Seattle closes successful season – expects growth in 2023
The Port of Seattle marked the end of its successful 2022 cruise season, announcing a 6% growth in passenger volume compared to the last full pre-Covid season of 2019, with 1.28 million revenue passengers, or 640,000 individual travellers passing through the Port of Seattle for an Alaskan cruise.
Strong health and safety provisions played a major role in the success of Seattle’s cruise season. The Port and cruise lines adopted COVID prevention and response protocols prior to the season to ensure protection for passengers, crew, and the local community.
Cruise passenger spending benefits local businesses. Seattle and the Seattle southside region saw dramatic recoveries in tourism activity this year. Year over year hotel occupancy in downtown Seattle showed improvements of 67 percent in May and 63 percent in June. Overall, cruising from Seattle supports nearly $900 million (£756,302*) a year in local economic activity and approximately 5,500 local jobs.
Looking ahead to 2023
Demand for cruises to Alaska and stays in Seattle and Washington State remain very high, indicating strong economic activity potential for the 2023 season. While slightly fewer ships will sail from Seattle in 2023, ship occupancy will continue to increase to an estimated 85 percent next year. Preliminary forecasts call for 1.3 million revenue passengers (650,000 guests) with the season potentially stretching from April 15 to October 30. This schedule may change as cruise lines refine itineraries.
First movers for a Cruise-led Green Corridor
While the full return of cruise has significant economic benefits, the Port is equally focused on its goal to be the greenest and most energy-efficient port in North America. Earlier this year, the Port of Seattle — alongside Alaskan and Canadian port communities, cruise industry partners, and environmental experts — launched a collaborative effort to explore the feasibility of a fully decarbonised maritime green corridor.
The concept of shipping Green Corridors came out of Conference of Parties (COP) 26 meetings in Glasgow. The first-ever cruise Green Corridor is aimed at accelerating maritime decarbonisation through the deployment of low and zero greenhouse gas emission solutions between Alaska, British Columbia, and Washington.
Throughout the year the Port continued its industry-leading work on environmental initiatives related to water quality, electrification, and more. Additional information on cruise environmental, economic development, and community initiatives can be found on the Port’s cruise sustainability blog.