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Galveston Cruise Parking Prices Could Soar

If you’ve ever parked for a Galveston cruise, then you know you have two options — either park at the official Port of Galveston parking lots or park at one of the many independent parking lots near the terminal.

And if you’ve checked out our parking page, then you know that these smaller, independent lots offer much cheaper prices. For example, Galveston Park N Cruise is just one block from the port and charges $50 for a parking spot during a 7-day cruise. The Port of Galveston charges $65 (about $10 per day) for the same service.

What you may not realize is that both these independent lots and the official port parking are both cheaper on average than most other cruise spots. For comparison, the Port of New Orleans charges $15 per day for its parking.

But that may be changing in the near future.

Right now the Port of Galveston charges these independent lots based on the number of parking spots they own. According to The Galveston Daily News, “the port assesses a shuttle access fee of $8 a month per parking space.”

In other words, a parking lot with 100 parking spots is charged $800 a month (nearly $10,000 a year) by the port. In return, the parking lot receives access to the port to pick up and drop passengers off at the cruise terminal.

The problem is that the port believes it isn’t getting its fair share from these lots. Reporting from The Galveston Daily News says, “…members made it clear during a Nov. 21 public meeting they intended to make hotels and private parking lot owners help shoulder the high operating costs that come with being a major homeport to passengers liners.”

“The port, which isn’t supported by taxes, has invested many millions of dollars to attract and keep cruise ships, while private parking lots have profited,” wharves board Chairman Benny Holland Jr. said.

So how much of an additional fee is the port looking for?

“The public port owns 2,750 parking spots. Its private competitors own about 800.

“The port has determined it has 64 percent market share, leaving 36 percent for private competitors.

“Waterfront managers want the private parking lots to shoulder 36 percent of the expenses for cruise terminal operations.”

That could mean soaring rates.

“At higher estimates discussed by the board last week, hotel shuttles could possibly see access fees per trip rise to $21.41 from $10; private parking lot owners would see fees per space rise to $17.24 from $8.”

No decision has been made yet, but it certainly seems that parking rates are going to rise. How much they rise depends on what the port’s board eventually decides. Whatever the case, Galveston cruisers should expect to shell out more soon.

2 Responses so far.

  1. Mr. D rip key says:

    Tax on duty free items, potential increase in parking fees what’s the next fee increase aimed at out of town cruisers?

  2. Galveston Cruise Tips says:

    We hear ya. I can tell you that this is really the way of the world in most tourist industries. Meanwhile, cruising from Galveston is much, much cheaper (especially parking) than in New Orleans or Florida. The best news is with Bayport, there is some direct competition. If things get outrageous, people will let their dollars do their talking and head a few miles up the road to cruise.

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