Must-Know Things About Each Seattle Cruise Terminal

Must know things about each Seattle cruise terminal with travel tips for your cruise vacation from the state of Washington.

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Although Seattle cruise port is not as busy as the main cruise ports in the USA, such as Miami and Port Everglades, it handles over one million cruise passengers.

Over the last 20 years, it has had 3,200 ship calls, handled 14 million passengers and continues to be ranked Best North American Home Port and Top Rated Destination US and Canada by Cruise Critic. 

Currently, the Port of Seattle serves eight major cruise lines with itineraries to Alaska, Pacific Northwest, Panama Canal, South America and West Coast USA, mainly during the summer months.

This busy cargo port handles cruises ships at two different piers along Elliott Bay, about three miles apart. These are Pier 91 (Smith Cove Terminal) and Pier 46 (Bell Street Terminal).

Plans for the new Pier 46 cruise terminal have been canceled post-Covid.

Cruise Lines Sailing from Port of Seattle

Although cruise sailings and ships vary from year to year, in 2022 Seattle is the home port for several cruise ships from the following cruise lines:

  • Carnival Cruise Line – Pier 91
  • Celebrity Cruises –  Pier 91
  • Holland America Line –   Pier 91
  • Princess Cruises – Pier 91
  • Royal Caribbean Pier 91
  • Norwegian Cruise Line – Pier 66
  • Oceania Cruises –  Pier 66

Special Assistance for Cruisers with Mobility Issues

There are 25 handicap parking spaces available at the Bell Street Pier garage. These need to be prebooked if you are leaving your car there for the duration of the cruise.

There is a Sky Bridge directly connecting the garage with the cruise terminal making it easy to reach your cruise on foot or by wheelchair.

If you need equipment rentals for your cruise, Special Needs at Sea is located at Pier 91. It offers wheelchair, scooter and oxygen rentals for those passengers going on a cruise.

Once booked, this equipment will be delivered directly to your stateroom for use throughout your cruise. Other equipment is also available. Reservations should be made online for special needs right here.

Seattle Port Valet

One service that is unique to cruisers at the Port of Seattle is the complimentary Port Valet. The port provides a luggage transfer service direct from the ship to the airport at the end of your cruise as part of their streamlined disembarkation process. This service is possible as Sea-Tac Airport and the Port of Seattle are run by the same authority.

The service from ship to airport is complimentary but you will be responsible for any applicable airline baggage fees such as overweight bags.

Pier 66 Seattle, Washington
Pier 66 Seattle, Washington (Photo Credit: Melissa Mayntz)

Port Valet provides a hassle-free means of managing your luggage after your cruise. It will be delivered to your airline and checked through to your final destination. All items are tracked for peace of mind.

Older guests will not have to struggle with heavy bags or look for porters to assist. The service allows you to explore Seattle before your flight without having luggage in tow and it allows you to skip baggage lines at the airport.

This service must be applied for while you are onboard enjoying your cruise. You need to complete the enrolment form in your stateroom – the earlier the better. If you have any questions about the Seattle Port Valet, visit the guest service desk onboard.

Participating airlines include:

  • Alaska
  • American
  • Delta
  • Horizon
  • JetBlue
  • Southwest
  • Spirit
  • United

On the final night of your cruise, your airline boarding pass and luggage tags will be delivered to your stateroom. Once labeled, put your bags outside your cabin during the evening and the crew will arrange for them to be transported to the airport and checked in with your airline.

You won’t see your luggage again until your final destination airport – easy peasy! If you want to check the status of your luggage, you can track your bags via the Port Valet website.  

The Seattle Port Valet is a great service that allows cruisers to enjoy sightseeing in Seattle without having their luggage in tow. It’s a very useful way to fill the time between disembarkation (usually around 8-9 am) and your flight check-in time later in the day.

