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Passenger Ship Calls on Boston, 2011

A Photo Essay

By Lisa Plotnick


From April through November of every year, my home port of Boston, Massachusetts is host to an impressive roster of passenger ships. On many weekends, particularly during the busy autumn season, you may find me in the neighborhood, camera in hand, to admire and capture some of the beautiful ships whose itineraries bring them to our lovely city.

As we approach the end of the year—a busy time in my paying job—I thought I’d make a quick share of some of the photographs I took during 2011. According to the Massachusetts Port Authority, 22 ships made 107 calls on Boston in 2011, including three ships (Norwegian Dawn, Maasdam, and Jewel of the Seas) that used Boston as their home port. Below are several of my photographs on the few days this year that I was able to visit.

(Please note copyright information at bottom of page.)


Maasdam (Holland America Line)

July 9, 2011

This first one is most special to me, as it is one of the rare instances that I am taking a photograph of the cruise terminal from a ship on which I am a passenger. The view is of the newly renovated Cruiseport Boston, also known as Black Falcon Cruise Terminal, just prior to our disembarkation from ms Maasdam. The cruise had begun in Montreal a week earlier, and had taken us to Quebec City, Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, Sydney, Halifax, and Bar Harbor. Maasdam has been a part of Boston’s spring through autumn cruise seasons since 2004.

Vital statistics: 55,575 gross tons, 1,258 passengers, 580 crew members, 719 feet length, 101 feet beam, delivered 1993.


Carnival Glory (Carnival Cruise Line)

September 22, 2011

Carnival Glory called on Boston five times in September and October, typically on week-long cruises from New York. Starting in June 2012, she will homeport in Boston for 4- and 5-night summer cruises to Saint John and/or Halifax and one 7-night cruise that also includes Sydney and Portland.

Vital statistics: 110,000 gross tons, 2,974 passengers (double occupancy), 1,160 crew members, 952 feet length, 116 feet beam, delivered 2003.



Explorer of the Seas (Royal Caribbean International)

September 22, 2011

Explorer of the Seas was another seasonal visitor, making four calls on Boston during September and October.  These itineraries took her from Bayonne, New Jersey to various ports in New England and eastern Canada. I am glad I saw her this year, as another RCI ship (Brilliance of the Seas) will handle these routes in 2012.

Vital statistics: 137,308 gross tons, 3,114 passengers (double occupancy), 1,185 crew members, 1,020 feet length, 157 feet beam, maiden voyage 2000.


Queen Elizabeth (Cunard Line)

September 22, 2011

It was a royal day in Boston on September 22, not just because there were three ships in port, but also because it marked the maiden call of Queen Elizabeth. The Cunard Line and the City of Boston have a long relationship, dating back to 1840 when Cunard’s first passenger ship, Britannia, called on Boston during her own maiden voyage. The maiden arrival of Queen Elizabeth was a grand occasion, during which the Captain and crew were welcomed by representatives of the Massachusetts Port Authority, the British Consulate-General of Boston, the U.S. Coast Guard, and other local dignitaries and tourism officials.

Vital statistics: 90,900 gross tons, 2,068 passengers (double occupancy), 1,105 crew members, 965 feet length, 106 feet beam, maiden voyage 2010.


As this was one of several three-ship days in Boston, I also include a photograph of our version of cruise ship row. From left to right, Carnival Glory, Queen Elizabeth, and the departing Explorer of the Seas.



Silver Whisper (Silversea Cruises)

October 9, 2011

As I have a preference for smaller ships, I do my best to visit the port when one of these vessels is visiting. My schedule permitted only one such visit this year, and Silver Whisper find the bill most wonderfully. This luxury cruiser made three calls on Boston for the fall foliage season, and will return several times next autumn on her 10-night itineraries between Montreal and New York.

Vital statistics: 28,258 gross tons, 382 passengers, 302 crew members, 610 feet length, 81 feet beam, maiden voyage 2001.



Enchantment of the Seas (Royal Caribbean International)

October 13, 2011

Enchantment of the Seas made six calls on Boston between late June and October. The October 13 arrival was special to me as I had several friends on this sailing, a 9-night New England/Canada cruise from Baltimore. We spent a lovely few hours together, and I was glad to show my city to good friends.


Vital statistics: 82,910 gross tons, 2,253 passengers (double occupancy), 1,185 crew members, 989 feet length (lengthened by 73 feet in 2005), 105 feet beam, maiden voyage 1997.


Jewel of the Seas (Royal Caribbean International)

October 29, 2011

We start almost where we began, with a photo of Cruiseport Boston taken from a cruise ship. This was the last call of the season for Jewel of the Seas, and I was fortunate to be a guest that day for a ship tour. (This also enabled me to experience the boarding process, which Cruiseport Boston does highly efficiently.) Jewel of the Seas has homeported in Boston the past few years for Canada/New England cruises, typically spanning September and October. I look forward to her return in September 2012.

Vital statistics: 90,090 gross tons, 2,112 passengers (double occupancy), 859 crew members, 962 feet length, 106 feet beam, maiden voyage 2004.