GALVESTON A shortage of berthing space at the Port of Galveston has prompted Princess Cruises to take its winter 2013-14 business to rival Port of Houston.

Thursday s announcement by the Port of Houston Authority that Princess Cruises would make passenger calls at the long-idle Bayport Cruise Terminal during the 2013-14 cruise season, which begins next fall, was the result of a weakness island waterfront managers had long faced and had recently been scrambling to remedy.

The Port of Galveston had been working to borrow $12 million to upgrade the public docks in preparation for times beginning next year when three cruise ships, including the Caribbean Princess, would dock here on the same day. But short of building a third terminal, upgrades to accommodate three ships wouldn t be enough, and processing so many passengers on the same day would hurt customer satisfaction ratings, Princess Cruises informed port officials.

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