Galveston Wharves, MSC, Norwegian Continue Negotiations for 4th Cruise Terminal
The Galveston Wharves continues negotiations with MSC and Norwegian cruise lines to develop a fourth cruise terminal at the fourth most popular cruise home port in the U.S.
Rodger Rees, Galveston Wharves port director and CEO, said, “We’re excited about the huge potential of this mutually beneficial public-private partnership. Adding MSC to our family of cruise lines would offer our cruise guests an elegant, European-style cruise experience. It would elevate our status as a top U.S. cruise home port, boost the regional economy and allow MSC to reach a new market of millions of cruise passengers in the Central U.S.”
Galveston Wharves Board of Trustees Chairman Harry Maxwell said, “We remain committed to working on a mutually beneficial partnership to bring these world-class cruise lines to homeport in Galveston.”
Jeff Patterson, chairman of the board’s Finance Committee, “I’m strongly supportive of the fourth cruise terminal and am looking forward to finalizing the details so we can move forward together.”
The Wharves Board has already authorized the expenditure of $673,000 for design and pre-engineering cost estimates for the proposed terminal.
Rubén A. Rodríguez, President, MSC Cruises USA, said, “We remain committed to our plans for a new home port in Galveston as part of our ongoing North American expansion. Bringing our modern, glamorous ships to Texas would provide our guests and travel advisors even more opportunities to experience the future of cruising and enjoy our distinctive European style. We’ve had productive discussions with the Galveston Wharves, and we’re continuing to negotiate with them as we chart MSC Cruises’ future in the U.S. market.”
MSC Cruises is the world’s third largest and fastest-growing cruise brand. Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the privately held company employs a staff of more than 30,000 globally. It is the market leader in Europe, South America, the Persian Gulf region and Southern Africa, with a strong presence in the Caribbean, North America and Far East markets.
Rees said, “Our popularity as a cruise home port is reflected in the growth of our passenger counts and sailings. In 2023 we forecast a record 362 sailings, the highest in the port’s 22 years as a cruise port. This is great news for the port and our region because our cruise business is a major revenue and jobs generator.”
Regional Economic Benefits
The local impact of the port’s 2022 cruise activity includes 3,500 jobs, $568 million in local business revenue, and $73.5 million in local purchases by passengers and crew. A fourth cruise terminal is forecast to generate an additional 925 jobs, $177 million in revenues, and $21 million in local purchases.
Rees added that a fourth cruise terminal is included in the port’s 20-Year Strategic Master Plan, designed to guide major capital and maintenance projects to maximize assets; optimize the port’s cruise, cargo, commercial and lay business sectors; and boost the regional economy with jobs and revenues.
The negotiations follow the opening of the port’s third new cruise terminal in November. The $125 million, state-of-the-art terminal at Pier 10 was developed through a public-private partnership.
(Galveston Wharves, MSC, Norwegian Continue Negotiations for 4th Cruise Terminal – Galveston Wharves)