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Fourth Cruise Terminal Coming to Galveston

The new construction will open the port to additional cruise lines.

By Amy Durham

a multi-story cruise ship with MSC Cruise Lines sails across a blue sea with a pale blue sky in the background
MSC Meraviglia CREDIT MSC Cruise Lines

The Port of Galveston is in the process of negotiating a deal for the construction of its fourth cruise terminal. The Galveston Wharves, the port’s governing body, is discussing the development with MSC Cruises, a Switzerland-based cruise line that currently operates from three other U.S. ports: Miami, Port Canaveral, and New York City.

The proposal for a fourth terminal was part of the Port of Galveston’s 20-Year Strategic Master Plan, which was adopted by the Galveston Wharves Board of Directors in 2019. Originally, the plan called for the terminal to be built in the 2030-2040 decade, but the port was able to secure additional acreage sooner than expected, allowing for the early construction of the terminal. The Port of Galveston has already seen growth in its passenger numbers, with a record 362 sailings expected in 2023. The addition of a new cruise terminal will allow the port to accommodate more ships and passengers, attracting new cruise lines and further boosting the local economy.

a bar in shades of blue with tables and chairs is under a blue awning and next to a large blue water slide
The Polar Bar on the MSC Meraviglia CREDIT MSC Cruise Lines

The Port of Galveston has already made significant strides in expanding its cruise business, with the recent opening of its third cruise terminal in November 2021, which is exclusively for Royal Caribbean International. The $125 million terminal is the first Oasis Class ship to homeport in Texas and has allowed other cruise lines to increase their activity at the port. Princess Cruises’ Ruby Princess ship arrived at its new homeport in Galveston in December 2021, marking the company’s first sailing from the port in years. Norwegian Cruise Line also announced in 2021 that it would sail from Galveston for the first time starting in October, with the new Norwegian Prima sailing two roundtrip western Caribbean voyages from the port.

a view of the atrium in an MSC cruise ship from overhead with balconies on either side and a row of boutiques in the distance
The Infinity Atrium on the MSC Meraviglia CREDIT MSC Cruise Lines

MSC Cruises is known for its elegant, European-style cruise experience, and its presence would elevate the port’s status as a top U.S. cruise homeport, providing access to a new market of millions of cruise passengers. The cruise line plans to announce more details next year, including the timing of the Galveston launch, ship name, and itineraries.