Bar Harbor Cruise Ship Plans for 2023
Here's the latest on the Cruise Ship Arrivals for 2023, after mediation with all parties involved in the law suit regarding passenger limits.
According to the Press Release issued on March 22nd by the Bar Harbor Town Council
"The Bar Harbor Town Council has participated in mediation for the motion for a preliminary injunction and are pleased to share that after several rounds of negotiations with all parties, the Court has issued an expedited scheduling order that achieves the Council’s goals of getting an early and efficient trial so that we can get a final answer from the Court as to whether the ordinance is constitutional.
If the case remains on track for a trial by July, the Council plans to enforce the Cruise Ship Disembarkation amendments to the Land Use Ordinance after the Court issues a final decision. Not enforcing the Ordinance while we continue to make rules means that we will operate under the published existing schedule for 2023 and the existing SOPs to manage ship visitation until a decision is reached. The 2023 schedule represents a 30% reduction of visitation from 2022 seasons.
This enforcement approach is consistent with the Council’s goals of getting certainty from the Court that the Ordinance is constitutional as soon as possible, preserving the Town’s home rule authority to regulate cruise ship disembarkation, and minimizing the potential financial liability of the Town.
We see this as an efficient, responsible, and pragmatic way to execute the will of the voters. In the interim, the Council has directed the staff to continue the rulemaking process so that we are in a position to enforce the Cruise Ship Disembarkation ordinance the day after the Court declares it constitutional—an outcome that we are working hard to achieve. "
In summary, until a decision has been rendered by the Court, the Town of Bar Harbor will operate under the published existing schedule for 2023 and the existing SOPs to manage ship visitations. The 2023 schedule represents a 30% reduction of visitation from 2022 seasons.