Galveston Continuing Discussions for New Terminal With MSC and NCL

Port of Galveston is moving closer to confirming a new Galveston cruise terminal with MSC and NCL. What will this mean for cruisers?

Galveston Wharves are continuing negotiations toward developing a fourth cruise terminal with MC Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line at the popular Texas homeport with a public-private partnership that would position MSC for even more North American growth.

As the world’s fastest-growing cruise brand, MSC Cruises is eager to continue expanding its reach to new sailing regions and homeports.

Negotiations for New Terminal Continue

There may be no end in sight for the rapid growth of the Port of Galveston, as MSC Cruises and NCL continue negotiations with the Port of Galveston toward what would become a fourth cruise terminal at the port.

“We’re excited about the huge potential of this mutually beneficial public-private partnership,” said Rodger Rees, Galveston Wharves port director and CEO.

“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 US cruise home port, boost the regional economy and allow MSC to reach a new market of millions of cruise passengers in the Central US.”

Cruise Ship in Galveston, Texas
Photo Credit: Ceri Breeze / Shutterstock

Support is strong for the growth of the cruise port and working with MSC Cruises, with Galveston Wharves Board of Trustees Chairman Harry Maxwell and Jeff Patterson, chairman of the board’s Finance Committee, both voicing their support for the project.

“We remain committed to working on a mutually beneficial partnership to bring these world-class cruise lines to homeport in Galveston,” said Maxwell.

Already, the Wharves Board has authorized $673,000 (USD) as design and pre-engineering assessment costs as the project advances. A fourth cruise terminal is already in the port’s 20-Year Strategic Master Plan, and this partnership supports that goal.

The cruise port is also seeking other funding sources to finance the project, which may include bonds as well as pandemic-related reimbursement funds.

Likewise, MSC Cruises is committed to maintaining growth in the North American market, bringing a unique European style of cruising to travelers eager to try new ships and new experiences.

MSC World Europa
MSC World Europa

Read Also: MSC Cruises Ships by Size, Age and Class

“We remain committed to our plans for a new home port in Galveston as part of our ongoing North American expansion,” said Rubén A. Rodríguez, President, MSC Cruises USA.

“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.”

This news comes just as MSC Merviglia makes her maiden call on Bermuda, sailing from New York and offering yet another option for North American cruiser eager to set sail with MSC Cruises. This further showcases the cruise line’s growth and dedication to American cruise markets.

Benefits of a Fourth Cruise Terminal

Galveston is rapidly growing as a popular cruise homeport, already home to ships from Royal Caribbean International and Carnival Cruise Line, including the Oasis-class Allure of the Seas as well as the upcoming Excel-class Carnival Jubilee.

A fourth terminal is projected to add 925 local jobs to the Galveston area, $177 million in revenue and an additional $21 million in local purchases from guest and crew spending annually.

Royal Caribbean Galveston Terminal
Courtesy: Royal Caribbean

There is no confirmed timeline for the construction or opening of a fourth terminal in Galveston, as the project is only in its conception stage and such projects do take years until completion.

Port of Galveston is growing rapidly, having opened its third cruise terminal in November 2022 through a public-private partnership with Royal Caribbean International.

At the moment, Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas is the largest ship ever to homeport from the Lone Star State, but MSC Cruises’ larger ships could provide steep competition for that honor.

For 2023, the port is forecasting a total of 362 sailings, the highest-ever number of passenger cruises in one year in the port’s history. A new terminal would bring even more interest to the Texas coast, creating an economic boom and ensuring the port’s standing as a world-class homeport.

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