It may have been completed back in 2008, but Bayport Cruise Terminal, located in the Port of Houston in Galveston Bay in Texas, endured a long wait before finally opening for business this week.
The ship which had the honour of opening the terminal’s very first cruise ship season was Princess Cruises’ Caribbean Princess, which, as you’ve probably guessed from her name, will operate a number of Caribbean cruises from the port. The season will see a total of 26 departures , with the inaugural cruise being a ‘Cruising for a Cause’ sailing, which honours US military veterans and is expected to raise around a million dollars for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund and Operation Homefront.
The new season will be the first of three that Princess Cruises will use the Port of Houston for many of its Caribbean cruises, and it will also make passenger calls at the port’s Pasadena terminal for two more consecutive seasons.
The Port of Houston’s Phyllis Saathoff explained the reason behind the five-year opening delay, saying: “We had expected to have a cruise line in the facility immediately and operating, but as we all know, there was a bit of an economic downturn so that delayed things a bit for us.”
With Norwegian Cruise Line also announcing its intention to station one of its vessels, the Norwegian Jewel, at Bayport, there were concerns that the new Bayport terminal would take business away from key Texas port Galveston, but Saathoff remained upbeat, saying: “I think there is room and opportunity for both ports and I’m very excited about the future and what it will mean for the greater Houston region”.
Both Princes Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line are expected to deliver more than 400,000 passengers to the region over the course of the next four years.
By Simon Brotherton