Galveston cruise port is not among the world's biggest, but is one of the most successful Caribbean USA ports. On September 30, 2015, Galveston port celebrated its 15th year "cruise business" anniversary. On September 30, 2000, the Carnival cruise ship MS Celebration did its first itinerary leaving round-trip out of Galveston Island. In those 15 years, the port have managed 2643 ship calls by 18 cruise liners, handling over 7 million passengers.
- Galveston is a port city spread over Galveston Island and Pelican Island. The city's land area is approx 208 ml2 (539 km2), with population around 50,000. . The city is within the Houston–The Woodlands–Sugar Land ("Greater Houston") metro area with total population over 6,5 million. The Bayport Cruise Terminal (Houston) is located in Pasadena Texas. The driving distance between Galveston and Houston is approx 50 ml (80 km), or about 1 hour drive in southeast direction.
- Port of Galveston was established in October 1825, making it the oldest Gulf of Mexico port. During the late 19th century, the port was considered to be the USA's 2nd busiest - following NYC New York. The port exported most of the USA's cotton, also cattle and rice. Unfortunately, on September 8, 1900, the port was devastated by the "1900 Galveston hurricane". The storm was Category 4, with strong winds speeding of up to 145 mph (233 kph). This nature accident resulted in 6000-8000 dead, ranking it the USA's deadliest hurricane ever. Although recovered, the port's market position was soon overtaken by Houston and other deep-water US ports in the Caribbean Sea.
- The major contributors for the port's successful business are Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (RCCL). Both are the world's largest cruise companies and both home-port vessels here for year-round, round-trip departures.
Port of Galveston is located on the mainland Texas' upper coast and on the island's eastern end. The port is at approx 9ml (15 km) from the open sea (Gulf of Mexico). The Port Authority is the "Board of Trustees of the Galveston Wharves".
- Galveston port also has facilities to handle cargo ships (bulk carriers and container vessels) and dry dock facilities for marine vessel refurbishments and repairs.
- The port can handle all types of cargo - containers, dry bulk, liquid bulk, break bulk, RO-RO (Roll-on/roll-off) vessels. There is a terminal switching railroad to facilitate larger cargo movements by rail.
Cruise itineraries from Galveston Texas
Follows a list of destinations visited by cruise ships leaving out of Galveston:
- Most departures from Galveston are operated by ships from the fleets of the cruise lines Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Disney.
- (Western Caribbean) 7-day cruises visit Honduras (Roatan island) and Mexico (Costa Maya, and Cozumel).
- (Western Caribbean) 7-day cruises visit Jamaica (Montego Bay), Grand Cayman (George Town) and Mexico (Cozumel). Another port of call could be Belize City.
- (Eastern Caribbean) 7-day cruises visit Florida (Key West) and Bahamas (Freeport, and Nassau). Also can be visited the Bahamian private islands Half Moon Cay (Carnival), Castaway Cay (Disney) and CocoCay (Royal Caribbean).
- (Western Caribbean) 4-day cruises stop at Cozumel Mexico only.
- (Western Caribbean) 5-day cruises visit Mexico (Progreso, and Cozumel).
- For all current and future (scheduled) cruise itineraries, lines and ships to and from Galveston, see at the port's "Schedule" section above (located to the right of the "Map" button).
Galveston cruise port news
- (statistics) Since 2000, the port has invested over USD 85 million in its cruise ship terminals.
- (statistics 2014) the port served 642,000 passengers.
- (statistics 2015) the port served 834,000 passengers (a 28% increase).
- (statistics 2016) 875,000 passengers
- (statistics 2017) 950,000 passengers
- (statistics) direct spending are over USD 1,2 billion. Generated jobs are 20,000 (paying over USD 1,1 billion in total income).
- (statistics) Cruise vacation related spending in the state of Texas is accounted for 6,3% of the industry’s direct expenditures and 5,6% of the industry's nationwide overall spending.
- In January 2014, the cruise port signed a 5 year agreement with Royal Caribbean, generating over USD 1,86 million in annual revenues. The agreement required improvements to be made to Terminal 2 to accommodate larger ships and more passengers. The terminal's size was increased to 150,000 ft2 / 13,940 m2 (passenger capacity up to 1000) at the cost of USD 10 million.
