Port of Seattle expecting severely delayed start of annual cruise season

   March 28, 2020 ,   Accidents

The Port of Seattle recently announced it is suspending cruises indefinitely.

The port announced in a release that cruise season had been on hold until “the resolution of the public health emergency” of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The port had previously cancelled some early voyages.

According to Tom Norwalk, Visit Seattle President and CEO, the loss and impact of the sailings would "ripple through the tourism industry" and the regional economy. However, they understood the hard but necessary decision of the Port of Seattle. He added they appreciated the commitment of the Port to re-evaluate this year's cruise season as the situation evolves. Visit Seattle would "help lead the economic recovery and work in tandem with the Port of Seattle.”

Port of Seattle (Washington)

The move follows the Port of Vancouver's decision to close its harbour to all ships with more than 500 people onboard. Owing to the Jones Act, this meant that all cruise traffic to Juneau was effectively curtailed until Vancouver reopened its port.

In a release, the Port of Seattle Commission President Peter Steinbrueck said the eventual return of their cruise season was something they fully expected as an important contribution to local small businesses, living wage jobs, and their region’s economic recovery. He added they also recognized the critical role Seattle cruise played in supporting the Alaska economy for more than 20 years.

Much of the economy of Juneau depends on tourists arriving during the summer. With the sudden cancellation of more than half of the season to control the spread of COVID-19, many businesses are predicting a lean season.

For Coronavirus updates on cruise ship quarantines (infected passengers and crew) and top-pandemic countries (COVID-19 cases and deaths, daily updated statistics) see at CruiseMapper's Norovirus page.