Galveston’s Cruise Industry Continues To Grow

Hundreds of visitors are expected with the addition of a new ship.

carnival cruise
Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Lines

There’s a big celebration this weekend to mark the arrival of the Carnival Freedom. The ship will join two other Carnival ships that currently sail out of Galveston.

The Freedom accommodates about 3,000 passengers for week-long cruises to the Caribbean. 

Carnival’s Jim Berra cites figures showing that Texas now ranks third, just behind Florida and California, in terms of the economic impact of the cruise industry.

“The Texas market has been fantastic for our brand. We’re really excited about the growth and the potential that we see there,” says Berra, Carnival’s Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President of Marketing 

And what makes Galveston popular for cruises? Berra says it’s the location.

“You have a tremendous population between Houston and Dallas, Austin and San Antonio, all within a reasonable drive, certainly a reasonable drive for a Texan,” Berra says.

In anticipation of increased cruise travel in 2015, the Port of Galveston has been working on a $13 million cruise terminal expansion.

Editor’s Note: Jim Berra’s job title has been changed from an earlier version of this story to reflect his complete title.


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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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