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Bangor, Maine to get cruise boost


One of the two cruise lines operating from the Bangor waterfront plans to double its passenger capacity next summer when it places a new 215-foot ship in service. The American Star, with berths for 100 passengers, will replace the 49-passenger American Glory, according to American Cruise Lines of Guilford, Conn.

"Maine is a hot spot for us," Charles Robertson, the line's president, said Friday as he visited the waterfront with Gov. John Baldacci to promote the city's new heavy-vessel dock and its benefits to the growing tourism industry.

American Cruise Lines has used the city docks on the Penobscot River as a home port for the past three boating seasons, and Robertson said the company's Maine coast cruise has been among its most popular offerings.

Cruise West, headquartered in Seattle, also uses Bangor as a home port.

Its 102-passenger Nantucket Clipper visited in May and June and is scheduled to return for fall foliage cruises in October.

Baldacci said the arrival of American Cruise Lines in Bangor "marked a significant event in marketing the waterfront as a hub for transportation, entertainment and development opportunities.

"We're recognizing growth and opportunity here, and it's crucial that the Bangor waterfront is part of that transformation," the governor said.

Some $9 million has been invested in waterfront development, said Rodney McKay, Bangor community and economic development director. Of that total, 46 percent has come from the federal government, 30 percent from the state and 24 percent from the city, McKay said.

The new heavy-vessel dock, which is handicapped-accessible and designed to float up and down with the tide, was funded with federal dollars.