AAPA Seaports Advisory

Cruise: Boston, Galveston, CLIA Study

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Boston Completes another Successful Cruise Season

The Port of Boston wrapped up a successful 2015 cruise season November 8 with the sailing of Celebrity Eclipse from Massport’s Black Falcon Cruise Terminal. During the season, which began April 24, the port hosted 114 calls by 29 ships carrying 328,305 passengers, including the largest cruise ship ever to call Boston, Royal Caribbean’s 3,634-passenger Liberty of the Sea.

The 2015 season saw the introduction of a second Bermuda service, Holland America Line’s itinerary to Hamilton on the MS Veendam. Veendam joined Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Dawn, which sails to King’s Wharf, Bermuda.

Five ships made maiden calls to Cruiseport Boston during the 2015 season: Oceania Marina, Liberty of the Seas, AIDA Diva, Regal Princess and Celebrity Eclipse. In July, Cunard Line celebrated its 175th anniversary in Boston during the Queen Mary 2’s first call of the season. Boston and Cunard Line have a relationship dating to 1840, when the city was the first U.S. port called by Cunard’s Brittania during its inaugural transatlantic voyage from Liverpool.

To accommodate the growth in cruise passengers, Massport continues to upgrade the Black Falcon Cruise Terminal. An $11 million makeover undertaken in 2010 tripled the usable space on the third floor to allow for faster processing of passengers embarking or returning from a cruise. It also added vibrant colors, environmentally-friendly lighting, new elevators, people movers and signage to give visitors a sense of place and destinations served.

In February of this year, renovations were completed to the adjacent terminal. The $3.2 million project included improved ventilation, heating, lighting, additional outlets for power and data to facilitate ticketing and baggage functions, new restrooms and new storefront installations to provide more daylight into the existing space.

The 2016 season kicks off in April with Holland American Line’s Veendam sailing a Canada/New England itinerary. Approximately 330,000 passengers and 119 ship calls are expected through the end of the season in mid-November. First time Boston visitors will be Disney Magic, Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas, Regent’s Seven Seas Mariner; Azamara Quest; Holland America’s Zuiderdam; Oceana Cruises’ Sirena; and Viking Cruises’ Viking Star.

Ponant Yacht Cruises will have two itineraries departing from Boston: a 10-day roundtrip Boston/Lunenbourg (Canada)/Bar Harbor/Salem/Newport/New York/Martha’s Vineyard on September 10 and an eight-day Boston to Colon on October 9th. Overnight Boston calls are scheduled for Fred Olsen’s Balmoral on May 6, Azamara Quest on October 5 and Viking Star on October 11.

Cruise operations at Massport provide over 950 direct jobs, generating nearly $80 million in economic impact each year and $25 million in annual local, state, and federal tax revenue.

"Boston is New England’s homeport and is a quick drive for thousands of cruise passengers who choose not to fly, or cannot afford the expense of flying a family to Florida," said Massport’s Acting Port Director Lisa Wieland. "This makes Cruiseport Boston an ideal starting point for cruises to Bermuda, Canada/New England and several transatlantic itineraries."

A busy October cruise day at the Port of Boston
Photo/Allan Dines

Galveston Welcomes Largest Cruise Ship Ever To Sail From Texas

Royal Caribbean International’s Liberty of the Seas arrived at the Port of Galveston on November 13. The 160,000-ton, 3,634-passenger capacity Freedom class vessel is the largest cruise ship to sail from a Texas port.  

Liberty of the Seas replaces RCI’s 130,000-ton, 3,114-passenger Navigator of the Seas in offering year-round Western Caribbean cruise itineraries from Galveston. Port calls in the seven-night itineraries include: Isla Roatán, Honduras; Belize City, Belize; Cozumel, Mexico; Falmouth, Jamaica; Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; Montego Bay, Jamaica; and Costa Maya, Mexico.

"The repositioning of Liberty of the Seas to the Port of Galveston represents Royal Caribbean’s confidence in the Port of Galveston’s efficient cruise operations and ability to attract passengers on its Freedom class ships," said Port Director Mike Mierzwaector. "We are excited to homeport the largest cruise ship to sail from the State of Texas".

Liberty of the Seas departing on her first voyage from Galveston.
Photo/Port of Galveston

Cruise Lines, Passengers Spent Record $21 Billion in 2014

Cruise lines, their passengers and crew spent a record $21 billion in the United States in 2014, up 16 percent since 2010, according to a new study from Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).

CLIA's 2014 Economic Impact Analysis shows that total contributions of the global cruise industry to the U.S. economy reached a record $46.09 billion in 2014, up 4.5 percent from the previous year. This includes 373,738 U.S. jobs paying more than $19 billion in wages and salaries.

"The global cruise industry is a critical contributor to the U.S. economy, and we see evidence of the industry's positive effect spreading across the country," said Cindy D'Aoust, CLIA's acting CEO. "In each of the 50 states, we saw cruise lines purchasing goods or services in support of their operations, and passengers traveling for their cruise vacations. The cruise industry is thriving and making an important economic contribution."

According to CLIA's study, more than 11 million cruise passengers worldwide embarked from U.S. ports in 2014, setting a new high and marking the largest increase (11 percent) in 10 years. The top 10 U.S. cruise ports accounted for 88 percent of 2014 embarkations. Florida accounted for 62 percent of all U.S. embarkations. Embarkations in California's four ports totaled 984,000 in 2014, a 49-percent increase.

Globally, demand for cruising worldwide increased 68 percent in the last ten years, from 13.14 million passengers in 2004 to 22.04 million passengers in 2014. Cruise industry expenditures worldwide generated $119.9 billion in total output, supporting 939,232 full-time equivalent employees who earned $39.3 billion in income.

"The cruise industry is truly a global and dynamic industry," said Ms. D'Aoust. "We've enjoyed progressive growth over the last 30 years, driven initially by demand from North America, which expanded to Europe, Australia and now Asia. As a result, the cruise industry today impacts the global economy, generating jobs, income and business growth in all regions of the world."

View infographics referencing the Cruise Industry Economic Impact Study.

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