SEATTLE - The Port of Seattle welcomed its first cruise ship of the season Saturday, marking the first day of the 2022 cruise season.
Norwegian Cruise Line’s Bliss arrived at Bell Street Cruise Terminal at Pier 66 at around 9:30 a.m. Saturday morning, and will leave for Alaska later in the day.
The Port of Seattle released its preliminary cruise schedule for 2022, with 296 scheduled salting bringing an estimated 1.26 million revenue passengers. Cruise lines are adding additional ships to the Alaska market this season. It is anticipated that the number of passengers per ship will vary by sailing and will increase as the season progresses.
"The Port of Seattle looks forward to providing another season of safe cruise experiences as we continue to work with our local public health officials to ensure the health and safety of passengers, crews, and the community. Our vision is for a thriving Seattle Alaska cruise industry, one that leads the world in terms of environmental standards, inspiring other Ports to meet the same high standards, and delivers job and business opportunities where they are needed most," said Stephanie Jones Stebbins, Managing Director of Maritime at the Port of Seattle. "Cruise is a critical part of our local and regional economy, supporting thousands of jobs across maritime, tourism, hospitality, agriculture, and services."
Port operations help support nearly 200,000 jobs and $7 billion in wages throughout the region. Over the next 15 years, the Port hopes to create 100,000 additional jobs through economic growth – while becoming the nation’s leading green and energy-efficient port.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Port of Seattle were expecting a record year in 2020 with 233 cruise vessels carrying an expected 1.3 million passengers. 2020's forecast was slated to provide 5,500 jobs and nearly $900 million in economic revenue for our region. With no cruise activity in 2020, the economic losses due to the drop in tourism were devastating locally and in Alaska.
Later this spring, the Port, cruise lines, and tourism partners will host a pre-season webinar to answer community questions about the upcoming cruise season. Registration links will be posted to the Port’s webpage and social media channels once details are confirmed.