Royal Caribbean International has broken ground on its new cruise terminal in Galveston, Texas, ahead of its plans to resume cruises from the US this summer.
The new cruise terminal will enable Royal Caribbean to homeport larger cruise ships at the port, joining similar cruise terminal developments at other major US cruise ports like Port Canaveral, PortMiami, and Port Everglades.
Royal Caribbean is investing US $110-million in the terminal, which will be able to handle Oasis-class cruise ships.
The ground breaking began with the pulling up of concrete at Pier 10 to make way for the 150,000 square foot terminal. The entire facility will measure more than 10 acres.
“It’s finally started. After all the preparation, all the negotiation and the pandemic and everything else, they’ve finally started,” said Albert Shannon, the chairman of the Galveston Wharves Board of Trustees.
The new cruise terminal will include a large, blue rotunda featuring a covered passenger drop-off area, as well as a paid parking area near the terminal building.
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, forcing the global cruise industry to a standstill, wiping billions of dollars from the market value of cruise lines and costing Royal Caribbean alone US $56.8 billion, there were concerns that the terminal might be cancelled.
However, according to media reports, Royal Caribbean never intended to cancel the project, but did apply for a one-year delay and an extension on its due diligence period.
The terminal project will create at least 400 construction jobs, and when it opens in late 2022, it will be able to welcome the larger Oasis-class ships, leading to more cruise tourists to the city and more shoreside spending.
Allure of the Seas is due to homeport in Galveston from November, 2022, sailing -night Western Caribbean itineraries.