The 2008 cruise season gets underway April 1 with the arrival of Celebrity Cruises Mercury at the Port of Seattle’s Bell Street Cruise Terminal at Pier 66.  The 2008 season will bring new ships and more economic benefits to the region.

The Port's cruise business has grown exponentially since 1999, when the Port welcomed just six ships and 6,600 passengers.  In 2008, 211 vessel calls will bring more than 800,000 passengers to Seattle, and a total of nine ships will call Seattle their homeport.

In 2007, the cruise industry was responsible for more than 2,000 jobs, $268 million in business revenue and $6.7 million in state and local tax revenues.  Each time a cruise ship calls at the Port, it generates $1.4 million in economic impact for the city.

"The cruise business supports our traditional maritime industry by using local tug and fuel barge services, Puget Sound Pilots and longshore workers," said Port Commission President John Creighton.  "But cruise ships also help spread the benefits of the maritime industry to other sectors of the economy, including restaurants, retail stores, hotels, transportation, tourism and entertainment.”

Among the vessels offering seven-day round trip to cruises to Alaska from Seattle this year are four ships new to Seattle – Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody of the Seas and Celebrity’s Infinity along with Holland America's Westerdam and Princess Cruises' Star Princess.

Returning vessels include Holland's Oosterdam and Amsterdam, Norwegian's Pearl and Norwegian Star, Celebrity’s Mercury and Princess' Golden Princess.

Celebrity Cruises' Mercury will be back in Seattle at the end of the season with three- and four-day cruises to British Columbia - extending the season into mid-October.

For more information about cruises departing from the Port of Seattle, visit

Port of Seattle transportation facilities support nearly 200,000 jobs in the Puget Sound region and generate more than $12 billion in business revenue and $626 million in state and local taxes annually.