The Port of Houston Authority has reached agreement with Princess Cruises to make passenger calls for two additional cruise seasons, in addition to the sailings that will kick off later this year in November at the state-of-the-art Bayport Cruise Terminal.
The agreement, which was approved by the Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority today, calls for Princess Cruises to sail from the Bayport Cruise Terminal in Pasadena, Texas, during the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 cruise seasons.
Sailings are expected to generate as much as $155 million of economic impact over the confirmed three cruise seasons, according to the firm Martin Associates. An estimated $3 million in state and local taxes is anticipated. Additionally, a total of 736 direct, induced and indirect jobs will be created.
The two-year extension also includes two one-year options, which could expand sailings by Princess into 2018. While 27 departures are planned for the cruise season starting in 2013, the new agreement will mean an additional 50 sailings.
"We are pleased to have secured two additional cruise seasons with Princess Cruises. These additional sailings will spur even more job creation and economic development for the entire Houston region," Port Commission Chairman Janiece Longoria said.
The Port Authority's initial agreement with Princess Cruises, announced last November, marks the first service scheduled with a cruise line to use the Bayport Cruise Terminal. Both Princess and the Port Authority project the cruise activity will have a significant positive impact on the economies of Harris County and the greater Houston area, including the cities of Houston and Pasadena.
The inaugural cruise is an unprecedented sailing aboard Caribbean Princess to support U.S. veterans. The historic cruise, which will sail between Nov. 5 and Nov. 9, is expected to raise up to $1 million for two U.S. veterans organizations, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) and Operation Homefront. Caribbean Princess will continue to sail from Bayport for the rest of the season.
Next year, Emerald Princess will make Houston its home port for western Caribbean sailings. Noteworthy is the fact Princess Cruises has been named by cruise industry travel agents as having the "best cruise line itineraries."
"We're pleased that we've reached agreement for the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 seasons," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. "We expect that the port's state-of-the-art facilities at Bayport and the convenient airport-close location will provide a terrific experience for our passengers cruising out of Houston."
The Bayport Cruise Terminal, which was completed in the fall of 2009, is located in Pasadena, Texas, nestled between Houston and Galveston Bay.
Norwegian Cruise Line is also set to sail from the cruise terminal beginning in 2014, with a total of 75 calls over three cruise seasons.