Cruise season now underway
The 2008 cruise season got underway April 1 and will bring new ships and more economic benefits to the region, says the Port of Seattle.
The cruise business has grown exponentially since 1999, when just six ships and 6,600 passengers arrived. 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.