Voices of Travel

Princess to sail from Houston

Princess Cruises will launch new service from the Port of Houston beginning in 2013 when it starts sailing from the state-of-the-art Bayport Cruise Terminal. Princess and the Port of Houston Authority confirmed an agreement Nov. 15 for the line to make passenger cruise calls during the 2013-2014 cruise season at the port’s cruise facility. The new service is scheduled to begin in November of 2013. A total of 26 departures are planned for the season. The inaugural cruise is an unprecedented sailing aboard the Caribbean Princess to support US veterans. The historic cruise, which will sail between Nov. 5 and Nov. 9, is expected to raise $1 million for two US veteran’s organizations, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) and Operation Homefront. The Port Authority’s agreement with Princess Cruises marks the first full contract 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 economy of Harris County and the greater Houston area, including the cities of Houston and Pasadena. Smaller cities near the cruise terminal are also expected to benefit. “We are very pleased with the decision by Princess, as it helps us fulfill our commitment to build Bayport as a means of spurring job creation and economic development for the entire Houston region,”Port Authority chairman Jim Edmonds said. Economic activity from a single cruise line is expected to generate $50 million annually, according to Martin Associates, including local purchases of $3.6 million. Over a four-year period, this is expected to result in a $200 million economic impact to the greater Houston region. A total of 222 jobs will be touched, including the creation of almost 100 new jobs. An estimated $941,000 annually in state and local taxes is anticipated.

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