Miami-based cruise company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL) has signed a long-term contract with the Port of Galveston in Texas for a new USD 100 million cruise terminal.
As informed, through the public-private partnership, RCL will build the terminal, then lease it from the port for an initial term of 20 years, with four 10-year extension options.
Construction is expected to begin in April 2020 and the facility is scheduled to open in fall 2021.
“We are excited to partner with the Port of Galveston to develop a world-class facility which will allow us to sail our newest, largest and most innovative ships from Texas starting with Allure of the Seas, one of the largest ships in the world,” Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International, commented.
“The new terminal will allow us to increase our guests to the region by 50% generating a USD 100 million economic impact within the first year of operation.”
The two-story terminal will have a footprint of approximately 170,000 square feet on 10 acres in the eastern section of the port known as Pier 10.
The terminal will feature advanced technology and will be developed to meet the highest environmental standards. Improvements to the pier bulkhead and apron will be made to accommodate the cruise line’s largest vessels. In addition, a staging and loading area, bus and taxi staging areas and substantial parking will be constructed, according to Royal Caribbean.
Specifically, the port will be responsible for items including maintenance, parking, and improvements to the dock so that it can accommodate the larger vessels, while RCL will contribute to the cost of improving the docks.
According to a national report, Galveston’s cruise business grew by 13 percent in 2018, resulting in USD 1.5 billion in cruise industry direct expenditures.
The port began its partnership with RCL in 2002 with the inaugural sailing of Rhapsody of the Seas. Currently, the port is home to Enchantment of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas, the largest cruise ship in the state of Texas.