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MSC Cruises expanding to fourth US homeport, Galveston, confirms terminal talks

MAP: PORT OF GALVESTON CRUISE_Port_of_Galveston_Pier_16-1.jpg
The location of Pier 16 is shown on this map of the Galveston Wharves
MSC Cruises continues its US growth with plans to homeport in Galveston and confirmed negotiations for a cruise terminal there.

The line is talking with the Galveston Wharves, which led to both entities signing a non-binding memorandum of understanding outlining parameters of a potential agreement for the development and operation of a terminal at piers 16-18. This was foreshadowed here.


There was no mention of a possible partnership with Norwegian Cruise Line, which is also branching out to Galveston homeporting. NCL did not respond to an earlier question about teaming on a facility.

MSC Cruises said it will announce more details of the Galveston deployment next year, including timing, ship and itineraries.

Supplements PortMiami, Port Canaveral, New York

The line currently sails from PortMiami and Port Canaveral, with year-round service from New York City beginning in April.

MSC Cruises USA President Rubén Rodríguez said Galveston represents a 'big step in our ongoing North American expansion,' with the opportunity to provide access to MSC's European style to more travelers and travel advisors stateside.

'Adding MSC to our family of cruise lines homeporting from Galveston would continue to elevate our status as a top US cruise port and boost the regional economy,' said Rodger Rees, port director and CEO, Galveston Wharves. 'It also allows MSC to reach a new market of millions of cruise passengers in the central US. We’re excited about the huge potential of this mutually beneficial public-private partnership.'

In 2023 Galveston forecasts a record 362 sailings, the highest in 22 years as a cruise port. 

Economic projection

According to Rees, the local impact of Galveston's 2022 cruise activity includes 3,500 jobs, $568m in business revenue and $73.5m in purchases by passengers and crew. 

He said a fourth cruise terminal would boost the local economy annually with an additional 925 jobs, $58.6m in income, $177m in revenues, $21m in spending by passengers and crew and $5m in state and local taxes, a portion allocated to the city.

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