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Galveston seeks long-term strategy with Norwegian Cruise Line

The Port of Galveston is talking with Norwegian Cruise Line about a memorandum of understanding for a long-term strategy beginning in November 2023.

NCL had a 'Texaribbean' cruise program from Houston years ago but the line has never sailed from Galveston. Norwegian Prima is now set to call in fall 2022 for three visits.

This led Seatrade Cruise News to earlier ask NCL President and CEO Harry Sommer if the line was looking at Galveston as a potential new homeport.

The Port of Galveston today indicated that's the case.

NCL has six 142,500gt Prima-class newbuilds coming between 2022 and 2027.

New Royal Caribbean terminal

The fall 2023 timing for the start of a possible agreement with NCL dovetails with the completion of Royal Caribbean Group's planned $100m cruise terminal to accommodate the first Oasis-class ship in Texas. 

Galveston recently granted Royal Caribbean an extension for that facility because the company needs more time to arrange financing. Under the current terms, completion is required by the end of July 2023, however the goal is to substantially finish the terminal by fall 2022 when Allure of the Seas is scheduled to begin homeporting. Under its extension, Royal Caribbean is off the hook for paying rent there until, latest, fall 2023.

Norwegian Prima will first arrive at Galveston in October 2022 on a 12-night voyage from New York that includes stops at Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao. It will sail two short Western Caribbean round-trips: a three-day cruise on Oct. 27 and a four-day cruise on Oct. 31.


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