The Port of Seattle announced today that the 2008 cruise season was the busiest ever.  For the first time, Seattle surpassed Vancouver B.C. in passenger numbers validating Seattle's strong position in the Alaska cruise market.  Seattle welcomed 210 cruise ships and
886,039 passengers while Vancouver reported 854,453 passengers.

"The cruise business has quickly become an important source of jobs and economic growth for King County, said Port Commission President John Creighton.  "I am especially pleased that the Port, along with our cruise partners, is working to increase the economic benefits in sustainable, environmentally-sensitive ways."

The cruise business in Seattle generates $274 million in annual business revenue, $8 million in annual state and local taxes, and 2,380 jobs.

"The growth we've seen in just ten years is remarkable," said Port CEO Tay Yoshitani.  "I'm gratified that the passengers who visit Seattle gave us such high marks in customer service - the Port is honored to welcome so many people to this beautiful place."

The 2009 season will see the opening of a new facility on Pier 91, near the Magnolia Bridge.  Current projections for 2009 estimate 211 cruise ship visits and 801,080 passengers, in which the Port will serve 11 homeport vessels including the Pacific Princess, a new homeport ship for our harbor.