The Port of Galveston, the fourth most active cruise port in North America, has signed a long-term contract with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL) for a new US$100 million cruise terminal.
Through the public-private partnership, RCL will build the terminal, then lease it from the port for an initial term of 20 years, with four 10-year extension options.
The two-storey terminal will have a footprint of approximately 170,000 square feet on 10 acres in the eastern section of the port known as Pier 10. Construction is expected to begin in April. Anticipated to open in fall 2021, the facility will feature state-of-the-art technology, including mobile check-in and facial recognition to expedite guest arrival. The terminal will be designed and developed sustainably to meet LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental) certification standards.
Improvements to the pier bulkhead and apron will be made to safely accommodate the cruise line’s largest vessels. In addition, a staging and loading area, bus and taxi staging areas and substantial parking will be constructed.
The port will be responsible for items including maintenance, parking, and improvements to the dock so that it can accommodate the larger vessels. RCL will contribute to the cost of improving the docks.
“This is historic moment, not only for the port, but for Galveston. This partnership will bring economic growth to the region and the state by generating new jobs, spending and tax revenues. It also will bring more visitors to the island, a popular tourist destination,” said Port director/CEO Rodger Rees. “Galveston is on course to become a global destination for cruising, and we are thankful for partners like Royal Caribbean.”