Popular cruise line Royal Caribbean is celebrating the groundbreaking of a new cruise terminal in Galveston, Texas, that will encompass 150,000 square feet of space and feature biometric technology aimed at making check-in faster and safer for vacationers.
The new facility — which is formally known as “Terminal 3” — has actually been under construction for nearly two months now, though the official groundbreaking ceremony was recently held to coincide with Royal Caribbean launching its first ship from Galveston in more than 18 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The $110 million terminal will be outfitted with biometric authentication by way of facial recognition, as well as mobile check-in capabilities as a way of expediting the movement of travelers.
Further details regarding which specific biometric authentication system will be used are unavailable at this time, but it’s possible that it could resemble U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Simplified Arrival program. Simplified Arrival uses facial recognition to identify travelers arriving to the United States by scanning their faces at the primary inspection point and comparing the image captured and the biometric data contained within to the image on the individual’s passport, visa, or other official government document.
Royal Caribbean’s new facility, Simplified Arrival, and other similar programs around the world that feature contactless biometrics to improve the safety and flow of travelers have been growing in popularity over the past several months due in part to the challenges the travel industry has faced as a result of the pandemic.
Currently, the expected completion date for Terminal 3 is November of 2022.
August 18, 2021 — by Tony Bitzionis