COVID-19 Crisis Prompts Port of Seattle to Delay Cruise Season

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Seattle announced Tuesday that it will delay the launch of cruise season until the public health emergency is resolved.

“At a time when Governor Inslee has ordered all Washingtonians to ‘Stay Home, Stay Healthy,’ we must consider public health and safety above all else,” said Port of Seattle Commission President Peter Steinbrueck. “The eventual return of our cruise season is something we fully expect as an important contribution to living wage jobs, local small businesses, and our region’s economic recovery. We also recognize the critical role Seattle cruise plays in supporting the Alaska economy for over 20 years.”

It’s a blow for the region, where a full cruise season creates almost $900 million statewide and supports 5,500 jobs.

“The loss and impact of these sailings will ripple through the tourism industry and our regional economy – however, we understand the Port of Seattle’s hard but necessary decision,” said Tom Norwalk, Visit Seattle President and CEO. “We appreciate the Port’s commitment to re-evaluate the 2020 cruise season as the situation evolves, and Visit Seattle will help lead the economic recovery and work in tandem with the Port of Seattle.”

By Sarah Spangler