Cruiseport Boston wraps up the 2005 cruise season today when Royal Caribbean's Jewel of the Seas sails from South Boston's Black Falcon Cruise Terminal (BFCT). The Caribbean-bound voyage will mark the 100th vessel to call the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) terminal during the 2005 season. Overall passenger numbers for the season are expected to well exceed original projections of 225,000, setting a new passenger record for Cruiseport Boston.
"There is no question that the cruise business in general is growing," said Craig Coy, Massport's CEO. "Nowhere is this more evident than right here in Boston, where we continue to witness increased cruise activity. Bringing new people to Boston not only showcases our great city, but it bodes extremely well for the local and regional economy."
The 2005 cruise season ran from May through November and featured fifteen cruise lines providing a mix of New England Canada cruises, Bermuda cruises and Caribbean cruises.
The Port of Boston hosted a variety of vessels this season including old favorites such as Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Majesty. The Majesty, a familiar Sunday site in Boston Harbor, marked her 12th season of making regular weekly sailings from Boston to Bermuda. Norwegian Cruise Line's famed Pride of America, the first US flagged ship in nearly 50 years, called Boston on a select port inaugural tour. The Pride of America drew thousands of sightseers to Boston's waterfront to catch a glimpse of her unique patriotic flair.
For the first time, regular turnaround sailings to Bermuda and the Caribbean were offered from Boston. Royal Caribbean's Jewel of the Seas made six 10-day cruises in September and October while its newly lengthened Enchantment of the Seas, made eight calls in Boston as part of its North Atlantic coastline cruise.
Holland America Line's Maasdam made 12 embarkations from Boston including 11 seven-day Canada-New England cruises. A 35-day transatlantic cruise took passengers from Boston to Rotterdam and included stops at several ports along the Arctic Circle and the North Sea before returning to Boston.
New cruise ships to Boston this year included Saga Holidays' Saga Ruby, formerly Cunard Line's Caronia. Saga Ruby made her debut in Boston as part of a Caribbean America inaugural tour. She and her sister ship, Saga Rose cater to an "over fifty" passenger clientele.
Cunard Line's Queen Elizabeth 2 and her regal new sister ship, Queen Mary 2 both made visits to Boston this year. The Queen Mary 2 is the world's largest, longest and tallest cruise ship. Her remarkable size and elegance was much in view as she loomed over South Boston's skyline upon arrival in early October.
Other cruise lines to make port of calls in Boston this season included: Radisson Seven Seas Cruises, Princess Cruises, Silversea, Carnival, Crystal Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, P&O Cruises, Seabourn, Holiday Kreuzfahrten and Residensea.
September and October saw the heaviest travel, proving that cool air and colorful trees are always a big attraction in Boston. More than 140,000 travelers passed through Black Falcon Cruise Terminal in September and October, accounting for more than half of the season's total passengers.
In 2004, a total of 95 cruise ships carrying 199,453 passengers called Boston's Black Falcon Cruise Terminal. In 2002, a record 209,641 passengers on 93 vessels marked the largest number of passengers to call at Massport's cruise facility. This is only exceeded by the unplanned circumstances following September 11, 2001 that diverted several New York bound ships to Boston.
According to the International Council of Cruise Lines, the cruise industry spent $297 million in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 2004, supporting more than 4,000 jobs that paid some $228 million in wages and salaries.