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Galveston cruise passenger numbers soared 42% in 2023

With the new, larger Carnival Jubilee and more seasonal sailings by other cruise lines, Rodger Rees expects the port's continued growth in 2024
Port of Galveston welcomed 1.49m cruise passengers in 2023, based on a total of 2.98m embarkations and debarkations, a 42% increase from the year before.

The port also chalked up a record 354 cruise sailings.

The numbers were driven by the opening of a third cruise terminal, a strong national cruise industry, Galveston’s growing popularity as a cruise homeport, and more and larger ships homeporting, according to Galveston Wharves CEO/Port Director Rodger Rees.

With the new, larger Carnival Jubilee and more seasonal sailings by other cruise lines, Rees expects continued growth in 2024.

Cruise Terminal 25 renovation

To accommodate Carnival Jubilee, the port issued $50m in revenue bonds that yielded $52.6m for the $53m renovation of Galveston's oldest cruise terminal. Done in partnership with Carnival Cruise Line, improvements expedited passenger embarkation and debarkation and met federal requirements for US Customs and Border Protection operations at the terminal.

Terminal 16

Rees promised news to come about the proposed fourth cruise terminal.

MSC Cruises recently opened sales for its first Galveston program starting in November 2025 and In a statement to Seatrade Cruise News said it 'remains pleased with the ongoing negotiations surrounding the Port of Galveston’s future Terminal 16.'