Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Seattle Cruise Season Sets Passenger Record

The Port of Seattle on Oct. 8 announced that a record 933,900 revenue passengers moved through the port’s two cruise terminals during the 2012 cruise season, mostly on trips to Alaska.

The port estimates that the record number of passengers generated over $416 million in annual business revenue, plus $18 million in state and local taxes. Each time a homeport ship docks in Seattle, it contributes $2.1 million to the local economy, according to the port.

Seattle ranks seventh in the nation for ports for passengers, while Washington ranks sixth in the nation for cruise industry expenditures, according to 2011 data compiled by the Cruise Lines International Association.

Cruise Terminals of America operates the port’s cruise facilities, which are located at Piers 66 and 91.

The port recently added the Celebrity Solstice and Oceania Regatta to its 2013 vessel schedule. The Celebrity Solstice, one of Celebrity’s newest ships, will offer seven-day Alaska cruises in 2013 and the Oceania Regatta will offer a variety of itineraries to Alaska including seven-day and 10-day round trip to Seattle. The two ships join a long list of cruising options sailing from Seattle next year, which include Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line.

“The cruise business is good not only for King County, but for the entire state,” Port of Seattle Commission President Gael Tarleton said. “Our goal is to have cruise passengers extend their stay a few more days to discover what else Washington has to offer and to increase tourism spending statewide.”