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Cruises From Philadelphia


Philadelphia No Longer Supporting Large Cruise Ship Sailings

May 2010 - The Delaware River Port Authority's board voted Wednesday to end its 12-year operation of the Philadelphia Cruise Terminal. The move was expected following the port authority's executive committee recommendation in early December.

The effective date of the terminal closure was Dec. 31. DRPA said it will continue to honor all commitments through June 30, including all previously scheduled cruises and events.

The port authority said it will realize an immediate savings of $627,000 in operating expenses. In addition, $18m in future capital improvements to enhance the terminal will no longer be necessary. Further savings in excess of $2.2m will result from the termination of the lease and
closure of the facility.

At the height of its popularity, in 2006, the terminal had 36 cruise calls. 'Today, with only two cruises slated for 2011 it no longer makes economic sense for DRPA to continue in the cruise business,' said DRPA ceo John Matheussen. One major blow to the port was the departure of Norwegian Cruise Line’s Majesty, which was home-ported in Philadelphia and was sold to Louis Cruises in 2008.

DRPA entered the cruise sector in 1998 and gained its first home-porting vessel, Crown Dynasty, two years later. Business grew until 2006. But the terminal's location requires a six-hour sail up the Delaware River, making it less competitive with emerging US Northeast homeports that also are able to accommodate larger ships.   

In 2011, American Cruise Lines has two calls scheduled with its American Spirit on May 14 and May 2.