Inside Galveston Cruise Terminal – Benefits, Directions & Parking
Inside Galveston Cruise Terminal
Welcome to the Port of Galveston, a major cruise port in the U.S., with several reasons to choose it as your departure point for your next cruising journey. The port is well-known for its convenient access to most major southern cities, as well as for being closer to the ocean than other major ports in the country. The port is just 45 minutes away from the open sea.
A port rich in heritage and history, the Galveston cruise terminal boasts a variety of sights, venues, and activities. The facility is designed to accommodate the largest cruise ships in Texas while also offering a variety of benefits for all cruisers. You can find fleets of ships sailing to ports worldwide and state-of-the-art boarding facilities, making it the ideal spot for cruisers who are looking to take their adventures to the seas.
Before you plan your cruise, it’s important to get inside Galveston cruise terminals.
About Galveston Cruise Terminals
The Port of Galveston is the nation's largest cruise and cargo port, with an area of 840 acres. It’s conveniently located near the Gulf Coast of Texas, and approximately 50 miles east of downtown Houston. Operating from Galveston Island, this seaport is the gateway to major cities such as Houston, Austin, Dallas, and other southern cities. It offers an easy in or out option for those traveling to and from these locations.
Port Galveston is the fourth-busiest port in North America, serving over 1.7 million cruise passengers a year. Operations at the port began in 1825, when Texas was part of Mexico, making it the oldest U.S. port in continuous operation. To date, it remains one of the most significant shipping hubs in the Gulf of Mexico.
In addition to passengers, the port provides safe and efficient movements of goods. Many consumers, businesses, industries, and communities rely on Port Galveston to handle their products or cargo needs. Each year, this seaport moves over 4 million tons of cargo. It also serves as an essential conduit for U.S. trade and is connected to multiple major highway systems via Interstate 45 and U.S. Highways 87 and 69.
Galveston has three cruise terminals. Here’s what you should know about these three terminals:
Situated at 2502 Harborside Drive, terminal 1 serves Carnival Cruise Lines with parking across the street. This cruise terminal was completed in late 2010 with the capability to accommodate the growing number of passengers and the larger ships that travel through Galveston.
Terminal 2 is conveniently located at 2702 Harborside Drive in the heart of Galveston. The terminal is mostly used by Royal Caribbean, although the new RCL Terminal 3 is designated for Royal Caribbean cruises as well. It’s within walking distance from the parking lot, and also offers a shuttle service.
Moreover, the terminal allows for the simultaneous embarking and disembarking of over 5,000 passengers at a time. The 150,000-square-foot facility was designed with Royal Caribbean’s Freedom-class ships in mind. It's a facility that has undergone many improvements to continue to provide clients with the ultimate guest service.
In December 2018, the Port of Galveston reached a whopping $125 million agreement with Royal Caribbean to construct a third terminal. This was a result of the increasing number of passengers. The new facility is a part of a 200,000 sq. ft. complex on 10 acres of land at Pier 10. The new terminal will boost the port's capacity and revenue, including state and local taxes. Plus, it will create hundreds of jobs for locals.
As the world's first zero-energy cruise terminal, the facility is a showcase for energy conservation, utilizing solar panels to offset electricity usage, bike racks, and EV charging stations. Also, a better experience is provided with mobile check-in, facial recognition, and separate VIP entrances.
The new terminal 3 accommodates the largest Oasis-class ships, such as the Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas (which sails on seven-night Western Caribbean itineraries). The terminal is projected to double the number of cruises and passengers using Galveston's cruise terminals each year.
How To Get Inside Galveston Cruise Terminals
To reach Port Galveston, you can take one of two routes: either by car or plane. Whichever you choose, here’s a guide to making your trip easy:
For the most accurate directions to the cruise terminals, input 22nd Street and Harborside Drive on your GPS. If you’re coming from the east, we recommend traveling west on Highway 87 to reach Galveston Island. You can do this by taking the Port Bolivar Ferry entrance and joining Highway 87 past the ferry. Then, turn right on Harborside Drive and turn right again 20 blocks later on Kempner/22nd Street.
Meanwhile, if you’re driving from the north and west, the best option is to take Interstate 45 South toward Galveston Island. You can take Exit 1C off of Interstate 45 and follow the ramp to Harborside Drive. After 4.7 miles, you should turn left at Kempner/22nd Street to reach the terminals.
Another route from the north is taking Interstate 10 east from Houston. Then, get on Highway 146 South in Baytown and take I-45 S to Galveston.
The closest airport to Galveston Island is William P. Hobby Airport (HOU ). This airport is located 41 miles northwest of the cruise port, where you can rent a car. Once there, it's a 42-mile drive along Highway 45 to get to the port. However, driving your own vehicle to get inside Galveston cruise terminal will be less expensive and more convenient than taking a plane.
Galveston Cruise Terminal Parking for Cars
It can be hard to find parking spaces due to each terminal’s high numbers of visitors. However, the good news is that the Port of Galveston offers spacious parking spaces for rent. For example, you can book Galveston parking in advance to ensure your spot. Booking such a secured parking lot guarantees that your car is safe while you’re away on vacation. Assistance with luggage is also offered and will help you have a comfortable experience when going into and out of the terminal from your vehicle. Like your relaxing vacation journey, parking management strives to make your parking experience a pleasurable one, too.
Book Your Official Galveston Cruise Parking Here
The port of Galveston is home to three cruise lines, including Carnival Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean (RCL), and Disney. It’s expected that more lines will join the fleet once it’s fully operational. This state-of-the-art complex also offers all the amenities you need to enjoy a stress-free cruise vacation.
If you’re planning to take a cruise and are looking for official Galveston cruise parking, this is the perfect place to reserve your space. With us, you’ll travel with the comfort of knowing that your vehicle is safe while on the terminal’s premises.