Last November, Royal Caribbean International held a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Galveston to celebrate the opening of a new $125 million terminal and the arrival of the state’s first Oasis Class ship, Allure of the Seas. Honored guests included U.S. Representative Randy Weber and Galveston Mayor Craig Brown.
Royal Caribbean first set sail from Galveston 20 years ago, and this new state-of-the-art, 161,334-square-foot facility is expected to welcome as many as 630,000 travelers a year. In line with Royal Caribbean Group’s environmental goals, the terminal is also the first LEED Zero Energy facility in the world, generating all its energy through solar panels.
“We are thrilled to take family vacations to a whole new level in Texas,” says Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, speaking of the recent expansion.
Allure of the Seas offers guests myriad options while on the open water. The ship travels with seven signature neighborhoods that are home to more than 30 restaurants, a one-of-a-kind entertainment venue called the AquaTheater, and the open-air Central Park featuring live plants. Adventurous guests will enjoy the nine-story-high zip line, two surf simulators, rock climbing, and ice skating.
“This new cruise terminal is a game changer for the port and the region,” says Rodger Rees, port director, Port of Galveston. Rees says the port is expected to bring 800 new jobs, $1.4 billion in local business revenue, and $5.6 million in state and local taxes—benefitting the tourism industry in the region and funding business development in Texas.