The $11 million transformation of the Black Falcon cruise terminal from a vintage World War I military warehouse to a state-of-the art departure point for cruise passengers is complete. The Massachusetts Port Authority formally launched its new Cruiseport Boston this month.
The terminal has been expanded to meet the growing demand of the cruise industry, to enhance customer service, and to benefit the region economically This environmentally sensitive project reused the century-old building, made use of daylight and natural ventilation, used recycled materials in floors and seating,and incorporated energy-saving LED lighting . Usable space has been tripled.
Passengers can check their baggage at the curb and take new escalators or elevators to the third floor of the Black Falcon Cruise Terminal. On the second level, there is a gently sloping moving walkway and additional elevator to assist disembarking passengers with carryon luggage as they make their way to the ground floor.
The third floor has more than 60,000 square feet of new space – providing more check-in counters, passenger screening and seating – all with an open, airy feel. Picture windows offer views of the cruise ship passengers are about to board.
“You can only make one first impression, and our cruise terminal is the front door for a world-class port city,” said Thomas J. Kinton, Jr., Massport’s CEO & Executive Director. “With larger ships bringing more visitors every year, and with more vacationers choosing to cruise out of Boston, we had to make this investment. Cruising is a growth industry in Massachusetts and its economic impact extends far beyond the waterfront.’’
“Investing in infrastructure to create jobs and economic opportunity is a priority of Governor Patrick and Lieutenant Governor Murray, and this cruise terminal project will offer an economic benefit while at the same time improving the experience for hundreds of thousands of customers,” said Massachusetts Department of Transportation Secretary & CEO and Massport Board member Jeffrey Mullan.
Cruiseport Boston can now simultaneously handle disembarking passengers and those wanting to board a ship. Overall, the renovations generated about 100 constructions jobs.
“We are delighted with the new space Massport created at the cruise terminal, and are confident embarking cruise passengers will love the bright and spacious interior of the third floor departure area,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Chief Executive Officer. “Last month, our guests gave the highest ratings ever for getting on and off our ship, Norwegian Spirit, in Boston. With the renovations now complete, guests will have an even more enjoyable experience.”
“Boston is a wonderful port city and North American gateway with a unique proximity to its airport and historic downtown,’’ said Stein Kruse, president and chief executive officer of Holland America Line, “Massport’s improvements will enhance our guest experience as we continue to use Boston as a cruise gateway.’’
Part of Black Falcon’s makeover incorporated new signage, including exterior floor-to-ceiling graphics of Boston scenes on the water side of the terminal for those leaving a ship to view. On the land side, those approaching the building will see large hanging posters showcasing the destinations served by cruise ships sailing from Boston. The images provide the hundreds of thousands of arriving cruise passengers a sense of place and give the departing passengers a sense of excitement about the destinations served by the Black Falcon Cruise Terminal.
Three ships homeport in Boston: Norwegian Cruise Lines’ Norwegian Spirit sails weekly to Bermuda and also offers Canada/New England cruises in the fall; Holland America Line’s Maasdam sails every other week to Montreal between May and October, and Royal Caribbean’s Jewel of the Seas has cruises sailing from Boston to ports in Canada and New England. In 2011, the Norwegian Spirit will be replaced by the newer and 10 percent larger Norwegian Dawn.