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Port of Galveston salutes 1 millionth cruiser of 2023

Galveston Port Director Rodger Rees, right, congratulates the 1 millionth cruiser of 2023, Peter De Graff of Hudsonville, Michigan and family, wife Ashley; son Elijah, 8; daughter Abigail, 6; and mother-in-law Sheri Scroggins of Wylie, Texas
The Port of Galveston chalked up its 1 millionth cruise passenger of the year on Aug. 28, putting it on track to reach a new record of at least 1.3m passengers in 2023.

Port, Carnival Cruise Line and MLSBCC representatives welcomed the De Graff family of Hudsonville, Michigan, at Cruise Terminal 28 with gifts and cake before they embarked on their five-night Carnival Breeze cruise. The family included Peter De Graff; wife Ashley; son Elijah, 8; daughter Abigail, 6; and mother-in-law Sheri Scroggins of Wylie, Texas.

Galveston Port Director/CEO Rodger Rees thanked the family for sailing from Galveston and acknowledged the milestone with long-time cruise partner Carnival.

Cruise Terminal 25 upgrades

The port is preparing for the new Carnival Jubilee in December by partnering with Carnival on a $53m improvement project at Cruise Terminal 25. The park-and-walk lot adjacent to terminals 25 and 28 is also being expanded.

Homeporting growth is 'great news for avid cruise travelers, for local people who work in cruise-related jobs and for the entities that benefit economically, including suppliers, maritime services, hotels, restaurants, shops and other businesses,' Rees said.

Record year 

Galveston expects to set a new record with more than 350 cruise sailings in 2023, the 22nd anniversary of homeport operations. In 2022 the port had 324 cruise sailings and reached its millionth passenger on Dec. 22.

More than 30m people live within a 300-mile radius, making Galveston the prime drive-to cruise market for the central US, including Houston, Austin, Fort Worth, Dallas, Oklahoma City and Little Rock.