Thursday, August 13, 2015

Seattle Port Signs Historic Cruise Terminal Contract

By Mark Edward Nero

The Port of Seattle has signed a historic 15-year lease with the parent company of Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises that provides guarantees estimated to bring $73 million dollars of revenue to the port.

“This is a historic deal for the Port of Seattle,” the port’s CEO, Ted Fick, said. “A 15-year lease for a cruise terminal is unprecedented on the West Coast. Norwegian Cruise Line is showing real vision by investing in the economic growth of this region.”

As part of the deal, which was signed Aug. 11, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings will make tenant improvements to the Bell Street Cruise Terminal, estimated at $30 million, to expand the portion of the facilities used for processing cruise passengers.

Under the new lease, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings will manage the cruise operations at the terminal and have priority rights to the cruise vessel berth during the cruise season. The port will operate the facilities outside the cruise season.

The capital investment to complete the terminal improvements will be shared between the Port and NCLH. “We thank Norwegian Cruise Line for their commitment to Seattle and the Alaska cruise business,” port commissioner John Creighton said. “Cruise in Seattle means $440 million in annual economic impact for this region. This deal means more growth, which means more jobs.”

According to the port, the 15-year business commitment is estimated to generate more than $2 billion in total business revenue for the region, nearly 900 jobs, and more than $65 million in state and local taxes.

Seattle’s cruise business – currently leading all cruise homeports on the US West Coast in passenger volume – is responsible for more than 3,600 jobs, $441 million in annual business revenue and $17.2 million annually in state and local tax revenues. Each homeport vessel call generates $2.5 million for the local economy, according to the port.

“Seattle, with its incredible culinary offerings, luxurious accommodations and outstanding attractions, makes for an ideal homeport,” Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings CEO Frank Del Rio said. “With primary use of the world-class facilities at Pier 66, we can further customize our guests’ pre- and post-cruise experience.”