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ms1279
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I like to walk around saying, “Bah Habah is wonderful. I’m really glad to be in Bah Habah. Look at all these shops in Bah Habah. Do you think there’s a Starbucks in Bah Habah? Etc.”

 

It never gets old (narrator: it gets old. Fast.)

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Posted (edited)

There are lots of Bar Harbor posts on CC and even more on the WEB.  Do a bit of your own research to check them out.  Then come back w specific questions and we all will be happy to help you.

 

DON

Edited by donaldsc
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, ms1279 said:

What to do in Bar Harbor 

Welcome to Cruise Critic. It can be a little daunting to navigate the many nooks and crannies here but there's a wealth of information (such as the Canada & New England forum) and some helpful people who share tips and opinions across the boards. 

 

While you search, here's one Bar Harbor option if the town attractions or shops aren't open: an excursion to Acadia National Park. 

Edited by JDincalif
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The trip to Acadia National Park was at the top of my list during my first visit to the community.  Subsequent trips?  I enjoyed wandering around the town, window shopping, and having a nice seafood lunch.  

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16 hours ago, wcook said:

I like to walk around saying, “Bah Habah is wonderful. I’m really glad to be in Bah Habah. Look at all these shops in Bah Habah. Do you think there’s a Starbucks in Bah Habah? Etc.”

 

It never gets old (narrator: it gets old. Fast.)

Except, you also need to say Stahbucks!  🤪

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Bar Harbor is a tender port.  Your ship will anchor offshore.  Your tender boat will take you right to the town.  It is small and can be fun to walk around.  

Several blocks up from the pier you can catch a free bus that does a loop through the park.  There are stops along the circuit at which you can get off and explore.  I believe the bus is the Island Explorer. You should be able to get map info online, or get a map of the area when you arrive.

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I'm also exploring this port. We booked "late" and all ship Acadia excursions are sold out :classic_sad:.... so I saw the option for the free public transit "Island explorer".... has anyone done this? It sounds like a viable option. Just have to plan stops and timing. any suggestions welcome. thank you

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1 hour ago, ober134 said:

I'm also exploring this port. We booked "late" and all ship Acadia excursions are sold out :classic_sad:.... so I saw the option for the free public transit "Island explorer".... has anyone done this? It sounds like a viable option. Just have to plan stops and timing. any suggestions welcome. thank you

We did this, several years ago.  The boarding spot is several blocks up from the pier. You can find it on a town map. We only did the circuit; stayed on for the entire loop.  Some people got on and off along the way.  

If you plan to get off at any of the stops, be sure to allow plenty of time to get back to the tender to get back to the ship. If the bus is already full, additional riders might not be allowed to board.

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2 hours ago, ober134 said:

I'm also exploring this port. We booked "late" and all ship Acadia excursions are sold out :classic_sad:.... so I saw the option for the free public transit "Island explorer".... has anyone done this? It sounds like a viable option. Just have to plan stops and timing. any suggestions welcome. thank you

Try checking on the Acadia National Park website to see if they have bookings available for your port day. We've had a great tour with them...booked directly online...Absolutely no need to book with the ship...you're lucky they sold out. Those big buses are too big. The Acadia National  bus has designated marked parking stops along the route and your driver/guide will be a National Park employee with so much history and knowledge of the park...enjoy !!

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I might also mention that if you are there on a holiday weekend, such as Labor Day, or perhaps even on a Saturday or Sunday, the town and the park - and therefore the buses - are likely to be more crowded.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The free bus (The Island Explorer) around Mount Desert Island and through Acadia National Park is https://www.exploreacadia.com/. They have 10 routes and you must have a National Park Pass to ride the bus through the park. Pay careful attention to the schedules posted on the above web-site and allow plenty of time to get back to the ship. Buses are very busy on cruise ship days, and could be full when you want to get on.

 There is a flat scenic walk next to the water of about a mile each way called the Shore Path. It appears on a Google map of downtown Bar Harbor near the public pier and is a beautiful walk. 

 Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company offers several boat trips of varying lengths that board near where the tender will drop you off. Less expensive than the ship's shore excursions and they're the same thing.

 Lots to do on your own in Bar Harbor. Just plan ahead to make the most of your day!

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2 hours ago, bfgood2 said:

The free bus (The Island Explorer) around Mount Desert Island and through Acadia National Park is https://www.exploreacadia.com/. They have 10 routes and you must have a National Park Pass to ride the bus through the park. Pay careful attention to the schedules posted on the above web-site and allow plenty of time to get back to the ship. Buses are very busy on cruise ship days, and could be full when you want to get on.

