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Galveston nixes $50m bonds for Carnival cruise terminal

Carnival Jubilee, shown here at Meyer Werft with a Texas star on its bow, is due to begin year-round service from the Port of Galveston in late December

Posted on August 30, 2023

Galveston City Council failed to approve a port plan to issue $50m in bonds to help pay for improvements to Cruise Terminal 25, the future home of Carnival Jubilee.

According to the Galveston Daily News, five of seven council members voted in favor of the debt issue but six votes were needed to pass in this case.

External audit requested

The two who voted no said they support the upgrades to Cruise Terminal 25, but they wouldn’t approve the bond issue until an external audit of the port’s internal controls within 30 days.

A cruise industry source not associated with Carnival Cruise Line told Seatrade Cruise News this audit request is ‘unusual.’

The Galveston Wharves Board of Trustees in July unanimously greenlighted the 20-year bonds despite some concern among members about the increased costs of the terminal project, which reportedly had ballooned from $25m originally.

The 182,200gt Carnival Jubilee is due to begin year-round service from Galveston in late December.

$53m upgrade

In May, Port Director/CEO Rodger Rees outlined a $53m expansion for the LNG-powered ship including gangway modifications, a ramp, two elevators, an escalator and a new roof. He said the port also will make mandated facility improvements for US Customs and Border Protection.

Rees said the upgrades would be funded by cash reserves, a proposed bond issue and a usage agreement with Carnival.


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