MSC Cruises has announced the next phase of its U.S. expansion with plans for a new homeport in Galveston, Texas, according to a press release.
The cruise line said it is in negotiations with the Galveston Wharves on the development of a fourth terminal at the port, which has led to both entities signing a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MOU) outlining parameters of a potential agreement for the development and operation of a terminal at piers 16-18.
MSC Cruises will announce more details next year, including timing of launch, ship name and itineraries, the company said in a statement.
The line currently sails from Miami and Port Canaveral (Orlando) in Florida, with year-round service from New York City beginning in April of 2023.
Rubén A. Rodríguez, President, MSC Cruises USA, said: “The prospect of developing a new homeport in Galveston is exciting because it represents a big step in our ongoing North American expansion. Bringing our modern, glamorous ships to Texas would provide even more access and opportunities for guests and travel advisors to experience the future of cruising with MSC Cruises and our unique European style. We look forward to productive discussions with the Galveston Wharves as we chart MSC’s future in the U.S. market.”
Rodger Rees, Galveston Wharves port director and CEO, added: “Adding MSC to our family of cruise lines homeporting from Galveston would continue to elevate our status as a top U.S. cruise port and boost the regional economy. It also allows MSC to reach a new market of millions of cruise passengers in the Central U.S. We’re excited about the huge potential of this mutually beneficial public-private partnership.
“Our popularity as a cruise homeport is reflected in the growth of our passenger counts and sailings. In 2023 we forecast a record 362 sailings, the highest in the port’s 22 years as a cruise port. This is great news for the port and our region because our cruise business is a major revenue and jobs generator.”