The two cruise lines that have been sailing from Houston's cruise port have cancelled plans to use the port after the middle of next year. The port has been open since 2013, after a $100 million renovation. Local officials had hoped that it would be popular because of its good air connections to the rest of Texas and the country.
Princess Cruises is shifting its Houston ship, the Caribbean Princess, to Fort Lauderdale, FL for Caribbean cruises starting in the fall of 2016, and Norwegian Cruise Lines' Norwegian Jade will not return to Houston after its summer cruises in Europe. Instead, it will be based in Tampa.
Among the issues leading to the shifts are its location, up the Houston Ship Channel, which means that ships take longer to reach international waters, where they can open the profitable casinos and bars; a location surrounded by industrial terminals with almost no shops or restaurants nearby, and expensive transfers from the airports. The terminal also had scheduling issues, since it could accommodate only one ship at a time.