Norwegian Prima

Norwegian Cruise Line announced Tuesday it planned to station a ship, the Prima, in Galveston in 2023. It’s the first time Norwegian will sail a ship out of the Port of Galveston.


A new cruise line will sail regularly from the Port of Galveston beginning in 2023.

John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; or on Twitter



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(19) comments

Charlotte O'rourke

Good news that NCL is home-porting in Galveston in 2023.

Very, very strange the board hasn’t approved a contract (with passenger rates and other terms) before the announcement is all over the news.

Bill Cochrane

Apparently, our Port Director Rees doesn't have a clue? A reporter has more knowledge of what's going on? Maybe the Board should consider Ferguson for the position of Port Director? The editor that wrote the headline should have read the story. It should have read "might" instead of "will".

Mary Branum

NCL made the announcement.

Lisa Blair

It’s always fishy at the POG! It looks like Rees is continuing his pattern of keeping his oversight board in the dark. And as usual, the board seems to be just fine with that. Sigh.

Lucille Rees

The fact that they think a public announcement prior to finalizing a deal and getting it approved by the board will give them leverage in negotiations is clearly stated in the article.

The negative assumptions and remarks are disheartening.

Lisa Blair

“We’ve already exchanged some drafts” Rees said. Maybe he should keep the board apprised of his strategy before the press contacts them for comment?

Lucille Rees

Maybe he has?

Accusatory assumptions and negative remarks are disheartening. May peace be with you.

Lisa Blair

It sounds like you’re taking criticism personally. The POG is a multimillion dollar utility of the City, therefore citizens should participate and critique it’s management.

Mary Branum


Mary Branum

This is meant for Lucille’s comment

Charlotte O'rourke

Lucy, it is unusual for this type of announcement to come out like this as Rodger specifically states: “We’ve already exchanged some drafts,” Rees said. “It’s kind of off the wall that this thing came out like this.”

As to what the board knows or doesn’t know, it doesn’t seem like much per the article comments, but as you state it’s not 100% known if the board has seen or been apprised of the draft contractual details because the public isn’t allowed in executive session.

What we do know is that there are “no incentives” according to the port director which to me means the company has agreed to pay full tariff and user rates and the contract has no marketing incentives. Rodger may be using different terminology on what constitutes an “incentive”.

Every operating cruise contract at the POG that I’ve seen has incentives - either reduced tariff and user rates and/or marketing incentives. Just as the POHA gave incentives so too does the POG.

If no incentives exist, that’s a very, very good contract. Let’s wait to see the actual details, number of ship calls, and if the final terms are approved by the board and agreed to by NCL, and what, if any, “incentives” are actually given.

Regardless, very unusual or strange announcement, but good news that NCL wants to come to Galveston so the terminal doesn’t sit idle when the 3rd cruise terminal opens.

If the board as a whole doesn’t know the actual terms under consideration, it should ensure this doesn’t happen again so the newspaper comments reflect a knowledgeable and informed board and the board performs its fiduciary duty.

Peace with you as well.

Lucille Rees

Someone accused the Port Director of keeping the Board in the dark.

Certainly every board member knows he is negotiating with different Cruise Lines and they probably even know he is talking to Norwegian and that he will negotiate the best terms for the Port and the community and then bring the proposal to the Board for consideration. Then the Board will decide.

To accuse him of being fishy and sneaky is not accurate and creates unnecessary negativity. May peace be with us all.

Lisa Blair

So let me get this straight, the port director negotiates terms with the cruise line autonomously FIRST, and then brings the deal to the board? What’s the purpose of the board then? How are they providing oversight if they aren’t privy to negotiations? What if the terms are unacceptable? Does he then go back to the cruise line for a do-over? Why can’t we have transparency all along the way?

Lucille Rees

Again, the bizarre negative assumptions. Who said it’s done autonomously? The Board has a very important function. Perhaps you could talk to one of the Trustees before lodging bizarre negative accusations. And before you block me from responding again, I am a citizen also.

Lisa Blair

Block you from responding? I don’t think that’s possible on this forum.

Lisa Blair

“HE will negotiate the best terms for the port and the community AND THEN bring it to the board for consideration”

Lucille Rees

Yes, and he frequently discusses matters with the Board and the Board has final authority to accept, reject or request changes. They all work together for the benefit of the Port and our community. These continued bizarre negative accusations do not benefit anyone or anything. May peace be with you.

Mary Branum

It is unfortunate that good news always brings our criticism from arm chair quarterbacks. The Port has done better since Roger Rees is director than in the past 50+ years.

Charlotte O'rourke

50+ years? Lol. Come on Mary. Over the top statements don’t help.

In the 1970s, one out of every two jobs were port related. The port with the help of the city built 2 cruise terminals with over a million passengers annually. It has total control over booking these terminals unlike the new terminal which will be operated by the customer.

Cruising put Galveston on the map nationally.


The port has lost over 40 million in expected operating revenues due to covid. This is not anyone’s fault, but is a fact.

This revenue could have been used for much needed capital projects.

So, NCL coming to Galveston is good news IF an agreement is reached which due to the announcement kind of puts everyone in an anticipation pickle.

Let’s hope cruise continues to progress, but there is nothing wrong with expecting the port board - who approves contracts and sets any parameters - to receive negotiation updates from its port director especially when it will be “finalized” during an upcoming trip as stated in the GDN. Of course it must really be finalized during a public meeting or at least one would have that expectation.

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