Businesses sue over town’s limit on cruise ship passengers

January 3, 2023 GMT

BAR HARBOR, Maine (AP) — Several waterfront businesses are challenging Bar Harbor’s limit on the number of cruise ship passengers allowed to disembark in the town.

Local voters in November approved a cap of 1,000 passengers per day in the popular tourist destination on Mount Desert Island, home to Acadia National Park. That compares to 2,000 to 4,500 passengers who normally disembark daily during the cruise ship season, the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit, filed on Dec. 29, contends the limit is “draconian and arbitrary,” violates the constitution and prevents cruise ships and maritime facilities from engaging in federally approved operations.

Town officials expected a lawsuit over the ordinance, which was adopted by town voters who are fed up with congestion.

A 2021 survey found of town residents found that a majority of respondents viewed cruise ships as having a negative overall impact.