Texas Homeport Reaches Massive Passenger Milestone

Carnival Cruise Ship in Galveston, Texas

The Port of Galveston continues to see a surge in popularity, welcoming its millionth cruise passenger of 2023 several months earlier than in the previous year. This achievement underscores the port’s impressive growth and increasing appeal among cruise travelers.

This year, the port is projected to host about 1.3 million cruise guests by year-end, thanks to the early attainment of the million passenger milestone.

To commemorate the arrival of the millionth cruise passenger, representatives from the Port of Galveston, Carnival Cruise Line, and MSLBC Cruises, the port and cruise terminal staffing agency, greeted the De Graff family from Hudsonville, Michigan. The family of five embarked on their cruise on August 28, 2023.

The De Graffs – comprising Peter De Graff, his wife Ashley, their children Elijah (8) and Abigail (6), and Peter’s mother-in-law Sheri Scroggins from Wylie, Texas – were celebrated with gifts and cake before they set sail on a 5-night Western Caribbean voyage aboard the Carnival Breeze, visiting Costa Maya and Cozumel in Mexico.

Rodger Rees, Galveston Wharves port director and CEO, expressed his excitement at this milestone, thanking Carnival Cruise Line for their partnership and the De Graff family for choosing to cruise from Galveston.

The Port of Galveston’s achievement of the millionth guest milestone in late August signals a significant leap compared to 2022 when the same count was reached on December 22. This indicates the port’s growth and Texas’ rising popularity as a cruise homeport, promising positive prospects for the local community.

As the port’s popularity continues to rise, larger and more modern cruise vessels are being stationed in Galveston. Among these are Royal Caribbean International’s Allure of the Seas, one of the world’s largest cruise ships, and the upcoming Carnival Jubilee, whose bow features a Texas star, symbolizing her connection to Galveston.

The Port of Galveston is strategically located within a drivable distance for more than 30 million people residing within a 300-mile radius, including metro areas of San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, and New Orleans.

In anticipation of future growth, the port is undertaking expansion initiatives. These include partnerships with Royal Caribbean International for a new terminal and a $53 million (USD) upgrade of Cruise Terminal 25 with Carnival Cruise Line.

Negotiations are also ongoing with MSC Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line for dedicated terminals through public-private partnerships. Additionally, the port is investing heavily in infrastructure like expanded parking to cater to the growing number of cruise passengers.

With more than 350 cruise departures expected in 2023, compared to 324 in 2022, the Port of Galveston is set to host a variety of cruises offered by Carnival Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, and Royal Caribbean International.

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