Portland/Maine

Portland/Maine


According to the official US tourism website "VisitTheUSA.de", the US state of Maine, the northernmost of the six New England states, is not just any travel destination. Vast, sparsely populated country, grandiose coastal landscapes, mainly medium-sized and small towns and seafood in all variations attract millions of domestic and foreign tourists every year. Next to the one further north Bar Harbor Portland is one of the favorite destinations for cruise lines in Maine.

Article overview Portland / Maine

The romantic shoreline at Portland

The romantic shoreline at Portland


Portland/Maine - the lobster region of the USA

According to the popular lyric of tourism pundits and cruise lines, Portland, Maine is all about the lobster. Even at the beginning of the 19th century, lobsters were washed up on the stalls after heavy storms, and the inexperienced coastal residents could think of nothing better than to use the noble delicacies as fertilizer and fish bait. Efficient cooling systems made it possible to ship the lobsters over long distances. This established Maine lobster's reputation as a delicacy in the 1850's. And it has remained so to this day.

Portland - Lobster and microbreweries abound


Portland history in brief

Portland's origins date back to 1632. At that time the British established a trading and fishing post which they named Falmouth. In 1676 Indians destroyed the settlement. The same thing happened again in 1690. The attackers that year were French and Indians. A good 150 years after its founding, the settlement was renamed Portland.

After what is now the US state of Maine split from Massachusetts in 1820, Portland became the state's capital. The city was just recovering from the adverse effects of the Presidential Embargo Act of 1807-1809. The economic embargo directed against England and France drove companies in the New England states into a severe depression: the ports, including Portland, were on the brink of economic collapse.

Portland – now a prosperous port city

The city only thrived when Maine ships were once again allowed to call at ports around the world. Evidence of the upswing: In 1823, regular shipping with steamships was established between Boston and Portland.

Portland Harbour


In 1866 the city got into another difficult situation due to a fire in the city. The fire was triggered by the national holiday celebrations. Hundreds of houses, almost all public buildings and half of all churches fell victim to the flames. Portland residents did not give up. They rebuilt their city in Victorian style after the fire. The many characteristic brick buildings in the center of the city date from this period. The city seal above the town hall entrance commemorates this achievement. Next to the city coat of arms is the Latin word "Resurgam", which means something like "I will rise again".

Portland City Hall


Portland City Hall



Resurgam - Portland's leitmotif 


Portland - the largest city in the state of Maine

Although Portland ceded the capital function to Augusta in 1832, it did not lose its importance. Located in Cumberland County, Portland is the largest city in the US state of Maine with more than 68.000 inhabitants (as of 2022). More than 205.000 people currently live in the Portland urban area.

Portland - honored by the American National Historic Trust

In 2003, the American National Historic Trust declared Portland one of twelve “signature” destinations in the United States. This is one of the reasons why the picturesque Old Port District with its restored merchants' houses attracts many tourists. Portland is known for its arts and culture scene in the Arts District. Worth mentioning are the Portland Museum of Art, the Portland Symphony Orchestra and the Portland Stage Company. The art museum has 15.000 works of art from the 18th century to the present. The most important American painters, well-known European artists and contemporary art are honored.

Monument Square - Our Lady of VictoriesMonument Square - Our Lady of Victories


Portland – what else you should know


From an economic point of view, Portland is the location of large financial service providers and a tourist center of rank. Probably the most important son of the city is the writer Stephen Edwin King, who achieved international fame through his horror novels. He is considered one of the most widely read and commercially successful authors of our time.

Portland - destination of cruise ships

Portland is one of the most popular cruise destinations in North America between the months of April and early November. Among the East Coast destinations, the city is only topped (by a significant margin) by Bar Harbor/Maine

In 2017, Portland reported a record of 100.000 cruise ship passengers. Two years later, 100 passenger ships were counted for the first time. The momentum continues: Almost 2024 small and large cruise ships from international shipping companies have already been registered for 140.

Two terminals are available to receive ships: the Maine State Pier and the Ocean Gateway Cruise Terminal at the Information Center

Cruise Terminal - Portland Ocean Gateway


Cruise Terminal - Portland Ocean Gateway


Cruise Terminal - Portland Ocean Gateway


Cruise Terminal - Portland Ocean Gateway 


Portland Ocean Terminal


Portland Ocean Terminal


Portland Ocean Terminal with Oceania Regatta


Portland Ocean Terminal with Oceania Regatta 


Both terminals are just a few steps away from Portland Downtown's dynamic trendy district, the Waterfront. The Piers are also located a short distance from the Old Port Shopping District and within easy walking distance of the Art's District and historic Uptown Old Town.

Portland's Waterfront


We describe what Portland offers day guests arriving on cruise ships Portland Sights and One day in Portland.

Update November 2023

Activities & Excursions Portland - GetYourGuide