Texas Port Completes Deal to Build New Terminal for MSC Cruises

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A major cruise home port in Texas has struck a deal to build a fourth cruise terminal to serve as the home for a new vessel in November 2025.

MSC Cruises will make Galveston its fourth homeport in the U.S., thanks to a $142 million development deal that was completed on February 6, 2024.

Galveston, MSC Cruises Agree on New Terminal for MSC Seascape

Now that a deal has been finalized, Galveston Wharves will soon begin work on the port’s fourth cruise terminal, which will serve as the homeport for MSC Cruise’s MSC Seascape beginning in November 2025.

The port will spend $142 million to convert an existing cargo warehouse into a 165,000-square-foot cruise terminal. The terminal, along with roadways and other improvements, will be funded with port cash reserves and revenue bonds.

When it’s complete in 2025, MSC Cruises will homeport MSC Seascape at the terminal. MSC Cruises also homeports ships in Miami and Port Canaveral in Florida as well as New York City’s Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. 

“Adding MSC to our family of cruise lines offers our cruise guests an elegant, European-style family cruise experience,” said Rodger Rees, Galveston Wharves port director and CEO. “It also elevates our status as a top U.S. cruise home port and moves us up to the eighth largest cruise port in the global market, while paving the way for MSC to reach millions of cruise passengers in the Central U.S.”

MSC Seascape Cruise Ship
MSC Seascape Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: Dennis MacDonald)

Many of the world’s largest cruise lines homeport in Galveston, including Royal Caribbean International, Disney Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, and Norwegian Cruise Line.

Galveston Already in Spotlight for Record Numbers

The Port of Galveston has been in the news a lot lately. In December 2023, it welcomed Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Jubilee, the newest ship in Carnival’s fleet. 

In late January 2024, Galveston posted the highest profits in its history, with net incoming soaring 55.4% over the previous year. The Port of Galveston is the fourth busiest cruise home port in the U.S., behind only Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Port Canaveral. It hosted 1.49 million cruise passengers in 2023, a 43% increase over 2022’s numbers.

Cruise Ship in Galveston, Texas
Cruise Ship in Galveston, Texas (Photo Credit: BUI LE MANH HUNG)

MSC Cruises and Galveston Wharves struck a 20-year agreement for this new terminal, though the port is free to negotiate with other cruise lines to use the facility when it’s available.

“That MSC chose Galveston as its newest home port is a tribute to our strong and growing cruise market,” Rees said

The cargo warehouse that’s the center of the redevelopment became available when its previous tenant – Del Monte Fresh Produce Co.- outgrew the facility and relocated to the port in Freeport, Texas.

In 2023, Galveston committed to invest $53 million into its existing facilities to accommodate Carnival Jubilee and help boost its profile to other cruise lines. Carnival Jubilee, the first new ship to homeport at Galveston, was voted Best New Cruise Ship of 2023 in the annual Cruise Hive Awards.

MSC Seascape to Sail Western Caribbean Voyages from Texas

MSC Seascape, which will make Galveston its home in 2025, was launched in 2022 and is currently homeported in Miami. She’s sailing the Bamahas along with Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries. 

The newest in MSC Cruises’ Seaside class of ships, she can accommodate 5,632 passengers and 1,648 crew members. Among its features as a 7,500-square-foot kids entertainment center and MSC Yacht Club, a VIP area of suites that offer exclusive access to a private bar, pool, and restaurants.

Read Also: Hotels Great for Galveston Cruise Guests

“We are committed to bringing our newest, largest, most innovative ships to the U.S. and are pleased that MSC Seascape will be more easily accessible to guests in central and western parts of the U.S through Galveston,” said MSC Cruises CEO Gianni Onorato.

MSC Seascape is scheduled to move to Galveston in the fall of 2025 and begin sailing on November 9, 2025, on 7-night voyages to Mexico and Honduras. 

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