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Norwegian and Princess Cruise Lines Leaving Houston’s Bayport Terminal


It’s big news: After April 2016, there are no scheduled cruises departing the Houston’s Bayport Cruise Terminal. It was revealed by the Houston Chronicle that Norwegian is not planning future service from the port, following in the footsteps of Princess Cruises. That will leave the terminal empty for the foreseeable future.

The Bayport Terminal was first completed in 2008, where it sat empty for years. After nearly $7 million in incentives, Princess and Norwegian began sailing from the port a few years ago.

For many cruise passengers, the option of the Houston-area terminal was welcomed. If you are flying into Houston for your cruise, the terminal is considerably closer than Galveston. That means it’s much easier and cheaper to get to your ship. In addition, since Norwegian and Princess don’t currently sail from Galveston, it gave passengers more options for cruise lines and itineraries.

Where Bayport falls short of Galveston, however, is that the island can offer so much more. Galveston is a Gulf Coast playground with restaurants, culture, history, and beaches. Bayport is is located far from most things. The closest area for food and fun is Kemah, which doesn’t match Galveston in the number of things to do and see.

We would be surprised, however, if this means cruising from Houston is dead. While there is certainly going to be a lull, Bayport has a several things going for it.

First, while Galveston is a popular cruise port, it is dominated by Carnival and Royal Caribbean. As cruising in the area grows in popularity, having a second terminal will be an interesting option for other cruise lines looking to meet scheduling needs. Saturdays and Sundays are particularly popular days to cruise, and Galveston has limited availability.

Second, the Bayport Terminal’s location protects it from major storms. Hurricanes are a fact of life for Galveston. We hope that another storm never hits the island, but when Hurricane Ike came ashore in 2008, Bayport was used as a replacement port while Galveston was in repair. Should another major storm (or string of storms) hit Galveston, Bayport’s more inland location could provide a stable port for area cruise ships.

For the time being, however, it looks like Bayport will be empty.

Photo: Texas.713

2 Responses so far.

  1. Lillian Jeter says:

    For cruise travelers who wish to sail on Norwegian through April 2016, is there a Norwegian shuttle/transfer vehicle that would transfer us from George Bush International Airport?
    If so, at what price one way and round trip?
    Thanks in advance.

  2. Galveston Cruise Tips says:

    Lillian — We would actually suggest a taxi. Check out this link for more information:

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