The Best Cruises From Galveston
The beachy port of Galveston sits on the Gulf of Mexico, about an hour from Houston. While it’s not as large as Miami in terms of ship choice, there are a few cruises out of Galveston, especially during the winter months. You’ll find lots of Caribbean options well as the Bahamas. Plus, the fares are also reasonable , which can offset having to add airfare to your vacation budget if you live farther afield. Here are the five best cruises that sail out of Galveston, Texas.
Carnival Breeze Cruise out of GalvestonThe 3,690-passenger Carnival Breeze offers multiple Western Caribbean sailings departing from Galveston. Families will find a lot to love about the ship, which has casual poolside restaurants BlueIguana Cantina and Guys Burger Joint, an onboard water park, and special Seuss at Sea activities. Those not traveling with kids in tow can head to the ship’s adults-only retreat, Serenity, or one of the 13 bars and lounges on board.
Liberty of the Seas Cruise out of Galveston
Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas underwent a full refurbishment in 2016, adding new restaurants including Sabor and Giovanni’s Table, where you’ll find amazing Italian eats. You’ll also find the active pursuits the line has become known for rock climbing wall, ice skating rink, surfing simulator plus an extensive aqua park and the Perfect Storm waterslide. The ship departs from Galveston and is currently offering two seven-night Western Caribbean itineraries in 2021.
Hilton Galveston Island Resort
5400 Seawall Boulevard, Galveston, Galveston Island, TX 77551 | 855-271-3621
Enjoy your pre-cruise stay at the Hilton Galveston Island Resort. With their Park and Go Package, you receive parking for 7 nights and a round-trip shuttle to the port. This AAA 4 Diamond rated hotel is full of wonderful amenities and is located within walking distance of shopping, restaurants and is just steps from the gorgeous beach.
This 32 acre resort boasts 10 restaurants and bars including Rainforest Cafe and IHOP, heated outdoor swimming pool with swim-up bar and pool-side cabanas and fitness center. You can also treat yourself to a day of fun at the nearby Pleasure Pier, Galvestons historic amusement park. Your elegantly appointed room offers amazing Gulf views, some with private balcony.
Miles to Port : 3.8
Port Transfer : Yes with Park and Go Package
Long-Term Parking : Yes with Park and Go Package
Take A Cruise Out Of Galveston Texas
It’s such a great departure point that many Galveston cruise itineraries consist of cruises 6-9 days’ duration. That’s plenty of time of lovely cruising to acquaint travelers with the majesty that the Gulf of Mexico is just waiting to be admired. Cruises from Galveston take visitors to such paradisiac destinations as Mexico’s Cozumel, Belize City and Nassau, the Bahamas and the Caribbean. Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Disney lines offer some of the finest vessels around which ensure a lively atmosphere. These include the Carnival Breeze, the Carnival Freedom, the Liberty of Seas and the Disney Wonder. You can really live it up and feel as though you are traveling in your own floating village. Feel free to relax while on vacation, but if you’re ansy for some real fun, cruises out of Galveston have you covered.
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Galveston Cruise Port: Essential Guide For Your Cruise
The ultimate guide to Galveston Cruise Port, covering all aspects of cruising from the Port of Galveston for a cruise vacation.
Galveston cruise port is the fourth busiest in the USA after Miami, Port Canaveral and Port Everglades, Florida. It is well positioned for cruises with an estimated 30 million people living within a 300-mile radius.
Galveston cruise port has many benefits for those living in Texas, Louisiana and the central and northern states. It is convenient, easy to reach, and offers a wide range of cruise itineraries with four major cruise lines.
Despite being on an island, the port is within an hours drive of Houston , which has two international airports for cruisers to fly into. Regular shuttle transport, limos or private taxis complete the smooth transfer to Galveston Island in about one hour.
For those who prefer to drive, there are many affordable hotels and cruise parking options around Galveston cruise terminals.
