Black Falcon Cruise Terminal is getting an upgrade
Passengers at the Black Falcon Cruise Terminal in South Boston will be waiting for their ships to come in at a new $8 million check-in area by the end of next year, a renovation that will expand the terminal by 40 percent.
An unused 83,000-square-foot warehouse space on the third floor will be converted into a waiting area with separate spaces for loading and unloading passengers of a single ship. The renovation, which was approved by the Massachusetts Port Authority board today, is the second phase of an $11 million makeover of the terminal. It will be funded by a $3 increase in the $11 facility charge each cruise customer currently pays, effective for the 2011 cruise season.
The cruise industry is on the upswing in Boston, with the 2009 season marking the third year in a row of passenger increases, according to Cruiseport Boston; nearly 300,000 travelers passed through the cruise terminal this year, an 11 percent increase over last year.
Separately, the Massport board approved spending $8 million to add another gate in Terminal E at Logan International Airport, in the area adjacent to where Southwest Airlines operates. "It's likely that Southwest will go in there," said Massport spokesman Matthew Brelis.
The board also approved three security projects at the Port of Boston funded by $1.9 million in federal stimulus money: providing radio equipment to improve communication during emergencies, replacing an old boat used for water rescues and surveillance patrols with a bigger water craft, and building a pedestrian walkway at Conley Terminal that will allow sailors on container ships to access the street without having to walk across the loading area.