Sunday, September 13, 2015

Corpus Christi wants to be a cruise port too

Seeing the boost smaller cities like Mobile or Charleston get from the cruise industry has local leaders in Corpus Christi thinking big. Texas Lawmakers are meeting with cruise industry representatives to explore the possibility of the south Texas city becoming a regular port. But even with local support, does Corpus Christi really make sense for any cruise company?

The best thing about Corpus Christi is its proximity to the typical Western Caribbean stops. A shorter trip saves ships fuel money and gives the cruise companies a little more flexibility in scheduling. However, the city's location is also a hindrance. The airport is small and without many direct flights. The local population is not large enough to support a big cruise customer base. More densely populated areas nearby also have closer cruise ports (Galveston, New Orleans, etc.).

We doubt Corpus Christi will get much traction as a home port. The city might invest in some infrastructure to lure a company for a trial run, but that has huge risks. Mobile's cruise terminal sat unused for many years until Carnival agreed to return.

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