The first ship is expected on April 11th. It is expected that the number of passengers per ship will vary depending on the departure and will increase as the season progresses.
14 home ships, up from 11 most seasons
The seven major brands that are homeported in Seattle will field 14 ships, up from 11 most seasons.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Seattle had forecast a record 2020 with 233 cruise calls and 1.3 million passengers, supporting 5,500 jobs and bringing nearly $900 million in economic impact to the region. With no cruise activity in 2020, the economic losses due to the decline in local and Alaskan tourism were devastating.
“Our vision is for a thriving Seattle, Alaska cruise industry that leads the world in environmental standards, inspires other ports to meet the same high standards, and provides jobs and business opportunities where they are needed most,” said Stephanie Jones Stebbins, executive director of seafaring at the Port of Seattle.
As with the shortened 2021 season of 82 calls, this year the port and cruise lines will have detailed agreements documenting COVID prevention and response plans on vaccination, testing and quarantine procedures.
Shore power at Bell Street in 2023
A new shore power connection is scheduled for completion in 2023 at the Bell Street Pier Cruise Terminal. The port also aims to have 100% of home ships connected to the grid at every call by 2030 or sooner.
This year, 100% of Holland America Line and Princess Cruises ships calling at Smith Cove Cruise Terminal are equipped with shore power.
Wash water drain interrupted
In 2020, the port banned cruise ship emission control system washwater at berth, and in 2021 all ships voluntarily discontinued washwater discharges into Puget Sound. This washwater hiatus will remain in effect until the results of an independent research study can show that the washwater discharges will not affect the water quality of Puget Sound, and until that time cruise ships will not discharge into Puget Sound waters.
Later this spring, the port, cruise lines and tourism partners will host a pre-season webinar to answer community questions about the upcoming season. Registration links will be published on the port’s website and social media channels once details are confirmed.
The port and cruise partners will host a cruise ship job fair at the port’s community hub in South Park in April and will co-sponsor an Alaska Travel Suppliers Fair on March 19.
“A strong 2022 cruise season will be a boon to our region, and it is encouraging to see the cruise industry’s commitment to Seattle and the Alaskan cruise market,” said Tom Norwalk, President and CEO of Visit Seattle. “Local tourism and hospitality partners — from restaurants and retail to attractions and hotels — will benefit at a time when our region needs it most. And, more importantly, jobs will be created.”
Alaska communities eager for ships
A recent report for the Alaska Travel Industry Association found that the lack of cruises contributed to a 78% drop in visitor spending in 2020, prompting companies to rely on government support, cutting jobs and reducing operations or to interrupt.
“The cruise industry is an important part of Southeast Alaska’s economy,” said Alexandra Pierce, Juneau’s tourism manager. “The last two years have been incredibly difficult for our local businesses and we look forward to welcoming visitors back to our beautiful community and region.”
“From the grand opening of our high-speed nacelle systems to welcoming a record number of travelers, this will be an exceptional cruise season at Icy Strait Point,” said Russell Dick, President and CEO of Huna Totem Corp. In the native community of Hoonah on the Yukon River beyond Denali the cruise industry fuels the economies of small villages throughout the state of Alaska. In turn, our rich culture, vast landscapes and abundant wildlife inspire life-changing memories for the whole family.”