The Port of Corpus Christi is one of the largest in the country, but it is not home to any major cruise lines. To the north, Galveston Port is the fourth largest cruise port in the country and is home to three major cruise lines.
It was announced Galveston would receive a third Royal Caribbean port set to open in 2021. This begs the question, when will cruises arrive in Corpus Christi?
State Representative Todd Hunter, has been campaigning for years now in hopes that cruises will come to the Coastal Bend. But he acknowledged to me, it will have to wait until after the construction of the new Harbor Bridge.
“Once the harbor bridge starts being built and you start seeing it get an increase in size it makes it able for big cruise ships to come underneath,” Hunter said.
And while Corpus Christi is not home to a single major cruise line, it does bring in certain industry Galveston does not.
“Some of the things that we are doing around here that has increased our port traffic dramatically and they can’t do in Galveston,” County Commissioner Brent Chesney said.
The cruise industry is large and worldwide. Chesney says, the economic benefits of being home to one of these major lines, would be huge for the local economy.
“It would be a huge tourist boom to this area and a huge diversification boom because for your local economy you want as much diversification as you possibly can have and that would just be another form of diversity,” Chesney said. “Yes, it’s related to the tourism industry but it’s different so I think it would be very important for Corpus Christi to be able to get that.”
And while the cruise industry remains non existent in Corpus Christi, Hunter firmly believe that once that new bridge is complete, that will all change.