About The Galveston Cruise Port
The Port of Galveston is located on the upper Texas coast at the mouth of beautiful Galveston Bay, just 30 minutes steaming time from the open sea. The two closest airports to the Port of Galveston are Houston Hobby International Airport and George Bush Intercontinental .
The nearest airport to Port of Galveston is Houston Hobby International Airport .The distance between them is 42 miles and the trip takes about 30 minutes. A taxi will cost approximately $85 a carload and the shared shuttle about $45 per person.
An alternative airport is George Bush Intercontinental, located on the north side of Houston, but its about 70 miles from the port and the ride can take about 1 Â½ hours. Taking a taxi will cost approximately $135 a carload and the shared shuttle $55.
If youre driving to the port the parking lots available to passengers are located 1/2 mile from the cruise ship Terminal. The parking lots are safe and secure. Gates will be locked upon vessel departure and no entry will be available on non-cruise days. Lots are to be monitored by Port police every two hours.
Drop off passengers and luggage at the cruise terminal before heading to the parking lot. Porters will assist you with your baggage and Police Officers will direct the driver to the appropriate parking lot for that day. There are shuttles running continuously to take passengers from the lot to the terminal for check-in.
Galveston Tours Shore Excursions Hotels
City Tours and Shore Excursions
During you stay, Galveston can offer plenty of activities for any age. You can enjoy tropical rainforest adventure or rest at the sunny beach. If you prefer, you can visit amusement places near the Galveston cruise port terminal like:
- Texas Seaport Museum
- the Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig and Museum
- the Moody Gardens
Texas Will Ban Cruise Lines From Asking For Proof Of A Covid
Texas looks like it will sign a similar law to Florida’s that prohibits the ability for private companies to ask their customers for proof of vaccination against Covid-19.
In response to cruise ships wanting to provide proof of a vaccine, Texas Governor Greg Abbott says he signed a new law that bans the ability for any business in Texas from asking for vaccine information.
The new law follows up on an executive order he signed in April 2021 that banned state agencies or organizations that received public funds from doing the same thing.
Governor Abbott specifically addressed the issue of cruise ships, which may look to ensure a certain percentage of their passengers are vaccinated, and does not want them to be able to ask passengers for that information.
Governor Abbott tweeted his response after someone asked about cruise ships sailing out of Galveston instead of Florida ports to get around the vaccine ban there, “I’m signing a law today that prohibits any business operating in Texas from requiring vaccine passports or any vaccine information.”
“Texas is open 100% without any restrictions or limitations or requirements.”
This new law now includes private companies.
Im signing a law today that prohibits any business operating in Texas from requiring vaccine passports or any vaccine information.Texas is open 100% without any restrictions or limitations or requirements.
You May Like: Marriott Rewards Cruises
Transportation Options To Galveston From Airports
Both airports will offer similar service for transportation, including taxis, cruise line shuttles, car rentals, and independent shuttles to the Port of Galveston.
The major difference is getting from Intercontinental to the cruise ships takes considerably more time and money than compared to Houston Hobby.
For example, the official Carnival shuttle between IAH and the cruise port runs $94 per person round trip, compared to $74 from Houston Hobby. Other services, including taxis will see an even larger price jump between the two airports.
Many people choose to use a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft or independent shuttles as they are the cheapest options available. Either way, expect to spend at least $100 for roundtrip transportation to Galveston for a couple taking a cruise. Read more about transportation to Galveston here.
Best Cruises From Galveston Texas
On the Gulf Coast of Texas in the USA sits the historic port city of Galveston.
Galveston Port was once a commercial port but now caters mainly to cruises.
From some of the top cruises in the world to more affordable cruises, Galveston has something to offer all lovers of the sea.
Here is our list of the best cruises departing from Galveston, Texas.
