Galveston Eyeing 4th Cruise Terminal with MSC and NCL

Allure of the Seas in Galveston

The Galveston Wharves said in a statement that it is continuing negotiations with MSC Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line to develop a fourth cruise terminal.

Rodger Rees, Galveston Wharves port director and CEO, said: “We’re excited about the huge potential of this mutually beneficial public-private partnership. Adding MSC to our family of cruise lines would offer our cruise guests an elegant, European-style cruise experience. It would elevate our status as a top U.S. cruise home port, boost the regional economy and allow MSC to reach a new market of millions of cruise passengers in the Central U.S.”

The statement comes after port trustees voted against expending money and resources on the fourth terminal earlier this week.

Trustees said that they wanted more information ahead of building the new terminal, citing its financial impact on other port projects and potential impact on the port’s debt.

Galveston Wharves Board of Trustees Chairman Harry Maxwell said: “We remain committed to working on a mutually beneficial partnership to bring these world-class cruise lines to homeport in Galveston.”

Jeff Patterson, chairman of the board’s Finance Committee, added: “I’m strongly supportive of the fourth cruise terminal and am looking forward to finalizing the details so we can move forward together.”

The Wharves Board has already authorized the expenditure of $673,000 for design and pre-engineering cost estimates for the proposed terminal.

Rubén A. Rodríguez, President, MSC Cruises USA, noted: “We remain committed to our plans for a new home port in Galveston as part of our ongoing North American expansion. Bringing our modern, glamorous ships to Texas would provide our guests and travel advisors even more opportunities to experience the future of cruising and enjoy our distinctive European style. We’ve had productive discussions with the Galveston Wharves, and we’re continuing to negotiate with them as we chart MSC Cruises’ future in the U.S. market.”

Rees added: “Our popularity as a cruise home port 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.”

Photo: Allure of the Seas from Royal Caribbean International in Galveston.


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