Galveston to Announce Terminal 3

Navigator of the Seas in Galveston

Galveston and Royal Caribbean Cruises plan to sign a memorandum of agreement tomorrow to build a third cruise terminal. The announcement is expected Wednesday. 

According to the port, the MOU will allow negotiations to move forward toward a final agreement that must ultimately be accepted by the board of trustees of the Galveston Wharves. The final agreement is expected to be presented to the trustees at the January 2019 regular monthly meeting.

Texas news sources have previously reported on the project to build a third 155,000-square-foot terminal at a cost of about $100 million.

Royal Caribbean is presently operating two ships year-round from Terminal 2, but the new terminal will be designed to accommodate Oasis-class ships.

With Terminal 3 being expected to be ready in 2021, Terminal 2 will be freed up for other ships.

Also sailing from Galveston year-round is Carnival with three ships..

“The ships here are going out at 110 percent capacity,” Roger Rees, CEO and port director, recently told Cruise Industry News.

For 2018, Galveston expects to post more than 2 million passengers on some 300 turnarounds, up about 13 percent from last year.  Projections for 2019 call for the growth trend to continue.

“We have a good location,” Rees said. “We are in close proximity of Houston and some 20 million people live within a day’s drive. Seventy percent of our passengers drive to the port. We have 2,900 parking spots that belong to us and have just invited bids to build a new parking deck with 2,000 more spots by Terminal 1 and 2.

“With our plans for the new terminal, we will probably double our parking capacity.”

Already, the port spent $4 million to accommodate the recent arrival of the Carnival Vista.

Rees said that Carnival entered into a 10-year agreement with the port two years ago, and that negotiations with Royal Caribbean could lead to a 60-year transaction: a 20-year initial term and four 10-year options.

Rees said that he was also in the process of signing a new five-year deal with Disney.

Long term, Rees said there is also space to build terminals four and five.

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