PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- One of the biggest ships of the young cruise ship season descended on the city, bringing with it an influx of tourists and opportunities for Mainers to showcase their state and make some money at the same time.
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"It is incredible," exclaimed Frank Gardiner as he waited todeliver a rental car. "All you have to do is look at this street, the number of people all from this boat, most of it."
"This is really big business for everyone down here," explained Matt Dodge. "These streets wouldn't have anyone on them at 11 o'clock on a Monday if it wasn't for the ship."
Dodge pedaled passengers to locations throughout the city in his bike cab despite the summer's heat.
"We go where the tourists go, and if 4,000 of them are going to roll in at once, we are going to be there," he said.
Commercial Street was crowded, feeling much more like a Friday night in the Old Port than a sleepy Monday morning in Maine.
"We are interested in all the ships that come in," stated Therese Belanger as she worked selling jewelery alongside her husband, Rodney. "There's the big ships that come in, we know when they are coming because we look it up on line."
They left their home in Augusta around 5:30 to make the hour drive and set-up shop on the sidewalk with dozens of other artists and craftsmen.
"We've brought up two boys. Now, one is 21 the other one is 23 and we still like each other, so we do this type of thing on the side," she explained. "It excites me to think that my jewelery is traveling to other parts of the country. I am going in spirit with them, but I am stuck here on land."
The city expects fifty-eight cruise ships to call on the port this year, bringing more than 70,000 passengers and generating millions of dollars worth of revenue for businesses.