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Cruise Ships Heading for Edgartown

Starting in May, small ships from American Cruise Lines will be anchoring outside Edgartown Harbor on their coastal trips, harbormaster Charlie Blair said.

It's been a long time since cruise ships anchored in Edgartown. But this summer, the town can expect more than 20 visits from small ships operated by American Cruise Lines of Guilford, Conn.

In past summers, American Cruise ships have visited Oak Bluffs and Vineyard Haven, said Edgartown harbormaster Charlie Blair.

"I stole 'em," Blair said Friday, shortly after confirming the switch with an American Cruise Lines representative.

"The selectmen gave their blessing last month," Blair continued.

The ships, up to 215 feet long and carrying about 100 passengers, will drop their hooks in the anchorage off Chappaquiddick and run their own launches to the shore, he said.

"They drop people off and pick people up."

While onshore, cruise passengers will be free to shop and dine or take a bus tour of the Island, according to the American Cruise Lines website.

Blair said he expects the first cruise to arrive in Edgartown at 8 a.m. May 21 and depart at 2 a.m. May 23.

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Tot Balay March 11, 2013 at 02:25 PM
Get ready for lots of questions about where to find the bridge to Chappaquiddick...
Martha Magee March 11, 2013 at 03:12 PM
poor judgment call
Jeanne Gravley March 11, 2013 at 03:13 PM
Looking on the bright side (esp. since it's already been approved), it's better than having more vehicles clogging up the already heavy traffic in town.
Louisa Hufstader (Editor) March 11, 2013 at 03:17 PM
Hundreds of customers for local businesses, no cars to jam up the traffic — what's the downside in all this for a tourist town?
Michael West March 11, 2013 at 03:39 PM
I forget exactly when it is I stop driving into Edgartown, but it's sometime in the early summer when it's impossible to park. Edgartown is the perfect destination for cruise ships, so far as I can see. I'm sure Oak Bluffs and Vineyard Haven merchants would disagree, but in the summer? Unless they add a second level to the sidewalks, there is no place to walk.
Louisa Hufstader (Editor) March 11, 2013 at 03:48 PM
Edgartown sidewalks get crazy crowded, too - at least these cruisers are probably less likely to arrive onshore with large strollers, big dogs and bulging knapsacks.
Martha Magee March 11, 2013 at 04:51 PM
Why not invite Carnival Cruises, while we're at it?
Louisa Hufstader (Editor) March 11, 2013 at 05:07 PM
Charlie said the really big cruise ships have to be handled by TSA with screening devices on the docks - That's not what the town wants.
Christine Campbell March 11, 2013 at 08:22 PM
I think Oak Bluffs would be a better destination for the cruise ship to arrive. There are so many things to see and do more than the one main street in Edgartown. The Campground is one of the most visited places people want to come when they come to the Vineyard. Oak Bluffs has everything the Oldest Carousel, shops on Circuit Ave., and great restaurants with a harbor views. Mary
saromat March 12, 2013 at 02:08 AM
I understand that the nation's economy is not robust, but is the Vineyard in such dire straits that the selectmen will allow any money-making scheme? First a reality show was given permission to film there, now cruise ships in Edgartown? After 25 years of summer vacations on the Vineyard, it looks like it's time to switch to Nantucket.
William Waterway March 12, 2013 at 05:42 AM
Heard on the Main Street Edgartown: American Cruise Lines of Guilford, Conn. recently hired Harbor Master Charlie Blair to negotiate visitations to other port-of-calls along the Eastern Seaboard. When asked what he thought of his new job, Mr. Blair said, "Hey, I've been a big fish in a small harbor for too many years."
Martha Magee March 14, 2013 at 03:54 PM
totally inapproriate

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