All Things Travel: The Changing Profile Of The Boston Cruise Passenger

By Bob Weiss, All Things Travel
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A cruise ship stranded in Boston because of Sandy.

A cruise ship stranded in Boston because of Sandy.

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Bob Weiss’s All Things Travel reports can be heard weekly on WBZ...
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BOSTON (CBS) – According to final figures released by Massport, more passengers using its Black Falcon Cruise Terminal now begin and end their trip in Boston than come to the city for a one-day port-of-call visit from another destination.

A total of 380,054 cruise vacationers came through the terminal which has recently undergone an $11 million renovation. That is a 23 percent increase over 2011.

117 cruise ships docked in Boston this season, a nine percent increase over last year.

For the first time, Carnival Cruise Lines’ Glory began new service to Canadian ports with a dozen departures in the spring and summer. Previously, that business had been during the fall foliage season by other companies.

Logan Airport, also operated by Massport, benefited in two ways from the increased cruise passengers. Many of these travelers came from destinations across the U.S. and international airports. They usually arrived a day early and had a chance to see Boston. The location of Black Falcon Cruise can be reached from the airport in less than 10 minutes through the Ted Williams Tunnel.

According to the cruise industry’s trade association, the economic impact of the cruise business to the Massachusetts economy was $438 million supporting about 7,500 jobs.

An interesting factor in the economic picture is that these ships also brought more than 100,000 crew members to the city who use some of their time in port to pick-up items for their next cruise.

Even better results are already guaranteed for next year.

Carnival’s Glory will sail two additional seven day cruises to Canada. Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of The Seas will replace The Jewel of The Seas on a series of Canadian trips. Holland America’s Veendam will add eight additional trips to Canada while Norwegian Cruise Lines continues its weekly schedule to Bermuda.

A mile away in the Seaport District, Grand Circle Travel is giving Logan Airport a boost in traffic. One of the country’s largest travel companies for the senior market, it sent hundreds of passengers overseas to their smaller vessel river cruises.

bobweiss All Things Travel: The Changing Profile Of The Boston Cruise Passenger

Bob Weiss, CBS Boston travel contributor

The company was named number one in river cruising by Conde Nast “Traveler” magazine this year.

Starting in 1998, Grand Circle has concentrated more of its resources in smaller riverboats that now account for about 65% of its travelers.

With its headquarters on the waterfront since 1985, Grand Circle maintains one of the largest customer call centers in the city. Its headquarters building also houses a gallery that features travel exhibits throughout the year.

Bob Weiss reports on travel for WBZ News Radio 1030.

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