Port Seattle's cruise passenger shipping business started in 1998 and is currently ranked 1st among all US West Coast homeports (departure seaports). Each homeported ship's port call generates USD 2,5-2,7 million for Washington State's economy. City's best-known landmark is The Space Needle - 184-m (604-ft) tall observation tower in downtown Seattle, with 6 floors (top floor heigth 158 m / 518 ft) and 3 lifts.
Seattle cruise port
Port's cruise shipping operations started in 1998 (inaugural season) with handled 6 ship calls and 6,615 passengers. Port's cruising business supports over 4000 local jobs, provides around USD 501 million to Washington's economy and generates around USD 19 million in local and state tax revenues.
Since 2017, cruise passengers disembarking in Seattle check their luggage through port's new "Cruise Luggage Valet Program" (cooperation with Seattle-Tacoma International Airport) and receive their airline boarding passes prior to ship debarkation.
- On August 12, 2015, Seattle port signed a 15-year lease deal with the NCLH (Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings). The deal secured all NCLH ships (NCL, Oceania and Regent Seven Seas) in Port Seattle for the full term of the lease of Pier 66 Terminal. The guaranteed passenger volume was estimated to bring approx USD 73 million of revenue to the cruise port. According to the official statistics, alaskan cruises from Seattle generate around USD 440 million in economic impact annually. Additionally, NCLH agreed to make improvements to the Bell Street terminal that were estimated at USD 30 million to expand the P66 facilities. Under the new lease, the company manages all P66 operations and has priority rights to the berth during the season. The Seattle port operates the terminal facilities outside the Alaskan cruising season. The 15-year lease deal was estimated to generate over USD 2 billion in business revenue, around 900 new jobs, over USD 65 million impact in local and state taxes. Currently, the Seattle cruise ship business generates over 3600 jobs, USD 441 million revenue annually, USD 17,2 million in local and state taxes annually. Each Seattle homeported cruise ship call generates over USD 2,5 million for the local economy.
- Iin 2015, the port handled a total of 192 cruise ship calls and 895,055 passengers. in 2016, the passengers number reached 960,000.
- In early April 2016, Port of Seattle announced its plans to ease flight and cruise traveling passengers at the Sea-Tac Airport by temporarily replacing the TSA security staff with contracted personnel. This made the security check faster. Starting in May 2016, the TSA staff was trained locally to increase the number of processed cruise passengers at the airport. Also, more checkpoint lanes were opened.
- On May 16, 2016, Explorer of the Seas - the largest cruise ship on the US West Coast - arrived in Seattle. The ship's inaugural Alaskan cruise season had scheduled 7-night round-trip itineraries from Seattle to Alaska (Juneau, Skagway, Tracy Arm Fjord) and Canada (Victoria BC).
- On July 30, 2016, at the "Alaska Airlines Seafair Torchlight Parade" (an evening parade / annual event) in downtown Seattle was presented a replica cruise ship - the Holland America's Koningsdam. The replica vessel was a helium balloon - one of the parade's over 100 floats. The balloon ship had length of 45 ft (14 m) and height of 11 ft (3,3 m) and was guided by 30 HAL employees through the streets. HAL is a sponsor and participant of the parade. In previous parades HAL employees carried an orca-whale replica balloon.
- In October 2016, Port Seattle announced its plans to invest USD 20 million in improvements to Bell Harbor Conference Center (adjacent to Pier 66).
- In May 2017 was opened the renovated Pier 66 cruise terminal facility (see in the "terminal" section below) where are homeported NCL ships. The 15-year lease to NCL (until 2032) is estimated to generate over USD 2,3 billion in total revenue, nearly 900 jobs and over USD 65 million in taxes.
- 2017 was a record year for the cruise port - with handled 218 ship calls and 1,071594 million cruise ship passengers (9% increase over 2016's 983,539 pax) with total revenue of USD 501 million.
- In 2017, Holland America started an ad compaign on 3 commuter trains running on the Seattle's Sound Transit Light Rail System. The trains were operated between January and April 2017, when the Alaskan cruising season from Port Seattle begins. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on January 10 at the University of Washington train station.
- On September 23, 2017, Port Seattle welcomed its 1 millionth cruise ship tourist in a single Alaskan season (2 passengers on the Holland America's ship Eurodam).
- In early-March 2018, the schedules for ferries leaving from Seattle were changed due to demolishon of the old Washington State Ferries terminal to make space for a new facility. Half of Colman Dock terminal was closed off to the public. The wood-piling supportied terminal was considered seismically vulnerable, with many pilings riddled with marine termites. The demolition and construction works were scheduled for completion in summer 2019.
