Carnival Cruise Line, Federal Maritime Commission, Galveston Officials Participate in Cruise Restart Rally At Port of Galveston
In a unified showing of support to encourage the resumption of cruising in the U.S., Carnival Cruise Line joined members of the Federal Maritime Commission, Galveston city and port officials and local businesses at the Port of Galveston to highlight the economic impact of cruising in Galveston and throughout Texas.
The Port of Galveston at the Galveston Wharves is the fourth most popular cruise homeport in North America and the only cruise port in Texas. Galveston’s cruise business generates $1.6 billion in expenditures annually and 27,000 jobs statewide.
With Carnival Breeze and Carnival Vista providing a stunning backdrop, speakers described the dramatic effect that the 14-month pause in operations has had on local businesses that rely so heavily on the cruise industry. Speakers included:
● Carnival President Christine Duffy
● Galveston Mayor Dr. Craig Brown
● FMC Commissioners Louis E. Sola and Carl W. Bentzel
● President Ad Interim UTMB Partnership Dr. Ben Raimer
● Port of Galveston Director/CEO Rodger Rhees
● Chairman, Board of Trustees, Port of Galveston Albert Shannon
● International Longshoremen’s Association President Alan Robb
● Vacations2Go CEO Emerson Hankamer
● Galveston Park Board CEO Kelly de Schaun
● Bay Houston Towing Company President Philip Kuebler
● Galveston Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Gina Spagnola
In addition, U.S. Senator John Cornyn also sent a video message.
Underscoring the cruise line’s strong desire to resume operations, crew members from Carnival Vista and Carnival Breeze received COVID-19 vaccinations on site from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.
“Today was yet another significant milestone in our efforts to resume cruising in the U.S.,” said Duffy. “We’ve said all along that we would like the cruise industry be given equal treatment of other travel and hospitality companies and this event sent a strong and unified message that we need to start sailing again.”
Added Galveston Mayor Dr. Brown, “Cruising is so critical to the Galveston economy and today’s event clearly demonstrated our community’s desire that cruising return to bring much-needed visitors and jobs back to our community. Galveston has grown to become one of the top homeports for seagoing vacations and the time is right to resume cruising and all the wonderful benefits it brings to our city.”
Carnival Cruise Line is the number one cruise operator from Galveston and the only cruise operator with three year-round ships at the port. Carnival Vista, Carnival Breeze and Carnival Dream operate 175 voyages annually from Galveston, carrying an estimated 750,000 passengers a year.
Galveston is part of the line’s close-to-home deployment strategy in which ships are deployed near large U.S. population bases, making it easy, affordable and convenient for guests to get to and from their cruise. As America’s Cruise Line, Carnival operates from 14 U.S. homeports – the most in cruising – on the East and West Coasts and Gulf of Mexico.