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COVID-19 Response Updates

STAY SAFER AT HOME Order by Gov. Mills 4/28/20 HERE

KEEP MAINE HEALTHY update HERE

14-day quarantine FAQs CLICK HERE

What You Need To Know ~ From the Governor’s office HERE

Monhegan COVID-19 Task Force updates HERE

Monhegan Travel Guidelines HERE

CURRENT MONHEGAN BUSINESS INFORMATION

Maine CDC COVID-19 updates HERE

Island Inn COVID-19 updates click HERE

Monhegan House COVID-19 updates click HERE

Trailing Yew COVID-19 updates click HERE

Shining Sails COVID-19 updates click HERE

Lupine Gallery COVID-19 updates click HERE

Monhegan Museum of Art & History COVID-19 updates click HERE

Welcome to Monhegan!

HBC: Operating during COVID-19 HERE

July 1st, 2020:

The Mills administration just announced that Connecticut, New York and New Jersey will now join New Hampshire and Vermont in being exempt from the 14-day quarantine requirement or negative COVID-19 testing alternative, effective this Friday, July 3, 2020.

I must say, I was not expecting this at all. It has come as quite a surprise.

Stay tuned…..the sands continue to shift!!

June 20, 2020:

OPEN!!!!

June 17th, 2020:

The BIG news is that we WILL be opening this Saturday, June 20th! We made it! We weren’t sure if it was actually going to happen but here we are. YAY!

It seems to me that people are falling into the habit of navigating the world with face coverings and social distancing. The weather has been excellent and we are all enjoying getting outside. The fervor that COVID-19 brought in March, April and May is waning in June and there is a degree of acceptance to our collective situation. I have enjoyed relaxed conversations with customers who call to book and have experienced patience, kindness and a gentleness that I have not noticed in the past. For this small but meaningful piece, I am happy.

So, our season begins on this lovely note and I think we all will appreciate things in new and careful ways. Things feel more meaningful and purposeful this year. We are grateful to everyone who is able to join us this year and hopeful for those who needed to cancel their trips, that we’ll see you again next year.

I promise to keep this up to date as needed.

Stay tuned! And above all, stay safe, stay healthy, take care of one another and look out for your neighbors! The healthier we all are, the sooner we can enjoy our summer!

June 10th, 2020:

Last week the Governor announced an update to the 14-day quarantine called “Keep Maine Healthy”. It is a 3 phase plan that can be read HERE. If you plan to travel to Maine, please read this so you are in compliance with the latest State orders. I won’t go into detail here as it is very easy to read for yourself. A very useful link to digest what all these means can be found HERE. IMPORTANT to note: Vermont and New Hampshire residents are exempt from this beginning June 12th!! So, come on over to Maine and enjoy the coast!

Hardy Boat Cruises is on track to open on Saturday June 20th. We are incredibly excited to get started! The only way we can remain open is with customer participation. So, if you have always wanted to see a Puffin or if you have always dreamed of going to Monhegan Island, do yourself and a small business a favor; buy a ticket and GO!! How satisfying is that?!

We will be carrying 43% of our normal passenger capacity this season to allow for social distancing. Our US Coast Guard capacity is 116 and we will limit it to 50. In light of our limited passenger capacity, we have found it necessary to change our schedule this season and run as lean and mean as possible to maximize our success of remaining open. The Monhegan Island Ferry service schedule remains the same however, our Puffin Watch has moved from 5:30pm to 12pm noontime Sunday through Thursday. We will still have our Puffin Watch at 5:30pm on Friday and Saturdays. Our 12pm Seal Watches are available only on Fridays and Saturdays. Please check our schedule HERE.

A few things to note:

Please book online. This is contactless and the safest way to pay for your tickets and guarantee your seat. Due to our limited passenger count, boats may sell out faster then expected and we may not be able to accommodate ‘walk-down’ business.

Wear a face covering. All passengers are REQUIRED to wear a face covering when on the New Harbor dock, any attached floats or ramps, while on the HARDY III and while on the wharf at Monhegan Island per Governor Mills executive order. Please come prepared with your own face covering.

Stay up to date. Our operations at Hardy Boat Cruises are changing as we accommodate the need to keep passengers, employees and Island residents safe. Before your trip, please be sure you understand our procedures so you can be prepared to board and ride our ferry safely and appropriately. Operation procedures will be posted next week and updated information will be sent to all passengers with reservations.

Once again, stay tuned! And above all, stay safe, stay healthy, take care of one another and look out for your neighbors! The healthier we all are, the sooner we can enjoy our summer!

May 28th, 2020:

I was feeling the need to check in here and write an update. Nothing major has changed in regards to our business and the current state of mandates, orders and COVID-19. The 14-day quarantine is still in place for all non-resident tourists.

