The Port of Seattle 2011 cruise season finished stronger than expected, with ten homeported vessels and nine ports of call making up the 196 ship calls at the Port of Seattle.
A total of 885,949 revenue passengers moved through the port's two cruise terminals, maintaining the consistently high volumes demonstrated over the past five years while solidifying Seattle as a port of origin for Alaska-bound cruises.
"Our cruise business means jobs for folks in King Co and across Washington State," said Port of Seattle Commission President Bill Bryant. "Each ship call leaves behind about $1.9 million, and that's good economic news for our region."
The local cruise industry is estimated to have generated $425 million in business revenue, $18.9 million in state and local taxes and 4,447 jobs in 2011. Those numbers are expected to increase with the addition of Disney Cruise Line home-porting in Seattle for the 2012 cruise season, which will feature the Disney Wonder, scheduled for 15 voyages to the Alaska market.
The southeast of Alaska continues to be a very popular destination for the cruise vacation experience. Ships sailing from Seattle continue to be full, averaging 109 percent of passenger capacity, which is a result of having multiple guests sharing a cabin- a real value for families cruising together.
Cruise lines that called Seattle this year included Carnival Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity cruises all offering their own unique cruise experience.
Much of the popularity of Alaska cruising is the beautiful and well-appointed ships the major cruise lines deploy in Seattle to the Alaska market. The wide range of sailings departing from Seattle and convenient air travel connections also play important roles.
The Port of Seattle and Cruise Terminals of America (CTA), which operates both cruise facilities, remain focused on efficient terminal operations that maintain vessel schedules. The port, CTA and the cruise lines have worked hard to build successful partnerships with the community and regulatory agencies and those partnerships are vital to the continued success of the industry in Seattle.
"Robust cruise business has been a critical component of Seattle's tourism success for the past decade, thanks to the Port of Seattle's homeport investment," said Tom Norwalk, President and CEO of Seattle's Convention and Visitors Bureau. "The 2011 season was strong and we look forward to yet greater growth in 2012."