South Padre Island Sailing Into The Future

South Padre Island, Texas, is hoping to become the Western Caribbean’s newest port of call for cruise ships.

The South Padre Island, Texas, City Council recently approved a proposal by SPI Cruise Group – a partnership of cruise port design, maritime operations and marketing professionals – to create a plan to develop the destination into an attractive port of call on western Caribbean cruise itineraries.

With increasing emphasis on tourism sustainability and concerns of over-tourism in some eastern and southern Caribbean ports of call, cruise lines are seeking alternative destinations with existing tourism infrastructure to add to their cruise itineraries. With the rising popularity of western Caribbean cruises from the Port of Galveston, Texas, officials say South Padre Island is well-positioned to provide a fresh new port with attractive shore excursion opportunities that explore the land, sea and sky, as well as some of the most attractive beaches in the region.

“South Padre Island has been a hidden US jewel for many years,” said Mayor Dennis Stahl. “We are looking forward to sharing our unique ecotourism sites, like Sea Turtle Inc., a renowned sea turtle rescue centre, and the Birding and Nature Center, a world-class birdwatching destination, in addition to our pristine beaches and adventure activities.”

The initial stage of the project is expected to take four months to complete, and includes an aggressive marketing and communications plan to raise awareness of South Padre Island’s potential among cruise industry executives.