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Local Elected Officials and Massport Celebrate Start of 2018 Cruise Season with Two New Itineraries

BOSTON – New itineraries to Cuba and the Caribbean were the theme of today’s event to kick off the 2018 cruise season at the Flynn Cruiseport in South Boston. The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) today joined local elected officials and members of the South Boston community to celebrate the economic impact the Cruiseport has on the number of businesses and organizations throughout Massachusetts, including many tourism and transportation companies. There was also a special dedication of a new pocket park to honor the late William J. “Hank” “Skippy” Miller, a longshoreman and past president of the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) Local 800.

Massport is delighted to announce several new itineraries out of Boston throughout the 2018 cruise season. Holland America Line will be offering two 14-Day Cuba sailings, roundtrip, departing June 23 and August 4 aboard the MS Veendam. Norwegian Cruise Lines will be offering a 14-Day Eastern Caribbean from Boston, roundtrip, departing October 26th on the Norwegian Dawn. Royal Caribbean Cruise Line will be offering three seven-night Bermuda sailings, roundtrip, departing September 23, October 7 and October 21 aboard the Serenade of the Seas. Massport will also continue to offer the great weekly escapes to Bermuda and the beautiful fall itineraries through Canada/New England.

"The Ray Flynn Cruiseport is extremely important to the City of Boston and to our region. Each year we have seen record-breaking growth in the number of cruise ships that call on the Port of Boston and the number of tourists that experience our historic city. Once again I congratulate Tom Glynn and his Massport team and wish them a very successful 2018 season,” said Congressman Stephen F. Lynch. “It is also wonderful that the Cruiseport supports hundreds of local jobs and generates tens of millions of dollars for the local economy, and I am proud of the economic impact we are seeing in the area.”

The pocket park dedicated to Hank Miller runs along the Reserve Channel between Conley Terminal and the Cruiseport, a fitting tribute to Miller who worked hard to advance these maritime properties and bring them to success. Miller was a well-known advocate for peaceful labor relations. He joined the ILA Local 800 in 1953 upon his return from serving in the Marines in Korea during the Korean Conflict. Miller held a number of leadership roles at the ILA including Wage Scale Rep, President, Business Agent and Pension Administrator. The ILA believes Miller’s constant presence as a vocal and active union member has made it possible for their union to enact the recent changes that helped reestablish the Port as an economic engine in South Boston.

“Each year we see continued growth and success at Flynn Cruiseport,” said City Councilor Michael Flaherty. “This in turn means economic opportunities for the men and women of labor and for the businesses in the region.”

Massport has invested nearly $20M in capital improvements to the Flynn Cruiseport, contributing to strong growth in ship calls and passenger volume. Larger ships, two to three times the size calling the Port today, are now seeking Boston as a homeport. According to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), Massachusetts is one of the top ten states benefitting economically from the global cruise industry. CLIA estimates the cruise industry contributes more than $485 million annually to the Massachusetts economy. To date, the Massachusetts cruise industry has generated nearly 2,000 jobs and about $24 million in annual federal and state tax revenue.

“The Flynn Cruiseport has been a key player in the growth and development of the Port of Boston,” said City Councilor Ed Flynn. “It is an exciting day for South Boston as we kick off yet another cruise season with even more destination options for customers and more blue collar jobs for the residents of Boston.”

Flynn Cruiseport Boston welcomed a record 388,222 visitors to Boston during the 2017 cruise season and approximately 400,000 passengers are expected during the 2018 season. Cruise visitors arrived to Boston from April through November via 150 ship calls from 35 vessels representing 19 different international cruise lines. Five ships made their maiden or first time call to Boston in 2017: TUI Cruises’ Mein Schiff 6, Ponant’s Le Soleal, Viking Ocean Cruises’ Viking Sky and Viking Sea, and Silversea Cruises’ Silver Muse. Current trends in cruising are for overnight port calls, allowing guests the opportunity to enjoy the destination for an extended amount of time.  Last year, Flynn Cruiseport Boston welcomed seven ships to overnight at the terminal and will continue this trend into the future. 

“The Port of Boston is a popular cruise destination enticing visitors from around the world with extensive history, culture, shopping and world class culinary experiences,” said Massport’s Port Director, Lisa Wieland. “Looking ahead to the future, Boston will continue to grow as both an embarkation port and destination port of call for multiple cruise lines as we improve our infrastructure and expand our itineraries.”

Boston is one of America’s oldest cities and a 21st century powerhouse. Visit revolutionary landmarks along the Freedom Trail, stroll through Boston Common to Faneuil Hall or tour Fenway Park, the oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball.  Neighborhoods such as the North End, Beacon Hill and the Back Bay offer unique flavors, sights and sounds for every interest. Venture across the Charles River to Cambridge and enjoy the iconic grounds of Harvard University and MIT. Boston is a city where tradition and innovation blend to create a unique cosmopolitan destination.

“The hub of Boston continues to draw more cruise passengers as both a port of call and a starting point for longer journeys to Canada, the Caribbean and beyond,” said Massport CEO Thomas P. Glynn. “The cruise lines that operate at the Cruiseport continue to increase the number of cruises out of Boston and Boston stops on their itineraries. The men and women employed at the Cruiseport provide a warm welcome to those traveling through and recognize the significant impact tourism has on the Commonwealth and the country as a whole.”

Flynn Cruiseport is located in the vibrant Seaport District.  It is easily accessible from both I-90 and I-93 and minutes from Logan International Airport. Those who are interested should visit to learn more.