Cruise ship visits begin in Portland next week

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PORTLAND — The city’s cruise ship season begins with the June 1 arrival of the 98-passenger Independence, the first of 58 ships scheduled to call this year, according to City Hall spokeswoman Nicole Clegg.

That’s one less ship than last year. But while the city welcomed 61,100 cruise-ship passengers in 2012, more than 71,200 passengers could visit the city this year. More than half of them are expected to arrive in September, according to the Port of Portland.

The Independence and sister ship American Glory, both operated by American Cruise Lines, will make the city their home port for weekly cruises along the Maine coast.

A much larger ship, the 2,974-passenger Carnival Glory, will berth on June 10. It will visit the city seven other times during the season. The largest ship visiting in 2013 is the 3,114-passenger Explorer of the Seas, which will call three times in September.