NCL and the Port of Houston Authority announced jointly that they have signed an agreement to base a ship seasonally for three years [2014-2016] with the option for two more [2017,2018]. NCL will sail the Norwegian Jewel. She’ll average about 25 port calls a year. They will finally be using the Bayport Cruise Terminal. Constructed in 2008 off of tax payers bonds, and without the assurance of cruise line contracts, the terminal is a prime example of Houston’s poor management of maritime assets. This will be the first time a cruise ship will call the port seasonally.* Bayport is used by tankers and dry bulk vessels as a layberth.

Also with NCL’s announcement is one that Princess will sail their 2013-2014 Texas departures [27 total] with the Caribbean Princess also form Bayport. Their first trip will be November 5th 2013.

* It should be noted that the terminal was used after Hurricane Ike temporarily while the Galveston cruise terminal was being repaired.

photo via Chron