Update: Carnival Redeploys Texas-Based Ships to Houston

September 18, 2008
Update: Carnival Conquest is scheduled to arrive at Houston's Bayport Cruise Terminal at noon local time on Thursday, September 18.

(September 16) -- Carnival has just announced that its Carnival Conquest and Carnival Ecstasy, previously based in Galveston, will begin operating regular itineraries again effective this weekend -- from Houston's Bayport Cruise Terminal.

Carnival Ecstasy will resume its four- and five-day Mexico schedule from Houston starting with a five-day cruise departing Saturday, September 20. Carnival Conquest will depart Houston on seven-day cruises to the Western Caribbean beginning with the Sunday, September 21, departure.

Both vessels are currently docked in New Orleans, diverted there following the closure of the Port of Galveston and the cancellation of the September 14 and 15 departures of Carnival Conquest and Carnival Ecstasy respectively.

As we reported yesterday, passengers still onboard from the previous sailings were given the option to disembark in New Orleans or continue onward with the ship for Texas (though until today, it was unclear whether the final destination would be Galveston ... or someplace else). Carnival Conquest will arrive in Houston on September 18 and Carnival Ecstasy will arrive on September 19 to disembark those guests who opted to remain onboard.

Carnival Conquest and Carnival Ecstasy will sail the same itineraries from Houston as they did from Galveston. The change will have minimal impact on cruise travelers, particularly those arriving by air as they'd be routed through Houston anyway. For homeporters, Houston and Galveston are about an hour's drive apart.

In an official statement, Carnival says that it plans to return to Galveston as soon as repairs to the port facilities have been completed. Carnival President and CEO Gerry Cahill is quoted as saying, "We look forward to bringing both the Carnival Conquest and Carnival Ecstasy back to the city as quickly as we can ... our thoughts and prayers are with the people of this wonderful city during this difficult time."

At this point, there's no timeline for reopening of the port.

--by Melissa Baldwin, Managing Editor

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