Princess Cruises Changing Multiple Itineraries Due to Port Limits

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Guests sailing aboard Princess Cruises’ Enchanted Princess during her fall 2024 deployment from New York will not be visiting all the planned ports of call. The cruise line has begun reaching out to booked guests to alert them to the change, as local visit restrictions are impacting multiple itineraries.

Because of local limits on cruise ship guests, Enchanted Princess is switching to a different port of call on the same date as planned on the original itineraries.

“Please be advised that due to restrictions affecting cruise ships in Bar Harbor, Maine, Enchanted Princess will no longer call to Bar Harbor,” the email notification read. “Instead, we will now call to Portland, Maine.”

Enchanted Princess Cruise Ship
Enchanted Princess Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: Cmspic / Shutterstock)

Multiple itineraries are impacted by this change from late August through the end of October. The departure dates that had planned visits to Bar Harbor include the August 24, September 14, September 21, September 28, October 5, October 12, October 19, and October 26 sailings.

Guests booked on any of those 7-night cruises should stay alert to the possibility of itinerary changes and communication from the cruise line. At this time, the rest of the schedule and other ports of call – including Newport, Boston, Halifax, and on select dates, Saint John – are not affected.

Read Also: Boston Begins What Will Be a Record-Breaking Cruise Season for 2024

This change will be disappointing to some guests, as one of the most popular attractions in Bar Harbor is the opportunity to visit the famed Acadia National Park with its natural beauty and scenic vistas.

Portland is located roughly 115 miles southwest of Bar Harbor, and the two communities are quite different. Bar Harbor, for example, is a resort town with a population of just over 5,000 residents. Portland, on the other hand, is the largest city in Maine with a population of nearly 70,000.

This means each port of call has very different experiences to offer visitors. Travelers will not be able to enjoy the same opportunities in Portland that they would have in Bar Harbor, though the city will offer its own variety of unique attractions and experiences.

If guests have already booked shore excursions for Bar Harbor through Princess Cruises, those tours will be automatically cancelled and refunds issued back to the original form of payment. New excursion options for Portland will be made available within the next two weeks so travelers can plan for their time in the city.

Bar Harbor Limiting Visits

These changes for Enchanted Princess come as Bar Harbor has sought to limit cruise ship visits in an effort to preserve the town’s unique character and avoid overcrowding.

Unfortunately, the limit of 1,000 passengers per day will drastically restrict which ships can call on the destination. The severe cap was upheld by the US District Court for the District of Maine in early March after challenges from local businesses, many of which rely on tourists during the brief autumn season.

Cruise Passengers In Bar Harbor
Cruise Passengers in Bar Harbor (Photo Credit: Darryl Brooks)

It should be noted that there are no limits in Bar Harbor that impact visitors arriving by automobiles, but the cap only applies to cruise ships.

The 145,281-gross-ton, Royal-class Enchanted Princess can welcome 3,660 passengers per sailing, and is also home to more than 1,300 international crew members. No ship in the Princess Cruises fleet has a capacity of under 1,000, meaning that no ship from the cruise line may be permitted to visit Bar Harbor.

Various ships from Norwegian Cruise Line and Holland America Line also have multiple visits to Bar Harbor planned for 2024, and may face similar itinerary changes.

American Cruise Lines also regularly visits Bar Harbor, but the small ships in the line fall well under the visitor cap for Bar Harbor, so their itineraries are unlikely to be impacted.

Similarly, other small luxury lines or expedition ships may likewise include Bar Harbor on various itineraries, and their smaller sizes can easily be accommodated under the new limitations.

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