ships on their first visit to town to welcome them. On Aug. 31, Chamber Director Nancy McKechnie and board members visited Liberty of the Seas for a welcome ceremony, including an exchange of official plaques. The Bar Harbor Historical Society keeps the collection of cruise ship plaques on behalf of the town. They have them going back decades.

Cunard Lines’ Queen Mary 2, a perennial local favorite, is set to visit Sept. 29.

Bar Harbor Cruise Ship Schedule
Fall 2015

Sept. 10 Summit 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Harbor Place
Sept. 10 Seabourn Quest 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Harbor Place
Sept. 11 Maasdam 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Harbor Place
Sept. 12 Seabourn Quest 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. Harbor Place
Sept. 13 Liberty of the Seas 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. Harbor Place
Sept. 13 Maasdam 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. Harbor Place
Sept. 13 Independence 7 a.m. – 7 a.m. Town Pier
Sept. 14 American Glory 7 a.m. – 7 a.m. Town Pier
Sept. 15 Crystal Symphony 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. Harbor Place
Sept. 16 Norwegian Gem 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Harbor Place
Sept. 18 Veendam 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Harbor Place
Sept. 18 Serenade of the Seas 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Harbor Place
Sept. 20 Grandeur of the Seas 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Harbor Place
Sept. 20 Veendam 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. Harbor Place
Sept. 20 Independence 7 a.m. – 7 a.m. Town Pier
Sept. 21 Brilliance of the Seas 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Harbor Place
Sept. 23 Regatta 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. Harbor Place
Sept. 23 Norwegian Gem 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Harbor Place
Sept. 24 Summit 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Harbor Place
Sept. 24 Norwegian Dawn 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Harbor Place
Sept. 25 AIDAdiva* 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Harbor Place
Sept. 25 Maasdam 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Harbor Place
Sept. 25 Pearl Mist 7 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Harbor Place
Sept. 27 Liberty of the Seas 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. Harbor Place
Sept. 27 Maasdam 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. Harbor Place
Sept. 27 Pearl Mist 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Harbor Place
Sept. 27 Independence 7 a.m. – 7 a.m. Town Pier
Sept. 29 Brilliance of the Seas 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Harbor Place
Sept. 29 Queen Mary 2 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Harbor Place
Sept. 30 Regal Princess* 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. Harbor Place
Sept. 30 Seabourn Quest 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Harbor Place
Oct. 1 Norwegian Gem 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Harbor Place
Oct. 2 Crystal Symphony 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Harbor Place
Oct. 2 Veendam 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Harbor Place
Oct. 2 Seabourn Quest 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. Harbor Place
Oct. 3 Serenade of the Seas 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. Harbor Place
Oct. 4 Grandeur of the Seas 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Harbor Place
Oct. 4 Veendam 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. Harbor Place
Oct. 6 Brilliance of the Seas 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Harbor Place
Oct. 7 AIDAdiva 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Harbor Place
Oct. 7 Regal Princess 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. Harbor Place
Oct. 7 American Glory 7 a.m. – 2 p.m. Town Pier
Oct. 8 Crystal Symphony 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Harbor Place
Oct. 8 Summit 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Harbor Place
Oct. 8 Norwegian Dawn 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Harbor Place
Oct. 9 Maasdam 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Harbor Place
Oct. 9 Caribbean Princess 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. Harbor Place
Oct. 11 Serenade of the Seas 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. Harbor Place
Oct. 11 Maasdam 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. Harbor Place
Oct. 12 Liberty of the Seas 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. Harbor Place
Oct. 13 Brilliance of the Seas 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Harbor Place
Oct. 13 Albatros* 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. Harbor Place
Oct. 13 Regatta 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. Harbor Place
Oct. 14 Regal Princess 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. Harbor Place
Oct. 14 Seven Seas Navigator 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Harbor Place
Oct. 15 AIDAdiva 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Harbor Place
Oct. 16 Veendam 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Harbor Place
Oct. 16 Pearl Mist 7 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Harbor Place
Oct. 18 Grandeur of the Seas 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Harbor Place
Oct. 19 Seabourn Quest 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Harbor Place
Oct. 20 Brilliance of the Seas 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Harbor Place
Oct. 21 Regal Princess 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. Harbor Place
Oct. 21 Pearl Mist 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. Harbor Place
Oct. 22 Seven Seas Navigator 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Harbor Place
Oct. 25 Maasdam 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Harbor Place
Oct. 25 Regatta 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Harbor Place
Oct. 25 Caribbean Princess 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. Harbor Place
Oct. 26 Serenade of the Seas 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. Harbor Place
Oct. 27 AIDAdiva 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Harbor Place
Oct. 27 Crystal Symphony 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. Harbor Place
Oct. 29 Saint Laurent 6 a.m. – 7 p.m. Harbor Place

*Maiden voyage to Bar Harbor

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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