The Port of Galveston, Texas is investing $53m in the expansion of Cruise Terminal 25 to accommodate the Carnival Jubilee, which will begin operations from the port in December. The investment is part of the port’s master plan for long-term growth of cruise operations. The maximum capacity of nearly 6,500 passengers makes Carnival Jubilee 30% bigger than the Carnival ships cruise from Galveston. The plan including modernising the two-decade-old terminal, improvements to accommodate the ship and move guests efficiently, and construction of a ramp, elevators, and an escalator, along with a new roof.
Galveston is working to become the fourth-largest cruise port in the US and the largest one outside of Florida and the only homeport in Texas. The port is on track to set a new record in 2023, with 355 sailings, the largest in the port’s 22-year history as a cruise port. Both Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International operate their homeport years in Galveston, while Disney Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Princess Cruises offer seasonal departures from Galveston.
Galveston generates two-thirds of its revenue from the cruise business, and the cruise terminal expansion is a long-term investment in the port’s future growth. The investment will be funded from cash reserves, a proposed bond issue and an agreement with Carnival. The bonds could be leveraged with millions of dollars in grants, private sector funds, and the port’s operating reserves.
It was not mentioned whether there are additional requirements related to the use of LNG as the ship’s primary fuel. The port generates two-thirds of its revenue from the cruise business. Galveston previously reported it was working to issue $100m in bonds to fund much-needed, time-sensitive projects, including the expansion of the West Port Cargo Complex, major improvements to the Pier 25 cruise terminal and the construction of a planned fourth Cruise Terminal at Pier 16.
Port managers expect to break their previous record of more than one million cruise passengers last year, with the port generating two-thirds of its revenue from the cruise business in 2023. The port is also expected to open a third cruise terminal late in 2022, and MSC Cruises is anticipated to announce a new homeport agreement with Galveston.