 T

 

Hi. Is there a certain route that picks up and come back to Bar Harbor downtown? 

 

Thanks. 

 

 

 

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Route 3 (Sand Beach) is a loop and is probably your best bet. Routes  6 stops at the Village Green in Bar Harbor but is not a loop, so you would be backtracking. Route 6 goes to Jordan Pond  and Northeast Harbor, which is picturesque and not as crazy busy as Bar Harbor. I really recommend you look at the link in my earlier post, then print out the timetable and stops for the one you like. They're not at frequent as you might like.

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Re the Island Explorer:  I stand corrected about being a free bus, if one now has to show a national park pass.  That was not the case in the past, when we rode.  I do agree that it can be quite crowded, and the routes can be confusing.  At any rate, it is an option to the high-priced tours.

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9 hours ago, shipgeeks said:

Re the Island Explorer: I stand corrected about being a free bus, if one now has to show a national park pass. That was not the case in the past, when we rode. I do agree that it can be quite crowded, and the routes can be confusing.

More precisely as to fees. The Island Explorer bus service is supported by transportation fees paid to Acadia National Park, but the bus service itself is free of charge to users whether or not a transportation fee has been paid. The transportation fees have been consolidated with the entrance fees and both are sold together as part of park entry passes. A park entry pass is required to enter Acadia National Park, whether doing so in private vehicle, as a pedestrian, as a passenger on an Island Explorer or other bus, or otherwise. Riding an Island Explorer bus but not entering Acadia National Park does not require a park entry pass. The park entry passes are of several types. An individual with no car pays $15 for a seven-day park entry pass. Occupants of a private vehicle pay $30 collectively for a seven-day park entry pass. Note that a group of more than persons walking, or traveling on an Island Explorer bus, into Acadia National Park will pay more in park entry pass fees than as occupants of a private vehicle, and turn on its head concerns of impacts on the environment of pedestrians versus motorists. Further note that that private vehicle park passes remain with the vehicle used for entry, and that the occupants have no individual park entry passes for themselves. Thus, there is nothing that a person who had entered the park as private vehicle occupant would possess to show as evidence of having paid the park entry fee, be it to a bus driver or otherwise.

 

The Island Explorer bus service is operated by Downeast Transportation, Inc., which also operates other bus transportation in the area, including a route connecting Bar Harbor with Bangor. The Island Explorer service uses colorful graphics, but the information itself is not well-presented. The following description might better help users than the insufficiently-detailed route map on the service’s website.

 

Two routes, nos. 4 and 5, originate at the Hulls Cove Visitors Center, and do not operate to or from the center of Bar Harbor. They are most useful for persons who have driven to the visitor center, and are limited use to persons visiting by cruise vessel. These routes operate frequently from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Route 4 operates every 20 minute and completely circles the park along the one-way loop road, giving a good overview of the park and serving most of its sites. Route 5 operates every half hour and travels directly to and from Jordan Pond.

 

Two routes, nos. 3 and 10, originate at the village green in Bar Harbor, and are best for persons visiting by cruise vessel to visit the park. Route 3 operates half-hourly from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., traveling along the eastern park of the park’s loop road before returning to Bar Harbor via Otter Creek Road. Route 10 operates hourly from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and travels directly to and from the Blackwoods campground (and Otter Cliff in the middle of the afternoon) via Otter Creek Road.

 

Four routes, nos. 1, 6, 7, and 9, originate at the village green in Bar Harbor, and travel to the various communities surrounding the park. These routes operate more like a rural public transportation system, with buses typically operating hourly. These routes might be useful to see some of the picturesque villages, but the routes do not well-serve the park itself. Note that route no. 6 does terminate at Jordan Pond, where connections can be made to park route nos. 4 and 5.

 

Two routes, nos. 2 and 12, originate at the village green in Bar Harbor, and travel very frequently all day long, from 7:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., to and from the many hotels surrounding Bar Harbor. These routes are not likely to be of much use to visitors arriving by cruise vessel, other than, perhaps, providing an alternative to walking in the central park of Bar Harbor.

 

Two routes, nos. 8 and 11, are remote, and neither of which are likely to be of much use to visitors arriving by cruise vessel. Route 8 serves the eastern part of the park, on the opposite side of Frenchman Bay, and requires using a ferry—at an extra cost—to Winter Harbor. Route 11 is a shuttle in Southwest Harbor, connecting with route 7.

