The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) kicked off the 2019 Cruise Season at the Ray Flynn Cruiseport Boston on Friday, March 29, poised for another record-breaking year of cruise ships and passengers coming to Boston Harbor.
As part of the festivities, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito received the Maritime Champion Award for her dedication and support of the maritime economy across the Commonwealth. As chair of the Seaport Economic Council, Lt. Governor Polito has worked with coastal communities to develop and improve local assets to facilitate economic growth and stimulate job creation. The Council serves all 78 of Massachusetts coastal communities.
Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said, “I’m honored to be the recipient of Massport’s Maritime Champion Award. I will continue to serve as an advocate for the Port and the coastal communities of the Commonwealth, and build on the transformative investments we have made to the Massachusetts maritime economy.”
Massport also welcomed the Norwegian Gem on her maiden homeport voyage to Flynn Cruiseport. This year, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) is offering three Caribbean itineraries on the Gem, departing on March 29th, October 25th, and November 8th. The Gem will also continue sailing from Boston to Bermuda on Fridays from Flynn Cruiseport.
In addition, the Cruiseport is also welcoming the MSC Meraviglia, a 4,500-passenger ship, for the first time this October. Disney Magic returns to Boston this fall for the first time since 2016. Both the Meraviglia and Disney Magic will visit Boston as a port of call.
Congressman Stephen F. Lynch said, “The Ray Flynn Cruiseport has had a tremendous impact on the local economy and the tourism it brings provides hundreds of steady jobs. Thank you to Acting CEO John Pranckevicius, Port Director Lisa Wieland, the entire MassPort team and the Longshoreman’s Union for all your work, and best wishes for another great cruise season.”
This season, Massport is announcing several new itineraries out of Boston throughout the 2019 cruise season.
Ponant’s Le Champlain will cruise to Puerto Morelos, Mexico on October 26.
Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas will embark to the Southern Caribbean islands on October 27.
Holland America will once again offer its Voyage of the Vikings on the Zuiderdam, departing on July 30 and stopping in Greenland, Iceland, Norway and the Netherlands.
Massport will also continue to offer the weekly escapes to Bermuda and the beautiful fall itineraries through Canada/New England.
Mayor Martin J. Walsh said, “I am proud of the record-setting growth we have seen at the Port of Boston in recent years, a testament to our thriving tourism sector in Boston. As we prepare to kick-off another cruise season, I thank all of the hardworking men and women who work every day at the Cruiseport to sustain and grow this economic engine that is important to the City of Boston.”
State Senator Nick Collins said, “The Flynn Cruiseport is a robust, economic engine that continues to provide hundreds of employment opportunities for people in the community and beyond. The dedication of the men and women who run this Port make it the success it is today and we are excited to celebrate the start of yet another cruise season.”
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 that are 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.
State Representative David Biele said, “The working Port has created blue-collar jobs and is an economic engine for not only Boston and Commonwealth, but the northeast region. This is an exciting day for Massport and South Boston as we celebrate the start of a new cruise season with even more travel options for customers.”
City Councilor Michael Flaherty said Boston’s working Port “has provided economic opportunities for the men and women of labor and for businesses across the region. We look forward to another successful cruise season with even more destination options for customers.”
Flynn Cruiseport welcomed a record 389,619 to Boston during the 2018 cruise season and over 400,000 passengers are expected during the 2019 season, which will be the first time that Flynn Cruiseport surpasses this number. Cruise visitors arrived to Boston from April through November via a record 151 ship calls from 34 vessels representing 20 different international cruise lines Four ships made their maiden or first time call to Boston in 2018: Hurtigruten’s MS Fram, Noble Caledonia’s Hebridean Sky,Windstar’s Star Pride, and Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Silhouette. 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 welcomed nine ships to overnight at the terminal and will continue this trend into the future.
City Councilor Ed Flynn said, “The Port of Boston has seen incredible growth over the last decade and the Cruiseport has been a key player in making that happen. The cruise industry in Boston is alive and well and we are thrilled to kick off yet another season.”
Massport’s Port Director, Lisa Wieland called Boston “a popular cruise destination with historic sightseeing attractions, award-winning restaurants and professional sporting events all within a couple miles of Cruiseport Boston. The success of the Port would not be possible without the hardworking men and women who work there. Thank you to Lieutenant Governor Polito for being a strong voice for the maritime industry and coastal communities in Massachusetts. We are grateful for her partnership as we celebrate the start of another cruise season at the Port.”
The Commonwealth has a lot to offer its cruise visitors. Boston is one of America’s oldest cities and a 21st century powerhouse. Visitors can explore 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. Visitors can also explore the rich history of the Salem witch trials on the North Shore and “America’s Hometown” of Plymouth on the South Shore. Next year, the Commonwealth commemorates the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower voyage and the founding of Plymouth Colony with a series of special events.
Massport Acting CEO John Pranckevicius said, “We are proud of the record-breaking success of Flynn Cruiseport Boston and the many jobs and businesses it supports throughout the Massachusetts economy. Thank you to Lieutenant Governor Polito for her dedication to the Massachusetts maritime industry, the Port of Boston, and all coastal communities. The Baker-Polito Administration recognizes the importance of the incredible coastal assets we have here in Massachusetts and we are thankful for their leadership.”
This year’s celebration, which falls during Women’s History Month, honored Women in Maritime. The event also featured a series of interviews with a number of women whose hard work and perseverance have helped make the Port the success it is today and will continue to be in the future.
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. Visit www.massport.com/cruiseport/ to learn more.