The Port of Seattle is the ideal launch point for cruises to Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. These terminals, in the top-rated city of Seattle, serve seven major cruise lines including Carnival, Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), Princess Cruises, Oceania Cruises, and Royal Caribbean. Over one million passengers will set sail on over 200 vessels this year from this location – making it the busiest cruise port on the west coast of the US. Here are some tips for embarking and disembarking for a Seattle cruise:
1. Bell Street Cruise Terminal at Pier 66
The first of the two cruise ship piers at the Port of Seattle is the Bell Street Cruise Terminal at Pier 66 – or simply ‘Pier 66’ in local shorthand. This is a multi-use facility only 15 minutes from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) and within walking distance of downtown. It has undergone a multi-million dollar upgrade recently, and offers a VIP passenger lounge that overlooks the waterfront with the Olympic Mountains in the background, as well as an improved baggage conveyor system (to speed up your luggage retrieval), and a new escalator system (to speed up handling you!).
This pier serves NCL and Oceania Cruises, and has a large, covered, secured parking facility. Just a few blocks to the south, the Lenora Street Bridge will take you directly to the historic Pike Place Market and other famous Seattle attractions.
2. Smith Cove Cruise Terminal at Pier 91
The second embarkation and disembarkation point for cruises at the Port of Seattle is ‘Pier 91.’ This location serves Carnival, Celebrity, Holland America, Princess, and Royal Caribbean International lines. It is located 10 minutes to the north of downtown, and still convenient to all the famous attractions such as the Space Needle and Seattle Aquarium. Parking facilities will accommodate regular passenger vehicles as well as oversized and RV vehicles. You can also get a complimentary taxi voucher to Pier 66 if your cruise is departing from there.
(For my fellow eco-tourism nerds, Pier 91 was the first in North America to build infrastructure for two ships to connect to the city’s grid – or cold ironing with engines off – to reduce emissions!)
3. Premier Services
Unlike some other ports, you can expect the convenience of premier services at the Port of Seattle. For example, concierge luggage services will store your suitcases following disembarkation if you want to take time to visit the beautiful Seattle sights. Also, you may be able to print boarding passes, check luggage, and check-in for your airline flight while onboard ship. (Check with your cruise line for this option.)
Another nice service at the Seattle cruise Port is free parking for your family and friends who are picking you up after your cruise. It’s called the ‘Cell Phone Lot’ where they will receive a call when you are ready for your ride at the terminal. Another exceptional premier service at this cruise port location assists those with special needs. You can directly arrange the rental of wheelchairs and other equipment, which will be taken directly to your stateroom and picked up at the end of your cruise.
The Pier 66 map is HERE.
And, see the Pier 91 map HERE.