Centrally located along Washington's Pacific Northwest coast, Seattle is the starting point for hundreds of memorable cruise vacations each year. Despite the fact that the city is still growing as a known cruise port since the new facilities opened in May 2003, it is rapidly gaining popularity for cruise lines interested in a convenient United States departure port for northern itineraries.
Cruises from Seattle
More than 700,000 passengers depart from Seattle each year on more than 175 different sailings. While the port currently services only Alaskan cruises, five distinctive lines offer a wide range of cruise experiences:
- Celebrity Cruises: A combination mainstream and luxury line, Celebrity offers every passenger the star treatment.
- Holland America Cruise Line: Unequivocally the leader for Alaskan voyages, Holland America also offers a wide range of Alaska cruise tour options for extended getaways.
- Norwegian Cruise Line: Norwegian is a mainstream line providing unique voyages at affordable rates for cruisers of all experience levels.
- Royal Caribbean Cruises: One of the largest fleets in the world, Royal Caribbean has established a number of Alaskan voyages for passengers interested in active and innovative ships.
- Princess Cruises: With superior service and royal flair, Princess ships offer a personable yet distinctive atmosphere suitable for any cruise vacation.
The port facilities are actually divided between two terminals. The Bell Street terminal at Pier 66 services Norwegian and Celebrity ships, while Holland America, Royal Caribbean, and Princess cruise ships dock at Terminal 30 slightly to the south.
Despite the fact that cruises departing from Seattle exclusively sail to Alaska, there is still a great variety of itineraries available to suit different passengers' needs. Voyage lengths range from 7-15 days or longer, depending on the specific route (northbound or southbound), shore excursions, and pre- and post- cruise tour options. Passengers may visit any number of ports, and scenic cruising through iceberg- and glacier-studded waters is a highlight of any Alaskan cruise. To discover which itinerary best suits your travel plans, consult an experienced cruise travel agent.
The city offers many attractions for visitors whose ultimate destination is a cruise. The cruise terminals are conveniently located in the heart of downtown, just minutes from the iconic Space Needle and the exclusive restaurants and shopping opportunities of the 11-acre Bell Street Pier complex. A nearby rooftop plaza offers free telescopes for expansive views of the picturesque city, or tourists may choose to visit the Aquarium or the Odyssey Maritime Discovery Center with more than 40 interactive exhibits. For sports fans, both Seahawks Stadium (home of the NFL team Seattle Seahawks) and Safeco Field (home of the Seattle Mariners baseball team) are just north of Terminal 30 and within easy walking distance from either terminal.
Getting to the Ports
Located in the city's downtown, both terminals are approximately 20-30 minutes from the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Because most Alaskan voyages involve airfare in one or both directions, it is useful to note that the airport is actually about 15 miles from the cruise terminals, but cab service is plentiful. Parking garages are available for $12 per day, and passengers can make online parking reservations to ease the congestion and increase the convenience of their travel plans. For passengers arriving early to explore the city, the port offers a concierge service to hold baggage for a nominal fee.
For more information about cruise arrangements from this northern port, visit the facility's official website. Passengers can also find specific information about each terminal by writing to their respective locations:
Bell Street Pier Cruise Terminal
2225 Alaskan Way
Seattle, WA 98121
Terminal 30 Cruise Facility
2431 East Marginal Way South
Seattle, WA 98121