It’s been years in the making. Norwegian Cruise Line CEO Kevin Sheehan’s signing a three-year agreement with the Houston Port Authority finally gives the Bayport Cruise Terminal in Pasadena a purpose.
Here’s Houston port commission chairman Jim Edmonds:
“We didn’t think it would happen the first time it happened and we were pleased about it way back then and i think this time we believe that it will be a long-term arrangement that will certainly provide a lot of economic impact and job generation for our region.”
The Bayport Cruise Terminal has been mostly dormant since its completion in 2008.
The port estimates the economic impact for the Houston area from Norwegian Cruise Line at $50 million per year and 100 new jobs. The $50 million number is based on 25 departures annually.
Pasadena Mayor Johnny Isbell says he looks forward to Norwegian’s passengers spending some time and money in the area.
“We hope that your customers, though, will come in a day or two early and stay in our facilities, our hotels, go to our restaurants, go see the Battleship Texas, San Jacinto Monument, NASA. I mean, we have a lot to see around here.”
Sheehan says he’s as excited as anyone about his cruise line adding Houston to its home ports. He says Norwegian could have picked any of many different ports but thought Houston was the best choice.
“And why are we here? We’re here because our guests want us to be here, and our travel partners want us to be here. So, it’s not just coming here because it’s Houston, it’s coming here because there’s a business purpose in this beautiful city, and we’re pleased that we could bring the Jewel and to fill that demand that’s coming from this market.”
The Jewel is the ship that will take passengers on seven-day Western Caribbean cruises from here.
Princess Cruises also signed an agreement with the Port of Houston and will start sailing from the Bayport Cruise Terminal starting in November 2013.