Port of Seattle record-breaking 2018
The Port of Seattle is celebrating 20 years serving the cruise industry and this 2018 season, welcomed 1,114,888 million revenue passengers through its cruise terminals, the second year in a row the Port exceeded the one-million passenger mark, up 4% on 2017 numbers.
More growth is expected in 2019 with the arrival of the Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas – a 4,180 passenger vessel that will be the largest on the West Coast, and the addition of the Norwegian Joy, sister ship to the Norwegian Bliss that launched in 2018, a 4,000 passenger vessel.
The cruise industry from Seattle to Alaska started in 1999 with just 6 sailings and has now grown into a hugely successful business valued over $501 million. Seattle is firmly recognised as the USA’s capital for cruises to Alaska and is also the busiest port on the West Coast of the USA.
Seattle is home to two cruise terminals, Bell Street Pier at Pier 66 (2225 Alaskan Way Seattle, WA 98121) which is the homeport for Norwegian Cruise Line and Oceania Cruises. Smith Cruise Terminal at Pier 91 (2001 W Garfield Street, Seattle, WA 98119) serves Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean International.
Smith Cove is 15 minutes from the city‘s centre. Pier 91 serves two ships at a time and offers connections to the city’s power grid, greatly reducing air emissions and helping Seattle strive to be the greenest port in the nation. Pier 66 is on Seattle’s downtown waterfront within walking distance of Pike Place Market, the Space Needle and other major city attractions.
For anyone flying on US ‘domestic’ flights, both terminals enable hassle free disembarkation with the Port of Seattle’s complimentary valet programme. While on board ship, visitors sign-up and can check their luggage directly from their cabin to their domestic (only) US flight to enjoy Seattle luggage free.
In 2019, the Port of Seattle will host the following homeport cruise vessels and their itineraries;
- Carnival Cruise Line offers 7-day Alaska cruises on Carnival Legend departing Tuesdays from Pier 91.
- Celebrity Cruises offers 7-day Alaska cruises on Celebrity Solstice departing Fridays from Pier 91.
- Holland America Line offers 7-day Alaska cruises on Eurodam and Oosterdam departing Saturdays and Sundays from Pier 91. The Amsterdam offers 14-day sailings departing on Mondays, from Pier 91.
- Norwegian Cruise Line offers 7-day cruises to Alaska on the Norwegian Joy and the Norwegian Bliss. Sailings depart Saturdays and Sundays from Pier 66.
- Oceania Cruises offers a variety of itineraries on the Oceania Regatta departing from Pier 66.
- Princess Cruises offers 7-day cruises to Alaska on the Ruby Princess and Star Princess. Sailings depart Saturdays and Sundays from Pier 91.
- Royal Caribbean offers 7-day cruises to Alaska on Ovation of the Seas on Fridays from Pier 91.
The Port of Seattle is working on bold plans to redevelop Seattle’s waterfront, including a $340 million investment in cargo, new cruise ship facilities worth tens of millions of dollars and other marine investments. Project authorization will begin in 2019.
The 2018 season benefitted from the exceptional access into Seattle from the UK and Ireland. British Airways offers 11 flights a week and there are daily flights with Virgin Atlantic, whilst three airlines launched flights to Seattle for the first time; Norwegian operated four weekly flights from Gatwick, Aer Lingus operated four weekly flights from Dublin and Thomas Cook Airlines offered two flights a week from Manchester. These airlines have committed to services in 2019 with Thomas Cook Airlines increasing frequency to three flights a week from Manchester. Other airlines including Icelandair offer one-stop flights at competitive prices.
The Port of Seattle continues to invest in Sea-Tac Airport, which was recently voted one of the top ten best airports in the USA by the Wall Street Journal. The Port is investing more than $2 billion in projects to accommodate future growth at the airport, including a new International Arrivals Facility, updated baggage system and a 20 year Sustainable Airport Master Plan. Ground transportation links are excellent with the Link light rail taking 30 minutes into downtown Seattle from its convenient airport station.
This massive expansion in cruise and air access between the UK and Ireland positions Seattle firmly as the gateway to the Pacific Northwest. With most cruises to Alaska taking just 7 days, the Port of Seattle works with the travel trade in the UK and Ireland to develop more cruise and stay programmes so that British visitors can extend their stay to 10-14 nights in Seattle and Washington State. The state offers three beautiful national parks, wine regions, cities, islands and wilderness.
For further information on visiting Seattle and Washington State visit www.Seattle-WashingtonState.co.uk