The #1 Website for Cruises from Galveston and Houston, Texas

Galveston and Houston Cruising

Whether you’re an experienced cruiser or a first-timer, there is still plenty to learn about cruising from the Port of Galveston or the Bayport (Houston) Terminal.

Located on the Texas Gulf Coast, approximately 50 miles from downtown Houston, cruising from Galveston is a convenient way to unwind, relax, and see the world — without the hassles of air travel.

Galveston’s proximity to Houston means more than six million potential passengers live within an hour’s drive. But when you combine the populations of Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, and San Antonio as well, more than 30 million people live within a 5-hour drive of Galveston. That makes the port an ever-growing option for individuals, couples, and families looking for an easy getaway. In fact, an estimated 1.1 million passengers pass through the Port of Galveston every year.

Cruise Lines Serving Galveston and Houston

And that figure is likely to rise as more cruise ships depart from Galveston. Currently, four major cruise lines call the Port of Galveston home — Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Disney, and Princess.

Even better, in 2008 Houston completed the Bayport Cruise Terminal. The $108 million terminal has contracted with two lines — Princess and Norwegian Cruise Line — to offer even more sailings from the Texas Gulf Coast.

Because of the number of cruise lines, passengers can find a departure date year-round. However, the most options are during the winter and spring, when all four lines sail from Galveston. During the summer months, many of the ships stop sailing from Galveston, limiting service. Passengers will find year-round service from Carnival. The other lines all have limited schedules that don’t include summer sailings (as of now). To learn more about the cruises that sail from Galveston, visit this link.

The Bayport Cruise Terminal will commence sailings in late 2013 and add more departures in 2014. While the scheduling is not definite yet, the sailings will likely be seasonal (fall/winter) — adding more options for those looking for a getaway during the colder months. To learn more about the sailings from Houston (Bayport), visit this link.

Cruise Destinations from Galveston and Houston

When it comes to destinations, the most popular cruising area by far is the Caribbean. Currently, all the lines offer Caribbean trips. Specific ports include Falmouth (Jamaica) Georgetown (Grand Cayman) Roatan (Honduras) Belize City (Belize) Cozumel (Mexico), and Progreso (Mexico). Cruises to the Bahamas are also served by several of the lines.

While the vast majority of passengers sailing out of Galveston and Houston will visit the Caribbean or Bahamas, there is a little-known secret for those interested in going a little farther from home. During the spring, many ships that serve the Galveston and Bayport terminals are relocated to Europe. The result? An opportunity to cruise to many European destinations — including England, Spain, Portugal, and the Azores — with the convenience of a Texas departure.

Costs of Sailing from Galveston and Houston

cruise ship leaving Galveston

Galveston and Houston cruise costs cover a wide range, suitable for every taste. Short three or four day itineraries to the Caribbean can cost as little as $300. Meanwhile, month-long transatlantic sailings in a top-of-the-line suite can run more than $10,000. On average, however, you’ll find one-week Caribbean sailings staring at $500 per person for a basic interior room. That cost climbs to roughly $1,500 per person for a suite on the same ship. For more on cruises and their costs, don’t miss our Galveston cruises page or our Houston (Bayport) cruises page.

That said, keep in mind these costs are just for your room and board. Cruises offer many “extras” and charge accordingly. Alcohol is almost always an extra cost. Shore excursions are as well. Also, some restaurants on the ship may cost extra (although some food options are usually included in your fare).

Photo: Quandrant6ix