The cruise-ship business in Seattle is moving forward at full steam, with an economic impact of $226.8 million this year, according to an economic-impact study released by the Port of Seattle.
Some 1.2 million passenger visits are projected for this year, up from 120,000 in 2000. Those choosing to spend some time exploring Seattle as part of their cruise adventure will support some 2,500 jobs and $83.2 million in wages, including benefits.
Passengers not from Washington who stay overnight before or after a cruise spend an average of two days in the city, according to a 2017 cruise-passenger survey sponsored by the Port of Seattle. Eighty-nine percent of those responding said they lived out of state.
Nonresident passengers spend an average of $850 per party prior to a cruise and another $697 post-cruise, for a total of $1,547, based on the passenger survey data.
“Categories of passenger spending include lodging, food and beverage, entertainment, transportation, and gifts and souvenirs,” the Port of Seattle economic-impact study states. "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.”
Seven cruise lines will homeport in Seattle this year, meaning they have passengers embarking and disembarking at the beginning and end of their cruise trips. Overall, those cruise lines will make 201 homeport calls in Seattle in 2019. The cruise lines include Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Carnival Cruise Lines, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises and Oceania Cruises.
The port also is positioning itself for further cruise-ship business growth. Docking facilities for cruise vessels currently exist at Terminal 66 near Belltown and Terminal 91 near Interbay. A 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.