Seattle Port Celebrates 20th Year of Cruising
The Port of Seattle, celebrating 20 years as a homeport, welcomes the 2019 cruise season with the arrival of the first ship—Celebrity Eclipse, at the Bell Street Pier Cruise Terminal at Pier 66.
“Over twenty years ago this community turned a novel idea into a nearly $900 million industry and helped the Port become the most environmentally progressive home port in North America,” said Port of Seattle Commission President Stephanie Bowman.
“Today that economic opportunity reaches all the way from Eastern Washington farms and ranches that provide food for cruise customers, to King County attractions that depend upon summer season travelers to support year-round activities. Alaska cruises are a ‘bucket list’ item for people all over the world, and we look forward to hosting them for decades to come.”
The Port expects an estimated 1,208,590 revenue cruise passengers this year, breaking last year’s record of 1,114,888. This year, the Port of Seattle will host the three largest cruise vessels on the West Coast, leading with the addition of the Norwegian Joy, and the return of its sister ship, Norwegian Bliss, both of which carry upwards of 4,000 passengers, and culminating with the arrival of the Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas — with 4,180 passengers — which will be the largest cruise vessel on the West Coast this season.
“Cruise season is by far the busiest time of year for us and the benefits of those sales support businesses in three different counties,” said Jon Gores, Sales Manager at Pike Brewing. “We buy barley in Skagit County, hops in Yakima, and brew beer here in King County. We make significant sales both onboard cruise vessels and to cruise tourists who visit our brewery in Pike Place Market. Those cruise sales extend business revenue nearly all the way across our state.”
“For a growing number of cruise passengers, Alaska is just part of the journey,” said Woodinville Wine Country Executive Director Sandra Lee. “Working with travel agents to promote ‘cruise and stay’ packages has led to thousands of passengers taking trips out to Woodinville Wine Country. Our local wine businesses are also marketing heavily to cruise ships to bring that Washington experience on board with local wines and varietals.”
The total economic impact of cruise ships to the state economy in 2019, including direct, indirect, and induced impacts is estimated at 5,500 jobs, $260.1 million in labor income, and $893.6 million in business output.