Day 5 on Anthem of the Seas, and today we stopped at Bar Harbor. Bar Harbor is a town on Mount Desert Island. Mount Desert Island is the largest island off the coast of Maine and is the 52nd largest island of the United States. The island can be reached from the mainland via the Trenton Bridge, which was built in 1957.
Acadia National Park is one of the ten most visited National Parks in the United States and welcomes around 3.5 million guests a year. The park is approximately 49000 acres which the majority are located on Desert Island. In total, about half of the island is preserved as part of the Acadia National park. In addition to Desert Island, parts of the park are located on adjacent islands, and part of the Schoodic Peninsula on the coast of Maine.
Our day started by taking some views of the surrounding area by riding the North Star on Anthem of the Seas. The North Star is an observation pod on Quantum Class Cruise Ships and rises to 300 feet above sea level. The pod is free and provides some fantastic views of the surrounding areas.
To reach Bar Harbor from cruise ships, you must take a short tender ride. Yesterday when visiting Portland, the weather was not great, but today, although cold, the rain had settled. Unfortunately, the seas were still choppy, and swells made the tender to shore difficult. The swells delayed morning tenders, and it was early afternoon until we managed to hit the shore.
Bar Harbor is a lovely little town, and we spent a short while visiting the various shops at the front of the harbor. Our ship was the last scheduled cruise for 2019, and from tomorrow you would expect the town to be deserted. Bar Harbor is a top-rated summer tourist destination for outside enthusiasts but attracts few tourists during the winter.
Our tour was around Acadia National Park’s loop road. The road is 27 miles and connects the park’s features, including lakes, mountains, and forests.
Our tour was described as an intimate tour with a maximum of 14 guests. On our trip, there were due to be 13 guests, but only 9 turned up. Perhaps the choppy tenders to Bar Harbor had put them off?
Unfortunately, there was some fog in the area which affected visibility, but the tour was fantastic. Despite the poor weather, we could witness the colors and beauty of New England in the Fall.
The tendering process again was a little tricky, and this meant there was a large backlog of guests still at the shore when the last tender should have departed. However, a big cheer for the local Irish Pub that was handing out free coffee to freezing cruisers! Eventually, we boarded the ship 1 hour after we should have departed.
Tomorrow we are having our first stop in Canada visiting Saint John, New Brunswick.