After years of sitting vacant, the controversial Bayport Terminal in Pasadena will be launching ships thanks to a new partnership between the Port of Houston Authority and the popular Princess and Norwegian cruise lines.
Princess' inaugural cruise on the Caribbeann Princess — a 3,080-passenger liner which will raise funds for United States veterans — is expected to sail starting in Nov. 2013 with an estimated 27 departures planned throughout the season.
Norwegian and its 2,374-passenger Norwegian Jewel, which last sailed from Houston in 2007, will begin a three-year stint at Bayport in early 2014 with upwards of 75 calls.
Built at a cost of more than $108 million, the Bayport Terminal has been an embarrassment for state and local officials.
"We are ecstatic that these two premier cruise lines have chosen to sail from our state-of-the-art cruise facility," Jim Edmonds, chairperson of the Port of Houston Authority, said in a statement. "Securing this cruise business helps fulfill our commitment by building the cruise terminal to spur job creation and economic development for the entire greater Houston and Pasadena region."
Built between 2007 and 2008 at a cost of more than $108 million, the Bayport Terminal has been an embarrassment for state and local officials, who have had little luck in securing the cruise lines it promised to bring to the region nearly half a decade ago. The only action the terminal has seen was in late 2008, when Hurricane Ike forced the Port of Galveston to reroute ships to Bayport for two months.
The Port Authority projects this new cruise activity will create roughly 100 new jobs throughout the greater Houston and generate a positive economic impact of approximately $200 million through the next four years. Nearly $100,000 in annual state and local taxes are anticipated.