Carnival Cruise Line has 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 Texas.
The move was part of a unified showing of support to encourage the resumption of cruising in the United States.
Carnival Breeze and Carnival Vista returned to the Port of Galveston over the weekend with an escort by the Bay Houston Towing Company Tugboat Wesley A.
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.
The cruise business generates $1.6 billion in expenditures annually and 27,000 jobs state-wide.
With Carnival Breeze and Carnival Vista providing a 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.
Underscoring a 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 United States,” Carnival president, Christine Duffy.
“We have 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.”
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 in 2019.