Carnival Signs Special Agreement With Port Of Seattle

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On June 25, 2024, the Port of Seattle Commission approved a 10-year berthing agreement with Carnival Corporation that gives the cruise brand preferential privileges at Seattle, Washington’s two dedicated cruise terminals

The deal will take effect this year, 2024, and will last until 2033, with the option to extend the agreement for five additional years, which would then conclude the arrangement in 2038.

The two cruise ports – Pier 91 (Smith Cove Terminal) and Pier 66 (Bell Street Terminal) – are only three miles apart. Between them, the terminals service eight major cruise lines and millions of visitors – with 291 ship calls and more than 1.7 million total visitors passing through the terminals in 2023.  

All that said, Carnival Corporation’s access to preferential berthing for its 27 cruise ships is a huge win. Seattle is a particularly important port to the cruise company during the busy Alaska season, and this summer has been no exception. 

Currently, Carnival Luminosa and Carnival Spirit are homeporting in Seattle, from where they are each offering 7-night Alaska cruises out of Pier 91 – which is the terminal that primarily services Carnival and Carnival-owned brands. 

“Our guests love Seattle’s stunning natural beauty, urban charm, and eclectic assortment of attractions, and as our gateway to Alaska, one of our top markets globally. The Port of Seattle has long been a valued partner in our mutual ongoing success,” said Josh Weinstein, chief executive officer of Carnival Corporation & plc.

The special privileges also extend to Carnival Cruise Line’s sister companies, including Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, and Cunard Line, which also have been known to homeport in Seattle during the Alaska season. 

New Agreement Benefits Economy And Sustainability

One of the key reasons the agreement between the Port of Seattle and Carnival Corporation came to be is the benefit to the local economy. 

Over the course of 10 years, the partnership is expected to bring in around $186 million (USD) – bringing no less than 550,000 passengers to the seaport city each year. If the deal is extended to the full 15 years, the total revenue could grow to approximately $273 million. 

As part of the agreement, the cruise line will also promote overnight stays for before and after sailings to further benefit the local tourism and hospitality industries. But perhaps even more impactful is the impact the partnership will have on the environment.

Carnival Luminosa in Seattle
Carnival Luminosa in Seattle (Photo Courtesy: Carnival Cruise Line)

In 2006, the Port of Seattle made history as the first cruise port in North America to offer shore power at two separate cruise berths, largely thanks to investments from the Carnival Corporation. 

Today, 66% of visiting cruise ships are equipped to use the more environmentally-friendly power alternative – with the port setting a mandate for all visiting cruise ships to be able to plug into shore power by 2027

Carnival is helping to make this happen by seeking commercial agreements with other cruise lines to plug their ships into Carnival’s existing shore power assets at Terminal 91. 

Last year, in 2023, ships from Carnival Corporation also represented 100% of the shore power connections in the port across just over 100 calls – with the cruise brand committing seven ships with shore power capabilities to the region in 2025. 

“For the past 20 years, we have worked closely with the Port of Seattle to pioneer shore power and secure the cruise industry’s role as a vital economic engine for the region. We are proud to continue our tradition of teamwork with this new agreement that will help further our economic, social, and environmental contributions to the region,” said Weinstein. 

Additionally, the port and Carnival will collaborate on pilot programs to study the use of biofuel in cruise ship operations – a greener alternative to more traditional fuel sources – and to develop a responsible sourcing pilot program. 

Read Also: Seattle Cruise Port: Terminals, Transportation and What’s Nearby

As part of the sourcing program, Carnival ships have promised to partner with local suppliers to support small, diverse, disadvantaged, and tribal businesses that are located in Washington.

Last but not least, Carnival has agreed to support Seattle’s goal of creating the world’s first cruise-focused Green Corridor from Seattle to Alaska. 

As Carnival’s vessels sail to Alaska, Victoria and Vancouver, British Columbia, and back to Seattle, they will input data to a dashboard that will help the port track passenger, environmental, and economic impact metrics.

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