The Port of Galveston celebrated its 1-millionth passenger in 2022 on December 22.
Kathy Wade and her family were traveling with an inflatable Christmas tree and two bags of gifts for a Christmas holiday cruise, their six cruise this year. She was met by port authorities with gifts before they embarked on their 4-night cruise aboard Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas.
Wade, who is from Dallas, said, “This is our sixth cruise this year. We love to cruise and we love Royal! We’ve been on the Adventure of the Seas several times.”
Staff members from the Port of Galveston, Ceres Terminals Inc., and Adventure of the Seas were on hand to congratulate and welcome Wade and her family.
Rodger Rees, Galveston Wharves port director and CEO, said, “We’re very happy for the Wade family. We’re also happy to mark this milestone for the port and our cruise partners. It shows that cruising from Galveston is back and moving full steam ahead! This is great news for avid cruise travelers like the Wades, for all the local people who work in cruise-related jobs and for the entities that benefit economically. The port’s cruise industry is a major economic engine for our region, benefitting suppliers, maritime services, hotels, restaurants, and shops, to name a few.”
Rees also acknowledged terminal staff, security, parking and other staff for welcoming one million passengers to the port safely and efficiently during 2022. The Port of Galveston is now the fourth busiest cruise port in the United States and the ninth busiest in the world.
The Port of Galveston is expected to exceed its 2022 passenger count with 362 sailings, a new record in the port’s 22-year history. Carnival, Disney, Norwegian, Princess and Royal Caribbean are expected to sail more than a dozen ships from the Port of Galveston in 2023.
The Port of Galveston is the only homeport in Texas and, according to Rees, is chosen by cruisers for its convenience and amazing sailings to the Western Caribbean. Over 30 million people live within a 300-mile radius of Galveston. This makes the port an easy drive-to-cruise port for the central United States and major cities like Houston, Austin, Fort Worth, Dallas, Oklahoma City, and Little Rock.