A disastrous re-entry into the cruise industry for the Port of Houston has come to a final chapter as port commissioners voted to sell the port's passenger gangway system, according to a Houston Chronicle article.
The Bayport Cruise Terminal opened in 2008, but sat awkwardly dormant at the time without any ships. The Port then took matters into its own hands in 2012 to “build up the market” – essentially paying Princess Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line to homeport in Houston as opposed to other ports.
Princess started in 2013-2014 with a 27 cruise season. Norwegian started at the port in 2014 with an agreement totaling 75 calls over five years with an option for two more years. To start, Princess Cruises received $685,000 and Norwegian was reported to have received up to $6 million.
In addition, Norwegian was reported to get another $2 million from the port if it opted to extend its contract into 2017 and 2018. The ships also received free use of the terminal in the deal.
The business did not last however, as both cruise lines left the port.
In 2005, Houston port officials told Cruise Industry News they expected to handle 300,000 cruise passengers annually by 2008.