HOUSTON, Dec. 5, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A historic milestone was met this morning as Norwegian Cruise Line and the Port of Houston Authority formally forged an agreement for the cruise line to sail seasonally from Houston's Bayport Cruise Terminal in Pasadena, Texas. The sailings will begin in fall 2014 – as the Port of Houston celebrates its centennial – and continue at least through 2017. The signing ceremony took place at the Port Authority's Executive Office Building.
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"The Port Commission and Port Authority staff persevered to make this day happen, and I believe it's the beginning of a very productive partnership that will have a tremendous economic impact on our community," said Port Commission Chairman Jim Edmonds.
"We are thrilled to be bringing Norwegian Jewel to Houston in 2014," said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line Chief Executive Officer. "We have received very positive feedback from our travel partners and guests since announcing our return to Houston."
"We are pleased to have Norwegian Cruise Line here. It's great news for Pasadena," said Pasadena Mayor Johnny Isbell. "It will boost our economy and create jobs. Pasadena is a great home for the Bayport Cruise Terminal, and we are excited to have the Norwegian cruise business."
"We are so happy to welcome Norwegian back to Houston," said Jorge Franz, Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau Vice President. "We expect the activities surrounding the cruises to have a positive economic impact for the hospitality industry, including transportation services, hotels, restaurants, attractions, shopping and more."
Also at the event were Port Commissioners Steve Phelps, Jim Fonteno, Jimmy Burke and Janiece Longoria and Col. Leonard "Len" Waterworth, Port Authority Executive Director.
Norwegian will bring its 2,374-passenger Norwegian Jewel to the Bayport Cruise Terminal to sail seven-day Western Caribbean cruises. The agreement calls for 75 sailings from the cruise terminal over three years, with an option to extend for up to two years.
Annual economic activity from the cruise line for the three seasons is expected to generate $150 million and more than 200 jobs annually, with an estimate of nearly $1 million annually in state and local taxes.
The deal marks a return for the cruise line, which last sailed from Houston in 2007. Norwegian said that travel partners and guests have been requesting the line return to Houston for some time. Norwegian's cruises from Houston will go on sale to the public in mid-December 2012. To book a cruise, contact a travel professional, call Norwegian at 800-327-7030 or visit www.ncl.com.
More information is available on the Port of Houston website under Cruise Info: http://www.portofhouston.com/about-us/bayport-cruise-terminal.
About the Port of Houston Authority
For nearly 100 years, the Port of Houston Authority has owned or operated the public cargo-handling facilities of the Port of Houston – the nation's largest port for foreign waterborne tonnage. The port is an economic engine for the Houston region, the state of Texas and the nation. It supports the creation of more than one million statewide jobs and more than 2.1 million nationwide jobs, and the generation of economic activity totaling more than $178.5 billion in Texas and $499 billion across the nation. For more information, visit the Port Authority website at: www.portofhouston.com
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About Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Cruise Line is the innovator in cruise travel with a 46-year history of breaking the boundaries of traditional cruising, most notably with the introduction of Freestyle Cruising which revolutionized the industry by giving guests more freedom and flexibility.Today, Norwegian invites guests to "Cruise Like a Norwegian" on one of 11 purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ships, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy a relaxed cruise vacation on some of the newest and most contemporary ships at sea.
The Company has two 4,000-passenger vessels, Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway, under construction for delivery in April 2013 and January 2014, along with one larger "Breakaway Plus" vessel for delivery in fall 2015. High resolution, downloadable images are available at www.ncl.com/pressroom. For further information on Norwegian Cruise Line, visit www.ncl.com, follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @Norwegiancruiseline, Pin on Pinterest, watch on YouTube, or contact in the U.S. and Canada at 888-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784).
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CONTACT: Bill Hensel, Manager, Corporate Communications Office: (713) 670-2893 Cell: (832) 452-5776 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Source:Port of Houston Authority