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Princess Cruises sailing out of Pasadena terminal into 2016

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PASADENA, Texas (FOX 26) -

An agreement signed on Tuesday will allow Princess Cruises voyages to depart from and arrive at the Bayport Cruise Terminal in Pasadena until at least 2016.

In addition to the sailings that will launch in November at the Bayport terminal in Pasadena, the Port of Houston Authority agreement with Princess Cruises will facilitate two additional cruise seasons from 2014 until 2015 and 2015 until 2016.

Princess Cruises voyages are expected to generate as much as $155 million of economic impact over the confirmed three cruise seasons, according to the firm Martin Associates. An estimated $3 million in state and local tax revenue is anticipated.

A total of 736 direct, induced and indirect jobs will be created as a result of the schedule voyages.

The two-year extension also includes two one-year options, which could expand Princess Cruises sailings into 2018. While 27 departures are planned for the cruise season beginning in 2013, the new agreement will translate to an additional 50 voyages.

"We are pleased to have secured two additional cruise seasons with Princess Cruises. These additional sailings will spur even more job creation and economic development for the entire Houston region," said Port Commission Chairman Janiece Longoria.

The initial Port Authority of Houston agreement with Princess Cruises, announced in November 2012, marks the first service scheduled with a cruise line to use the Bayport Cruise Terminal. Both Princess Cruises and the Port Authority project the cruise activity will have a significant positive impact on the economies of Harris County and the greater Houston area, including the cities of Houston and Pasadena.

The inaugural cruise from the Bayport terminal, which will take place aboard the Caribbean Princess, will support U.S. veterans. The cruise, which will sail between Nov. 5 and Nov. 9, is expected to raise up to $1 million for two U.S. veterans organizations, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) and Operation Homefront.

The Caribbean Princess ship will continue to sail from the Bayport terminal for the remainder of the 2013-2014 season.

The Emerald Princess will make the Bayport terminal its home port for western Caribbean sailings beginning in 2014.

"We're pleased that we've reached agreement for the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 seasons," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. "We expect that the port's state-of-the-art facilities at Bayport and the convenient airport-close location will provide a terrific experience for our passengers cruising out of Houston."

Construction on the Bayport Cruise Terminal was completed in the fall of 2009.

Norwegian Cruise Line will also sail over a three-season period from the cruise terminal beginning in 2014.

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