Galveston cruise terminals currently serve 2.2 million cruise passengers annually. Ambitious plans are already underway to create a third terminal at the port. This is expected to double the number of cruisers departing from the port from late 2022.
If youre thinking of cruising out of Galveston, read on to find out more about the port facilities, cruise parking option, airport transfers and terminal info. We also offer an insight into hotels and things to do in Galveston before or after your cruise. But first
Tips For Cruising Out Of Galveston
Galveston is a unique and historical port in the Gulf of Mexico that offers both Eastern and Western Caribbean cruise itineraries. It currently hosts Carnival Breeze, Carnival Freedom, Carnival Valor, and Liberty of the Seas, and Vision of the Seas is set the join the party in November. Disney Wonder also sails from Galveston during the winter months.
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1. Fly in the day before.
Its a common complaint that Galveston is so far from both Houston airports: 46 miles from William P. Hobby Airport and 72 miles from George Bush Intercontinental Airport. Thats why if you have to fly in for your cruise youll want to do so the day before. If your flight is delayed and youre still an hour and a half drive away from the pier upon arrival, you could miss your cruise completely.
2. Look for deals on your stay.
3. Plan ahead for traffic delays.
4. Reserve parking beforehand.
5. Select the earliest check-in time.
6. Do self-assist at debarkation.
7. Use a passport.
8. Youll pay tax on alcohol & cigarettes.
9. Winters are foggy.
10. Spend time on the island.
Do you have any tips for sailing out of Galveston?
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Royal Caribbean Breaks Ground On New Cruise Terminal Announces Fall 2022 Sail Dates Out Of Galveston
Royal Caribbean recently broke ground on a new cruise terminal slated to debut next fall in Galveston.
The opening of the new, $125 million cruise terminal comes just in time for the new fall 2022 sail dates out of the Texas port announced by the cruise line.
Currently, Galveston, the sole cruise port in Texas, houses Royal Caribbeans Independence and Liberty of the Seas.
This new cruise terminal is a game-changer, said Rodger Rees, Galveston Wharves port director and CEO, according to CultureMap. This much-anticipated project will bring 800 new jobs, $1.4 billion in local business services revenue, $5.6 million in state and local taxes, and incredible business development opportunities.
According to CultureMap, the new cruise terminal will boast modern technological features such as mobile check-in and facial recognition.
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Royal Caribbeans Caribbean Cruises
The popular Voyager of the Seas, which upon its launch in 1999 was the largest cruise ship in the world, sails seven-night cruises to the Caribbean in the spring and winter from Galveston. The ships itinerary varies, so check website information carefully. As of March 2010, spring cruises featured Georgetown, Grand Cayman Montego Bay, Jamaica and Cozumel, Mexico.
Winter cruises include visits to Roatan, Honduras Belize City, Belize, which, with its wildlife and natural beauty, is a newer hot spot and Cozumel, from which travelers can visit the majestic ancient ruins of Tulum.
As of March 2010, rates for the seven-night cruises start at $599 per person/double occupancy for an inside room, $699 for an outside room, $899 for a balcony cabin and $1,299 for a suite. Voyager, which carries 3,114 guests, was a pioneer of Royal Caribbeans now-trademark features, including the 200-foot-tall rock-climbing wall, ice skating rink, mini golf course and full-size basketball court.
Royal Caribbean International
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Window On The Waterfront
The excellent Window on the Waterfront has a collection of attractions close to Galveston cruise port. It has many unusual maritime attractions and museums that may interest cruise visitors including:
The Elissa is a 141-foot long sailing ship built in 1877. It is now permanently docked at Pier 21 as a maritime museum attraction. Tour the decks and imagine life as a sailor 150 years ago.
Built by Henry Fowler-Watt, the Elissa was named after a Phoenician princess. After many years transporting cargo, she was brought to Galveston to be restored. This fully-functional antique vessel makes for a popular and interesting attraction.
