Port of Seattle Commissioners voted this week to name Seattle's new cruise facility on Pier 91 Smith Cove Cruise Terminal. The two-story, 143,000 square foot facility has expansive views of Puget Sound, Mt Rainier and the Olympic Mountains.  Its north end location, in historic Smith Cove puts cruise passengers just 10 minutes away from the city's retail core and famous Space Needle.

The new terminal opens April 24, 2009 when Holland America Line's ms Amsterdam sails into Puget Sound signaling the beginning of the 2009 cruise season. The new terminal provides two, 1200 foot berths both equipped with shore power facilities--eliminating the need for vessels to run their diesel engines while at dock creating a significant savings in fuel costs, plus the environmental benefit of no air emissions. The new terminal will serve as homeport for Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean International.

This new facility includes a mechanized passenger gangway systems providing comfortable passenger access from the second floor ticketing level, along with crew services. Guests will enjoy on-board airline check-in; 1000 secure parking spaces with complementary shuttle service to the terminal; a cell phone lot for convenient passenger pick-up; and a concierge offering: rental car service, luggage storage before and after cruises, plus reservations for local attractions, restaurants and hotels.

Seattle continues to offer convenience and value to cruise passengers with two downtown cruise terminals, and convenient air travel connections at nearby Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. It is estimated that 211 cruise ships will dock in Seattle this year offering 7-day and 14-day Alaska itineraries, plus 3 and 4-day cruises to beautiful British Columbia.

The cruise industry has a major impact on the local economy. In 2008, its annual business revenue totaled $274 million, producing 2,380 jobs and $8 million in annual state and local taxes. It is estimated that each time a homeport cruise ship docks in Seattle, the activity related to the call contributes about $1.7 million in area commerce. In 2008, Seattle hosted 210 vessels and a record-setting 886,039 passengers which moved Seattle to the top spot for Alaska cruises.

The Bell Street Cruise Terminal at Pier 66 will continue to serve Celebrity Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line.