SALEM (CBS) — An environmental impact report dives deep into the possibility of cruise ships coming to Salem.

Under the plan, the Salem Evening News reports, a coal dock at Salem Harbor Station would see a surge of visitors.

The pier would host cruise ships, possibly as early as October, that are too large to dock at the nearby Salem Wharf. The biggest issues for critics is dealing with the large crowds.

The 650-foot Seabourn Quest, is expected to be the first cruise ship to use the dock when it arrives Oct. 19, during the second half of a 14-day Montreal-to-Fort Lauderdale cruise, according to the Salem News.

From the perspective of Salem Police, they are open to the whole plan – but think there’s still work that needs to be done.

“The water is already there to accommodate the large ships it’s just a matter of us getting ready to accommodate the large crowds,” Lieutenant Conrad Prosniewski told WBZ NewsRadio 1030.

In the past, smaller cruises with a few hundred people have docked in Salem but under the plan, thousands of tourists would flood the city from the larger ships.

The report says Salem could theoretically host as many at 12 ships a year but would likely only see four to eight a year.

The city is no stranger to large crowds though, each October, hundreds of thousands of people visit the city for their month-long Haunted Happenings celebration.



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