New Royal Caribbean Cruise Terminal in Galveston ‘Taking Shape’

RC Galveston new terminal

The construction of the Port of Galveston’s third cruise terminal is "progressing" at Pier 10, according to Port Director and CEO Rodger Rees.

The project is a “game-changer for our port and regional economy,” Rees said. It is creating 400 construction jobs, 400 permanent operations jobs, $1.4 billion in local business services revenue, $5.6 million in state and local taxes, as well as new business development opportunities.

The terminal’s construction began in summer 2021 and will be completed in fall 2022. The 68-foot-tall building front will be faced with colorful blue panels, vertical accent windows and the Royal Caribbean anchor logo.

“We’re just eight months away from celebrating the terminal’s opening and the inaugural sailing of Royal Caribbean’s Oasis-class ship, the Allure of the Seas, from its new island home,” Rees noted.

According to Rees’ statement, the $125-million project is a collaboration between Royal Caribbean International, Ceres Terminal Holdings, LLC, and the Galveston Wharves.

Royal Caribbean is building the 161,300-square-foot terminal on 10 acres in the eastern-most area of the port.

The cruise line has unveiled interior renderings showing the terminal that will feature “state-of-the-art technology,” including mobile check-in and facial recognition for expedited boarding and disembarking.

In line with the port’s Green Marine initiative, Royal Caribbean has committed to designing the terminal to meet LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification standards.

The port is investing approximately $16 million in associated improvements, including an interior roadway, utilities, landscaping and cruise parking, Rees said. The 1,550-space parking lot will be a new revenue source for our port, a self-sustaining city entity.

“We have also budgeted $4.5 million to replace an 80-year-old pile-supported wharf and make concrete repairs on Pier 10, the wharf being repurposed for the new cruise terminal. The port and Royal Caribbean are sharing the anticipated $15 million cost for pier improvements, including berthing and mooring structures to accommodate one of the world’s largest cruise ships,” Rees said.

Ceres Terminals Holdings, LLC, will operate the terminal and support cruise operations with services including stevedoring, passenger luggage services, and ship provisioning. Ceres is an international company with 60 years of experience in shipping, cargo and cruise operations.

“Design, construction and operational planning are going smoothly thanks to the spirit of collaboration among the port, Royal Caribbean, Ceres, city of Galveston staff, ship pilots, and the International Longshoremen’s Association,” said Rees.

According to Rees, bringing the Allure of the Seas to Galveston is “the driver for the new terminal.” The Allure of the Seas will host 5,400 passengers and draw cruise passengers from around the U.S. to Galveston as both a cruise and vacation destination.

When the ship is in port, its 2,500-3,000 crew members will make use of Galveston’s shopping, banking and dining facilities.

The Allure will sail seven-night Caribbean itineraries. Currently, the port is home to Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas and the Liberty of the Seas, the largest cruise ship homeported at Galveston.

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