Seattle: Alaska Drives Demand

Seattle

Quantum of the Seas in Seattle.

 While moving ahead with plans to build a third terminal, the Port of Seattle set another record last year with 1,210,000 passengers on 211 calls and is forecasting a further increase this year to 1,380,000 passengers on 225 calls.

“We are also extending our season starting as early as April 1 with the Grand Princess and closing on Oct. 19 with the Ruby Princess,” said Michael McLaughlin, director of cruise and maritime operations. “Norwegian Cruise Line will also bring a third ship, the Norwegian Sun, joining the Bliss and the Encore at Pier 66. The Sun will sail 11-day Alaska cruises.

“Next year, the new Norwegian Encore will replace the Joy,” he continued. “It is a good example of how Norwegian is keeping their newest and best products in the market.

“Also in 2021, Carnival will replace the Spirit with the larger Freedom.”

Last year marked Seattle’s 20th year as a cruise port, during which it has seen nearly 14 million passengers.

“What stands out over those two decades,” said McLaughlin, “is that even during the recession we continued to grow our market share year-over-year. There was some flattening out in Alaska when that head tax was put into place, but it had less effect on Seattle in that we had entered into berthing agreements with the brands where they needed to meet their annual guarantees. So when they decided to pull ships out of the market as a result of the taxation in Alaska, it had less effect on Seattle.

“Over the long run, the growth trend has been really positive.”

Having released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a new terminal last summer, the port has announced three groups that were shortlisted. They were the so-called Cruise Industry Leaders Group, with Royal Caribbean, MSC Cruises, Carnival Corporation and SSA Marine, a Seattle-based stevedoring company; Global Ports Holding and Miami-based Civil & Building North America; and Ports America, teaming up with Jacobs Engineering Group, headquartered in Dallas.

With the goal of having the new terminal ready for the 2023 season, it means Seattle will have three cruise terminals and four berths: Terminal 46 with one berth; the Bell Street Terminal at Pier 66 with one berth, and the Smith Cove Terminal at Pier 91 with two berths.

Norwegian Joy

The Norwegian Joy is out of the drydock in Singapore and heading for the West Coast ahead of her debut into the booming Alaska cruise market.

After a year-and-a-half in the Chinese cruise business, the ship has been Westernized and will sail from Seattle for the summer season.

Norwegian Joy

MJM Marine was appointed as the main outfitting contractor by Norwegian Cruise Line for the refurbishment of Norwegian Joy as the company played the lead role in the design, manufacture, installation and project management of the interior refit of the ship.

While work began in early March in China, the ship’s Pacific crossing will be a working event with no guests, with interior renovations set to conclude later this month as the ship reaches Seattle.

Among new shows for guests will be Footloose along with the aerial acrobatics show, Elements, and the wine-tasting comedy, Wine Lovers: The Musical.

Photos: Singapore Cruise Society

Norwegian Bliss Arrives in Seattle

Norwegian Bliss

The Port of Seattle officially welcomed the Norwegian Bliss on Wednesday.

The arrival of Norwegian Bliss marks a major milestone for the Port of Seattle, according to a statement, which over the last 18 years has transformed into the largest and fastest growing cruise business on the west coast, while earning a reputation for progressive environmental protections.

The Port of Seattle has a special relationship with Norwegian Cruise Line, as they were the first cruise line to homeport in Seattle over eighteen years ago, the port said.

Norwegian Bliss

Together, through a public-private partnership, Bell Street Cruise Terminal at Pier 66 was renovated and expanded to welcome the largest ship to homeport in Seattle and cruise to Alaska – Norwegian Bliss.

“The Port of Seattle is thrilled to host the magnificent Norwegian Bliss and her passengers for many Alaska cruise seasons to come,” said Port of Seattle Commission President Courtney Gregoire. “Cruise ships like Norwegian Bliss meet our objectives of increasing economic opportunity in our region while constantly raising the bar on environmental sustainability. We thank Norwegian for their eighteen years of partnership with the Port of Seattle, and look forward to many more to come.”

Norwegian Bliss

 “We are proud of our partnership with the Port of Seattle, where we have cruised out of for nearly two decades,” said Andy Stuart, President and Chief Executive Officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “Tomorrow will mark an exciting evolution of our relationship. For the first time in the company’s history, we will christen our newest and most innovative ship in Seattle, before she begins her inaugural season cruising to Alaska. We look forward to a promising future and continuing to work with the Port of Seattle to further expand cruising opportunities in the Pacific Northwest.”

Norwegian Bliss Photos – https://flic.kr/s/aHsmbCHEP7

Norwegian Bliss Go-Carting Video – https://youtu.be/Qufyio_TZdc

Norwegian Bliss Laser Tag Course Video – https://youtu.be/UcDix1IO2s8