Corpus Christi vies to become next Texas cruise port

This item was written by Johanna Jainchill, who covers cruising for Travel Weekly. Jainchill is serving as Guest Editor of The Cruise Log while USA TODAY Cruise Editor Gene Sloan is away.
CAPTIONBy Rachel Denny Clow, AP
Could Corpus Christi become the next Texas cruise port?
That's the hope of at least one local official who is commissioning a study on how best to lure cruise ships to the South Texas shores.
State representative Todd Hunter told a Corpus Christi news station that he is pre-filing legislation next week to commission the study, saying the city was "the perfectly situated" by being near both San Antonio, the eighth largest city in the United States, and northern Mexico, as well as having its own growing population base.
Hunter said that cruise ships would create new jobs and pump millions of dollars into the local economy.
This would be the second time in the last year that a Texas port has tested its viability as a cruise hub; Brownsville, Texas, further south than Corpus Christi on the Mexico border, commissioned a similar study last summer.
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Corpus Christi, with a population of almost 300,000, is the eighth largest city in Texas. It is 143 miles from San Antonio, or about two hours closer than Galveston, the well-established Texas cruise port that is home to several Carnival and Royal Caribbean ships that sail to the Caribbean.
However, as some travel sellers in Texas pointed out, Galveston is less than one hour from the nation's fourth largest city, Houston.
Dallas-based travel agent Steve Cosgrove said that there would be enough demand to support another cruise port, but said Corpus Christi did not have enough air lift to service the ships. He said the distance to San Antonio was still far for being the port's closest major city.
"I think Houston is more likely to see a ship and become a port before Corpus," said Cosgrove, president of Dynamic Travel & Cruises. "Houston has a nice new cruise terminal and is trying hard to get a cruise line to put a ship there. Its biggest drawback is the long cruise to get to open water versus most other ports."
Tell us Cruise Loggers, does Texas need another cruise port? Would Corpus Christi make a good one?