The Disney Wonder berthed at the island Thursday to start the cruise line’s slate of holiday season sailings from the Port of Galveston.
Disney Cruise Line returned to the island in 2014 after a two-year hiatus, signaling increasing interest in the market and inspiring hopes of more cruises and larger ships from the company in the future.
The cruise line will offer seven-night cruises aboard the Disney Wonder to the Caribbean, stopping in Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Falmouth, Jamaica. The ship also will sail to the Bahamas, visiting Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island, Key West and Nassau. Primarily, Disney will depart on Fridays, which won’t conflict with Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean’s calls.
The company announced in May it would sail from the island in 2017, too.
Port officials have said Galveston’s downtown fits with the company’s family friendly experience.
Revenues from each season will generate about $600,000 for the landlord port, which doesn’t receive tax dollars and relies on revenues to operate. Port officials have invested more than $85 million in cruise facilities since 2000 to attract business. Cruise business regularly generates nearly 60 percent of the port’s revenue.
The company first came to Galveston in September 2012 on a two-year agreement. However, in late 2013 the company chose to move its ships to Florida. The cancellation prevented 19 scheduled calls to Galveston.