The Port of Seattle has announced that a record 1,071,594 revenue passenger came through its cruise terminals this year, with an estimated 1,092,345 expected in 2018. Larger vessels continue to drive passenger increases. Each cruise vessel is estimated to bring in $2.7 million for the local economy, bringing total revenue for the region to over $500 million, according to a prepared statement from the port.
“By exceeding a million passengers this year, and more to come next year, the Port of Seattle continues to grow the cruise market, revenue and jobs for our region,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner John Creighton. “The Seattle cruise business means a half a billion dollars in local economic impact, and we want more passengers to experience Seattle while going to Alaska.”
The Port saw a 9-percent increase in cruise passengers over 2016, which brought 983,539 revenue passengers. Seattle’s cruise business—currently claiming to lead all cruise homeports on the West Coast in passenger volume—is responsible for over 4,000 jobs, $501 million in annual business revenue, and $18.9 million annually in state and local tax revenues.
“Seattle’s cruise business benefits everyone on the waterfront. They are a huge part of our business and really boost summer sales”, said Andy Lipscomb, owner of The Frankfurter, the popular hot dog spot on Seattle’s waterfront for 42 years.
On May 30, 2018, the Port of Seattle welcomes the arrival of the Norwegian Bliss on its maiden voyage from shipyard to its first homeport terminal at Pier 66, recently renovated in a $30 million partnership with Norwegian Cruise Line. The 4,000-passenger Bliss will be the largest cruise ship to homeport at a West Coast port. The Bliss offers weekly Alaska cruises throughout summer 2018.