- On May 30, 2018, the port welcomed the ever largest Alaskan cruise liner - Norwegian Bliss (gross tonnage 164600 tons, max passengers 5200, crew 1730). The vessel was homeported at Pier 66, operating on weekly roundtrips from Seattle during summer. NCL Bliss is the world's first specifically constructed for Alaska mega-liner.
- In 2018, the cruise port handled a total of 216 ship calls and 1,100600 million passengers.
Cruise itineraries to and from Seattle WA
Follows a list of destinations visited by cruise ships leaving out of Seattle:
- 7-day round-trip Inside Passage Alaska cruises out of Seattle visit the Alaskan ports Ketchikan, Tracy Arm, Glacier Bay, Juneau, Skagway. These itineraries often include a day stop at call port Victoria BC (Vancouver Island, Canada).
- Itineraries on small ships or luxury cruises visit also the Alaskan ports Wrangell, Hubbard Glacier, Sitka (Baranof Island).
- One-way Alaska repositioning cruises from Seattle to Vancouver BC (Canada) - and the reverse Vancouver to Seattle, are special, 1-day cruise deals. Those are offered, respectively, in late Fall / Spring when cruise ships relocate out of Alaska. Seattle to Vancouver deals on longer itineraries (up to 17 days) may include visiting Hawaii before returning back to Vancouver.
- Other repositioning cruise deals to and from Seattle include ports in California (departures from Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco), even in Caribbean (with Panama Canal transition), to Hawaii and Australia, and rarely to South America.
- Among the shipping lines leaving from Seattle are Carnival, Celebrity, HAL Holland America, NCL Norwegian, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Oceania, Lindblad-National Geographic.
Seattle cruise terminal
The cruise port of Seattle was established on September 5 1911 with the votes of King County, WA, confirmed by Port District Act and run by elected commission with 5 members. This port district runs both the airport and the seaport of Seattle.
The port of Washington is well known with the nickname ”The Emerald City“. Seattle is considered to be metropolis with rich culture and a great gateway to exotic places. The port has two passenger terminals - "Terminal 91" and "Bell Street Pier Cruise Terminal" (aka "Pier 66").
Bell Street Pier 66 cruise terminal
- address: "Port of SeattleSeattle, Bell Street Pier Cruise Terminal (Pier #66), 2225 Alaskan Way, Seattle, Washington 98121"
- location - at the north end of the city's waterfront, some 10 min drive distance from the city's shopping centre and the Space Needle tower
- GPS coordinates - pending
- 1 berth (length 1600 ft / 489 m) - 2 berths with in-transit ships
- Pier 66 terminal is an 479160 ft2 / 44515 m2 complex along the city's downtown waterfront. Pier 66 terminal serves the ships of NCL Norwegian and Oceania. Pier 66 is at close walking distance to the Pike Place Market (public market) and Seattle Aquarium (public aquarium on Pier 59). The city's landmark Space Needle (observation tower) is also nearby.
- Among the amenities offered are concierge service (luggage storage before/after voyages, information), wheelchair, mobility scooter and oxygen rentals (equipment delivered directly to the cabin), restaurants, mini-mart (deli, ATM).
- There is a free of charge shuttle service to the terminal.
- Pier 66 cruise terminal was opened in 2000 and expanded in 2001. It has mechanized gangway for embarkation/disembarkation from floor 2 (the ticketing level).
- Bell Street Cruise Terminal is close to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (some 15-20 min drive distance) and to downtown (some 5 min drive distance). The terminal is located on a 10-acre area, sited on Pier #66. The dock had served as a refrigerated storage, railway station and warehousing. The terminal building is 2-floor, with a system which allows direct transfer to the ship from the upper one. The parking space is located across the street. The terminal offers restaurant, cafe, luggage handling, concierge, rental car kiosk and shops. It has only one cruise ship mooring access.
- Driving directions to Pier 66 Terminal: from Interstate 5 Northbound take Mercer Street westbound (exit 167). Turn left on 5th Ave N. Turn right on Broad St. Turn left on Alaskan Way. Follow the signs to Pier 66.
- In August 2015, NCL signed a 15-year lease deal with the port for the Bell Street Cruise Terminal. The contract secured NCL cruise ships in Seattle and provided passenger volume guarantees with a total revenue for the port estimated at USD 73 million. Under the new lease, NCL Holdings manages all operations at Pier 66. The line also has priority rights to the berth during the Alaskan cruise season. The facilities outside the Alaskan season are operated by port authorities. The 15-year lease will generate over USD 2 billion in total revenue for the region, plus over 900 local jobs and over USD 65 million in state/local taxes.
