EASTPORT, Maine — Chris Gardner, the executive director of the Eastport Port Authority, said Governor Janet Mills has approved the arrival of the Oceania Riviera cruise ship.
The has been docked in Miami after one passenger tested positive for COVID-19, and the CDC placed a No Sail Order for cruise ships. The ship is trying to leave the Florida area as hurricane season begins.
No crew members tested positive and 138 crew members remain on board.
The final details of the ship's arrival are still being finalized. Gardner said he expects the final decision to be made by the end of the day Monday.
Two weeks ago, in a 4-1 vote, the Eastport City Council voted to allow a cruise ship to dock here in Maine for the next few months.
Gardner said last month that all revenue the Port Authority makes with the docking of the Riviera will go into the maintenance of the city's breakwater facility.
The residents of Eastport have been hesitant in welcoming the cruise ship. Some say not enough testing has been done for the crew on board the ship.
Despite the opinion of some residents, Gardner said this is great news for the City.
"There's a lot of focus on those who were against it but there were a lot of people in Eastport who were very much for it and it in of itself it'll be somewhat of a draw to the community," Gardner said.
Gardner added that the arrival of the cruise ship during the No Sail Order could be a huge benefit for the Port Authority and the City of Eastport in the future.
"When the dawn does come in the cruise industry, I think we'll be able to point to, we were there when they needed us and we partnered with them in their time of need and maybe that'll go a long way for them to remember where Eastport, Maine is," Gardner added.