By Rodger Rees,
Galveston Wharves Port Director and CEO
Our waterfront skyline is changing as construction of the Port of Galveston’s third cruise terminal progresses at Pier 10. The dramatic 68-foot-tall building front will be faced with colorful blue panels, vertical accent windows, and the distinctive Royal Caribbean anchor logo.
This landmark project is a game-changer for our port and regional economy. It is creating 400 construction jobs, 400 permanent operations jobs, $1.4 billion in local business services revenue, $5.6 million in state and local taxes, and incredible business development opportunities.
Construction began in summer 2021 and will be completed in fall 2022. We’re just 8 months away from celebrating the terminal’s opening and the inaugural sailing of Royal Caribbean’s Oasis-class ship, Allure of the Seas, from its new island home.
A Winning Partnership
The $125 million project is a collaboration between Royal Caribbean International, Ceres Terminal Holdings, LLC, and the Galveston Wharves. Royal Caribbean is building the 161,300-square-foot terminal on 10 acres in the eastern-most area of the port.
Royal Caribbean has unveiled interior renderings showing a soaring, sun-lit space decorated in vibrant, tropical colors. The terminal will feature state-of-the-art technology, including mobile check-in and facial recognition for expedited boarding and disembarking. In line with the port’s Green Marine initiative, Royal Caribbean has committed to design the terminal to meet LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification standards.
The port is investing approximately $20 million in associated improvements, including an interior roadway, utilities, landscaping and cruise parking. The 1,550-space parking lot will be a new revenue source for our port, a self-sustaining city entity.
We have also budgeted $4.5 million to replace an 80-year-old pile-supported wharf and make concrete repairs on Pier 10, the wharf being repurposed for the new cruise terminal. The port and Royal Caribbean are sharing the anticipated $15 million cost for pier improvements, including berthing and mooring structures to accommodate one of the world’s largest cruise ships.
Ceres Terminals Holdings, LLC, will operate the terminal and support cruise operations with services including stevedoring, passenger luggage services, and ship provisioning. Ceres is an international company with 60 years of experience in shipping, cargo and cruise operations.
Design, construction and operational planning are going smoothly thanks to the spirit of collaboration among the port, Royal Caribbean, Ceres, city of Galveston staff, ship pilots, and the International Longshoremen’s Association.
More about Allure of the Seas
Bringing a Royal Caribbean Oasis-class ship to Galveston, the fourth most popular cruise port in North America, is the driver for the new terminal. Allure of the Seas will host 5,400 passengers with world-class dining and entertainment.
It will draw cruise passengers from around the U.S. to Galveston as both a cruise and vacation destination. The ship’s 2,500-3,000 crew members will make Galveston their home away from home, shopping, banking and dining in Galveston when the ship is in port.
The Allure will sail 7-night Caribbean itineraries. Currently, the port is home to Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas, the largest cruise ship homeported at Galveston, the only cruise port in Texas.
Galveston will also benefit from Royal Caribbean’s expanded footprint in Galveston. This world-class company is committed to being a part of the Galveston community by fulfilling its three community engagement pillars – respect, communication and collaboration.
All of this is great news. When we all work together toward common goals, everyone wins.