When Holland America Line’s Maasdam arrives as the first cruise ship of the season on Thursday, Maine’s Bar Harbor has a special welcome planned. Acadia bagpiper Ernie Smith will pipe in the ship, and there will be distinctive signage and a small give-away.
This is the first of Maasdam’s 19 visits in a season when Veendam and Eurodam will also call, making HAL the largest brand in Bar Harbor during 2012 with 23,000 passengers. Twenty-six ships are scheduled to make a total of 120 visits.
The greeting effort is part of Bar Harbor’s new Cruise Ship Welcoming Committee, established by the Bar Harbor Merchants Association and the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce.
The group also plans special welcomes for the five maiden calls this season, by Travel Dynamics International’s Yorktown (May 26), Royal Caribbean International’s Brilliance of the Seas (Sept. 24), Princess Cruises’ Emerald Princess and Noble Caledonia’s Caledonian Sky (both Sept. 29) and P&O Cruises’ Artania (Oct. 9).
‘This collaboration in the community to embrace the business is a great thing,’ said Amy Powers, director of CruiseMaine USA.
The Cruise Ship Welcoming Committee is chaired by Zack Klyver of Bar Harbor Whale Watch and the Bar Harbor Merchants Association. He spearheaded the initiative with the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce, according to chamber executive director Chris Fogg.
‘We’re excited about this new welcoming committee and doing more to welcome cruise ship passengers,’ Fogg told Seatrade Insider. ‘They’re an important part of our visitor mix, especially in the shoulder season. We’re glad to have them.’
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