The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) today announced that the 2007 cruise season officially begins on Sunday, April 15th with the arrival of the Saga Ruby for an overnight port-of-call. This year's season runs through December 17th, and so far anticipates 103 ship calls with roughly 250,000 travelers passing through Cruiseport Boston with 15 cruise lines offering an assortment of New England/Canada, Bermuda, Caribbean, and trans-Atlantic itineraries.

New this year to the Port of Boston will be the inaugural visit by Norwegian Cruise Line's newest Jewel-Class ship the Gem. Carrying 2400 passengers and weighing 93,000 gross tons, she is one of nine brand new cruise ships entering the North American market. Additional new Boston ports-of-call include Norwegian's Spirit, Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas and Explorer of the Seas, and Classic International Cruises Athena.

This cruise season promises to be a busy one with a 20% increase over last year in leisure travelers through Cruiseport Boston, said Mike Leone, Massport's Port Director.This is good news for Boston's local restaurants, shops, and attractions.

Last fall, Massport issued a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) to developers and cruise lines for construction of a new cruise terminal in South Boston . A modern two terminal/berth facility would complement and enhance the emerging Seaport District, and accommodate the consistent growth of Boston's cruise industry since the first cruise ship called port in the 1980's. Several cruise lines have expressed interest in calling Boston year-round.

The Saga Ruby will be berthed at Cruiseport Boston's Black Falcon Terminal beginning at 7:00pm on April 15th, and will depart at 6:00pm on April 16th. Viewing is prohibited from the pier, therefore the best opportunity to see her is on the Summer Street Bridge over the Reserved Channel in South Boston.