The cruise business will be up to the tune of 31 percent in 2017 for Cruiseport Boston, with 151 ship calls expected and a nice uptick in homeport visits from Norwegian Cruise Line, which is building up its Boston-based Bermuda program. There are also five overnight calls, up from three in 2016.
“We have two markets. Bermuda is a large drive-in market and then we have sailings to Canada/New England,” said Michael Vanderbeeke, deputy port director. “Holland America Line is picking up their homeport activity, doing 28 turns here.”
The buildup in airlift has surely helped Canada/New England sailings. The additions include more long-haul flights and more low-cost domestic carrier activity.
“Additional airlift capacity into Boston makes it a natural homeport for that itinerary,” Vanderbeeke added.
The port will welcome 19 cruise lines and 36 ships in 2017, and will be near or above record-setting passenger marks.
“We have a total of six maiden calls, including the Mein Schiff 6. It’s the first time TUI Cruises is calling in Boston. Over time, there is a lot of upside potential,” he noted.
For cruises heading north, Boston is an ideal homeport, according to Vanderbeeke.
“If you start in Boston, you can slow down a bit, and spend more time in port,” he commented.
Looking ahead, Vanderbeeke said the immediate opportunity to grow the business lies in the summer 2018 Canada/New England program.
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