Pier 21 Theater
If you want to escape the heat or chilly wind, there are several theaters and art galleries including Pier 21 Theater. It shows three movies about Galveston Island history. These include The Great Storm about the hurricane that hit Galveston in 1900.
Another movie tells the story of The Pirate Island of Jean Lafitte and finally, Galveston Gateway on the Gulf, a movie about the immigrants who arrived in Galveston to start a new life.
Texas Seaport Museum
Ocean Star Drilling Rig Museum
Few of us can visit a drilling rig, so the Ocean Star Drilling Rig Museum is a great opportunity to learn about offshore drilling and exploration, seismology and much more.
With so much going on around Galveston cruise port, you might want to seriously consider Galveston for your next cruise.
Best 2020 Galveston Cruises
If youre looking for the best cruises from Galveston, weve rounded up some of our favorite options based on a mix of ports, cruise lines, and ships. These trips showcase the best of what the island has to offer to cruise passengers.
Links below are to our partner AvoyaTravel.com. Keep in mind that pricing can change.
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Compare Reviews For Cruise Lines
Cruising can be an inexpensive way to visit multiple destinations around the world. Every ship travels from port to port, without the hassle and discomfort of airline travel. They also offer excursion options for vacationers to take tours and see the sights of their port destinations safely and easily.
The cruise line you choose will depend on the type of vacation you are taking. Youll find many family- friendly cruises from Galveston, as well as cruises that cater to an adults-only crowd. Since cruises are all inclusive and the price per night is usually less than many hotel accommodations, it is hard to beat the value of a cruise vacation.
Check out these travel options from these popular cruise lines that leave from Galveston. With so much variety, youll get the vacation experience youre looking for.
Port Of Galveston History & Faqs
The Port of Galveston is located adjacent to the city of Galveston, Texas, on the upper Texas Gulf Coast. The Port holds the distinction of being the oldest Gulf of Mexico shipping port west of New Orleans. The port is located on the eastern end of Galveston Island, 9.3 miles from the open ocean, generally about 30 minutes of sailing time.
Continuously upgraded over its history, The Port of Galveston can accommodate all types of cargo including containers, dry and liquid bulk, break bulk, Roll On/Roll Off, refrigerated, and project cargoes. The Galveston Railroads terminal switching facilities then move cargo inland by rail.
Of course, one of the Ports most visible and profitable uses is as a hub for multiple cruise lines.
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Disney Wonder Restart Announced
Disney Cruise Line has announced the restart date for Disney Wonder and an update to its protocols. The ship will start operations on October 1 on an itinerary that will feature three-night sailings from San Diego with a stop at Ensenada, Mexico, and a day at sea, while 4-night sailings will feature two days at sea and a stop at Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
Disney Cruise Line has returned to the U.S. with Disney Dreams 3- and 4-night itineraries out of Florida. Disney Fantasy will resume on September 11. The cruise line will only be visiting Castaway Cay for the time being with both ships.
However, the recent policy changes from the Bahamian government mean that the cruise line had to require all guests to be vaccinated on cruises to the Bahamas, just like other cruise lines. Its also due to updated guidelines issued on August 27, 2021, from the U.S. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention .
For cruises departing from San Diego in October, Disney Cruise Line now requires all guests of 12 years and older to be fully vaccinated 14 days before boarding. Guests 11 years old and younger do not have to be vaccinated but should provide proof of a negative test. On November 5, Disney Wonder will depart for a 14-day voyage that will take guests through the Panama Canal to Galveston from San Diego. Disney has made some significant changes for this voyage, requiring all guests of all ages to be fully vaccinated.
Two P& O Cruise Ships To Sail The Caribbean
P& O Cruises plans to have two ships sailing the Caribbean before the end of the year. The cruise line has experienced a hugely successful summer return with the launch of its newest flagship Iona and its popular summer seacations onboard Britannia. The cruise line is ready to expand its cruises and has chosen to do this in the Caribbean with Britannia and Azura.