What has changed is the access to information as people, businesses and local authorities identify what they are doing, how they will do it and how best to protect people from COVID-19. If you are traveling to Monhegan Island, I encourage you to check in with the Monhegan Plantation HERE for the most current travel information and Town recommendations and restrictions. The Welcome To Monhegan! page is under new supervision and good information can be found there as well. Also, be sure to check in with the links above for current information. As more access to information becomes available, I feel that it becomes less important for me to post here as often.

Hardy Boats Cruises plans to open on Saturday June 20th. As we create written COVID-19 protocol and recommendations and requirements for passengers, we will be sure to post them. We are currently working on installing plexiglass shields for our booth staff, installing hand sanitizer dispensers for crew and passengers, purchasing appropriate cleaning supplies, having disposal masks available for people who need them, creating safe and logical flow patterns on the dock and a million other details.

If you currently have a reservation with us, we will be sending out information about what to expect and how to be prepared for your ferry ride to Monhegan Island or Puffin Watch. Know that face coverings are mandatory for all people on the dock and on the boat. Please come prepared with your own face covering. If you do not have one, you can purchase one from us.

And again, stay tuned! And above all, stay safe, stay healthy, take care of one another and look out for your neighbors! The healthier we all are, the sooner we can enjoy our summer!

May 16th, 2020:

On Thursday May 14th, Gov. Janet Mills announced that lodgings and accommodations can start accepting reservations for bookings beginning June 1st forward through the summer. This went into effect immediately and businesses can book-in Maine state residents and anyone who can comply with the 14-day quarantine from out of state.

Obviously, the 14-day quarantine still presents a major obstacle to the traveling public. Commissioner Johnson addressed the problematic 14-day quarantine and said “Ultimately, we want to adjust the 14-day quarantine in a way that protects the health of Maine people and the health of Maine businesses.”

At least this puts in place a way for tourists to plan a trip and lay down the foundations of any vacation plans. This gets us started on the road to some sort of summer tourism in Maine. I think at this point everyone can agree that this is an ever changing and evolving situation and no matter how many reservations any one makes, the plans may need to be changed, updated or cancelled. Understanding, flexibility and following health protocols will be key to success.

And again, stay tuned! And above all, stay safe, stay healthy, take care of one another and look out for your neighbors! The healthier we all are, the sooner we can enjoy our summer!

May 11th, 2020:

Gov. Mills announced last week that 12 of the 16 counties in Maine will be able to open retail stores today, May 11th. Lincoln county, where New Harbor and Monhegan are located, was one of those counties. These retailers will need to follow CDC safety guidelines, of course, but this is a promising sign. I believe this indicates that Gov. Mills is indeed willing to be flexible if our cases of COVID-19 remain low. On May 18th, restaurants can open for outside dining and for limited eat-in service.

Our lodging and rental industry is still struggling with restrictions and we still have the 14 day quarantine for people entering the state.

And again, stay tuned! And above all, stay safe, stay healthy, take care of one another and look out for your neighbors! The healthier we all are, the sooner we can enjoy our summer!

May 6th, 2020:

I’ve been in Zoom meetings all week. I fear my eyes might be square. My Mom used to say “Stop watching TV!! Your eyes will turn square!!” Well Mom, I think I’m there…..

I would like to report that Monhegan Island wants to be open for business this summer. I had a long and satisfying meeting with the Monhegan Island COVID-19 Task Force and the other ferry boat operators. The main focus was how do ferries operate safely in this COVID-19 world and how does everyone mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 on the Island. I appreciated the thoughtfulness, care, concern and attention to detail everyone shared. We are collectively invested in developing safety protocol and guidelines to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. This is still a work in progress and I will post the results when complete. I believe the minutes of this meeting will be posted on the Monhegan COVID-19 Task Force page. The link is above.

One thing we know is that all passengers and guests to the Island this summer will be required to wear a face covering on all docks, floats, ramps and boats per the order by Gov. Mills. So, if you plan to join us, please come prepared with a face covering. This is a very easy thing we all can do and is highly effective in limiting the spread of the virus. It protects you. It protects me. It protects crew. It protects Island residents. A simple and very meaningful gesture.

The 14 day quarantine is still in affect through August and lodgings, cottage rentals and accommodations are still struggling with restrictions. It’s unclear to me how this will change or when. Continue to check in on this.

We plan to start our ferry operation on Saturday June 20th and our Puffin Watches will begin Wednesday July 1st. We are still nailing down the exact details of our schedule.

So, obstacles are being confronted and we are putting some structures in place so people can begin to plan trips. The complexities of this situation fry my brain on a daily basis but we are working very hard to make something happen for this summer while abiding by the State of Maine order and keep people safe.

