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Just last week a judge denied a request to put a hold on a 1,000 cruise passenger limitation.  But the denial was “without prejudice” which allowed business leaders to proceed with another request in a lower court.

A group of local business owners are now filing a second injunction that would stop the town from enforcing an ordinance that has already impacted future cruise visits over the next year and a half.

In November of 2022, the town council made a decision that would only allow 1,000 cruise passengers a day to visit Bar Harbor.   

Fines on cruise ships would be levied if more than this number tried to visit the port, forcing cruise lines to change their future itineraries. 

94 cruises in 2024 and 80 sailings in 2025 were already impacted by this town ordinance, according the Main Wire.

Cruise ships with more than 1,000 passengers have been allowed to visit the Maine cruise port as long as they made reservations before the November 2022 decision.

With some cruise ships able to carry more than that number of passengers, some are questioning if the ordinance was an attempt to limit larger ships from calling on the port. 

But since this is a daily limit over all, even if two ships had more than 500 cruise passengers visiting, it would put them over the limit.

The U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals denied the first injunction request from Maine business owners and this second request is being made in District Court.

The charge to allow cruise passengers to continue to visit the port is led by the Association to Preserve and Protect Local Livelihoods (APPLL), a nonprofit organization.

These local shop owners and businesses have made it clear that they rely on cruise traffic to support their families and earn an income. 

The town has tried to grapple with both sides of the issue.  Legal fees exceeding $300,000 have already been incurred due to a lawsuit filed by a resident. This resident objects to the town’s decision to allow cruise ships with pre-2022 reservations to bring in more than 1,000 passengers.

The Bar Barbor Town Council voted last Tuesday to hold a June 18 public hearing about the restrictive ordinance.  It is hoped this meeting will allow local businesses and the local community to find an arrangement that will be mutually beneficial.

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