Galveston, TX (May 19, 2023) – The Galveston Wharves is investing $53 million in a major expansion at Cruise Terminal 25 to accommodate Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Jubilee, a new cruise ship arriving in December.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming the beautiful new Carnival Jubilee to our improved cruise terminal,” said Rodger Rees, Galveston Wharves port director and CEO. “We’re proud to have Carnival Cruise Line, our long-time cruise partner, choose Galveston as the home port for its newest ship.”
With a capacity of 6,500 guests, Carnival Jubilee is larger than the Carnival ships currently sailing from the terminal. Construction plans include improvements to accommodate the ship, move guests efficiently during debarkation and embarkation, and update the two-decade-old terminal, Rees said.
Construction plans include gangway modifications, a ramp, two elevators and an escalator, as well as a new roof. The new gangways are being built in Spain. Rees added that cruise operations will continue during the project.
The port also will make mandated improvements to facilities used by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which provides essential safety and security services at the terminal.
Investing in the Future
Rees said that these improvements are a long-term investment in the port’s future growth, more jobs and a stronger regional economy. As the fourth most popular cruise port in the U.S. and the only home port in Texas, the port generates two-thirds of its revenues from its cruise business. Rees added that the port reinvests net operational revenues in capital projects to grow its business.
In 2022, the port’s cruise activity generated 3,500 jobs, $568 million in local business revenue and $73.5 million in local purchases by passengers and crew. The port is on track to set new records in 2023 as the result of more people cruising, new and larger ships sailing from Galveston, and the opening of a third cruise terminal in late 2022.
The port will fund the cruise terminal expansion with cash reserves, a proposed bond issue and an agreement with Carnival.
“Carnival was the first major cruise line to homeport in Galveston more than 20 years ago. They believed in us then and believe in Galveston’s growing prominence as a top cruise port today,” Rees said.
About Galveston Wharves at the Port of Galveston
Located at the entrance to Galveston Bay and the Houston Ship Channel, Galveston Wharves has been a thriving maritime commercial center since 1825. Just 45 minutes from open seas, the 840-acre port has infrastructure and assets to serve growing cruise, cargo and commercial businesses.