Boston cruise terminal sets record, Philly pulls out

Boasting a 7% increase in passengers over 2009, Boston’s cruise terminal is going full speed ahead on bookings. At the same time, with only two ships scheduled to visit in 2011, Philadelphia’s cruise port , once an important part of the city’s push for more tourists, could soon be transformed into an Urban Outfitters retail store.

USA Today’s Cruise Log reports that “It looks like Philadelphia is getting out of the cruise business, even as sailings out of nearby cities such as Baltimore and New York take off.”

Philadelphia, peaking at 36 departures in 2006, has seen a gradual decline in sailings as passengers opted for itineraries sailing from New York, prompting cruise lines to move ships to other ports. This week’s decision to end a 20-year lease eight years early hopes to save the city a reported 18 million in port improvement costs.

Boston, buoyed by an increased interest in New England and Coastal/Canadian voyages among others, has seen more cruise passengers sailing. A recent announcement for an $11 million makeover of the Black Falcon Cruise Terminal, a facility dating back to World War I, is intended to fuel further expansion in Boston’s growing cruise industry.

Flickr photo: Smudge 9000