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Alternative flash content
- Category: Article of the Month
- Published on Wednesday, 01 May 2013 12:14
- Written by Kari Reinikainen
Cruiseport Boston is preparing for its turn to host the 15th annual Cruise Canada New England Symposium, which rotates each year among the organization’s member destinations. The Symposium takes place May 21 to 23, 2013, at the Seaport Hotel, bringing together key executives from the cruise lines as well as members of the Cruise Canada-New England Alliance, which in addition to Cruiseport Boston includes NYCruise, CruiseMaine, Cruise Atlantic Canada and Cruise the Saint Lawrence. As in years past, the agenda for the three-day event includes a variety of industry-specific panel discussions, cocktail receptions, and guided tours.
To get ready, Massport (the agency that operates the cruise port) is busy laying the groundwork to keep delegates busy and entertained. “Like any other conference, you work to determine what the agenda will be, to secure speakers and moderators, secure hotel space, create events and do all of the things to back those things up and make the Symposium interesting. Plus you do things that show off the particular venue to the Symposium delegates,” says Nick Billows, Deputy Port Director, Sales and Marketing, Massachusetts Port Authority Maritime Department.
The key is to create an atmosphere that fosters cooperation and informs delegates about not just what Boston has to offer, but the region as a whole, he says. “You get the people in the Alliance—other ports in Atlantic Canada and the Saint Lawrence—to put Boston into their ‘sell,’” Billows explains. “The other members can see what we have and when we talk to the lines individually as well as collectively, we can talk about how you can embark in Boston and then come up to Maine, or you can embark in Canada or New York—you can do embarkations in Montreal or Quebec and then sail down to Boston and how easy it is to get to the airport or downtown. We’re all in this together, trying to promote the region and what the attributes of each destination are.”
Recently, Cruiseport Boston unveiled an $11 million renovation to its Black Falcon Cruise Terminal, which transformed the facility into a 21st-century hub for turnarounds. The city has seen steady growth in its cruise operations, with the Canada New England market accounting for 70% to 75% of that business. The balance of Boston’s cruises are weekly service to Bermuda from May through October with Norwegian Cruise Line, and a number of repositioning cruises out of Boston operated by Royal Caribbean International, Holland America Line, and Norwegian.
Thanks to the efforts of the Cruise Canada New England Alliance, Boston has seen an upward trend in its cruise departures, Billows reports. “One of the things we work very hard to do is to expand the season from a September/October foliage season to a season-long destination that is fun for all groups—for families and all ages from children to seniors. There’s something for everyone. We’ve seen a growth in the sailings that come to Canada New England from May through the end of October,” he says, noting that “Carnival added embarkations out of Boston on 4-, 5-, and 7-day itineraries, and Holland America added the Veendam to the schedule they have with the Maasdam. So instead of biweekly sailings from Boston it’s going to be weekly, with one exception when the Veendam does a five-week Europe tour in the middle of the summer. Essentially Holland America has doubled its presence,” he adds.
Of course, one of the issues that delegates to the Symposium will hear about is the North American Emission Control Area (ECA), which concerns cruise markets on both coasts. “We face the same problem as Alaska does, that 100% of the time will be spent in the ECA zone,” Billows points out. “So that is a concern to the cruise lines and they’re working on it, trying to work out with the EPA what the best way to manage emissions is—whether they can use scrubbers or alternative methods to meet air-quality standards or simply use the 1% sulfur fuel. And of course as of January 1 of 2015, they have to use the 0.1% fuel.” So far, he says, there hasn’t been any tangible negative impact on cruise deployments. “We haven’t seen that anybody has formally pulled out, but we’re not quite sure in some cases what 2014 and 2015 itineraries will be at this point,” he cautions.
For more information on the Cruise Canada New England 2013 Symposium, including the conference agenda, log on to www.massport.com/Cruiseport/Pages/CNE_Syposium_2013.aspx
Written by M.T. Schwartzman
NORWEGIAN BREAKAWAY DECKS 6, 7, 8
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