In 2012 Port of Houston entered aggressively into cruise industry, but after just a few years it looks to be giving up.
As cruise lines dropped Bayport, the terminal faced another empty period. Less than 3 years after port's commissioners authorized millions in incentives to lure a pair of lines to its long-empty terminal, the two operators decided to move on and leave loading docks deserted again.
After helping the cruise lines “build up the market” with $685,000 for Princess and up to $6 million for NCL (Norwegian Cruise Line), both lines do not have deployment at Bayport Cruise Terminal for winter 2016-17.
For Princess, this 2015-16 winter season of Caribbean Princess will not be repeated as the vessel also moves back to Florida.
In 2012 Port of Houston authorities said that each cruise ship call was worth an economic impact of US$2 million.
Princess started in 2013-14 with a season including 27 cruises. Norwegian emerged at the port in 2014 with an agreement totaling 75 port calls over 5 years with an option for 2 more years. NCL was reported to get $2 million from the port if it had opted to extend the contract into 2017-18. The ships received free use of the port terminal.
The ship calls have created nearly 300 local jobs. Prior to the agreements, Bayport Cruise Terminal remained unoccupied since its opening in 2008.