 

In sum, persons arriving in Bar Harbor by cruise vessel, and desiring to visit the park, will be best served by route no. 3 and possibly route no. 10. Persons desiring to see some of the surrounding communities will be best served by route nos. 1, 6, 7, and 9. In all cases having timetables will be most helpful. However, do consider the number of persons carried by most cruise vessels, the capacities of the buses used for the Island Explorer service, and that demand for bus service could be in excess of capacity.

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On 7/11/2022 at 5:42 PM, GTJ said:

More precisely as to fees. The Island Explorer bus service is supported by transportation fees paid to Acadia National Park, but the bus service itself is free of charge to users whether or not a transportation fee has been paid. The transportation fees have been consolidated with the entrance fees and both are sold together as part of park entry passes. A park entry pass is required to enter Acadia National Park, whether doing so in private vehicle, as a pedestrian, as a passenger on an Island Explorer or other bus, or otherwise. Riding an Island Explorer bus but not entering Acadia National Park does not require a park entry pass. The park entry passes are of several types. An individual with no car pays $15 for a seven-day park entry pass. Occupants of a private vehicle pay $30 collectively for a seven-day park entry pass. Note that a group of more than persons walking, or traveling on an Island Explorer bus, into Acadia National Park will pay more in park entry pass fees than as occupants of a private vehicle, and turn on its head concerns of impacts on the environment of pedestrians versus motorists. Further note that that private vehicle park passes remain with the vehicle used for entry, and that the occupants have no individual park entry passes for themselves. Thus, there is nothing that a person who had entered the park as private vehicle occupant would possess to show as evidence of having paid the park entry fee, be it to a bus driver or otherwise.

 

The Island Explorer bus service is operated by Downeast Transportation, Inc., which also operates other bus transportation in the area, including a route connecting Bar Harbor with Bangor. The Island Explorer service uses colorful graphics, but the information itself is not well-presented. The following description might better help users than the insufficiently-detailed route map on the service’s website.

 

Two routes, nos. 4 and 5, originate at the Hulls Cove Visitors Center, and do not operate to or from the center of Bar Harbor. They are most useful for persons who have driven to the visitor center, and are limited use to persons visiting by cruise vessel. These routes operate frequently from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Route 4 operates every 20 minute and completely circles the park along the one-way loop road, giving a good overview of the park and serving most of its sites. Route 5 operates every half hour and travels directly to and from Jordan Pond.

 

Two routes, nos. 3 and 10, originate at the village green in Bar Harbor, and are best for persons visiting by cruise vessel to visit the park. Route 3 operates half-hourly from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., traveling along the eastern park of the park’s loop road before returning to Bar Harbor via Otter Creek Road. Route 10 operates hourly from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and travels directly to and from the Blackwoods campground (and Otter Cliff in the middle of the afternoon) via Otter Creek Road.

 

Four routes, nos. 1, 6, 7, and 9, originate at the village green in Bar Harbor, and travel to the various communities surrounding the park. These routes operate more like a rural public transportation system, with buses typically operating hourly. These routes might be useful to see some of the picturesque villages, but the routes do not well-serve the park itself. Note that route no. 6 does terminate at Jordan Pond, where connections can be made to park route nos. 4 and 5.

 

Two routes, nos. 2 and 12, originate at the village green in Bar Harbor, and travel very frequently all day long, from 7:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., to and from the many hotels surrounding Bar Harbor. These routes are not likely to be of much use to visitors arriving by cruise vessel, other than, perhaps, providing an alternative to walking in the central park of Bar Harbor.

 

Two routes, nos. 8 and 11, are remote, and neither of which are likely to be of much use to visitors arriving by cruise vessel. Route 8 serves the eastern part of the park, on the opposite side of Frenchman Bay, and requires using a ferry—at an extra cost—to Winter Harbor. Route 11 is a shuttle in Southwest Harbor, connecting with route 7.

 

In sum, persons arriving in Bar Harbor by cruise vessel, and desiring to visit the park, will be best served by route no. 3 and possibly route no. 10. Persons desiring to see some of the surrounding communities will be best served by route nos. 1, 6, 7, and 9. In all cases having timetables will be most helpful. However, do consider the number of persons carried by most cruise vessels, the capacities of the buses used for the Island Explorer service, and that demand for bus service could be in excess of capacity.

We are visiting Acadia NP from a cruise ship in September. There are 4 seniors in our group (2 of which have Senior NP passes). I am assuming 2 of us will get in free if we take the bus and the other 2 will pay $15. We typically all four ride in the same car and don't pay. Just wondering if it might be cheaper to take an Uber at least to the park. Thanks in advance for clarifying.

