In recent months we’ve covered the growth in Galveston cruising extensively. From a quiet port a couple of decades ago, the Texas island has turned into a cruising powerhouse and the busiest departure port outside of Florida.
Galveston has opened a new dedicated Royal Caribbean terminal and welcomed one of the largest cruise ships in the world with Allure of the Seas. The port saw its first visit from Norwegian Cruise Lines with its newest ship, Prima. And just in the past few weeks it announced talks to move forward with a fourth cruise terminal.
Now the port just celebrated its first visit from Ruby Princess, marking the first regular departure from Galveston for Princess and the first time the cruise line has sailed from Texas in six years. (Princess previously had service from the Bayport Cruise Terminal, which was located closer to Houston.)
Ruby Princess is scheduled to sail 16 trips in total from Galveston between now and April 2023. That includes primarily 7-day trips to Mexico and the Caribbean, but also 5 and 10-day journeys, plus a 16-day cruise as Ruby Princess departs Galveston, transits the Panama Canal, and repositions to San Francisco.
All told, the cruise line expects 50,000 passengers to sail aboard Ruby Princess from Texas during the next few months.
But if you aren’t able to sail Princess between now and April, don’t worry. The cruise line will return to the island in October 2023 with Regal Princess.
A Different Style Cruise for Texas Departures
Princess sailing from the island isn’t just notable due to it being a new cruise line in the area. It also marks a very different option for passengers sailing from Texas. Before Princess’ arrival, Galveston was home to year-round service from Carnival and Royal Caribbean, along with seasonal offerings from Disney.
All three of these cruise lines cater to families and/or the mass market. So cruisers wishing to have a more upscale experience or one catering to adults didn’t have an option. Princess, however, is a higher-end cruise line focused more on luxury. This gives many people — who maybe would have flown to Florida to take a higher-end cruise — a departure port much closer to home.
“Cruising from Galveston has never been better. Adding the first-class Ruby Princess to our sailing schedule, with its enticing itineraries, offers our cruise customers yet another spectacular sailing experience,” said Galveston Port Director Rodger Rees. “These itineraries are a nice addition to our current ports of call. As the fourth most popular homeport in the U.S., we’re excited to welcome this beautiful ship to Galveston.”
Cruises aboard Ruby Princess continue until April. Rates start at $329 per person for a 7-day voyage.