When you think about going away on a cruise, you may be filled with visions of picturesque sunny skies, the open seas, and inviting ports of call. These are all idyllic images that many people have when planning and booking their cruise. And we don’t blame them! After all, this is part of what makes a cruise vacation so rewarding!
One of the most highly anticipated parts of any cruise vacation is being able to step ashore and stretch your legs after being out at sea for a few days. And when this opportunity occurs, you can bet that most people are ready to have fun and explore.
However, an enjoyable and stress free shore excursion depends upon the ports of call ability to welcome and host the large number of guests aboard the cruise. And this requirement can often place a burden on ports and cities that are on the smaller side, or are less frequented by tourists in general.
A recent story out of Maine reminds us of the impact that cruising can have, especially for the people not on vacation.
Bar Harbor is a popular cruise ship destination in Maine. It’s known for its picturesque streets and lobster dinners. Northeast Harbor, 11 miles away, has the potential for similar charm and cruise line appeal. However, locals have come out in force to oppose the possibility of allowing cruises to dock in their harbor.
Fishermen claim that the cruises are highly damaging to their gear, leaving behind nothing but devastation and posing a safety risk not just to them but to recreational boaters as well. Homeowners do not want 325-foot vessels blocking their views of the harbor. There is an additional concern regarding infrastructure.
Are ports that are equipped to handle fishing and recreational boats going to be able to accommodate the huge numbers of passengers that a cruise ship would bring? Many do not want Northeast Harbor to find out.
Safety Should Always Be The First Priority
As a maritime law firm, we understand the safety concerns currently at play. While a cruise ship may bring increased spending into shops that otherwise would not see as many customers, is it worth the heightened stress on the harbor and the changing of the town’s culture? These are questions that the people of Northeast Harbor are currently considering.
After years of handling a wide variety of maritime legal cases, we can confidently say that financial gain is never worth jeopardizing anyone’s safety. Before any final decisions are made, we hope that the people of Northeast Harbor will ensure that, should they allow cruises into their harbor, they have the infrastructure in place to keep locals and tourists safe and out of harm’s way.
Too often, we have seen cases of injury and even death that occurred as a result of unsafe conditions, either aboard a cruise or in port. These kinds of accidents are entirely avoidable, so it only makes sense to double check for safety before overcommitting.
That said, we know that some accidents happen when you least expect them. When that happens, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure of how to move forward. This is when a maritime attorney can make a world of difference.
When you do, we’ll listen to your story and then work together to help you get back to living our life.