Britannia will set off on her transatlantic voyage from Southampton in southern England on October 22. The vessel will take 14 days to sail to the Southern Caribbean island of Barbados before she starts the first of a series of 14-day cruises in the Caribbean.
Azura will be the second ship sailing the Caribbean for the UK-based cruise line. Starting December 10, the cruise ship will also be sailing from Barbados on 14-day itineraries that include ports of call such as Trinidad and Tobago, Aruba, Bonaire, Dominica, and Martinique.
P& O Cruises are not yet sailing with the entire fleet and will not do so this year. Aurora is currently scheduled to return in February of next year and Arcadia is scheduled to return to sailing in March of next year.
Plenty to look forward to and this will be the first chance British cruisers will be able to enjoy a cruise in the Caribbean since the suspension started in 2020.
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More On Cruising From Galveston
Getting to the Port of Galveston Transportation options from airports and the Galveston area to the cruise port. Everything you need to know to get to the port and start your vacation.
Galveston Park & Cruise Hotels Getting in late? Leaving early? Simply need a place to rest your head? Weve rounded up the options for places to stay near the port, including those with park and cruise packages.
The 5 Best Cruise Lines Out Of Galveston
Anyone planning to cruise from Galveston, Texas, needs to check out all of the five best cruise lines setting sail this season. Many of the ships are resuming their normal itineraries after taking a long break because of Covid-19. With new safety measures in place, passengers can now enjoy all the fun, food, and relaxation that are unique to the cruise lines of Galveston.
The 5 Best cruise lines out of Galveston are Royal Caribbeans Independence of the Seas and Liberty of the Seas, Carnival Breeze and Carnival Vista, and Disneys Wonder. These ships offer their travelers a variety of amenities and stop to suit all different interests.
If youll be cruising from Texas, youll want to get the details about these 5 cruise lines. Theyre sure to have you and your loved ones having a great time together on the best cruise lines the Port of Galveston has to offer.
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Cruise Ship Terminals 1 And 2
- Terminal 1 address 2502 Harborside Dr., Galveston, TX 77550
- Terminal 2 address 2702 Harborside Dr., Galveston, TX 77550
- Terminal 1 is for docking of Princess and Carnival ships.
- Terminal 2 is for docking of Disney and Royal Caribbean ships.
- location some 40 mi / 70 km from Houston Hobby International Airport , some 70 mi / 110 km from Houston Intercontinental Airport
- GPS coordinates pending
- Embarkation: luggage must be unloaded at the terminal curbside prior to parking. Shuttles dont handle luggage during embarkation.
On November 30, 2016, the port completed a USD 13 million project that expanded the passenger area at Cruise Terminal 2. Terminals both buildings are now connected by an enclosed, air-conditioned walkway. The passenger area was increased from around 90,000 to 150,000 ft2 . Seating was increased from 500 to 2000 seats, baggage holding-, customs- and waiting areas were expanded, and 16 more check-in booths were installed.
Terminal 2s expansion works started in 2014, financed by Royal Caribbean. However, construction roadblocks delayed the project with roughly a year. The expansion also included longer docking pier with extra bollards . The dock project cost around USD 3,5 million and was completed in 2017. The expanded Terminal 2 now has capacity to handle up to 5,000 passengers at a time.
Other Places To Visit
Another park that you might like to visit is The Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier amusement park. All family members will have blast taking a ride on the roller coasters while beholding a magnificent view of the Gulf. Tourists can jump on Galveston-Port Bolivar Ferry and feel like a local to visit Bolivar Peninsula. This ferry is completely free enabling you to come back and enjoy your visit at your own pace. If you want to feel what the shore has to offer, you van have a taste of seafaring navigation visiting the Elissa. It’s a famous sailing vessel dating from the late 19th century which is now a National Historic Landmark.
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