Read Also: Must-Know Transportation Tips from Seattle Airport to Cruise Port

It is definitely worth making full use of. If you have time, you can enjoy a 3-hour Seattle City Tour by bus and see all the sights including the Space Needle. Kerry Park, Pioneer Square, Chinatown, and Queen Anne Hill with views of snow-capped Mount Rainier and boats on Puget Sound.

All About Pier 91 (Smith Cove Terminal)

Pier 91 (Smith Cove) is the main cruise terminal in the Port of Seattle. It currently serves Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean.

It is located at the north end of Seattle’s waterfront and is about 3 miles from the city center. The terminal address is Smith Cove Cruise Terminal at Pier 91, 2001 West Garfield Street, Seattle WA98119.

Seattle Pier 91
Seattle Pier 91 (Photo Credit: Cascade Creatives / Shutterstock)

On arrival, cruise passengers may be offered soft drinks while waiting to board but there are no cafes actually at the cruise terminal. However, there is plenty of seating with a great waterfront view and restrooms are available. There is also an ATM for passengers to use at the terminal.

Passenger services at Pier 91 include a rental car kiosk onsite, a drop-off point for cruise passengers and a ground transportation hub for buses and taxis.

Porters are available to assist with luggage and can easily be spotted with their red caps. There is a baggage storage service at the cruise terminal for holding your bags securely before and after your cruise. However, all bags must be reclaimed the same day before 3.30 pm.

The cruise terminal concierge will provide local city information and directions regarding restaurants and attractions nearby. The city shops, Space Center, Chihuly Glass Garden and Space Needle are just 10 minutes away by car, bus or taxi. Seattle’s Sea-Tac Airport is about 18 miles away and the journey takes about 30-40 minutes by car or taxi.

Seattle Pier 91
Seattle Pier 91 (Photo Credit: digidreamgrafix / Shutterstock)

On arrival at Pier 91 cruise terminal, all passengers are serviced at one general check-in desk. There is no separate entrance or line for cruise passengers booking a suite, unlike Pier 66.

Parking is available at Pier 91 for $27 per day for cars and $50 and up per day for RVs and larger vehicles. There are 1,000 spaces available and there is a complimentary shuttle transferring drivers to the cruise terminal from the parking garage.

Parking can be reserved online ahead of time or you can turn up and hope for the best. RV parking must be reserved and prepaid ahead of time. We’ve got a full detailed article on Seattle cruise parking too!

Getting to Pier 91 Smith Cove Cruise Terminal

The I-5 Interstate is the main route to Seattle from Canada or from the south. Take exit 167 and drive along Mercer Street. Follow the signs to Madison Street and Garfield Street to reach Pier 91 Smith Cove cruise terminal.

Pickup from Pier 91

Cruisers who are being picked up from Pier 91 (Smith Cove Terminal) after their cruise should advise family and friends to use the cell phone waiting lot. It is well signposted.

Pier 66 (Bell Street Pier Cruise Terminal)

Pier 66 currently serves Oceania Cruises and Norwegian Cruise lines. The terminal is part of an 11-acre complex right on Seattle’s waterfront close to Pike Place Market, the Big Wheel, Seattle Aquarium and the downtown district. It is about 15 miles north of Sea-Tac Airport.

The terminal address is: Bell Street Terminal at Pier 66, 2225 Alaskan Way South, Seattle WA98121

After baggage drop, security and check-in at Pier 66, cruise passengers may be asked to wait for boarding, especially if they arrive ahead of time. There is a separate area for VIP and suite passengers as well as a general waiting area.

Pier 66, Seattle

Passengers may be offered soft drinks while waiting to board but there are no cafes actually at the cruise terminal. There is plenty of seating with a great waterfront view and restrooms are available.

Porters are available to assist with luggage and can easily be spotted with their red caps. There is a baggage storage service at the cruise terminal for luggage storage before and after your cruise. However, all bags must be reclaimed the same day before 3.30 pm.

The cruise terminal concierge will provide any local city information regarding restaurants and attractions nearby.

