Major U.S. homeport expects record number of cruise ship calls


The Port of Galveston has grown steadily over the past 22 years and is currently the fourth most popular cruise port in the United States.

With a new Royal Caribbean cruise terminal, the homeport of Carnival Cruise Line’s third LNG-powered ship in Galveston, and Norwegian Cruise Line’s Prima stationed in Galveston, the port is firmly on track for a banner year.

The port plans to accommodate 362 cruise ships through 2023, bringing more than one million cruise ship passengers to Galveston.

Port of Galveston expects 362 departures in 2023

The revival of the cruise industry is perhaps best illustrated by the record number of cruise ships calling at the Port of Galveston next year. Currently, the port plans to accommodate 362 cruise ships, a new record in the port’s 22-year history as a cruise home port.

As airlines and airports struggle to provide a hassle-free travel experience, have a nearby cruise port is a welcome travel option. Including Houston, Austin, Fort Worth, Dallas, Oklahoma City and Little Rock, more than 30 million people live near the Port of Galveston.

Photo credit: JHVEPhoto / Shutterstock

No wonder all the major cruise operators place more emphasis on homeport ships in Texas. Carnival Cruise Line, Disney Disney Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean all have ships scheduled to depart from the Port of Galveston in 2023.

These ships are expected to bring more than one million cruise ship passengers to Galveston, along with thousands of crew members. Together, this means a substantial financial benefit to Galveston’s local economy and businesses.

Galveston becomes main home base

Next year, Royal Caribbean will operate five ships from Galveston. Allure of the Seas depart from Texas between January and October, and Adventure of the seas between January and May.

The shine of the seas will depart from Galveston between January and April, Voyager of the Seas between May and December, and finally, Harmony of the Seas in November and December.

All will sail from the new state of the art Royal Caribbean International Terminalwhich will open in November at Pier 10. The 161,000 square foot terminal is in the final stages of construction.

Carnival Cruise Line has four ships based in Galveston. To begin with, these will be carnival breeze, Carnival Dreamand Carnival Vista. Carnival Jubilee will replace the Seen in November. Carnival Jubilee will be Carnival Cruise Line’s third LNG-powered cruise ship and the first to its homeport in Galveston.

Carnival cruise ship in Galveston
Photo credit: BUI LE MANH HUNG / Shutterstock

With the increase in the number of passengers that the arrival of Carnival Jubilee will bring, the ship can accommodate up to 5,400 guests in double occupancy, as well as 1,700 international crew members, which means that Galveston will have to make improvements to its infrastructure. These are expected to be completed before the first call on November 25, 2023.

Rodger Rees, Director and CEO of Ports of Galveston: “We plan to renovate the renamed Cruise Terminal 25 (formerly Cruise Terminal 1) to handle the increased passenger numbers associated with the arrival of the Carnival Jubilee in 2023.”

“These renovations will include two new passenger boarding bridges with improved boarding areas and expanded check-in and screening areas, as well as an updated and expanded U.S. Border Patrol and Customs area. “

Norwegian Cruise Line will bring its new cruise ship, norwegian prima, in Galveston for the first time in October. From December 2023, the ship will use the port as its home port.

norwegian prima is the first of six cruise ships ordered by Norwegian Cruise Line as part of the Project Leonardo class ships, which Fincantieri is building in Italy.

Finally, both Disney cruise line and Princess Cruises offer seasonal cruises from Galveston. Disney Magic and ruby princess will operate between January and April, while Regal Princess will sail from Galveston in November and December 2023.

Cruise ships in Galveston, Texas

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