PORTLAND – The Independence, a small ship operated by American Cruise Line, will tie up at the Ocean Gateway terminal Saturday, kicking off the cruise ship season.

The Independence, which carries 89 passengers, will homeport in Portland this summer, along with another ACL ship, the American Glory.

The independence departs Sunday for Boothbay Harbor.

The city expects fewer cruise ships than last year, but a record number of passengers this year. More than 86,000 are expected to be aboard 59 ships that are scheduled to stop in Portland through October.

The Enchantment, with 2,250 passengers, will be the first large cruise ship to call in Portland on June 18. Maiden visits to Portland are scheduled this summer for Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth, the Caribbean Princess and the Norwegian Jewel.

City officials said they expect the new deep-water pier at Ocean Gateway to be complete in early August, with the Enchantment scheduled to be the first ship to berth there on Aug. 13. The pier will allow larger ships to tie up and permit the city to handle more than one large cruise ship at a time.