In April, Port Seattle WA suspended its planning for a new cruise ship terminal to serve the Alaska market, citing the need to better understand the short- and long-term industry market impacts from COVID prior to continuing its project investment in additional facilities.
As a result of the current analysis, the Port announced it will cancel the request for industry proposals for a joint investment to construct and operate a proposed new cruise ship terminal at the preferred location of Terminal 46.
Port of Seattle Executive Director Steve Metruck said their current focus remained on public health.
“We continue to work with public health partners and cruise stakeholders to determine the enhanced procedures that will make our cruise passenger terminals and facilities safe for the community, passengers and crew in 2021. The last two decades of growth indicate that there is durable demand for Seattle cruises. When we can, we will convert that demand into more business opportunities and jobs for our region.”
Cruises have become an integral leading business line for the Port and a major part of the maritime and regional economies of the region. Prior to the Coronavirus crisis, Port Seattle was forecasting a record year with 233 cruise ships scheduled to sail from the Port in 2020. With an estimated 1.3M revenue passengers expected to sail to and from Seattle's terminals this season, cruise supports nearly 5,500 jobs and provides around US$900 million in economic activity for the region.
Prior analysis of the market and ship deployment supported the need for a 4th cruise ship berth to meet the demand for Port's cruise services.