To the traveling public; we would so appreciate your support this summer. Hardy Boat Cruises and Monhegan Island are opening for you to enjoy safely and comfortably. We hope you will come and spend some of your time with us this summer.

And again, stay tuned! And above all, stay safe, stay healthy, take care of one another and look out for your neighbors! The healthier we all are, the sooner we can enjoy our summer!

May 1st, 2020:

Wow, here we are at May day. Feels like I have lived 50 years since the beginning of March. : )

Our tourism industry is reeling from the new order announced on Tuesday. The major obstacles are the 14 day quarantining of people from out of state and the restrictions on lodging and rentals. My impression is that this is a fluid thing and the state is working hard to mold the order and make reasonable exceptions to different industries that can prove they can operate within COVID-19 safety guidelines. Adjustments have been made for certain businesses already and I believe this action will continue in the weeks to come.

Of course I have always know that Hardy Boat Cruises does not operate in a vacuum and more then anything I can see now how other businesses ability to open and operate will determine how we open and operate. We also are coming to realize that decisions made in other New England states will determine how people can move around and cross boarders. We are going to let this situation shake out a bit more before making any concrete decisions about our summertime plans.

Stay Tuned and above all, stay safe, stay healthy and look out for your neighbors! The healthier we are the sooner restrictions will be lifted or at least loosened!

April 29th, 2020:

I am still digesting the news from yesterday’s announcement by Gov. Janet Mill’s. She is implementing a 4 phase plan to open up Maine.

To read for yourself, click HERE

It may take me a few days to have a relevant update to address when we will open and how we will open. I will be attending a meeting with Com. Heather Johnson today from the Dept. of Economic and Community Development which should provide some further clarity. It has been suggested that more clarity around some issues of the order will be addressed on Thursday by Gov. Mills.

This is a highly complicated and delicate situation and I am doing my best to fully understand the situation and how it relates to the operations here at Hardy Boat Cruises.

STAY TUNED!

April 27th, 2020:

Gov. Janet Mills has just wrapped up her COVID-19 briefing to the State. She has hinted she may make some announcements tomorrow about if, when, how the State might reopen. Some word about what might happen after April 30th will be necessary for us to make decisions about our opening date and schedule. Let’s hope some news comes tomorrow!

In the meantime, here are some COVID-19 statistics for the State of Maine and the country….click here.

The Maine Center for Disease Control reports 51 deaths, 1023 confirmed cases, 549 recovered.

In Lincoln County where New Harbor (Hardy Boat Cruises) and Monhegan Island are located, we have 12 reported cases and 10 recovered and 0 deaths.

Nationally: 56,000+ deaths, 1 million confirmed, 110,000 recovered.

Events on Monhegan Island are being cancelled and adjusted. If you were intending on participating in an event on the Island, be sure to check that it is still happening and if so, when.

I have just received word that the 4th of July fireworks in Bar Harbor/Acadia have been cancelled due to COVID-19.

More tomorrow….maybe…if not, I will be posting Wednesday. I have two conference calls scheduled: One with the Maine Dept. of Economic and Community Development office and Commissioner Heather Johnson and the other with a group of ferry boat operators from up and down the Maine coast.

STAY TUNED!

April 23, 2020:

I “sat” in on a meeting with the Commissioner of the Dept. of Economic & Community Development, Heather Johnson, yesterday afternoon. DECD is working on the difficult and arduous task of when and how to open up Maine’s economy. As expected, there were no clear and concise answers and a lot of “we don’t knows” but I had a deep sense that the dept. is being thoughtful and measured. Two things that stick with me from the meeting are: the WHEN, will be based on healthcare metrics and the HOW will be driven by business input and collaboration. There was talk of the careful phasing in of the opening and mitigating community transmission of the virus. There were a few hints that Gov. Mills may have more to say soon. It’s very clear that we are at the mercy of this virus and how it will move through our communities and how our healthcare facilities can handle the influx of patients.

In Maine, we have an amazing director at the CDC. Dr. Nirav Shah is calm, intelligent, direct with a compassionate delivery each afternoon as he shares with the state the most up to date information about the status of the virus. He is well liked and has a ‘fan club’ of sorts and has been referred to as “the adult in the room”. We are fortunate to have competent people at the state level guiding this State through a tricky and extreme situation.

I would also like to thank everyone for your positive response to this COVID-19 update page. I just want to remind everyone that I am reporting here the smallest sliver of this widespread situation and trying to focus on news that directly impacts on Maine’s tourism and when and how Hardy Boat Cruises and Monhegan Island might be open for business. Any opinions here are my own and I hope they are helpful to you as you make plans to visit Maine or travel to Monhegan Island.

As always; STAY TUNED!