Recommended Reading: Norwegian Cruise Terminal Nyc
Norwegian Sky Embarkation In Miami
We have previously posted about the embarkation process for Royal Caribbean in Galveston and for Carnival in Puerto Rico. Today, I want to describe the process of embarking on the Norwegian Sky in Miami. I will talk about some of the key things you want to be sure to do within your first few hours on board. Over the next several days, please follow us for more details on the excellent ship and trip. In summary, though, Norwegian Sky embarkation in Miami is really easy. Lets talk about boarding time, lunch the first day, and business to take care of as soon as you board.
I selected an arrival time of 10-10:30. I dont have any kind of elite status on Norwegian, and I was not staying in a suite. Not wanting to get caught in long line, and wanting to board ASAP, I selected the first time available. It turns out I didnt need to do that. I caught an Uber from the Hilton to the port, and I quickly found a luggage porter. I then went to a dude checking that I was at the right terminal, a security check, and immediately to a check-in counter all without slowing down.
When I reached the top of the escalator, I was given a boarding card:
As far as I could tell, the group numbers were assigned randomly. They later called suite guests first, so I am sure they were able to ask for a higher priority card. However, if that applies to you then you should definitely ask. When I had that, I began the rather long process of sitting.
Also Check: How Much Are 7 Day Cruises
Airline Service For Houston Airports
There is no doubt that Houston Hobbys location makes it much more convenient for passengers headed to Galveston. Unfortunately, Hobby is considerably smaller in terms of airlines servicing the airport when compared to Intercontinental.
Houston Hobby is primarily a Southwest destination. The airline dominates service from the airport. However, there are flights from Delta, American Airlines, and Allegiant.
Houston Intercontinental is the citys largest airport and also offers the most flight service. Here youll find nearly every airline available, including Southwest. If you are flying from an international destination, you will likely have no choice but to fly into this airport. In addition, IAH is a United hub, which serves airports around the country and the world.
Recommended Reading: Bus From Heathrow To Southampton Cruise Terminal
Carnival Vista Is First Ship To Cruise Out Of Galveston Since The Pandemic Shutdown
GALVESTON, Texas Cruising is back! Carnival Vista cruised out of Galveston Saturday at 70 percent capacity and is headed to the Caribbean.
Carnival Vista was the first ship leaving out of Galveston and only the second ship to leave from the U.S. since the pandemic shutdown.
The first cruise ship that left the U.S. last week was a Royal Caribbean cruise ship Celebrity Edge that sailed out of Ft. Lauderdale.
There were only about 1,200 passengers on the ship that normally holds more than double that.
All of the adults onboard were vaccinated, and the children who accompanied them were tested for COVID since vaccines aren’t required for them.
Travelers had to show proof when checking in.
For those who boarded the ship and those who live on the island and benefit from cruises, the voyage is a symbol of things going back to normal.
Allan Debowsky and his family are on board.
Weve been waiting and waiting. Were so excited, Debowsky said.
For the last 16 months, cruise ships have been docked because of COVID-19.
Every time that we thought about going on vacation, we always thought about a cruise, and we couldnt do that,” Patricia Debowsky said.
Avid cruisers like the Debowsky family have been waiting for the chance to be allowed back.
Hes been cruising since he was nine months old, Patricia Debowsky said about her son Zachary. He would rather cruise, out of his words, than go to Disney when he was a kid.
Carnival said UTMB provided vaccines for all of its crew.
Carnival Cruises Returning To Galveston
Erica Ponder, Digital Content Producer
GALVESTON, Texas Carnival Cruises returned to Galveston after a long hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
People and businesses are so happy to have the Carnival Breeze and Carnival Vista ships back at the Port of Galveston. Before the pandemic, Galvestons cruise business generated $1.6 billion dollars annually and it is the fourth most popular cruise homeport in North America.
Thats what Galveston is about right there. So we are normal. Its back, Adina Schlekewn said.
On Sunday, people welcomed Carnival Breeze and Carnival Vista ships back on the docks at the Port of Galveston.
We came out to show our support for the cruise industry. We are ready to go, David Tanner said.
William Neumann, who owns the Shark Shack and the Playground, said business has had its ups and downs since the pandemic started. He said the ships are a vital part of the city.