- In February 2015, Carnival added the Carnival Freedom ship as its 3rd year-round vessel in Galveston TX (joining there the fleetmates Carnival Magic and Carnival Triumph). This increased the line's year capacity up to 600,000 passengers.
- 2015 statistics show Galveston port as one of the few US cruise ports with increased passenger shipping traffic (around 400,000 passengers more over 2014). Other ports in the USA with increased traffic in 2015 were only Miami FL, San Juan Puerto Rico, Seattle WA and San Francisco CA.
- In 2016, the Carnival ships operating on round-trips from the port were Carnival Breeze, Carnival Freedom and Carnival Liberty. The Royal Caribbean ships in 2016-2017 homeported year-round here were Liberty of the Seas and Vision of the Seas.
- The Disney Disney Wonder offers round-trip departures during the autumn and winter months, then is relocated through Panama Canal to Alaska for the summer.
- For other Galveston port related news see at the "News" section above (located to the right of the "Schedule" button).
Galveston cruise terminal
The port consists of the Pelican Island's southern side, the Galveston Island's northern side and the Galveston Bay's entrance. The Galveston Ship Channel's authorized min depth is 45 ft (14 m). Its width at the narrowest point is 1200 ft (370 m).
- UN-LOCODE (United Nations location code) - USGLS
- supported by excellent road, rail and air infrastructure
- capability to accommodate 3 vessels at a time
- deep water channel - min depth (45 ft / 13,7 m), narrowest point width (1200 ft / 366 m)
- deep water berths
- sheltered harbor area, direct access to Gulf of Mexico
- The cruise port is accessible the whole year round – 24/7, 365 days a tear.
- Cruise ships usually arrive in Galveston in late afternoon (4 or 4:30 pm) and depart from Galveston in early evening (at 7 or 8 pm).
- Know that cruise passengers disembarking in Galveston must pay tax on alcohol and cigarettes imported into Texas (purchased either on the ship or at ports of call).
Galveston cruise port has two terminals. Cruise Terminal 1 serves vessels of Princess Cruises and Carnival. Cruise Terminal 2 is utilized by Disney, Celebrity and Royal Caribbean. Both passenger terminals are with most efficient customer facilities.
Cruise terminals 1 & 2
- Terminal 1 address - "2502 Harborside Dr., Galveston, TX 77550"
- Terminal 2 address - "2702 Harborside Dr., Galveston, TX 77550"
- Terminal 1 (pier 25) is for docking of Princess and Carnival ships.
- Terminal 2 (pier 27) is for docking of Disney and Royal Caribbean ships.
- location - some 40 ml / 70 km from Houston Hobby International Airport (~60 min drive distance), some 70 ml / 110 km from Houston Intercontinental Airport (~90 min drive distance)
- GPS coordinates - pending
- Embarkation: luggage must be unloaded at the terminal curbside prior to parking. Shuttles don't handle luggage during embarkation.
On November 30, 2016, were officially completed the works on the expanded area at Cruise Terminal 2. The terminal's 2 buildings are now connected by an enclosed, air-conditioned walkway. The passenger area was increased from around 90,000 ft2 (8,360 m2) to around 150,000 ft2 (13,950 m2). Seating was increased from 500 to 2000 seats, and there are 16 more booths for check-in.
Expansion works started in 2014, financed by Royal Caribbean. However, construction roadblocks delayed the project with roughly a year. The expansion also included a longer dock with extra bollards. The dock project's cost was about USD 3,5 million and was scheduled for completion in summer 2017.
Cruise ship terminal directions & parking
- From East - take Highway 87. Board a Port Bolivar vehicle ferry. Exit the ferry onto Ferry Road (Highway 87). Turn right onto Harborside Drive, then continue to Kempner (22nd Street) - some 20 city blocks. Turn right onto Kempner (22nd Street) and follow the signs to the Cruise Terminal (Pier 25 or 27).
- From North or West - take Interstate 45 South, then Exit 1C, Follow the feeder road to Harborside Drive (Highway 275), then turn left onto Harborside Drive and for ~5 ml / 8 km to Kempner (22nd Street). Turn left onto Kempner (22nd Street) and and follow the signs to the Cruise Terminal (Pier 25 or 27).
- Cruise Parking Rates (subject to change) - USD 45 (on 4-day cruises), USD 50 (on 5-day cruises), USD 70 (on 7-day cruises). Parking is guarded, lighted, with 24 hour surveillance and police patrol. Phone number 409 766-6100.
- Debarkation: go directly to the Parking Lot to retrieve your car (without luggage). Then pick up passengers and luggage at the terminal curbside. Depart the terminal via shuttles. The service is provided only in parking lots with luggage drop-off signs.
- If you plan to flight to Galveston, you will arrive at either Hobby Airport, HOU, or George Bush International Airport, IAH, you have to rent a car or take a cruise line shuttle. There is no public transportation to Galveston from the airports in Huston. Galveston Limousine offers service to Galveston cruise ship terminal for USD 30. Taxi fare are USD 100 from George Bush Intercontinental and USD 75 from Hobby Airport.
- Cruise port's parking rate is USD 11.25 per day (subject to change). Payment options are cash, VISA / MasterCard or to pay in advance on the port's website. Four-day cruise parking costs USD 45, 5-day - USD 46.25 and 1-week (7-day) – USD 78.75.
Galveston tours, shore excursions, hotels
City Tours and Shore Excursions
During you stay, Galveston can offer plenty of activities for any age. You can enjoy tropical rainforest adventure or rest at the sunny beach. If you prefer, you can visit amusement places near the Galveston cruise port terminal like:
- Texas Seaport Museum
- the Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig and Museum
- the Moody Gardens
- the Bishop’s Palace
- the Stewart Beach Park
The Galveston cruise port map is interactive. It shows the port's exact location, along with the real-time cruise ship traffic (if any) in its vicinity - today, and right now. By zooming-out you can see other cruise ship ports located near Galveston, Texas.
If you lose the Galveston location on the map, simply reload the page (also with F5 button). This feature is integrated with the CruiseMapper's cruise ship tracker tracking the vessels' current positions at sea and in ports.
Port Galveston cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Galveston, Texas. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.
|Day||Ships in port|
1 January, 2017
2 January, 2017
6 January, 2017
7 January, 2017
8 January, 2017
9 January, 2017
13 January, 2017
14 January, 2017
15 January, 2017
19 January, 2017
20 January, 2017
21 January, 2017
22 January, 2017
23 January, 2017
28 January, 2017
29 January, 2017
Heavy fog once again closed Port of Galveston and a few cruise ships were unable to leave the port until its reopening. While Carnival Freedom...January 16, 2017
Carnival Cruise Line will reposition 3 of its newest and largest cruise ships to new homeports 2018, expanding upon a variety of options...January 14, 2017
It had to be a holiday to remember but just before Ken Duble and his wife were able to board their Christmas cruise from Galveston TX, he...January 4, 2017
Port of Galveston completed a US$13 million expansion to make cruise experience even more enjoyable. "We have to continue to improve and expand...December 4, 2016
A troubling accident on Carnival cruise ship from Galveston was caught on camera. In a video sent to KPRC-TV (News 6 sister station), a...December 2, 2016
Coast Guard air crew has medevaced a 66-year-old lady after she fell down the stairs on a Disney cruise ship at about 8:00 p.m. on Monday...November 16, 2016
The cruise ship Carnival Liberty, homeported in Galveston, is experiencing technical issues affecting the maximum cruising speed of the ship. The...November 12, 2016
Carnival Cruise Line was forced to cancel another Carnival Liberty sailing due to on an ongoing issue with faulty generator affecting...November 5, 2016
Carnival Cruise Line adds 3 more cruises to its list of Carnival Journeys – longer sailings that feature special themed activities and...September 18, 2016
Carnival Cruise Line is adding 5 additional cruise ships to line's successful staggered embarkation program. The company first tested...August 29, 2016