Galveston needs a third passenger terminal. 

That’s why the Galveston Wharves Board made a wise investment in agreeing to spend up to $100,000 on design plans.

The growth of this business has been one of Galveston’s success stories. Twenty years ago, the cruise business in Galveston was an idea, not a reality. Now, the island has one of the busiest ports in the nation in terms of cruise passengers.

In cultivating that business, the port has had to take measured steps. With no tax support, the port has tied improvements in infrastructure to lease contracts. The two existing terminals were developed by lining up tenants that were willing to cover the port’s costs. 

The most recent example of this kind of financing was a five-year deal with Royal Caribbean Cruises. The deal gives the port a revenue stream, but the port will have to make about $10 million in improvements to Cruise Terminal No. 2.

That kind of financial model has limited the port’s ability to grow quickly, and that became a problem last fall. Princess Cruise Lines wanted to base a ship in Galveston for the winter cruise season. The port couldn’t accommodate the request because two other ships would be in port on the preferred sailing dates.

With no room in Galveston, the cruise company based its ship at the Port of Houston Authority’s Bayport terminal, giving new life to a competing facility that had been on the ropes.

This business has been important for Galveston. The entire community — and especially the business community — ought to do what it can to keep it healthy. The wharves board’s move was a good one and deserves public support.

Heber Taylor is editor of The Daily News.

(3) comments

Mary Branum

First of all, there have been 3 cruise ships docking at the same at the piers.
Second, Princess wanted $millions to dock here, but only signing a 6 month contract. Galveston said no, Houston said yes and is earning NO money from Princess.
RCCL's cruise terminal must be updated. It is nothing but a warehouse and a bad on at that.
The port must change the ingress and egress, it is a major disaster.
It doesn't take rocket science to figure out that separate lanes should be designated for drop off and pick up instead all of one lane with drivers stopping at the very beginning of the terminal - thus blocking all traffic.
The rent-a cops or whoever they are need a lesson in courtesy and to NOT being stuffing their face on the job with food. They serve absolutely no purpose as they don't know what they are doing and could care less.
There have also been many Sunday mornings where the lights on Harborside are flashing red. Why? Traffic backs up for miles. Come on Galveston, get your act together at the terminals!
The Port and City need to read the comments regarding the cruise terminal and lack of amenities; i.e. rent cars, on a popular message board for the cruise business.

Ellen Morrison

Can you supply a link for that board, please?

Mary Branum

cruise critic - gulf coast departues

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