PORTLAND – The 2013 cruise season has yet to begin, but the city already is looking two years down the road.
Portland officials on Monday announced that the city will welcome Royal Caribbean’s newest cruise ship, Quantum of the Seas, for the 2015 season. At 1,142 feet and with a passenger capacity of 4,180 people, it will be the largest passenger ship to ever dock in Portland – about 10 feet longer than the Queen Mary.
The Quantum was unveiled just last month by Royal Caribbean and will embark on its first tour in the winter of 2014.
Last year, more than 200,000 people visited Maine on cruise ships. Bar Harbor was the biggest draw with 108 stops, but Portland was second with 59.
The 2013 cruise season begins on June 1 when the American Cruise Line ship Independence visits Portland. The first large cruise ship visit, the nearly 3,000-passenger Carnival Glory, will be June 10.
In all, 58 ships are expected to dock in Portland from June through November, carrying more than 70,000 passengers and more than 28,000 crew members.
The city of Portland will receive nearly $700,000 in revenue from hosting cruise ships. Additionally, a 2008 economic impact study found that passengers typically spend between $80 and $110 dollars in Greater Portland during their stay, which adds up to $5.8 million to $8 million each season.