The financial hits from COVID-19 just keep on coming, as cruise companies are now slashing expenses by delaying the start of major projects.
Late Friday, Rodger Rees, port director, Port of Galveston, Texas, informed the Wharves Board of Trustees that Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL) had requested a year-long extension before it begins construction on a new $100 million cruise terminal at the Port of Galveston’s Pier 10.
The new terminal had originally been scheduled to open by fall 2021. Travel Agent covered that terminal announcement late last year.
After lengthy negotiations, the port had agreed it would allow RCL to build the terminal after the end of a 120-day due diligence period, which expires in April. Now, Rees has told the board that the parties will need to renegotiate terms and language in the agreement.
Travel Agent asked RCL for a statement on Sunday and spokesperson Jonathon Fishman responded as follows:
“Due to the unprecedented impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic to the cruise and travel industry, Royal Caribbean had to make the difficult decision to delay the Galveston cruise terminal project. We remain committed to the project and will continue to revisit the project plan and timelines amidst this very fluid situation.
“We look forward to continue working closely with the Port Authority and our partners and friends in Galveston to recover and bounce back from these unforeseen circumstances and to continue to grow visitors to the destination now more than ever before."
RCL has ceased operating any new voyage departures on Azamara, Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean International and Silversea Cruises at least through May 12.