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.

Carnival Australia Poised for Big Season

Carnival Spirit in Sydney

Carnival Australia announced that it is is on course for one of its biggest summer cruise seasons ever, featuring more than 600 calls to ports around the nation as well as the local debut of two new ships, the Ruby Princess and Carnival Splendor.

The season kicked off this week as the Majestic Princess sailed into Sydney following stops in Darwin and Brisbane. 

Her arrival marked the start of 625 calls to 34 different ports around Australia by 19 ships from the seven cruise lines represented by Carnival Australia: Carnival Cruise Line, P&O Cruises Australia, Princess Cruises, Cunard, Holland America Line, P&O Cruises UK and Seabourn.

Carnival Australia President Sture Myrmell said the 2019-20 cruise season would feature an exciting range of ships as well as 50 inaugural port visits around the country for ships across the company’s cruise lines, according to a statement.

“This is going to be a summer cruise season to remember, with our cruise lines offering Australian holidaymakers a fantastic range of new itineraries and new ports across 19 great ships,” Myrmell said. “In fact the number of local port visits by our ships has grown by more than 50 per cent compared to the summer season 10 years ago, underlining not only the growing popularity of cruising but also how much cruising has become part of the tourism fabric of our nation.”

On her second season Down Under, the Majestic Princess’s arrival not only marks the start of the summer cruise season but the largest in history for Princess in this region, featuring a record 141-day deployment in Western Australia as well as cruising from the east coast.

Myrmell said highlights of the season also include the first Australian visit by the Ruby Princess which will arrive in Sydney on October 23, 2019, and the Australian debut of the Carnival Splendor, which will sail into her new homeport of Sydney on December 10, 2019. Her arrival means that Carnival Cruise Line will now have two full-time ships based Down Under.

Other inaugural ship and cruise line visits over the summer include Carnival Cruise Line’s first call to Adelaide (Carnival Spirit February 29, 2020); Cunard’s first call to Esperance in Western Australia, (Queen Elizabeth on December 9, 2020); Seabourn’s first call to Portland (Seabourn Encore on March 14, 2020) and Holland America’s first calls to Moreton Island (Maasdam on December 1, 2019); Portland (Maasdam on January 2, 2020) and Phillip Island (Maasdam on January 3, 2020).

Princess Announces Biggest Australian Deployment

Majestic Princess

Princess Cruises today announced its biggest Australia season ever, with five ships sailing from six homeports for the 2019-2020 Australia cruise season.

Three ships, including the Majestic Princess, will complete itineraries to and from Adelaide over the 2019-2020 Australia season.

Other highlights from Adelaide include an 18-day Fiji cruise on Golden Princess and a new 55-day Indian Ocean and South Africa Odyssey cruise on Sun Princess.

“Princess is gearing up for our largest Australian and New Zealand deployment in history, which will see a record number of people cruising on Princess ships over the 2019/2020 season,” said Senior Vice President Princess Cruises Asia Pacific, Stuart Allison

“Our largest ever deployment will feature five ships sailing from six homeports on over 125 departures across more than 60 itineraries to over 100 destinations in 30 countries. The arrival of Ruby Princess, combined with news of Majestic’s return before she’s completed her maiden season here, means we’ll have two of the four latest Princess ships sailing in this region which speaks to the momentous growth of our market.”

“The cruise industry is integral to South Australia’s $6.3 billion visitor economy,” said Rodney Harrex, Chief Executive, The South Australian Tourism Commission.

“Princess Cruises’ continued commitment to Adelaide demonstrates that South Australia is a key player in the cruise industry. We are delighted to welcome these cruise ships, passengers and crew to our State and look forward to visitors getting a taste of some our world-class experiences so easily accessible from Adelaide.”

The 2019/2020 Australian cruise season will be Princess’ largest in history. The 900+ day Australian deployment will see Princess carry more guests than ever onboard five ships on itineraries from Sydney, Perth (Fremantle), Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane and Auckland, the company said.

The season is spearheaded by the maiden arrival of the Ruby Princess and the return of the Majestic Princess. Cruising 444 cruise days out of Sydney, Majestic and Ruby will generate a combined landmark capacity of over 100,000 guests, a 25 percent increase on the 2018-2019 season, the company said.