As part of the Governor’s Coronavirus Response Team, the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development is working closely with the Maine CDC preparing for a return to cruise in Maine. These state agencies will work with the Ports, Coast Guard, the Department of Transportation, and the Federal CDC to provide guidance for cruise ships with port of calls in Maine.
At the local level, the Port of Portland is establishing entry protocols that align with both Maine and Federal CDC guidelines as well as the cruise lines. The City and its partners are monitoring the situation for 2021 Cruise Ship Season and will share information and updates as they become available.
IN THE NEWS...The domestic line, American Cruise Lineswill be returning to Maine and calling in Portland beginning 5/22/21 - 9/30/21. American Cruise Lines is working closely with the states and ports they visit and will communicate specific pre-travel requirements directly with guests on each cruise. These requirements may vary depending on the region and dates of travel, but at a minimum will include the requirement for a negative COVID-19 test result. A certified Medical Officer will be aboard each ship to conduct a brief pre-boarding health screening of each guest. In addition, masks are to be worn during the cruise in compliance with the Executive Order on Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel. Please contact an American Cruise Specialist at 1-800-460-4518 with any questions.
LARGE SHIPS COMING to Maine?? Just like the American Cruise Lines process we are finishing up now, any process for establishing the required "port agreements" for potential large ship visits will start with the Maine CDC assessing the capacity of our public health infrastructure for the state. After that, expand to include ports in the discussions about any potential agreement with cruise operators, assuring that we will begin with guidance from our one and only public health authority in the state of Maine. The federal CDC requires cruise operators to have a written agreement with each port on a proposed itinerary before they can even apply to CDC for the “conditional sailing permit” required to operate that itinerary. This requirement means that each Maine port where these larger ships have visited in the past will have plenty of time to consider if it wants them this year, and if so, how many and how often.
As its name suggests, the Portland area is strongly linked to the sea. The port is the heart, the soul, and to a large extent, the muscle of a dynamic city. From container ships to luxury cruise ships, Portland's harbor can handle the largest seagoing vessels. At the same time, the harbor is dotted with ferries and colorful pleasure boats. Portland is home to a working waterfront, but it also has a playful side.
Throughout its long history, Portland has attracted shippers to its port. Our natural deepwater, ice-free harbor is among the best protected on the East Coast. Commercial fleets as well as passenger boats find a welcome refuge here as they enjoy the rare beauty and great opportunities the Portland area provides.