People come in and fill up hotels before they go out on our cruises. They spend money in the retail shops and businesses down there, he said.
TODAY IS THE DAY! We are SO excited to finally have our ships back home. Please join us in welcoming the Carnival…
Cruises have been canceled because of COVID-19. Now that many people are vaccinated, they are hoping to set sail very soon.
We are due to go on the 19th of July and this will be our fifth or sixth cruise out of Galveston, Tanner said.
You May Like: What Cruise Lines Depart From New York City
Thousands Of Texans Benefit From The Port Of Galveston
The cruise industry is a significant contributor to the local economy in Galveston. Thousands of families depend on the cruise industry and the tens of thousands of cruise ship guests that drive or fly down to Galveston each year.
Suspension of cruising from Galveston has resulted in enormous losses for the Texas economy and families who rely on this industry. Based on historical economic impact annual statistics, losses are estimated at $1.2 billion in direct spending, 23,000 jobs, and $1.6 billion in wages statewide.
Although other major ports in the United States often rely solely on cruise ships, the Port of Galveston is fortunate to have a more diverse business mix, including cargo and commercial operations.
The port authorities have joined the many stakeholders that have called for the CDC to lift the conditional sail order as soon as possible,
Were also involved in regular discussions with cruise industry leaders to raise awareness among elected officials, the CDC and other decision-makers about the critical importance of getting the U.S. cruise industry sailing again.
The Port will want to see cruising return as soon as possible to accommodate Allure of the Seas from the new terminal 3 Royal Caribbean is planning to build.
Port Of Galveston Will Be Ready If Cruises Resume By July
The Port of Galveston, Texas will be ready if cruises resume by July and preparations are underway to welcome back guests safely.
No one knows precisely when cruise ships will sail again from the Port of Galveston however, Rodger Rees, Galveston Wharves port director, and chief executive officer released an update on the state of the Port and reiterated the Port would be ready to sail as soon as there is permission from the CDC.
Although the Port is often overlooked as an essential homeport for ships, Galveston is the fourth largest cruise port in the United States. As such, it plays a vital role in the resumption of cruises.
Don’t Miss: Hotels In Mobile Al Near Cruise Port
Heavy Investments In Health And Safety Upgrades
Cruise ships are not alone in making upgrades to accommodate the CDCs demands on the various factors that make a cruise a success. As such, the Port of Galveston has invested more than $100,000 in health and safety measures. It is also reviewing the necessary changes required to port terminals, parking areas, and other operations.
As with the cruise lines, the various ports in the United States are waiting for updates from the CDC on what is expected of them, something that is taking far longer than anyone in the industry expected, Rodger Rees:
To date, weve voluntarily invested $100,000 in health and safety upgrades in our cruise terminals. We continuously monitor updates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop the guidelines that ports will follow for cruise terminal, parking and other operations.
Perhaps against better judgement, the Port aims to have everything ready for a return of cruising by July. However, Rees clarifies that the current expectation is cruising to resume by the end of the summer or early fall of this year. Something that is hurting the local economy, as it has done in Florida and Alaska.
An Adventure Of Texas
Book now and discover larger-than-life thrills.
Vaccination, Testing and Travel Document Requirements
Travel requirements and health protocols are constantly evolving and vary by port of departure. We will continue to publish more protocols as they are developed. Booked guests will be advised of their specific requirements before setting sail. See more details by ship and homeport.
CHASE BIGGER THRILLS
Fun-filled Galveston is the starting point for your next unforgettable Caribbean getaway. Dig into Texass world-famous BBQ then wander along the picturesque Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier before sailing to stunning sun-soaked isles onboard Liberty of the SeasÂ®.
Don’t Miss: How Far Is Rome Airport To Cruise Port
Cruise Ship Terminal Directions And Parking
From East – take Highway 87. Board a Port Bolivar vehicle ferry. Exit the ferry onto Ferry Road . Turn right onto Harborside Drive, then continue to Kempner – some 20 city blocks. Turn right onto Kempner and follow the signs to the terminal .
