Editor's Note: As of April 2016, Houston is no longer an active cruise port.
Houston welcomed the first steamboat to the Houston Ship Channel, one of the busiest seaports in the United States, in 1837. In 2013, cruise ships found their way back to the area at the Bayport Cruise Terminal, which cost $108.4 million to build and has contracts with Princess Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line.
Reached through Galveston Bay, the Port of Houston sits on the southeast corner of what's known as Bay Area Houston -- a complex of seven small cities and 35 miles of waterfront that connect Houston and Galveston. The port is 25 miles long and includes the Bayport Cruise Terminal, which sits close to plenty of tourist attractions in the nation's fourth-largest city and in nearby waterside towns. The port is located about an hour from George Bush Intercontinental Airport and 45 minutes from Hobby Airport. The port is also about 30 minutes closer to the airports than the Port of Galveston and half the distance to downtown Houston than Galveston.
Houston is well known as an international city, and its restaurant scene is ranked as one of the best in the country. The Houston Museum District features 19 museums within walking distance. Closer to port are the famous Space Center Houston and Kemah Boardwalk.
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