The Board of Trustees of the Galveston Wharves has entered into a new operating agreement with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. effective December 23, 2007. This five year agreement continues the successful relationship between the Port and RCCL that has existed since October 2001.
Under this agreement, the Port of Galveston will be the homeport for the 138,000gt Voyager of the Seas with 40 cruises scheduled through 2009. The agreement also provides the opportunity for RCCL to expand its cruise operations at the Port in the future and facilitates development of the port to accommodate this expansion.
“Hosting this ship in the Gulf will bring great economic impact to the region, adding to the success of 2006 when we saw $1.1 billion in direct spending, the creation of 19,341 jobs and $907 million generated in new income for the state of Texas as a result of the cruise industry.”, said Steven M. Cernak, Port Director.
The Voyager of the Seas is making her media debut as the largest cruise ship sailing from Texas on Sunday, January 13. The vessel will carry up to 3,600 guests on seven- night itineraries to the Caribbean & Mexico generating approximately 125,000 round trip passengers at the port this cruise season.
“Voyager's arrival also marks the first time a Royal Caribbean Voyager class ship is deployed in Texas for an entire season,” said Alice Norsworthy, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Royal Caribbean International. “We are excited to offer more Texans the opportunity to experience our signature style of cruising right from their backyard.”
This year, the Port of Galveston will spend $3.3 million to upgrade Cruise Terminal 2 including a new awning for the passenger drop-off and pick-up area and a staging area for buses, taxis, and airport and hotel shuttles; expand the baggage laydown area an additional 4,500 square feet and improve the ship provisioning area.