This morning there was some discussion on twitter about the Port of Brownsville, Texas wanting to be a cruiseport.

CruiseGuy

Brownsville, Texas discusses #cruise port options. Save your money, don’t waste more fees. 0% chance 2 get ships 2 visit!

CruiseBuzz

RT @cruiseguy: Brownsville, TX discusses #cruise port options >> Not sure about this one. Is there a demand?

CruiseGuy

Cruise ships will never call @ Brownsville. Silly notion for ships on the ocean!

Brownsville is in the very far south of Texas, on the Gulf of Mexico(obviously!). On the map below, the yellow line is the Mexican boarder. You’ll also notice a long, narrow channel that leads one into the port facilities. There is nothing really down here. Brownsville is popular, though, as a ship breaking facility (where one disposes of ships). That’s pretty much it down there. 

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That’s why this news is so surprising. The article states that they will begin feasibility studies to determine if they should build a cruise port there. As a cruise port, they will position themselves to get a ship home ported there.

This begs the question of; WHY? On the map above you’ll see barrier islands . The one north of the channel entrance is South Padre Island. Now I can see that they want to capitalize on that, but the bulk of tourists there are spring breakers (I added the wiki for our non-Americans readers). 

The big problem is lack of market. Houston/Galveston has access to (obviously) the Houston market and the DFW Metroplex market. Two HUGE markets. DFW is 5 hours away from the port. Easily drivable for a cruise.

Brownsville, on the other hand, has a tiny (think two gates) airport. Harlingen has a slightly larger but still like 5 gates. Its also 5 hours away from Houston and 10 from DFW. Pretty un-drivable for most if not all.

There is also a problem of destinations. The only place to go is Mexico. The 7-Night Bahamas is too far from here. Why would some one travel so close to Mexico and not decide just to go a little further to Mexico its self where the ship would go anyways.

I hope this doesn’t turn out to be another Bayport in Houston. That is getting ugly. $81 million price tag, and not a single line sails from it. It sits empty because they built it and then then decided that maybe they should start looking for lines.

Anyways, back to Brownsville. Then they say cruise port; I really hope they mean cruise as in sunset cruise or casino cruise. Not Carnival, NCL, Royal Caribbean cruise lines. 🙂

Source (The Brownsville Herald)

One Response

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