Norwegian signs 15-year lease in Seattle

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Norwegian Cruise Line will be sailing in the Pacific Northwest for the foreseeable future.

The Port of Seattle said it has signed a 15-year berthing agreement with Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings that includes passenger volume guarantees that will assure $73 million of revenue to the port.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings is parent not only to Norwegian Cruise Line, but to Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. All three regularly sail to Alaska in the summer months.

Port of Seattle CEO Ted Fick said a 15-year lease for a cruise terminal is unprecedented on the West Coast. “Norwegian Cruise Line is showing real vision by investing in the economic growth of this region,” Fick said.

The agreement calls for Norwegian to make an estimated $30 million of improvements to the Bell Street Cruise Terminal that will expand the portion of the Pier 66 facilities used for processing cruise passengers.

During the summer season, Norwegian will manage cruise operations at the terminal, which is closer to downtown Seattle than the Smith Cove terminal used by Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and others. It will also have priority docking privileges.

Carnival preparing Seattle ships for new emission limits

Carnival preparing Seattle ships for new emission limits

Carnival Cruises is pumping a significant sum of money into equipping five of its ships based in North America with new environmental technology.

With strict new rules coming into effect over cruise ship emissions in the region, the company will reportedly spend $10 million (£6.3 million) fitting exhaust scrubbers on its Seattle-based fleet, Bizjournals reports.

The green technology works by cleaning ship emissions and should ensure that the vessels in question comply with the new air quality standards.

As well as fitting its own Seattle-based ships with the exhaust scrubbers, Carnival will also implement the technology on ships operated out of the Port of Seattle by its subsidiaries Holland-America Line and Princess Cruises.

Seattle, along with Alaska, is one of the main cruise ports expected to be negatively affected by the new rules, with ships concentrating on these areas likely to remain in the North American Emission Control Area for the majority of their cruising.

In the long-term, Carnival has suggested that the exhaust tech will be fitted to all 32 of the ships it has servicing North America.

Previously, it warned that the new environmental rules could negatively impact on the number of cruises offered in the region, particularly those focusing on the Canadian Atlantic.