Friday, August 28, 2009

Houston's Cruise Terminal Sits Empty

Houston's new Bayport cruise terminal, which was completed a couple years ago, still sits empty waiting for a cruise line to homeport a ship there. Click2Houston (KPRC NBC) has a report on the $81 million facility that was built before they had a cruise line committed to cruise from there.

They take a rather critical view of building the facility, but in today's environment, cruise lines aren't about to commit to serving a port when no terminal is actually in the pipeline, even a temporary facility. Houston took the approach that rather than build a temporary terminal and then quickly replace it with a permanent one, they just went right for the permanent one. As the report fails to point out, it takes time to market to cruise lines, and then once sold, it takes a couple of years before the first ship comes. There's plenty of competition for ships, and having a turnkey operation such as Houston now has, gives Houston a decided advantage in the game.

In addition to the text article, there's also a video report.