The Port of Seattle is building a $16.5 million cruise terminal to
handle the overflow of business from the Bell Street Pier 66.
Seattle’s port has been burgeoning with new ships homeporting
there for Alaska cruises, especially over the past year as
companies sought new ports in drive-to markets.
The new terminal will be at Terminal 30, on the East Duwamish
Waterway. A vacant container terminal will be converted into a
passenger facility. The Port of Seattle Commissioners approved the
construction plan on Nov. 12.
In 2003, Seattle expects more than 100 cruise ships and 400,000
passengers to visit.
“That’s a dramatic increase from 1999, when we saw just six
ships and 7,000 passengers,” said Port of Seattle CEO M.R.
Dinsmore. “Cruise ships add a new element to our strong maritime
tradition in Seattle and help build our tourism and hospitality
industries as well.”
The new terminal will include a one-story, 90,000-square-foot
metal building with facilities for immigration and customs. On-site
parking will also be built. Terminal 30 has a pier long enough to
accommodate two cruise ships.
Previously, Pier 90 had been identified as a site for a second
cruise terminal. But Terminal 30 has several advantages over Pier
90, Dinsmore said.
“It’s close to the airport, downtown and Pioneer Square,” he
said. “It also has ample acreage for all of the activities that
support cruise operations.”
Port spokesman Mick Shultz said the new facility would not be as
upscale at Bell Street Pier 66, but would have a 15- to 20-year
design life. Plus, it will be ready quickly.
“There’s just not room now,” he said. “Bell Street has one
berth, and everyone wants a weekend slot.”
Next summer, Terminal 30 will be the homeport for vessels
operated by Holland America Line and Princess Cruises.
In 2004, Princess will base two new ships there, the Diamond
Princess and Sapphire Princess.