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Galveston, TX, Dec. 5, 2018 -The Board of Trustees of the Galveston Wharves formally announced on Wednesday, December 5 that it has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. setting out the general terms for a new long-term business agreement for the development and operation of a new cruise terminal. The long-term lease negotiations could lead to a 60-year transaction: a 20-year initial term and four 10-year options.
While specific designs and costs have not yet been announced, some details have been revealed. The new terminal will cover approximately 200,000 square feet on ten acres of land in the southeast section of the Port known as Pier 10. Improvements to the pier bulkhead and apron will be made to safely 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. The new state-of-the-art facility is anticipated to open in Fall 2021.
“This new cruise terminal to be built by Royal Caribbean allows the Port to continue investing in our infrastructure while growing our cruise business exponentially. This partnership will bring both larger class ships as well as more visitors to the City of Galveston and the region,” said Port Director/CEO Rodger Rees. “This long term lease agreement represents Royal Caribbean’s confidence in the Port of Galveston’s efficient cruise operations and the ability to attract passengers on its current and future sailings. Galveston is on course for being a global destination for cruising and we are thankful for partners like Royal Caribbean.”
“Over the last 15 years, Royal Caribbean has brought over 2.4 million guests to Galveston driving an economic impact of $65 million each year. The development of a new terminal is crucial to our continued growth and expansion of the brand in the region,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “We look forward to continuing our outstanding relationship with the Port of Galveston and are excited about our plans for a state-of-the-art facility with a bold new design and technological advancements that will considerably enhance our guest experience.”
Royal Caribbean currently has two ships that sail out of Galveston, Liberty of the Seas, the largest cruise ship to sail from the State of Texas and Vision of the Seas. The Port expects the new cruise terminal to generate an additional 1.0 million passengers halfway through the term of the contract.
About the Port of Galveston
The Port of Galveston is the region’s gateway to the Gulf for cruise ships and international trade. Located at the entrance to Galveston Bay, the Port leases and maintains facilities on both Galveston Island and Pelican Island. The Galveston Island operations are a diversified mix of cargo including roll-on-roll-off cargo, dry bulk, export grain, refrigerated fruit, general cargo, and project cargo. In addition, the Port handles over 1.8 million cruise passenger movements annually. The Port’s Pelican Island facilities comprise a combination of undeveloped property, an active ship and rig repair facility, and liquid bulk operations. The Port is a self-supporting enterprise utility with operating revenues of approximately $38 million. It does not rely on tax dollars for operations.
About Royal Caribbean International
Royal Caribbean International is an award-winning global cruise brand with a 49-year legacy of innovation and introducing industry “firsts” never before seen at sea. The cruise line features an expansive and unmatched array of features and amenities only found on Royal Caribbean, including jaw-dropping, state-of-the-art entertainment and industry-acclaimed programming that appeals to families and adventurous vacationers alike. On board, guests are catered to with the cruise line’s world-renowned friendly and engaging service by every staff and crew member. Royal Caribbean has been voted “Best Cruise Line Overall” for 15 consecutive years in the Travel Weekly Readers’ Choice Awards.
The cruise line sails 25 of the world’s most innovative cruise ships to the most popular destinations in Bermuda and the Caribbean, Europe, Canada and New England, Alaska, South America, Asia, and Australia and New Zealand. Media can stay up-to-date by following @RoyalCaribPR on Twitter, and visiting RoyalCaribbeanPressCenter.com. For additional information or to make reservations, vacationers should call their travel agent; visit RoyalCaribbean.com; or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN.