As the cruise business of Port Galveston TX grows, so does the local and state economic impact. A national report revealed that Galveston’s passenger cruise shipping grew by 13% in 2018, resulting in USD 1,5 billion in direct expenditures and a total of 26,241 Texas jobs with total wages of USD 1,75 billion.
With almost 1 million embarking passengers in 2018, Port Galveston is currently ranked USA's 4th busiest cruise port. According to a CLIA report, port's cruise industry has increased 126% (since 2010) and is one of few ports in the USA to see such steady growth.
Texas state's only homeport contributed directly to the cruising industry growth and is accounted for 6,3% of the overall spending of the US cruise industry, 6,2% of industry’s total employment impact and 7,6% of the income impact. CLIA also announced that crew arrivals and cruise tourist visits in 2018 totaled 1,4 million, with estimated USD 115 million in onshore spending.
On November 22, Port Galveston welcomed Disney Wonder for a series of sailings to the Bahamas and Caribbean, with options at 4, 6 and 7 nights, through January 2020. Earlier in 2019, port officials announced they had signed an agreement with Disney Cruise Line extending preferential berthing rights at the port for additional 10 years, with option to renew for 2 additional 5-year periods (effective November 1, 2018). The agreement outlined plans for a shared terminal that will accommodate a vessel equal to or larger than Disney Magic/Disney Wonder class of ship. Additionally, this is projected that over the first 5 years of the potential twenty-year agreement, Disney Cruise Line will nearly double its cruises. Disney has orders for 3 new cruise ships.
Port officials are also finalizing a long-term contract with Royal Caribbean for a new USD 100 million cruise ship terminal at Pier 10. Via the public-private partnership, the cruise company would build the terminal and then lease it from the port for the initial term of twenty years with 4 ten-year options. The cruise port started its successful partnership with Royal Caribbean back in 2002 with the inaugural voyage of Rhapsody of the Seas. Currently, the cruise port is home to Liberty of the Seas and Enchantment of the Seas.