Galveston can expect to see double the number of Disney cruises sailing from the city on the Gulf of Mexico over the next five years, according to port officials.
The Port of Galveston announced Thursday that Disney Cruise Line will expand the numbers of trips it offers from the city to 26 cruises a year by 2023, the Galveston County Daily News reported. The agreement guarantees the company will operate out of Galveston for the next 10 years.
The deal comes a month after the port announced plans to develop a new $85 million cruise terminal with Miami-based Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
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Disney cruises will get some of the open slots when the new terminal is completed in 2021, said Rodger Rees, the port's director.
"They wanted to be first in line to get the options for the space we have," Rees said.
Last year, Disney Cruise Line sailed 12 cruises from Galveston to destinations such as the Cayman Islands, Mexico, Jamaica and Castaway Cay, Disney's private island in the Bahamas, Rees said. The company's five-year contract with the port was set to expire this year, he said.
"As we plan to expand our fleet and introduce new experiences and entertainment aboard our ships, we couldn't be more excited to extend our commitment with the Port of Galveston," said Jeff Vahle, president of Disney Signature Experiences.
Rees said the port's new terminal could lead to a similar deal being made with another cruise line in the near future.
"As soon as that deal was announced, it put Galveston on the map as far as the cruise lines are concerned," Rees said. "We've had a lot more interest now that they've seen Royal is getting ready to invest a lot more money in this community."