(3:08 p.m. EST) -- Galveston, of recent Fogzilla notoriety, had some sunnier news today. Princess Cruises has announced that it will base the 113,000-ton, 3,080-passenger Crown Princess in the Texas homeport in 2012, further bolstering the resurgent Lone Star industry.
Crown Princess will be stationed in Galveston from December 22, 2012, to April 27, 2013, and will offer 19 Western Caribbean cruises calling in Costa Maya, Roatan, Belize City and Cozumel. The four-and-a-half-year-old ship is part of Princess' Crown class and features brand signatures like a poolside Jumbotron, a "Piazza" with wine and sushi bar, bakery and coffee shop, and an adults-only Sanctuary sun deck.
Princess last offered cruises out of Galveston in 2007 when the smaller Grand Princess sailed from the Gulf of Mexico port.
Galveston, better known for attracting more "mature" hardware, has been steadily rebounding after a devastating hit from Hurricane Ike in 2008 pummeled the industry. In June 2010, Carnival Cruise Lines revealed that the 130,000-ton, 3,690-passenger Carnival Magic -- due out in May 2011 as the second in the line's new Dream class -- will homeport in Galveston. The ship will sail alternating weeklong Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises.
Also headed there for year-round service is the 102,000-ton, 2,758-passenger Carnival Triumph, which will complete a lopsided swap with the 2,052-passenger Carnival Ecstasy and the 2,974-passenger Carnival Conquest. Triumph will begin its tenure this October and offer year-round four- and five-night Caribbean cruises.
Additionally, Royal Caribbean's 137,308-ton, 3,114-passenger Voyager of the Seas calls Galveston home for part of the year. It will be swapped with like-size classmate Mariner this November.
--by Dan Askin, Associate Editor
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