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11 hours ago, stjohnbeachlover said:

We are visiting Acadia NP from a cruise ship in September. There are 4 seniors in our group (2 of which have Senior NP passes). I am assuming 2 of us will get in free if we take the bus and the other 2 will pay $15. We typically all four ride in the same car and don't pay. Just wondering if it might be cheaper to take an Uber at least to the park. Thanks in advance for clarifying.

We are also on a September. cruise.  I’ve looked at securing an Uber/Lyft to the airport(nearest car rental) from the harbor.  I’ve opened a dummy booking several times and have yet to find a ride.  “Very few drivers available” sometimes accompanied by “ pick up in 56 minutes” but still very few rides available.  These were dates when a ship was NOT in port.  I did secure private transport to and from the airport. 
 

My thought  is that you need to have your plans solid before you get to Bar Harbor, to avoid disappointment.  
 

If others  have more information, I’d be interested as well.  It’s been a challenge! 

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2 minutes ago, milolii said:

We are also on a September. cruise.  I’ve looked at securing an Uber/Lyft to the airport(nearest car rental) from the harbor.  I’ve opened a dummy booking several times and have yet to find a ride.  “Very few drivers available” sometimes accompanied by “ pick up in 56 minutes” but still very few rides available.  These were dates when a ship was NOT in port.  I did secure private transport to and from the airport. 
 

My thought  is that you need to have your plans solid before you get to Bar Harbor, to avoid disappointment.  
 

If others  have more information, I’d be interested as well.  It’s been a challenge! 

Thanks for the information. I suspected that even if there were Ubers or Lyfts, they may not be too reliable.  I also saw that there is a walking trail from Bar Harbor to Acadia that might be a possibility.

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14 hours ago, stjohnbeachlover said:

There are 4 seniors in our group (2 of which have Senior NP passes). I am assuming 2 of us will get in free if we take the bus and the other 2 will pay $15.

According to the information posted on the USGS website, http://store.usgs.gov/senior-pass, "[t]he Senior Pass admits pass owner and passengers in a non-commercial vehicle at per-vehicle fee areas and pass owner + 3 adults, not to exceed 4 adults, where per-person fees are charged." It would appear that all four persons would be able to enter the park as bus passengers, even if only one person has a Senior Pass . . . that a second person also has a Senior Pass is overkill.

 

That said, your point is well-taken as to the implication that the National Park Service does generally act in a prejudicial manner towards users of public transportation, and takes a more welcoming position to those persons who drive private cars. Even NPS sites that provide internal public transportation systems as a matter of traffic control generally orient those systems towards persons driving private cars. This is well-illustrated at Acadia National Park, where the very frequent Island Explorer bus service that completely circumnavigates the park loop road (route no. 4) originates at the Hulls Cove visitor center, which is remove from central Bar Harbor and used primarily by motorists, while those who have used public transportation to arrive in central Bar Harbor--mostly by cruise vessel--are left with a less frequent Island Explorer bus service that operates only along a portion of the park loop road (route no. 3). Similar situations exist at other national parks.

 

Even if there were an obligation to pay an entry fee, I am not certain where or how persons could actually pay the fee if their entry were from the village green in Bar Harbor using one of the Island Explorer bus routes. There does not appear any convenient way of doing so, nor does there appear to be any enforcement mechanism encourage compliance. Perhaps others can add to this conversation, both as to where and how the fee can be paid by those wanting to pay the fee, and as to whether there is any enforcement of fee payment from those not using private automobiles.

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Posted (edited)
On 7/15/2022 at 9:04 PM, disneyochem said:

Oil’s Trolley might be an option for you.  We’re booked on the city tour for the afternoon.

https://olistrolley.com/

 

For the morning, we booked an Acadia tour with this company:  https://www.acadiatours.com/

 

Hmmm....Are you sure about needing the city tour?

 

Agree with your choice of Acadia Tour with the National Park service which we've done also in the morning their first tour of the day.

Our park ranger guide showed us many locations as we headed out and talked about the history of Bar Harbor. You will also be given a discount coupon (we were) for Testa's restaurant where we had a wonderful lunch after the tour then walked throughout the small Bar Harbor town area. That alone was easy to do no tour of the city really needed....JMHO of course.

 

Sorry for mentioning this to you about needing a city tour but just wanted to offer a suggestion. But you enjoy whatever you think works best for you.

Edited by Ashland
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