On June 15, Maine Gov. John Baldacci will smash a bottle of champagne to officially christen a new 100-passenger ship, American Star (a sister ship is pictured here) – after which the cruise ship will sail from its home port in Bangor and begin a 20-week season of seven-night cruises along Maine’s coast. Ports of call will include Bar Harbor, Rockland, Castine, Camden, Belfast and Bucksport. Just completed in a Chesapeake boatyard, this new ship is similar in design to American Cruise Lines’ 49-passenger Glory, which also sails along Maine’s coastline. The new 215-feet-long Star promises guests a private verandah or large picture windows, with oversized staterooms equipped with everything from Internet access to flat-screened satellite TVs, DVD players and individual climate control. “More requests for tickets to Maine meant we needed more capacity,” explains Charles Robertson, president of American Cruise Lines. “We were sold out last year.

“We cater to the top 10 percent most affluent Americans, who appreciate our elevators, whale watching, lectures on natural history and the smallness of the ship, making it possible to travel the Fox Island thoroughfare, through all the bays and inlets,” explains Robertson.

Prices for seven-night sailings on the Star range from $2,560 to $3,460, per person, double occupancy and $3.790, single.

— Sally Noble