• Newsletter
  • Write a Review
  • Boards
  • Deals
  • Find a Cruise
  • Reviews
  • News
  • Cruise Tips

Cruises to Bar Harbor

2 Awards
Bar Harbor (Photo:Romiana Lee/Shutterstock)

About Bar Harbor

Acadia National Park -- one of the smallest National Parks in the country -- is the biggest draw in Bar Harbor, Maine. The 41,000-acre park is also one of the most heavily visited, drawing more than two million travelers per year.

The park offers stunning mountain, sea and lake vistas and craggy cliffs that plunge to the surf, as well as an estimated 125 miles of trails for hiking and biking. Additional highlights include the 1,532-foot-high Cadillac Mountain and the Thunder Hole waterspout. Beyond the park, Bar Harbor (or as locals say: "Bah Hahbuh") has the charm of a quaint New England fishing village with all the attractions of a major port, and its touristy downtown area is hard to resist. Watch the lobstermen work, browse the souvenir shops, explore a museum and, of course, enjoy a Maine lobster bake.

The town is nestled on the eastern side of Mount Desert Island, sheltered from the Atlantic Ocean by Frenchman Bay and surrounded on three sides by the mountains of Acadia National Park. Bar Harbor welcomes more than 100 ships annually, with close to 175,000 passengers going ashore. The cruise season spans from May well into October, when the fall foliage is at its brilliant peak.

Long before Bar Harbor was a popular port on Canada/New England cruise itineraries, it enjoyed a reputation as a playground for the rich and famous. In the late 1800s, frequent visitors -- such as the Rockefellers, Carnegies, Vanderbilts and Fords -- grew tired of hotel living and built summer "cottages" (in reality, opulent estates). Many also bought and donated additional land on the island to protect it from development, leading to the creation of Acadia National Park. In 1947, a fire burned nearly half of the eastern side of Mount Desert Island and destroyed many posh estates, permanent homes and more than 10,000 acres of Acadia National Park. The surviving homes have been converted to inns, guesthouses and B&Bs. Today, Bar Harbor has a population of approximately 5,000 Downeasters (a term that refers to residents of coastal Maine who live north of Penobscot Bay). That number swells drastically in the summer, as the town continues its centuries-old tradition of attracting vacationers to its charming shores.

  • More about Bar Harbor

  • Why go to Bar Harbor?

  • Bar Harbor Cruise Port Facilities?

Loading...
Loading...

We found you 144 cruises

Loading...
Loading...
Norwegian Breakaway
Norwegian Breakaway

7 Night
Canada & New England - New YorkDetails

3,711 Reviews
Leaving:New York
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Deals
  • Cruise Tips
Silver Shadow
Silver Shadow (Photo: Silversea)

15 Night
Transoceanic CruiseDetails

272 Reviews
Cruise Line:Silversea Cruises
May 28, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Deals
  • Cruise Tips
Insignia
Insignia

10 Night
Canada CruiseDetails

205 Reviews
Leaving:Montreal
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
Oct 11, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Deals
  • Cruise Tips
Zaandam
Zaandam Cabins

7 Night
Canada & New England DiscoveryDetails

529 Reviews
Leaving:Boston
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Deals
  • Cruise Tips
Sponsored

The Dreamy Getaway w/ Virgin Voyages

  • Book by 10/4 and your partner will get 50% off their voyage
  • Receive an extra $100 toward your prepaid Bar Tab
  • Cruise Critic Editor's Choice for Best New Ship in the US for 2021
  • Over $600 in value always included - 20+ Eateries, Tips, WiFi, & more

Virgin Voyages

7 Night
Canada & New England - BostonDetails

2,335 Reviews
Leaving:Boston
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Deals
  • Cruise Tips

7 Night
Canada & New England - BostonDetails

2,335 Reviews
Leaving:Boston
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Deals
  • Cruise Tips

7 Night
Canada & New England DiscoveryDetails

529 Reviews
Leaving:Montreal
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Deals
  • Cruise Tips

10 Night
Newfoundland & New England DiscoveryDetails

529 Reviews
Leaving:Montreal
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Sep 3, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Deals
  • Cruise Tips
Cruise Critic Favorite

11 Night
Boston, Maine & Canada CruiseDetails

2,387 Reviews
Leaving:Boston
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Deals
  • Cruise Tips

7 Night
Bermuda - BostonDetails

2,335 Reviews
Leaving:Boston
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Deals
  • Cruise Tips

7 Night
Canada & New England - OtherDetails

2,335 Reviews
Leaving:Quebec City
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Deals
  • Cruise Tips
Cruise Critic Favorite

12 Night
Canada CruiseDetails

356 Reviews
Leaving:Montreal
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
Oct 28, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Deals
  • Cruise Tips

10 Night
Canada / New England CruiseDetails

2,663 Reviews
Leaving:Quebec City
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Deals
  • Cruise Tips

6 Night
Canada & New England DiscoveryDetails

185 Reviews
Leaving:Boston
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Oct 2, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Deals
  • Cruise Tips

11 Night
The Atlantic CoastDetails

529 Reviews
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Apr 18, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
  • Itinerary
  • Ship
  • Reviews
  • Price Tracker
  • Fare Insight
  • View All Deals
  • Cruise Tips

More about Bar Harbor

Why go to Bar Harbor?

