HOUSTON -- Port of Houston officials are scrambling to save the
city's fledgling cruise business after losing two regular operators
late last year.
Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Sea made its final departure
from Houston last week; NCL repositioned the ship to Miami.
In September, the port lost Premier Cruise Lines' year-round
Mexico service after Premier's main creditor, the investment firm
Donaldson Lufkin and Jenrette, seized Premier's ships.
The port built a $3 million cruise terminal in 1997 in
anticipation of regular cruise business. The terminal could be
turned into a parking lot and vehicle-distribution center if no new
lines are located, said port officials.
Still, the port's chairman, James Edmonds, believes Houston will
attract new cruise ships for regular departures. He said the port
authority is planning five berths for cruise ships at a proposed
Edmonds added that Houston also could pursue a proposed merger
with the Texas port of Galveston.
"If [cruise lines] want to be in Houston, fine," said Edmonds.
"If they want to be in Galveston, fine. We just want to be in the