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Cruise: Houston, Saint John, Seattle

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Norwegian Cruise Line returned to Houston with the October 11 docking of its Norwegian Jewel at the port authority’s Bayport Cruise Terminal in Pasadena (TX). Last year marked the 25th anniversary of cruise in Saint John; last week, the port welcomed its 1000th cruise ship call since 1989. Port of Seattle received179 vessel calls and 823,780 revenue passengers in 2014, more than initially forecast but down from prior year totals; 192 vessel calls and 895,055 revenue passengers are expected in 2015. 

Houston Welcomes Back Norwegian Cruise Line


Norwegian Jewel arrives in Houston.
Photo/Port of Houston Authority

Norwegian Cruise Line returned to Houston with the October 11 docking of its Norwegian Jewel at the port authority’s Bayport Cruise Terminal in Pasadena (TX). This inaugural call also marked the beginning of the 2014 Fall Cruise Season for the Port of Houston Authority, as it celebrates the centennial year of the Houston Ship Channel.

During a ceremony onboard, Norwegian Jewel's Captain Kenneth Harstrom tipped his new cowboy hat to the great state of Texas, as he welcomed officials from the Port Commission, including Chairman Janiece Longoria and Port Commissioners Clyde Fitzgerald and John Kennedy.

"We are excited about the impact Norwegian Jewel will bring to the city of Pasadena and the greater Houston region. According to an independent research firm, just one sailing season will create nearly 100 jobs and $50 million economic impact locally," said Chairman Longoria.

In the Bayport Cruise Terminal's first full season of operation, the original number of parking spaces has been more than doubled, from 800 to more than 1,700, to accommodate the growing number of passengers. The terminal, which combines modern design with passenger accessibility, is a short drive from downtown Houston.

The 2,376-passenger Norwegian Jewel features Norwegian's signature Freestyle Cruising with 16 dining options, 13 bars and lounges, Nickelodeon programming and activities, and the almost 5,000-square-foot Garden Villa suites. The vessel began sailing the first of 27 Western Caribbean cruises, which will continue through April 11, 2015.

On her inaugural voyage from Houston, Norwegian Jewel will also be the first large cruise ship to call in the Western Caribbean's newest cruise port of Banana Coast, the deep-water Bay of Trujillo, Honduras, on October 15. Other port calls include Cozumel, Mexico; and Belize City, Belize.

Princess Cruises returns to sail for its second season from Bayport Cruise Terminal on Tuesday, November 11, for a five-day cruise and then returns to Houston on Sunday, November 16, to begin its seven-day cruises for a total of 24 sailings.

Saint John: Princess Cruises’ Ruby Princess Celebrated as 1,000th Cruise Ship to Visit Port

Last year marked the 25th anniversary of cruise in Saint John; this year the port welcomed its 1,000th cruise ship to call since 1989.

Thursday, October 16 was Ruby Princess’ second call at Port Saint John this year, and on that date she became the 1000th cruise ship to call since the Port welcome its first cruise ship 25 years ago.

In addition to the festive signature welcome provided to every cruise ship, the port commemorated the occasion with 1000th anniversary stickers on each bunch of roses noting the ship and date, a large banner in the terminal and a presentation on board to the ship’s master.

The celebration came near the end of a busy fall for cruise in Saint John, with the last ship call to be Regent Cruises Seven Seas Navigator on October 27.

With the 2014 season winding down, the port is shifting its focus to the 2015, which is set to be gain much earlier (May 5) and last even longer (through November 3) than the 2014 season. Full details of the 2015 cruise season will be released at the end of 2014.


Port staff with Commodore Giuseppe Romano (holding the framed document) and other officers during a shipboard ceremony honoring Ruby Princess as Port Saint John’s 1000th cruise ship caller.
Photo/Port Saint John

 2014 Seattle Cruise Season Exceeds Estimates, Growth Anticipated in 2015

Port of Seattle cruise terminals welcomed 179 vessel calls and 823,780 revenue passengers in 2014, a drop from last year but more than initial forecasts indicated. Next year, it is anticipating 192 vessel calls and 895,055 revenue passengers. 

"Our cruise industry has grown into a major economic driver for the Puget Sound region," said Commissioner John Creighton. "For the seventh straight year, our cruise business exceeded 800,000 passengers. We're committed to growing that number, as well as getting cruise-going visitors to stay here a few extra days."

Seattle’s cruise business is responsible for nearly 4,000 jobs, $372 million in annual business revenue, and $16.6 million annually in state and local tax revenues.

Next year, with the addition of Holland America’s Statendam every other Monday, there will be seven cruise lines with eleven home port vessels offering seven-, 10- and 14-day cruises to Alaska.


The Crown Princess, one of the new vessels set for homeporting in Seattle in 2015, is pictured here during a Seattle port of call visit on September 15, 2014.
Photo/Don Wilson, Port of Seattle

 

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