Pros:

This quaint New England town is located very close to the port and perfect for strolling

Cons:

If you cruise offseason, you won't be able to grab the free bus to Acadia National Park

Bottom Line:

If changing leaves, lobster lunches and cute shops are your thing, make a point to visit

Bar Harbor Cruise Port Facilities?

The Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center is located at the Town Pier, where you can pick up free copies of "Acadia Visitor" and "Acadia Weekly," containing maps and lists of attractions and restaurants. Within steps of the visitor center are shops, restaurants, museums and tour operators -- many on West, Mount Desert, Cottage and Main streets.

Good to Know?

Black flies are a nuisance from mid-May to mid-June. Unlike mosquitoes that tend to draw your blood, these pesky insects have teeth that can take a bite out of you. Although you won't be bothered in downtown Bar Harbor or close to the ocean's shoreline, be aware if you are exploring the wooded areas of Acadia National Park. To prevent being bitten while visiting the park, wear light-colored clothing, and use a DEET-based insect repellent.

Getting Around?

On Foot: The town of Bar Harbor is easily navigated by foot. If you want to explore Acadia National Park, you will need some form of transportation -- either bike, bus or car.

By Bus: Explore the area independently with the Island Explorer, a free shuttle bus with routes that link the village center to attractions in Acadia National Park. To get to the park entrance and visitor center, take the Campground route (No. 1) bus, which departs Village Green every 30 minutes. The ride takes 10 minutes. To visit Cadillac Mountain or Jordan House, you'll need to take the Loop Road route (No. 4) from the Visitor Center at the park entrance. The Sand Beach/Blackwoods route (No. 3) departs Village Green every 30 minutes and takes about 20 minutes to get to Thunder Hole. The shuttle is free, but you'll pay a small per-person fee to enter the park.

By Trolley: For a 2.5-hour narrated trolley tour, Oli's Trolley takes passengers on a red and green trolley through Acadia National Park, visiting Cadillac Mountain and Thunder Hole. A running commentary addresses topics like the area's mansions, geology and more. (Tours daily June through October at 10:15 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 2:15 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Adults, $16; children under 12, $11; children under 5, $6)

By Bike: Rent bikes from Bar Harbor Bike (141 Cottage Street) or Acadia Bike (48 Cottage Street) and cruise along the motorist-free, gravel carriage roads, located about 1.5 miles from downtown. You can either bike from Bar Harbor to the trails, or take the Island Explorer shuttle (bicycle express route) from Village Green to the Acadia National Park carriage road system at Eagle Lake.

By Car: No rental car agencies are located in town. Hertz and Enterprise are represented at the Hancock County Airport in Trenton, a 45-minute ride away on the Island Explorer bus (Campground Route). But, given how long it will take you to travel between the cruise port and the rental car office -- and considering the fact that the free Island Explorer bus goes most places you'd want to visit -- we don't really recommend the rental car option.

By Taxi: Taxis line up on the street by the pier. At Your Service Taxi Company is Bar Harbor's oldest and largest taxi service. They also provide custom narrated tours (207-288-9222).

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

You'll find numerous ATMs and banks within a five-block radius of the harbor. One of the closest ATMs is located at Bar Harbor Bank and Trust (82 Main Street). Another convenient ATM is at Camden National Bank (43 Cottage Street). Both locations, open Monday to Friday, exchange other currencies into U.S. dollars.

Language?

English is spoken everywhere.

Where You're Docked?

Ships anchor in Frenchman Bay and tender passengers to the Town Pier, located in the heart of downtown, off West Street and Main Street in Bar Harbor.


Bar Harbor Cruise Reviews
Love Bar Harbor - walked the town and shopped - very busy due to holiday weekendRead More
User Avatar
ThelmLou
Walking to the village green we found out that there were free busses thanks to LLBean so we were able to see Acadia Park and the areas around Bar Harbor.Read More
User Avatar
diamond diva
The port calls, including Bar Harbor, were awesome. We took advantage of the free transit service. We understand the town wanting to pull back from having thousands of people descending from cruise ships. We definRead More
User Avatar
Itsmeiswear
Bar harbor is fantastic, great food great shopping. On our way back the tender boat smashes into our ship. A few people were worried including myself. Read More
User Avatar
Srubin86

Related Cruises

Want to cruise smarter?
Get expert advice, insider tips and more.
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy and Cookies Statement and Terms of Use.
About UsCruise DestinationsFirst Time CruisersFind A Cruise

Share your feedback

International Sites

© 1995—2022, The Independent Traveler, Inc.

  • Privacy and Cookies Statement

  • Terms of Use

  • Site Map

  • Cookie Consent