Royal Caribbean’s new terminal in Galveston, which will be known simply as “Royal Caribbean”, is on track to open in late 2018. The new terminal will be located in the historic Seawall district of downtown Galveston, at the site of the historic Surfside Pleasure Pier. The terminal will be owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, which runs multiple cruise lines around the world.
The Port of Galveston is the setting for all that is good in the world. Its seaport is the second busiest in the United States, after Los Angeles. It is also the largest port in the State of Texas.
The in-progress construction in Galveston, Texas exemplifies the economic impact of a global trade route to the U.S. When the Panama Canal was completed in 1914, it gave ships a much shorter route from the Atlantic to the Pacific, which meant that ships could avoid the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. In 1939, the United States enacted the Jones Act, which made imports from foreign countries duty-free to U.S. citizens, and in 1980, this legislation was expanded to include the Caribbean. To the Caribbean, the Panama Canal has meant a major boon to U.S. trade, and Galveston has been a major beneficiary to this trade.
The Port of Galveston held a groundbreaking ceremony over the weekend to commemorate the start of work of Royal Caribbean International’s new $125 million cruise terminal, providing yet another vote of confidence in the cruise industry’s comeback.
Allure of the Seas, which will begin offering seven-night western Caribbean cruises from the Texas port in November 2022, will call Terminal 3 home.
(Photo courtesy of the Galveston Port Authority)
“This new cruise terminal is a game-changer,” said Rodger Rees, the port director and CEO of Galveston Wharves. “This much awaited initiative will result in the creation of 800 new employment, $1.4 billion in local business services income, $5.6 million in state and local taxes, and tremendous company development opportunities.”
Royal Caribbean International already has a significant presence at the port, which is the fourth busiest for cruise ships in the United States. The two biggest cruise ships, Independence of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas, are presently docked in Texas’ sole cruise port.
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In December 2019, the port officials secured a long-term deal with Royal Caribbean for the new facility. Royal Caribbean will construct the terminal as part of a public-private collaboration, then lease it from the port for 20 years with four 10-year options.
The 161,300-square-foot terminal will be built on ten acres on Galveston Island’s easternmost port. At the terminal, the port will also construct and manage a 1,800-space cruise parking lot.
“We are thrilled to commemorate this significant milestone for our new state-of-the-art terminal, which will feature a stunning, bold architectural design as well as technological advancements that will significantly enhance our guests’ experience,” said Joshua Carroll, vice president, Royal Caribbean Destination Development.
The facility will include cutting-edge technology, such as mobile check-in and face recognition, to expedite the check-in procedure for visitors. The terminal will be built in accordance with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) accreditation guidelines.
The Sea’s Allure (Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean)
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Industry leaders, including U.S. Congressman Randy Weber, Texas Rep. Mayes Middleton, City of Galveston Mayor Dr. Craig Brown, and City Councilmember Marie Robb, spoke at the groundbreaking event.
The cleanup of the site started a few months ago, and the event was timed to coincide with the departure of Independence of the Seas, the first Royal Caribbean cruise ship to sail from Galveston since March 2020.
The project is expected to be finished in November 2022. On November 13, 2022, the Allure of the Seas will dock there.
Royal Caribbean International will celebrate 20 years in Galveston in 2022. The collaboration started in 2002, when Rhapsody of the Seas set sail for the first time.
Galveston’s oldest cruise ship terminal, in operation since 1928, is in need of expansion. The terminal is in the works to be replaced by a new, high-tech cruise terminal that will allow Royal Caribbean to increase its operations in Galveston. The new terminal will change the face of the cruise industry in Galveston, not only giving passengers more shopping and dining options, but also creating many new jobs for residents.. Read more about galveston cruise port cam and let us know what you think.
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