The Northwest Seaport Alliance’s approval on April 2 of a $340 million marine-cargo facility expansion at Terminal 5 near West Seattle paves the way for an expansion of the Port of Seattle’s cruise-ship infrastructure to proceed ― which is expected to bolster the city’s already booming cruise-ship industry.
The Port of Seattle is projecting 212 ship visits with an estimated 1.2 million passengers in 2019. Last year, some 216 ship visits with 1.1 million cruise-ship passengers docked at Port of Seattle facilities, the second year in a row in which passenger volume exceeded 1 million. Port data indicates that each cruise season injects more than $500 million into the local economy and supports some 4,000 local jobs.
“With this growth in cruise-related tourism, the Port of Seattle recently voted to seek a partner to develop a new cruise facility at Terminal 46,” a report by real estate services company JLL states. “The cost of the project is estimated to be around $200 million and completion of the new facility is expected in 2022.”
The plan for adding a new cruise berth at Terminal 46 was approved in mid-March by the Port of Seattle Commission. The plan calls for adding cruise-ship docking facilities at the terminal’s north side near First Avenue and Main Street ― located near Pioneer Square and T-Mobile Park.
The Northwest Seaport Alliance’s (NWSA's) approval yesterday of the Terminal 5 marine-cargo redevelopment to the south allows the Port of Seattle to proceed with plans to relocate cargo operations from Terminal 46 to Terminal 18, just north of Terminal 5, making room for the planned cruise-ship berth. The NWSA was established in 2015 and oversees marine-cargo activities and investments at the ports of Seattle and Tacoma.
Cruise-ship docking facilities already exist at Terminal 66 near Belltown and Terminal 91 near Interbay. The Port of Seattle in 2019 will host cruise vessels from more than a half dozen companies, including Carnival Cruise Line, Holland American Line, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean.