Heres a good symbol or some nice government pork-barrel spending. A while ago I wrote about Brownsville/Corpus Christi vying to compete with Galveston for a homeport. Well the Texas senate for some reason unanimously approved funds to sponsor a survey to the possibility of making corpus Christi a home port. Hey Texas, if you’re listening, let me save you millions of dollars: THEY DONT WANT TO COME. There I said it. I also said it back in my 2009 piece and it still prevails today:
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.