Galveston, Texas, is setting the stage for the arrival of Carnival Cruise Line’s newest member of its fleet, the Carnival Jubilee. An impressive sum of $53 million is being poured into expanding and upgrading Cruise Terminal 25 at Galveston Wharves to prepare for the ship’s arrival in December 2023.
Carnival Jubilee will be homeported at Galveston Wharves year round, sailing 7-day cruises to the Western Caribbean. She is the third LNG-powered Excel-class cruise ship for Carnival Cruise Line, following the launch of her sisters, Mardi Gras and Carnival Celebration.
Preparing for a New Cruise Ship
Galveston Wharves is set to undergo a significant transformation in an exciting development. A $53 million investment has been earmarked for a substantial expansion and refurbishment of Cruise Terminal 25.
This revamp is designed to accommodate the much-anticipated Carnival Jubilee, Carnival Cruise Line’s latest Excel-class cruise ship set to debut in December 2023.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming the beautiful new Carnival Jubilee to our improved cruise terminal,” said Rodger Rees, Galveston Wharves port director and CEO. “We’re proud to have Carnival Cruise Line, our long-time cruise partner, choose Galveston as the home port for its newest ship.”
The 183,521 gross tons Carnival Jubilee will eclipse the size of Carnival ships currently docking at the terminal. Upgrades include modifications to the gangway, a ramp, two elevators, an escalator, and a new roof to streamline embarkation and debarkation for guests.
A significant part of this project, the new gangways, is currently under construction in Spain. Rees reassured that cruise operations would proceed without disruption during the construction phase.
Security will also be enhanced with mandated improvements to facilities used by U.S. Customs and Border Protection to ensure the safety of guests and crew members.
Investing in the Future
The modifications at the terminal are not merely cosmetic but are part of a strategic investment in the port’s long-term growth and economic stability. The port of Galveston, the fourth most popular cruise port in the U.S. and the only home port in Texas, generates two-thirds of its revenues from cruise business operations.
In 2022, cruise activity generated 3,500 jobs, $568 million in local business revenue, and $73.5 million in local purchases by passengers and crew.
With the growing number of people setting sail on a cruise, the arrival of new and larger ships, and the opening of a new cruise terminal in late 2022 for Royal Caribbean, the port, like many other ports, is on track to set new records in 2023.
To secure the necessary funds, the port has laid out a comprehensive plan involving cash reserves, a proposed bond issue, and an agreement with Carnival.
“Carnival was the first major cruise line to homeport in Galveston more than 20 years ago. They believed in us then and believe in Galveston’s growing prominence as a top cruise port today,” Rodger Rees shared.
Carnival Jubilee will become the third Excel-class vessel for Carnival Cruise Line, joining Mardi Gras and Carnival Celebration. The ship is currently under construction in Papenburg, Germany. She can accommodate 5,374 guests at double occupancy with a capacity of 6,631 passengers when fully booked.
The Jubilee was delayed from her initial debut date but is now poised to welcome guests aboard her inaugural sailing on December 23, 2023.
Homeported in Galveston, Texas, the ship will embark on 7-night Western Caribbean sailings. The itineraries include visits to Costa Maya and Cozumel in Mexico and Roatan, Honduras, and three days at sea for guests to enjoy the ship’s amenities.