The new Royal Caribbean Terminal opened in Galveston in November 2022
Galveston Wharves is planning to renovate cruise infrastructure and pursue additional building projects, as it prepares for record-breaking calls and passenger numbers in 2023.
Galveston expects to receive 362 calls and more than a million cruise passengers throughout the year, exceeding previous highs for the Texan port. A newly opened third cruise terminal, high passenger occupancy rates and the arrival of higher capacity ships such as Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Jubilee were noted as contributing factors by the port.
To help accommodate Carnival Jubilee and expected passenger numbers, Galveston Wharves is to carry out a renovation and improvement project at the 20-year-old Cruise Terminal 25. Work will include required improvements to US Customs and Border Patrol facilities, as well as two new gangways, expanded passenger and luggage areas, an additional escalator and a new elevator.
The port is also aiming to sign an agreement with MSC Cruises for a joint public-private project to build a fourth cruise terminal and a 1,500-space parking garage at Pier 16. The currently existing warehouse facility would receive a major remodelling to transform it into a two-story cruise terminal with two gangways.
Costs are estimated at $70 million for the terminal building and $40 million for the parking garage. Work is planned to begin when the current occupant’s Lease ends in 2024, with the first MSC ship sailing in 2025.
Other priorities for the port include advancing its environmental initiatives, improving the Pier 19 commercial area, expanding its internal roadway, increasing port-related jobs and securing state and federal funding to pay for the planned improvements.
“Thanks to the robust recovery of our cruise business, the Galveston Wharves is poised to make major advances with its capital projects and waterfront infrastructure renovations to bring one of this region’s major economic engines to its full potential,” said Rodger Rees, port director and CEO of Galveston Wharves. “Years of planning, saving and relationship-building are beginning to yield results for our port. The best is yet to come.”