Carnival Cruise Lines, the Port of Galveston’s only year-round cruise operator, announced today that it will resume service from the Texas port on November 1, 2008 following a temporary seize in cruise operations due to Hurricane Ike last month.
The 2,052-passenger Carnival Ecstasy will resume year-round four- and five-day cruises from Galveston with a five-day voyage departing on Saturday, Nov. 1. The 2,974-passenger Carnival Conquest will begin year-round seven-day service from Galveston Sunday, Nov. 2.
Up until that time, the ships will continue to operate round-trip from the Port of Houston’s Bayport Cruise Terminal where they were shifted temporarily following Hurricane Ike. The Carnival Ecstasy cruises on October 23 and October 27; and the Carnival Conquest cruise on October 26 will operate round-trip from Houston.
“We are extremely pleased to be resuming service from the Port of Galveston and extend our congratulations and appreciation to the port and the Galveston community as a whole for enabling us to return so quickly,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival’s president and CEO.
“We would also like to express our gratitude to the Port of Houston for their tremendous efforts in accommodating our ships and being such exceptional partners. Their support enabled these ships to remain Texas based while Galveston worked through its recovery process,” Cahill noted.
Carnival launched the first year-round cruise program from Galveston in 2000 and has expanded its presence dramatically over the past eight years. With the return of its two year-round ships, Carnival Ecstasy and Carnival Conquest, the line expects to carry an estimated 350,000 guests annually from Galveston.
According to Steve Cernak, director of the Port of Galveston, “We took a hit however we rapidly rebounded. We had our first cargo ship in nine days after the storm. Now, six weeks after Hurricane Ike, we are fully operational. The Port, as well as all of Galveston Island, is excited to welcome home both Carnival Ecstasy and Carnival Conquest.
Carnival Ecstasy’s four- and five-day cruise schedule encompasses four-day voyages departing Thursdays to Cozumel, Mexico, and five-day cruises departing Mondays and Saturdays to Cozumel and Progreso, Mexico. Carnival Conquest’s seven-day western Caribbean cruise program includes week-long voyages departing every Sunday to Montego Bay, Jamaica; Cozumel; and George Town, Grand Cayman as well as a new 2009 itinerary option that visits Key West, Freeport and Nassau.
Carnival Ecstasy and Carnival Conquest are part of Carnival Cruise Lines’ 22-vessel fleet which operates three- to 18-day voyages to The Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, the Panama Canal, Canada, New England, Bermuda, Europe and South America. The line currently has two new ships scheduled for delivery between now and 2011.