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Viking Star - among eight maiden calls scheduled in 2016

Boston chalks up maiden calls, longer Canada/New England season

Cruiseport Boston's 2015 featured six maiden calls and a Canada/New England season that now stretches six months plus a new Bermuda itinerary.

Boston tallied 114 calls by 29 ships and 328,305 passengers. Among the maiden calls, Royal Caribbean International's Liberty of the Seas carried 3,634 cruisers, the most of any vessel ever.

Other first calls were by Oceania Cruises' Marina, AIDA Cruises' AIDAdiva, Princess Cruises' Regal Princess and Celebrity Cruises' Celebrity Eclipse.

Holland America Line's Veendam provided the new Bermuda route, calling at Hamilton. In addition, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Dawn sailed to King’s Wharf, Bermuda.

In July, Cruiseport Boston helped Cunard Line celebrate its 175th anniversary when Queen Mary 2 visited. Boston and Cunard have a special history dating to 1840, when the city was the first US port visited by Britannia on its inaugural trans-Atlantic voyage from Liverpool.

'Canada/New England is now a successful market for six months of the year—May to October—and continues to grow, with several ports on the itinerary receiving guest satisfaction ratings among the highest in the world,' said Massport's Lisa Wieland, acting port director.

Massport continues to upgrade its Black Falcon Cruise Terminal. Following the $11m makeover of the main terminal in 2011, in February this year renovations to the adjacent terminal were completed. The $3.2m project included improved ventilation, heating, lighting, additional outlets for power and data to facilitate ticketing and baggage functions, new restrooms and new storefront installations to bring more daylight into the space.

The 2016 season is to open in April with Veendam sailing a Canada/New England itinerary. Approximately 330,000 passengers are expected on 119 calls aboard 32 ships through mid-November.

Eight maiden visits are booked including Disney Cruise Line's Disney Magic, Royal Caribbean International's Navigator of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas, Regent Seven Seas Cruises' Seven Seas Mariner, Azamara Club Cruises' Azamara Quest, Holland America Line’s Zuiderdam, Oceania Cruises’ Sirena and Viking Cruises’ Viking Star.

Ponant Yacht Cruises will have two itineraries departing from Boston. A 10-day round-trip that visits Lunenbourg, Bar Harbor, Salem, Newport, New York and Martha’s Vineyard sails Sept. 10. And an eight-day Boston to Colón, Panama, cruise departs Oct. 9.

Also, three ships will overnight: Fred. Olsen’s Balmoral on May 6, Azamara Quest on Oct. 5 and Viking Star on Oct. 11.

Cruise operations at Massport provide more than 950 direct jobs and generate nearly $80m a year in economic impact and $25m in local, state, and federal tax revenue.

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