The Port of Galveston’s performance in 2023 has exceeded expectations and set new records, according to a press release.
Port Director and CEO Roger Rees reported a 42 percent cruise passenger growth in 2023, compared to 2022.
The port welcomed 1.49 million passengers based on a total of 2.98 million passenger embarkations and debarkations. It has also set a record of 354 cruise ship sailings.
Rees said: “It’s all thanks to the leadership of our Galveston Wharves Board of Trustees, strong relationships with our port partners, and the dedication and hard work of our port staff.
“These records were driven by the opening of a third cruise terminal, a strong national cruise industry, Galveston’s growing popularity as a cruise home port, and more and larger ships homeporting here.
“With the arrival of the new, larger Carnival Jubilee and more seasonal sailings by other cruise lines, we expect continued growth in 2024.”
In 2023, the focus was also on pursuing more grants to fund capital projects.
“We were awarded $42.3 million in state grants for cargo and transportation infrastructure projects, a $1 million state grant to pilot a shore power microgrid to power docked cargo ships, and $340,000 for a federally funded study to improve pedestrian and vehicular safety in and around the port.”
In addition, the port issued $50 million in revenue bonds which yielded $52.6 million to the port for a $53 million renovation of its oldest cruise terminal, done in partnership with Carnival Cruise Line.