The hits continue to come for the Port of Galveston as the Texas homeport keeps adding more and bigger ships to its cruise offerings.
First it was the addition of a third cruise terminal (set to be completed later this year), which will be home to Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas. This isn’t just another ship. It is part of the cruise line’s largest class, making it one of the largest cruise ships in the world.
Then came news that Carnival would homeport its yet-to-be-completed Carnival Jubilee in Galveston beginning late 2023. This ship is the latest to be announced by the cruise line and is a sister to Mardi Gras and Carnival Celebration — the cruise line’s largest vessels to date.
And Norwegian Cruise Line plans to put its upcoming ship, Norwegian Prima, in Galveston to sail from the port starting December 2023.
On top of all that, now there is another new face coming to Galveston cruising — Princess Cruises. The cruise line announced via press release that it will place a ship sailing from the Texas port beginning in December 2022.
Years ago, the cruise line sailed from the Bayport Cruise Terminal, located about 20 miles northwest of Galveston. However, it left the port in 2016. Now, Princess is finally returning to the booming Texas cruise market.
According to a press release, Princess will bring Ruby Princess to Texas starting with trips sailing from December 2022 to April 2023. These trips will vary from 5-11 days, and the cruise line says they will be “mainly to destinations in the Western Caribbean.”
The Galveston cruises go on sale April 7.
Ruby Princess first began sailing in 2008, measures 951 feet and has a capacity of about 3,000 passengers. Her addition brings a luxury option to Galveston, which is currently served by Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Disney Cruises.
And with the addition of Princess in 2022 and NCL in 2023, that will mark five different cruise lines operating from the Texas port, assuming that all the lines re-up their commitments for next year.
While no one would yet confuse Galveston for Miami or Port Everglades, there is no doubt that the port continues to gain traction as a growing departure point for cruises.
Being within a few hours’ drive of tens of millions of people makes it a popular choice for cruise lines looking to expand service.
More Princess Fleet Updates Announced
If you’re a Princess fan, then you should also know that in addition to the return to Texas, the cruise line announced other updates to its fleet.
Diamond Princess will sail from San Diego from September 2022 to February 2023. That ship will sail trips of five to 16 days to Mexico, California, and the Hawaiian Islands.
Royal Princess will head to San Francisco for 2022 and 2023, arriving in September. There, she will sail alongside Ruby Princess until Ruby heads to Galveston in December. After that, Royal Princess will be the flagship of Princess’ fleet in San Francisco.
Finally, the cruise line announced that it plans to have Coral Princess return to service in June 2022 from Brisbane, Australia. In August, the ship will move from Brisbane to Sydney.