Caribbean Port Of Departure - Galveston, USA

1) Introducing Galveston

Galveston city is located on a barrier island off the Gulf coast of Texas about 45 miles southeast from Houston.

The city’s name dates back to 1785 when a Spanish sailor called the island Galveztown in honor of the Count of Galvez, a count from Spain.

In 1836 Michel Menard a native of Canada bought a ‘league and labor’ slice of the island from the Austin Colony for $50,000 to build a city. The city flourished and by the mid nineteenth century Galveston had grown into a successful city, the center of a large port and wealthy business sector.

Galveston’s prosperity grinded to a halt when a hurricane struck the island on Sept 8 1900 causing total destruction to the city. After the hurricane the city constructed a concrete seawall to save Galveston from any future hurricanes.

Today, Galveston has grown into a major city and offers must-see attractions, authentic historical sights, miles of sandy beaches and several interesting museums.

2) Galveston Cruise Port

During the initial one hundred and fifty years of the city’s life the port served only cargo ships. However Galveston port’s first cruise ship facility, terminal 1, was not built until 1990. In 1999 Carnival Cruise Lines, the largest cruise ship business in the world, announced their decision to run turnaround cruises from the Port of Galveston. In September 2000 the cruise ship Carnival Celebration sailed for the first ever time out of the port. Next in 2001 Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines signed an agreement with the Port of Galveston to homeport a vessel at the port. An old warehouse was improved to form cruise terminal 2, and an RCI cruise ship homeported from the new terminal in 2002.


Terminal 1 at piers 23/26

Carnival and Princess Cruises operate cruise terminal 1. The terminal boasts a large passenger embarkation and disembarkation area, baggage operations and streamlined customs facilities.


Terminal 2 at piers 27 and 28

Terminal 2 is operated by Celebrity Cruises, Princess Cruises and RCI. Services include luggage trolleys, a snack shop, VIP lounge, restrooms and customs.

Secure parking is offered for both terminals at parking lots A and B. There is a free shuttle service running between the parking lots and the cruise terminals.

See cruises from Galveston for a complete listing of cruises available.

For the port authority see Port Of Galveston.


3) Out And About In Galveston

Texas Seaport Museum
The centerpiece of the Texas Seaport Museum is the iron-hulled sailing ship Elissa, made in 1877 in Aberdeen Scotland for Henry F Watt, a shipping company in Liverpool England. The rusty remains of Elissa were saved from near scrap at Piraeus port in Greece by the Galveston Historical Society in 1977. The museum is positioned next to the cruise terminals.

Bishop's Palace
If you can only visit one of Galveston's Victorian-era gems, many would suggest exquisite Bishop's Palace. Colonel Walter and Josephine Gresham commissioned Nicholas Clayton, Galveston's premier architect, to design and build what is arguably the most magnificent of the 'Broadway Beauties’. The house is ornately furnished with many authentic fittings such as rare wood paneling, bronze statues and stained glass windows. The gift shop in the basement sells a range of history books, ornaments and memorabilia. The Bishop’s Palace is positioned on Broadway Avenue on the southern side of Galveston’s historic East End district.

Moody Gardens
Moody Gardens started in the 1980s with the Hope Therapy horse riding program for people with brain trauma. The park has developed into a major tourist attraction, boasting three huge pyramids, and the hippotherapy progamme still has an important role. The Aquarium Pyramid, the biggest of the pyramids, is home to many species of fish and other sealife from all across the globe. The Rainforest Pyramid is alive with tropical animals plants, reptiles, birds and butterflies. The Discovery Pyramid focuses on science exhibits. Moody Gardens is located by Galveston’s Scholes airport, about 4 miles from the cruise port.

Schlitterbahn Waterpark
The Schlitterbahn Waterpark is heaps of fun for both young and the young at heart with its amazing variety of wild water rides lke the Blastenhoff heated pool with swim up bar, the Treasure Island kids play area, the Boogie Bahn wave rider, the Cliffhanger near vertical speed slides, the Whitewater beach and the Wasserfest heated pool. The outdoor area is open during the summer months, the Wasserfest indoor area opens year round. The waterpark is near Moody Gardens.

Stewart Beach
Busy Stewart Beach Park boasts a wide stretch of grey sand on the Gulf of Mexico side of Galveston island. The beach shelves very gently into the sea, and on a sunny day the shallows are ideal for kids to mess about in. Go west from Stewart’s to stroll along Galveston’s famous sea wall, which has successfully protected the city since its building following the 1900 storm. Stewart Beach Park can be found around a mile south east of the cruise ship port.

4) Traveling To Galveston Cruise Port

By Car

From the North and West
Take Interstate 45 to Galveston Island. Leave at Exit 1C, signed Harborside Dr and Teichman Rd. Follow the cruise terminal sign and turn left onto Harborside Drive (H275). Carry on for nearly 5 miles to Kempner/22nd Street, turn left onto Kempner/22nd street to arrive at the cruise terminals.

From the East
Take State Highway 87 West towards Galveston Island. Catch the Port Bolivar car ferry. Exit the ferry on Highway 87/Ferry road. Turn right onto Harborside Drive/Highway 275 Continue one mile next turn right onto Kempner/22nd street to reach the cruise terminals.

By Air
There is little public transport from the Houston airports to Galveston, so most cruisers either rent a car or catch a cruiseline shuttle. Note that cruise lines only lay on shuttle bus services on the of the cruise.

5) Other Information

Language English
Timezone CDT
Currency USD

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