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Houston's Cruise Project Sinks for Good

Looks like Houston's hopes of becoming a cruise destination have finally sunk for good.

Port of Houston authorities voted last week to seek another use for the city's Bayport Cruise Terminal, which has sat empty since April, when Norwegian Cruise Line and Princess Cruises stopped setting sail from there. Port commissioners had offered the lines a slew of incentives to the tune of $6.7 million, which, in addition to the terminal's more than $100 million pricetag, had led many critics to dub the project a swindle.

The idea had been to provide a boost to the Houston economy as in nearby Galveston, where cruising generates millions in revenue from tourist dollars. But Galveston's terminal is in a more attractive area than Houston's, which is situated in a largely industrial part of town that lacks the sort of shops and restaurants that draw visitors. Additionally, cruises from Galveston launch right into the Gulf of Mexico; from Houston, you had to travel through the less scenic, often fog-clogged Ship Channel for up to three hours before you reached the open seas. 

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The port authority is trying to sell the terminal's gangway system before finally walking away from a project many deride as an expensive mistake.  

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