Norwegian Dawn in BostonCruiseport Boston’s 2012 season got underway on Saturday, April 21, when Norwegian Dawn set sail on a special 6-day cruise to Bermuda, the first of 22 weekly cruises to the island.

This is the second year for the 2,224 passenger ship to sail the ever-popular 7-day itinerary. The season also brings with it a boatload of new itineraries giving vacationers many more cruising options from Boston. The main newcomer at Cruiseport Boston is Carnival Cruise Lines’ 2,974-passenger Carnival Glory, which will sail a series of 4, 5 and 7-day itineraries to New England and Atlantic Canada during the months of June and July.

The first Carnival cruise leaves Boston June 3 heading out for 7 days to Portland, Maine; Saint John, New Brunswick; and Halifax and Sydney, Nova Scotia. Thereafter Carnival Glory will sail a series of 4-day “long weekend” cruises to Saint John, New Brunswick, and 5-day cruises to Halifax, Nova Scotia and Saint John, New Brunswick.

“We’re going to have a very busy season at Cruiseport Boston this year,” said David S. Mackey, Massport’s Interim CEO & Executive Director. “In 2010 we completed an $11 million renovation of the facility to bolster our appeal to the cruise lines, and that investment is paying off with all the new itineraries being offered from Boston.’’

Another indication of the popularity of the renovated Cruiseport Boston facility is the number of passengers starting and ending their cruise vacation in Boston is now 60 percent, compared to the Port-of-Call passengers who visit the city for the day. That increase is helped by the entry of Carnival Glory.

Carnival is known as “The World’s Most Popular Cruise Line®,” with 23 “Fun Ships” giving their guests the sense that they're crossing over into a whole new world of fun every time they walk up the gangway. The 13-deck Carnival Glory was launched in 2003 and offers spacious accommodations, a 270 square foot poolside Seaside Theatre LED screen showing movies, concerts and other programming; a 13,300 square foot spa, four swimming pools – one with a 214-foot-long Twister Waterslide; expansive, modern play areas for children, ’tweens and teens; and Serenity, an exclusive adults-only retreat. Several dining options are also available such as a 24-hour pizzeria, a patisserie, and a classic American steakhouse.

“We’re looking forward to launching our first extended cruise schedule from Boston aboard the Carnival Glory in June,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival Cruise Lines president and CEO.  “These four- and five-day cruises not only provide our guests with a convenient and affordable ‘Fun Ship’ cruise choice departing from one of America’s great cities but also offer an opportunity to visit two of Atlantic Canada’s most charming and picturesque destinations, Halifax and Saint John,” he added.

In addition, Holland America’s Veendam, and three luxury cruise lines: Compagnie du Ponant’s LeBoreal, Seabourn’s Seabourn Soujourn and Crystal Cruises’ Crystal Symphony will all offer new itineraries to Canada & New England ports. As will Norwegian Dawn upon completion of regular weekly Bermuda cruises. Veendam will also offer an18 and 31-day repositioning cruise to South America via the Panama Canal, and Royal Caribbean’s Jewel of the Seas will now sail weekly on Sundays to Canada & New England rather than Saturdays.

This new season has the widest array of cruise options in the 26 year history of the Terminal, with something to appeal to all ages and every budget. In 2012, 112 ship calls are scheduled, and Massport anticipates a third consecutive year of more than 300,000 passengers traveling through its Black Falcon Cruise Terminal and an expectation to break the 2010 passenger record high of 322,161. The 2012 cruise season runs from April to November.