In April, the Port of Seattle suspended its planning for a new cruise terminal to serve the Alaska market and now, following market analysis of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is cancelling its request for industry proposals (RFP) for a joint investment to build and operate a new cruise terminal at Terminal 46.

Prior to the pandemic, the Port of Seattle was forecasting a record year for 2020 with 233 cruise vessels scheduled to sail from Seattle. The cruise industry supports 5,500 jobs and provides nearly $900 million in economic activity for the local region.

Port of Seattle Executive Director Steve Metruck, commented on the decision to cancel the RFP: ‘We continue to work with public health partners and cruise stakeholders to determine the enhanced procedures that will make our cruise passenger terminals and facilities safe for the community, passengers and crew in 2021. 

‘The last two decades of growth indicate that there is durable demand for Seattle cruises. When we can, we will convert that demand into more business opportunities and jobs for our region.’

The Port of Seattle and Northwest Seaport Alliance say they will ‘continue with prior projects to make Terminal 46 more sustainable and durable for long-term general maritime use’.

The port was an early adopter of onshore power for ships at berth and currently provides this at two cruise berths at Terminal 91.

The port said it will prepare a recommendation for the Cruise Terminal Project ‘when there is greater certainty about demand for Port of Seattle cruise services’.