Parking is available onsite at Pier 66. The covered garage has 1700 spaces and charges $24 per day for cars. Reserved parking is recommended through Republic Parking Northwest and the cost is $23 per day when booked in advance. There is no capacity for RVs or larger vehicles to park as the garage has a maximum height of 6’6”.

Getting to Pier 66 Bell Street Cruise Terminal

The I-5 Interstate is the main route to Seattle from Canada or from the south. Take exit 164A and follow the signs to Madison Street and Alaskan Way to reach Pier 66 cruise terminal.

Seattle Cruise Parking
Photo Credit: Darryl Brooks / Shutterstock

If you are arriving by air, there is a Link Light Rail service connecting Sea-Tac Airport with downtown Seattle. There is a station at Pioneer Square which is close to Pier 66. The cost of a one-way ticket is just $2 and the journey takes about 35 minutes.

Pickup from Pier 66

Cruisers who are being picked up from Pier 66 Bell Street Pier after their cruise should advise family and friends to use the parking garage across the street from the pier.

There is a Sky Bridge connecting the cruise ship with the covered parking garage making it very easy to walk across to the garage from the cruise terminal. There is also a complimentary shuttle between the parking lot and the cruise terminal. The same system also makes this the ideal place to drop off cruisers who are checking in.

Tips for Cruises from Seattle

There is a good choice of hotels in downtown Seattle. Some are just a short walk from Pier 66 making it very easy to enjoy a pre- or post-cruise stay and enjoy the sights of downtown Seattle including the Space Needle Observation Tower, Pike Place Market and Pike Place, home of the original Starbucks.

There are fewer hotels around Pier 91 but it is only about three miles from downtown. A good tip is to stay in a hotel close to Pier 66 and enjoy the shops, restaurants and downtown attractions during your stay. When it’s time to depart on your cruise, it is a short taxi or Uber drive to Pier 91.

Norwegian Encore in Seattle
Photo Courtesy: Norwegian Cruise Line

Cruise parking is surprisingly expensive around Seattle cruise port. This is due to the port being in a prime downtown location where land is highly valued.

Also, the cruise season in Seattle is busiest during the summer months so parking lots lie empty in winter. In order to be profitable, they need to charge higher rates than cruise parking lots that operate year-round.

Seattle Yellow Cabs from the airport to Pier 66 (Bell Street Cruise Terminal) charge between $40 and $60. Taxis to Pier 91 are three miles further and are charged at the regular metered rate, depending on traffic.

Seattle Cruise Terminal FAQs

Where do the cruise ships dock in Seattle?

Cruise ships currently dock at either Pier 91 (Smith Cove Terminal) or Terminal 66 (Bell Street Pier), depending on the cruise line.

Pier 91 (Smith Cove) currently serves Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity, Holland America, Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean. Pier 66 currently serves Oceania Cruises and Norwegian Cruise lines.

How far is Seattle Airport from the cruise terminal?

Terminal 66 (Bell Street Pier) is about 15 miles north of Sea-Tac Airport in Seattle. Allow about 22 minutes for the journey by taxi or car and about 26 minutes by Link Light Rail.

Pier 91 (Smith Cove) is about 18 miles north of Sea-Tac Airport in Seattle. The journey takes about 26 minutes by car or taxi.

Where does Norwegian Cruise Line depart from in Seattle?

Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) departs from Pier 66 (Bell Street Terminal) in Seattle, close to downtown.

What cruise terminal does Holland America use in Seattle?

Holland America cruises sail from Pier 91 (Smith Cove Terminal)

Gillian Birch
Gillian Birchhttps://www.cruisehive.com/author/gillian

Gillian Birch is a full-time travel writer and author of 12 travel books. British educated with a diploma in journalism she has traveled the world, writing about her experiences with wonderful clarity and eyewitness detail. She uses her personal journals and memories to write about her many cruise experiences around the Caribbean, Mediterranean, trans-Atlantic, Norwegian Fjords, Panama Canal and South America including Cape Horn.

Find out more about us here.

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