There were 299,736 cruise passengers traveling through the Port of Boston in 2009, an 11 percent increase over last year, the Massachusetts Port Authority said.

During the 2009 season, cruise ships made 105 visits to Cruiseport Boston’s Black Falcon Cruise Terminal, down from 113 visits in 2008, Massport said.

One reason why the number of passengers increased while the number of cruise ship visits declined is that one cruise line, Norwegian Cruise Line, has had its newer Norwegian Spirit sailing the Boston-Bermuda itinerary this year; the Norwegian Spirit is 14 percent larger than the vessel it replaced on the Boston run, said Massport, which added that other season highlights included the Queen Mary 2 making her first-ever transatlantic voyage from Boston. And during the 2009 season, the Queen Mary 2’s sister-ship Queen Victoria made her first-ever Boston visit, Massport said.

Commenting on the numbers in a statement, Massport chief executive and executive director Thomas J. Kinton Jr. said, “This economic downturn has made travelers more selective about how they spend their vacation dollars, and sales in the cruise industry helped spur a 14-percent increase in travelers who began their cruise in Boston, and an 8-percent increase in passengers visiting Boston for the day.”

Cruiseport Boston attracted 234,284 passengers in 2007 and 269,911 passengers in 2008, Massport said.

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