- NCL's USD 30 million investment into Pier 66 allowed in Seattle to be homeported the ever-largest Alaskan cruise ship - Norwegian Bliss. The ship was scheduled to start turaround (roundtrip itinerary) operations in June 2018 with 7-day Inside Passage cruises. To be able to handle the new ship's capacity (5200 passengers, 1730 crew), the terminal was expanded from 44,000 ft2 (4090 m2) to 151,000 ft2 (14030 m2). On May 23, 2017, representatives from Port Seattle and NCL Norwegian celebrated the opening of the newly renovated Pier 66 terminal. The upgrades included a mobile passenger boarding bridge, renovated check-in area and VIP lounge.
Smith Cove Pier 91 cruise terminal
- address - "Cruise Terminal 91 (Smith Cove Cruise Terminal), 2001 West Garfield St., Seattle, Washington 98119 "
- GPS coordinates - pending
- 2 berths (length 1200 ft / 366 m each)
- Pier 91 terminal serves the ships of Carnival, Celebrity, Holland America, Princess, Disney and Royal Caribbean.
- Pier 91 cruise terminal was opened in 2009. It has mechanized gangway for embarkation/disembarkation from floor 2 (the ticketing level).
- Smith Cove Cruise Terminal is close to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (some 20-25 min drive) and to downtown (some 10 min drive). The terminal is located on Pier # 90 and Pier #91, at approx 2 ml (3 km) from downtown in northwest direction. The port used to serve as an industrial port and a resupply base and still looks a kind of industrial. The Smith Cove terminal offers car rental desk, concierge, luggage handling, retail kiosks, check-in and customs. Close there is a parking and shuttle minibus service which is free. The passengers can pick up a cell phone car lot. It has two cruise ship moorings.
Cruise ship terminal directions & parking
- (route 1) From Interstate 5 Southbound - use Mercer Street Exit from I-5 (exit 167). Continue on westbound onto Elliott Ave. Follow the signs to Pier 91.
- (route 2) From Interstate 5 Southbound - exit on Union St (exit 165B), continue to 4th Ave. Turn right on 4th Ave. Turn left onto Wall St. Turn right on Western Ave. Follow the signs to Pier 91.
- (route 3) From Interstate 5 Northbound - use Mercer Street Exit from I-5 (exit 167), continue westbound onto Elliott Ave. Follow the signs to Pier 91.
- (Bell Street Pier) There is a 1700-cars secure parking garage (Republic Parking) located across the street (on 9 Wall Street) including 25 handicap lots (phone number (206) 783-
- (Smith Cove) There is a 1000-cars secure parking garage and free of charge shuttle service to the terminal.
Seattle port, along with its 2 cruise terminals also has cargo terminals and dry dock facilities for marine vessel refurbishments and repairs.
- UN-LOCODE (United Nations location code) - USSEA
- two dedicated cruise terminals
- capability to accommodate 4 vessels at a time
- 3 deep water berths with shore-to-ship power (shore-side electricity supply)
- supported by excellent road and air infrastructure
- The cruise port is accessible only during late spring (April), summer months and early fall (late September, early October).
- Cruise ships usually arrive in Seattle in early morning (at 6, 7 or 8 am) and depart from Seattle in late afternoon (4 or 5 pm).
Seattle tours, shore excursions, hotels
City Tours and Shore Excursions
- Space Needle: enjoy beautiful city center views, buy souvenirs or dine at the rotating SkyCity restaurant.
- Pioneer Square: situated a mile away from Bell Street Pier, the original center of the pioneer town and the place of the first timber mill in Seattle.
- Seattle Aquarium: located by Pier #59, offers interesting sea creatures like the Pacific coral world, brightly colored fish, Puget sound fish and tentacled octopus. You can also visit the shop of the aquarium.
- Museum of Flight: aviation devoted museum where you can see superb full WWII fighter planes collection, Shuttle space plane, flight attendants fashion and International Space Station mockup.
- Pike Place Market: great farmers’ city market, a place where you can walk and watch plenty goods. It is located right to Bell Street Pier.
- Seattle Art Museum Downtown: the biggest museum of art in the region, enjoy artworks from all over the world while touring in the galleries.
- Olympic Sculpture Park: free park with thought provoking and abstract sculptures, located a mile away from Bell Street Pier in northwest direction.
Port Seattle cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Seattle, Washington. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.
|5 October, 2018|
|Explorer Of The Seas||18:00|
|8 October, 2018|
|10 October, 2018|
|12 October, 2018|
|13 October, 2018|
|17 October, 2018|
|19 October, 2018|
|21 October, 2018|
|25 October, 2018|
|26 October, 2018|
|28 October, 2018|
The Seattle cruise port map is interactive. It shows the port's exact location, along with the real-time cruise ship traffic (if any) in its vicinity - today, and right now. By zooming-out you can see other cruise ship ports located near Seattle, Washington.
If you lose the Seattle location on the map, simply reload the page (also with F5 button). This feature is integrated with the CruiseMapper's cruise ship tracker tracking the vessels' current positions at sea and in ports.
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