Port of Seattle expects record outcomes for local economy as cruise season begins

by Karina Vargas, KOMO News Reporter

FILE - The Norwegian Bliss cruise ship is seen on the Seattle waterfront. (KOMO News  file photo)

SEATTLE — The 2024 cruise season has kicked off Saturday with the first cruise ship, the Norwegian Bliss, arriving on Pier 66. The Port of Seattle said they are hopeful this will bring a boost to the economy and tourism to Seattle.

Not only are people excited for the start of the cruise season, but some business managers along the waterfront said this is crucial for their business to strive.

The Port of Seattle expects this season to bring record-breaking numbers with a nearly $900 million dollar boost to the economy and provide more than 5,500 hundred jobs.

RELATED | Cruise season starts in Seattle this weekend after record-setting year

"The jobs, people that will be put back to work. people coming to our downtown, that is the heart of why we invest in the cruise season," said Stephanie Jones Tebbins with the Port of Seattle.

The Port of Seattle is also working to become the greenest port in North America and to phase out seaport-related emissions by 2050.

Restaurants along the waterfront like ''Anthony’s Pier 66" are getting ready to welcome more customers through their doors thanks to cruises that stop here.

“It increases our sales by twofold we’re allowed to open all of our restaurants this time of year because of the cruise ships so we definitely look forward to it," said Willie Mitchell, who manages the restaurant.

The Port of Seattle said they expect more than 800,000 passengers and 275 ship calls this cruise season. Some of those passengers tell KOMO News they came early to explore what Seattle has to offer.

RELATED | Will Seattle see more cruise ships 'plugged in' for the 2024 season?

“I imagine people coming here will boost the economy because we came in a day early just to see Seattle before we boarded the ship," said Sharon Black, who was getting ready for the cruise.

The Port of Seattle also hopes to bring more passengers this year. Last year, the Port of Seattle reported they saw 1.7 million passengers, about 400,000 more than in 2022.

Industry leaders said cruise season is the driving force behind Seattle’s economic recovery at $4 million per sailing and $920 million per season.

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Fincantieri Lands Norwegian Cruise Line Order for Four Next-Gen Cruise Ships

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April 9, 2024

© NAN / Adobe Stock

© NAN / Adobe Stock

Fincantieri has received a highly significant order from Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings for the construction of four new next-generation cruise ships.

The order entails the construction of two cruise ships for the Regent Seven Seas Cruises and two for the Oceania Cruises brands respectively.

The ships designated for Regent Seven Seas Cruises, scheduled for delivery in 2026 and 2029, will boast a gross tonnage of 77,000 tons and accommodate approximately 850 passengers.

Meanwhile, the vessels for Oceania Cruises, set for deliveries in 2027 and 2028, will feature a gross tonnage of 86,000 tons and accommodate around 1,450 passengers. The contract for these four new units is now in effect and has already been secured through financing.

Additionally, Fincantieri has signed a letter of intent with the same shipowner to explore the construction of four additional units.

These vessels, slated for delivery in 2030, 2032, 2034, and 2036, will be the largest ever built for the Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) brand, with a gross tonnage of approximately 200,000 tons and the capacity to accommodate around 5,000 passengers each.

The four-ship NCL order is expected to replace a separate, effective, two-ship order for Oceania Cruises initially placed to secure availability with the shipyard. The four-ship order for NCL is still being finalized and is subject to financing. Delivery for the second Oceania Cruises ship is contractually scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2028, but may be delayed to 2029, with all expected delivery dates being preliminary and subject to change, according to Fincantieri.

“We are particularly proud of this impressive new agreement and the partnership with a historic and prestigious client like Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, confirming a continuity of strategic relationships that we consider a great industrial value,” said Pierroberto Folgiero, CEO and Managing Director of Fincantieri stated: “

“We are excited to continue our partnership with Fincantieri on this strategic new-ship order for the future of our company. This will ensure the steady introduction of cutting-edge vessels into our fleet and solidify our long-term growth,” added Harry Sommer, President and Chief Executive Officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings.

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