Port of Seattle: All homeported cruise ships to use shore power from 2027

The Port of Seattle became the first port in the U.S. to independently require that 100% of all cruise vessels homeported in Seattle be shore power capable and use shore power.

Port of Seattle

As informed, the order passed by the Port of Seattle Commission on June 11, 2024, will take effect in the 2027 cruise season, three years before the port’s previous goal of 2030 of universal shore power use.

“We applaud the Port of Seattle’s leadership to move cruise vessels off of dirty fossil fuels,” said Jayne Stevenson, Climate Policy Associate for Pacific Environment.

“Ocean going vessels, including cruise ships, are the #1 maritime polluter in the Puget Sound area. We urge the state of Washington to implement a statewide shore power policy to eliminate air and water pollution from all ocean going vessels at the ports and protect the health and well-being of port communities.”

“We appreciate the leadership shown by the Port of Seattle to move ocean going ships off of fossil fuels by committing to transition 100% of homeported cruise vessels to shore power. And, we call on other ports to follow the leadership of the Port of Seattle to move ports and shipping to a zero-emissions future,” Fern Uennatornwaranggoon, Climate Campaign Director for Ports at Pacific Environment, stated.

According to the port, plugging into shore power reduces diesel emissions from cruise vessels at berth by 80% on average.

Furthermore, during the 2023 season, cruise ships using shore power avoided emitting 2,700 metric tons of greenhouse gases and 0.75 metric tons of diesel particulate matter.

The port noted that it is finalizing the electrification of Pier 66 and plans to connect cruise ships to shore power there this summer.

This milestone will make shore power available at all three Seattle cruise berths, which will achieve the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy goal to electrify all cruise berths by 2030, six years early, according to the port officials. It will make Seattle one of the first cruise ports to offer shore power at all of its multiple berths.

In 2004, the Port of Seattle, through investments by Carnival Corporation, became the first homeport in North America to offer shore power at two cruise berths. Carnival and other cruise operators continue to use those infrastructure investments, with 66% of cruise calls equipped to plug in.

The port also continued to work in partnership with cruise ports in Alaska, Victoria, BC, and Vancouver, BC, and the cruise industry to explore the world’s first cruise-focused green corridor from Seattle to Alaska.

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Green corridors, through collaboration across sectors, create the technological, economic, and regulatory feasibility needed for zero greenhouse gas emission ships to succeed. First Mover partners aim to leverage and support each other’s decarbonization work already underway and bring those resources and technological advancements to this focused and coordinated effort.

In 2021, the Seattle Port adopted near-term implementation plans to identify, prioritize, and focus resources on actions that help achieve their collective zero-emission vision.

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