It’s been good news from Galveston this week throughout. Last week the port welcomed back two Carnival ships and announced it would be one of the US ports that would start operating as one of the first US ports after the cruise ban. This week revealed even more good news.
Norwegian Prima, the first in the Leonardo class of ships, will set sail from the Port of Galveston in the fall of 2022. Prima is the first new class of ships for Norwegian Cruise Line in nearly ten years and the first-ever ship to set sail from Galveston.
One of the First US Ports to Feature Norwegian Prima
Rodger Rees, the Galveston Wharves port director and CEO, said the port was thrilled to be able to welcome Norwegian Prima to Galveston:
“We’re thrilled that Norwegian Cruise Line chose Galveston, the fourth most popular cruise port in the US, as one of the first US ports to debut its newest ship.”
Norwegian Cruise Line itinerary for the line’s first year of operation revolves around getting as many people as possible to experience its newest vessel. It will debut the vessel in many major markets, including Europe, the UK, the eastern seaboard of Canada, and the US before the vessel arrives in Galveston.
The vessel will depart New York on a 12-night Caribbean voyage that will include stops at Curacao, Bonaire, and Aruba before she arrives in Galveston. There will be two cruises sailing from Galveston, a three-day and a four-day voyage to the Western Caribbean.
Galveston Wharves Expanding
While these visits will only be short ones, the port is in discussions with Norwegian Cruise Line for a long-term strategy that could regularly see cruises onboard Norwegian Cruise Line ships depart from Galveston.
Also Read: Ideal Hotels Near Galveston Cruise Port
It comes as Galveston has been busy expanding its cruise capacity in recent years. As the fourth most popular US cruise port, it welcomed more than 1 million cruise passengers in 2019.
This number will grow exponentially once the new Terminal three has been completed, which will become the homeport for Allure of the Seas, the current largest cruise ship in the world. It would be a significant catch if Galveston also manages to welcome one or more of Norwegian’s newest cruise ships.
The 140,000-ton, 3,215-passenger Norwegian Prima is the first of six vessels that will become the Leonardo Class of ships. According to Norwegian Cruise Line, Norwegian Prima is considered a “game-changer for NCL.” Its premium cruises feature itineraries in the Caribbean, Bermuda, Europe, and the US.
While Prima will be decidedly smaller in size than the massive Breakaway Class vessels, the vessel will offer almost 36 percent more wide-open areas as well as thoughtful designs that bring guests closer to nature and their surroundings.
There are many good things to look forward to for cruise fans in Galveston and the surrounding areas. With more than 30 million people within driving distance of the port, the only real surprising fact is that Norwegian Cruise line didn’t deploy vessels to the port sooner.