April 20th, 2020:

I thought this was a fair assessment. From the Portland Press Herald, April 19, 2020: Vacationland threatened by coronavirus pandemic

April 17th, 2020:

This is how I operate now. I’m ‘zooming’ it! This was a meeting held Friday April 17th with the Maine Tourism Association and other industry leaders. We discussed our challenges, the federal PPP loan and ideas about how to move forward. So many conversations happening around the State about how to open our 2020 summer tourism season safely and wisely. I was incredibly impress with how thoughtful people were during this call…I mean zoom? Stay Tuned! I have 2 more big meetings at the end of the month.

And, FYI, schools in Maine are officially going remote for the rest of the year.

April 15th, 2020:

Gov. Janet Mills has extended Maine’s State of Civil Emergency through May 15th. Our Stay-at-Home mandate is set to expire on April 30th thus far. Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont are working closely to plan the safe reopening of the 3 state economies. We will wait to see what the end of the month brings from the CDC and the Governor’s office.

In the meantime, we have scheduled separate meetings with a group of other ferry operators, the Monhegan COVID 19 Task Force and the Maine Office of Tourism to help inform us of the best path forward.

Stay tuned! And, stay healthy!

April 9th, 2020:

Discussions continue with all concerned Monhegan related businesses, the Monhegan COVID-19 Task Force and the island community at large. It has become clear for the Island Inn, the Monhegan House and the Trailing Yew that opening in June is a reasonable and comfortable time. Please see their respective websites for more information.

As we approach the 1st week of May, Hardy Boat Cruises will begin to make the hard choices about our scheduling for the spring. We know we have many that are anxious to get out to hike and make the most of the spring bird migration after being cooped up for so very long. We feel the same way and are so very excited to open as soon as possible. However, before we put a bunch of people on our 60 foot boat, we need to be confident that we can keep passengers, crew and islanders safe and healthy. Maine is currently under a mandated lock-down through April 30th. State guidelines put in place for May, CDC and US Coast Guard recommendations and the overall COVID-19 situation nationwide will shape our decisions around when we can reasonably open and how we operate. We ask for your patience and understanding at this time. We wish you health and well-being.

April 4th, 2020:

This is the first in what we believe will be a long list of updates.

First and foremost, we hope you are well, healthy and safe at home while we all shelter in place for the time being. We are all in this together and it is imperative that we work hard to protect people with underlying medical conditions and to ease the influx on our healthcare providers and medical institutions.

COVID-19 is a public health and safety issue. As Hardy Boat Cruises looks towards the 2020 summer tourist season, we will be depending on our Federal and State authorities including the CDC and the US Coast Guard to guide us. Maine’s Gov. Janet Mills has issued a statewide “Stay Healthy at Home” order. This means everyone is to stay at home except for essential work or for essential personal need as defined by the State of Maine. This took effect, April 2nd and runs through April 30th. On April 3, “Governor Janet Mills issued an Executive Order mandating travelers arriving in Maine, regardless of their state of residency, self-quarantine for 14 days to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.” And, “While Governor Mills hopes compliance with this Order will be voluntary, it may also be enforced by law enforcement, as necessary. Individual violations of this Order may be charged as a Class E crime subject to a penalty of up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Additionally, any lodging, park, or campground operator who violates this Order may be construed as violating any license, permit or other authorization to operate and be subject to appropriate penalties.” This as published online by the Penobscot Bay Pilot April 3, 2020 at 6:30pm.

We will also be relying on the needs of Monhegan Island residents and their desire to keep the Island population healthy. A task force has been created to address Island issues and concerns. Click here for Monhegan COVID-19 Task Force updates

Saturday May 16th remains our official opening day. We anticipate this could change at any moment. Without knowing how we need to adapt our schedule, we have left this date on the books.

Our top priority is the well-being of our traveling public, our employees, our local communities and the residents of Monhegan Island. Things will make themselves clear as this situation unfolds. Appropriate decisions will come at appropriate times.

Hardy Boat Cruises has implemented a risk free way to book and cancel your reservations. It is 100% free to book with us May – June and for reservations that are paid for, there is a 100% refund of your reservation. No booking fees, No cancellation fees. We want to remain optimistic in the face of this new reality and we want no financial obstacle to prevent you from looking toward your future summertime plans.

PEACE OF MIND: It’s what we all need right now….

We ask you to be patient with us as we navigate these challenging times. As always, you are welcome to contact us with any and all concerns.

We wish you good health during these trying times.

March 31, 2020: Our first update coming soon….

© Hardy Boat Cruises – New Harbor, Maine
132 State Rt 32, PO Box 326
New Harbor, ME 04554

Photos by Sherrie Tucker Reflections of Nature and Alex Hadik
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