Cruise Ships Finally Come To Bayport

Top: Bayport Cruise Terminal 2
Bottom: Bayport Cruise Terminal 1.
Both images are courtesy of the Port of Houston Authority.
The Port of Houston has announced a partnering with two cruise lines at its Bayport facility. A cruise terminal which has been mostly dormant since it was completed almost four years ago.

Today is a big day for Leonard Waterworth, the Executive Director of the Port of Houston Authority. 

“It is a very good day. We were able to announce today that Princess Cruises will service the Houston Authority’s cruise terminal and if that wasn’t good enough news, Norwegian Cruise lines announced that they will start in November of 2014 with 75 calls to our cruise terminal.”

The 96,000 square foot Bayport Cruise Terminal — near the mouth of the Houston Ship Channel — was 13 years in the planning.

It cost taxpayers about $100 million dollars in a 1999 bond proposal.

Since its completion in 2008, it has been used for ships passing through, but not for its real intention of servicing cruise liners. But that’s all about to change as Princess Cruises will have 27 departures beginning November 2013 and Norwegian Cruise Lines is locked in for 2014, 2015 and 2016. 

Waterworth estimates the creation of nearly 100 jobs and a large boost to the local economy.

cruise lines
Top: Norwegian Cruise Line to Return to Houston
Bottom: Princess Cruises Will Set Sail from Port of Houston
Both images are courtesy of the Port of Houston Authority.

“Each time a cruise ship sails and returns to the cruise terminal there’s about $2 million dollars of economic impact per ship.”

Which works out at about $200 million dollars over the next four years. Waterworth hopes that this boost of support from these two cruise lines will encourage further business.

“Success breeds success. We’re going to look for other opportunities to generate revenues for our shareholders and when I say that those are the taxpayers of Harris County.”

The Norwegian Cruise Line will sail seven-day Western Caribbean cruises. Meanwhile Princess Cruises will use their inaugural voyage from Bayport to raise $1 million dollars for two U.S. veterans’ organizations.

Bio photo of Edel Howlin

Edel Howlin

Producer, Houston Matters

Edel is a producer on Houston Matters and reporter for PBS’s Newshour Weekend...