Photo: Illustration. Image Courtesy: Port of Seattle

Port of Seattle Looking for Partner for New Cruise Terminal Project

The US Port of Seattle has issued a request for qualifications (RFQ) to secure a partner that will develop and operate a new, single berth cruise facility at Terminal 46.

In addition, the port has adopted principles to ensure that a growing cruise business increases local economic benefit and maintains the port’s leadership as the most environmentally progressive cruise homeport in North America.

“Our principles ensure that this new cruise terminal will expand local economic benefit, and with the addition of our third shore power berth will make Seattle the national leader in promoting clean, electric shore power for our Alaska-bound cruises,” Port of Seattle Commission President Stephanie Bowman said.

The cruise terminal RFQ is the first step in a partnership selection process that will support the completion of a new facility for the 2022 cruise season.

Early estimates are that a cruise terminal could be constructed for around USD 200 million. A public-private-partnership approach to build the terminal will have the port contributing half that cost. Responses to the RFQ are due April 18.

The opportunity to explore using 29 acres at the north end of Terminal 46 for a new cruise terminal and single berth has come forward now as the Northwest Seaport Alliance works to realize its strategic plan of realigning international maritime cargo operations at Terminal 5 near West Seattle and Terminal 18 on Harbor Island. The cruise terminal project is contingent on the successful authorization of a new lease at Terminal 5 which is scheduled for review at the Northwest Seaport Alliance’s March 19 meeting.

This year, the port celebrates 20 years of service as a cruise homeport. Since 1999, the Port of Seattle has become the US West Coast’s premier cruise port for Alaska cruises. In 2019, Seattle’s cruise industry will serve more than 1 million revenue passengers for the third year in a row.

The Port of Seattle is said to be the most environmentally progressive cruise homeport in North America, with the first cruise homeport in the United States with two shorepower berths, and may be the only cruise homeport in the United States with three shorepower berths when Terminal 46 is completed.

Seattle is also the first and only cruise homeport in North America with a voluntary clean water agreement between cruise lines and regulators. Emissions from ocean-going vessels, including cruise ships entering Puget Sound, have decreased by more than 67 percent over the last 10 years.

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