The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) today announced the number of passengers at Cruiseport Boston exceeded 300,000 for a second year in a row as the 2011 season finished with 310,234 travelers. The 2011 cruise season saw 107 ships visit Boston, and some of the season’s highlights included a successful first year of the newly home-based, larger Bermuda ship Norwegian Dawn, the maiden call of Compagnie du Ponant’s luxury yacht LeBoreal on Sept. 16, and Cunard Line’s Queen Elizabeth on Sept. 22.

On Oct. 2 Cruiseport Boston enjoyed its busiest day since 2005 when four cruise ships were in port at the same time, bringing more than 7,000 passengers to Boston in a single day. This was also the first full season passengers at Cruiseport Boston had an opportunity to enjoy the new $11 million renovation to the Black Falcon Terminal.

“Boston’s 2011 cruise season commemorated our 25th Silver Anniversary in style with new ships and more efficient operations,” said Mike Leone, Port Director for Massport. “This was the first full season utilizing our newly-constructed 21,000 sq. ft. departure lounge greatly enhancing passenger flow and overall customer experience.”

Overall, Cruiseport Boston ended the season with a four percent decline from the 322,161 cruise passengers who visited Boston in 2010. The fall off is due to visiting day ships primarily deploying to Europe instead of the Canada/New England itinerary.

“We saw a two percent increase in travelers who began their cruise from Boston,” said Leone.  “Norwegian Dawn was regularly fully-booked on its weekly cruises to Bermuda. Next year, we will have many new ships and itineraries to be offered from Cruiseport Boston. The increase in home-based ships has a multiplier effect on the local economy because the vessels are restocked for each voyage in Boston.” 

For day visitors, otherwise known as “port of call” visitors, Massport this year, in partnership with the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau (GBCVB), created a new map of Boston designed specifically for the Cruiseport Boston passenger. The map shows walking routes to Boston’s popular destinations and the ease of access to downtown shops, restaurants, and other attractions from the cruise terminal. Ships stopping in for the day generate tax revenues, and provide a great opportunity for these visitors to experience Boston as a destination, ultimately enticing them back for a longer stay.

In 2012 Cruiseport Boston will see brand new choices for Canada & New England cruising when Carnival Cruise Lines homeports the Carnival Glory for four, five and 7-day cruises during the summer. Holland America will homeport the Veendam, for two, 7-day (one-way) sailings to Montreal as well as a repositioning cruise to South America. And in addition to its regular Bermuda cruises, Norwegian Dawn will sail three, 7-day (one-way) cruises to Quebec, while three luxury lines -- Compagnie du Ponant, Seabourn and Crystal Cruises -- will offer one-way itineraries to Canada & New England ports.