Cruise ship docks in Eastport, draws on-lookers to town
The cruise industry is in a wait and see situation with the COVID-19 pandemic.
They're looking for places to dock some of their cruise ships.
Eastport welcomed one Sunday, and it's attracting a lot of attention.
Most are excited about the ship's presence.
“It’s big! I think it’s kind of cool. It’s different, you know, something different here. I really don’t see a downside to it to be honest with you. It’s bringing in really important revenue for the Port. When the Port’s doing well, it helps the entire town. And nobody is getting off the ship, so I don’t really see a danger," said Kathleen Dunbar of Perry.
The ship has no passengers, but its 131 crew members will quarantine for two weeks on the ship before being allowed off.
Eastport will receive between the $40-$50 thousand dollars a month from Norwegian Cruise Lines as payment to dock the Riviera.
“We’re gonna take 100% of the net docking proceeds from this vessel and put it directly into the debt repayment on the Eastport Breakwater. That Breakwater somewhat famously collapsed back in 2014. It went through a rebuild process that ended as recently at 2017. We are using this to accelerate the repayment on that and see that this facility is here for years to come," said Chris Gardner, Executive Director of Eastport Port Authority.
The mere presence of the ship brought in tons of onlookers on Sunday. Unfortunately, many of the shops downtown remain closed, but those that are open took advantage.
“This ship coming in has brought some people into town. It did pick up my business. Yesterday was the best day I’ve had since we’ve opened. It’s a plus to have it here, there's no two ways about it," said Robert Del Papa, Owner of WaCo Diner.
It is still unknown how long the ship’s stay will last, but in the meantime, it is certainly a sight to see.