GALVESTON, Texas - The Port of Galveston is pushing hard to get cruise ships sailing from the island again after being idled by the pandemic.
By some estimates, the national cruise-ban has cost billions in spending and paychecks and tens of thousands of lost jobs.
"We want to get back in business," says port director Rodger Rees. "A lot of people who are not working, and obviously, revenue; the port is down about $35 million dollars in revenues."
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Rees insists, in a plea to the CDC, that common Covid protocols, and vaccines, can make sailing safe.
Along Galveston's popular Strand shopping and restaurant area, shopkeepers would gladly welcome the business from travelers.
"I feel like it's really crucial to the Strand, and business as a whole," says Gracie Bassett at the Galveston Island Dry Goods Company. "There's so many people that come off those cruises, it's really valuable to all these businesses."
The Port of Galveston would like to see cruise ships resume sailing by July, while the current CDC restriction lasts until November.
Meantime, the meter is running on Galveston Island, costing lots and lots of money until the ships and passengers come back.