BAR HARBOR — The town’s harbormaster is now allowed to accept cruise ship reservations in excess of the daily passenger caps by up to 200 passengers at any time of the year, following Town Council action Tuesday to change the policy. Previous rules allowed the harbormaster, Charlie Phippen, to exceed caps only in July and August.
The change stemmed from the Cruise Ship Committee’s Nov. 15 meeting, in which Phippen discussed scheduling conflicts with cruise ships in 2019. He said that he could not accommodate reservations for ships on Oct. 29 that year because it would exceed the passenger cap.
“It’d be a shame to turn down a ship because it exceeds the passenger cap by 40 or so,” Phippen said Wednesday.
The committee felt that the change was “minor in scale, and should be permitted,” according to the meeting minutes.
The Cruise Ship Committee voted unanimously to recommend this modification. The passenger limit, set in 2009, is 3,500 passengers per day in July and August. In the fall and spring months, the limit is 5,500 passengers per day.