From North or West – take Interstate 45 South, then Exit 1C, Follow the feeder road to Harborside Drive , then turn left onto Harborside Drive and for ~5 mi / 8 km to Kempner . Turn left onto Kempner and follow the signs to the terminal .
Cruise Parking Rates – USD 45 , USD 50 , USD 70 . Parking is guarded, lighted, with 24-hour surveillance and police patrol. Phone number 409 766-6100.
Debarkation: go directly to the Parking Lot to retrieve your car . Then pick up passengers and luggage at the terminal curbside. Depart the terminal via shuttles. The service is provided only in parking lots with luggage drop-off signs.
If you plan to fly to Galveston, you will arrive at either Hobby Airport, HOU, or George Bush International Airport, IAH, you have to rent a car or take a cruise line shuttle. There is no public transportation to Galveston from the airports in Huston. Galveston Limousine offers service to Galveston cruise ship terminal for USD 30. Taxi fares are USD 100 from George Bush Intercontinental and USD 75 from Hobby Airport.
Norwegian Prima Will Have Largest Racetrack On The Ocean
GALVESTON, Texas A new Norwegian Cruise ship with the largest racetrack on the ocean is going to be sailing from Galveston in late 2023.
The Norwegian Prima is the first of six ships in the Norwegian Cruise Lines Prima Class and its set to embark on its maiden voyage next summer.
The massive boat is 965 feet long and can accommodate 3,215 guests at double occupancy, according to a press release.
In addition to the ships three-level racetrack, there will also be a 10-story, freefall dry slide called The Drop where guests will reach the highest G-forces of any cruise line, NCL officials said.
Two escape rooms, a Topgolf Swing Suite, mini-golf course, aqua park with Tidal Wave waterslide and infinity hot tubs will also be featured on the Norwegian Prima.
NCL officials report that the Norwegian Prima will be the only vessel offering 7-day voyages to the Western Caribbean out of Galveston during the winter 2023-2024 season.
Ports of call for the Galveston voyages include Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico, Harvest Caye in Belize and Roatan in the Bay Islands.
Recommended Reading: Best Time To Visit The Mediterranean
The 8 Best Carnival Cruise Ships Of 2021
Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the bestproducts youcan learn more about ourreview process here.We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Carnival Vista
âHas a large amount of repeat Carnival cruisers and offers nonstop action onboard.â
Best New Ship: Carnival Sunrise
âEvery cabin on Sunrise is remodeled with fresh new furnishings, and dining and beverage additions.â
Best Accommodations: Carnival Horizon
âAccommodations include the Family Harbor, dedicated family staterooms with their own lounge and concierge, and the Cloud 9 spa staterooms.â
What Is The Dress Code On Regular Nights On A Norwegian Cruise Line Cruise
Norwegian have the most relaxed dress code of any cruise line that Ive ever cruised with. Jeans are acceptable at all times in the main dining room as long as they are not too ripped/faded.
Realistically as long as you are dressed and clean you wont be turned away from the main dining room on a Norwegian cruise.
Norwegians website says the following:
Dress cruise casual anytime during the day, in the buffet and in most speciality restaurants. For women, it includes summer and casual dresses, skirts, regular or capri pants, shorts, jeans and tops. Khakis, jeans, shorts and casual shirts are fine for men. Swimwear is acceptable at the buffet and outdoor restaurant, but a shirt or a cover-up and footwear are required.
As the cruise industry prepares a post-COVID comeback, a new face will appear in Galvestons cruise port. Norwegian Cruise Line has added Galveston to its portfolio. NCL will bring its mega Norwegian Prima ship to the Lone Star State. This new ship will be the first of a new class that NCL is establishing.
Norwegian Cruise Line joins Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Disney Cruise Line. This brings all of the Big 4 cruise lines in North America to Galveston and Texas. Currently listed on their website are itineraries taking you to Aruba and Cozumel.
Also Check: 14 Port Terminal Boulevard Bayonne Nj 07002 5038