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Galveston “Cruise Wars” Heating Up — Carnival Adds a Third Ship

For weeks now we have told you about the competition in the Galveston port between Carnival and Royal Caribbean. Each cruise line is trying to “one-up” the other in the race for passengers.

Royal Caribbean heaved the latest blow when it announced a deal with the Port of Galveston for a $10 million upgrade to its cruise terminal in return for porting a larger ship. That ship, the Liberty of the Seas, will be the largest cruise ship ever to sail from Galveston when it arrives next year (more than 4,500 passengers!).

Well, the other cruise line in Galveston — Carnival — isn’t taking this news standing still.

The cruise line has just announced that the Carnival Freedom will join the Carnival Magic and the Carnival Triumph in sailing from the port.

The new ship will start sailing from Galveston in February 2015, going on 7-night trips all around the Caribbean that will depart on Saturdays.

So how big of an impact will this third ship have? According to Wikipedia, the Freedom holds 2,974 passengers. Meanwhile, the Triumph holds 3,143 guests, and the Magic carries 3,270. That means at any one time, Carnival can have nearly 10,000 passengers aboard her ships from Galveston alone.

Of course, we think this is great news for the port and just another sign of how booming the cruise business is in Texas. We’ve told you before about Galveston’s quest to hit the 1 million passengers per year mark. That achievement can’t be far off with the Freedom coming to town.

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