Cruise Port Tips Seattle Must-Know Things About Each Seattle Cruise Terminal

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.

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 is now set to expand with the development of Pier 46.

Currently, the Port of Seattle serves seven major cruise lines with itineraries to Alaska, Pacific Northwest, 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).

In addition, it is developing a third pier south of downtown which in future will handle the majority of the cruise ships. Completion of Terminal 46 is expected in time for the summer cruise season in 2020.

This southernmost terminal will be the closest to the Sea-Tac (Seattle.Tacoma) Airport for those arriving by air for their Alaskan cruise.

Cruise Lines Sailing from Port of Seattle

Although cruise sailings and ships vary from year to year, in 2019 Seattle was the home port for the following cruise lines and ships:

  • Carnival Cruise Line – Carnival Legend Pier 91
  • Celebrity Cruises – Celebrity Solstice Pier 91
  • Holland America Line –  Eurodam, Oosterdam and Amsterdam Pier 91
  • Princess Cruises – Ruby Princess and Star Princess Pier 91
  • Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas Pier 91
  • Norwegian Cruise Line – Norwegian Joy and Norwegian Bliss Pier 66
  • Oceania Cruises – Oceania Regatta Pier 66

Official addresses of Seattle cruise terminals

  • Smith Cove Cruise Terminal at Pier 91 – 2001 West Garfield Street, Seattle WA98119. Tel. 206-787-3911
  • Bell Street Terminal at Pier 66 – 2225 Alaskan Way South, Seattle WA98121. Tel. 206-787-3911
  • Pier 46 – 401 Alaskan Way, Seattle WA98104. Tel. 206-622-9130

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 at Sea.com or by calling at (954) 585-0575.

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. It provides a hassle-free means of managing your luggage which will be delivered to your airline and checked through to your final destination.

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
  • United

On the last 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 you luggage again until your final destination airport – easy peasy!

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

If you want to check the status of your luggage, you can track your bags via Port Valet website.  

All About Pier 91 (Smith Cove Terminal)

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

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 are no ATMs in either 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 3.30pm.

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. The Sea-Tac Airport is about 18 miles away and the journey takes about 26 minutes by car or taxi.

On arrival, 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 $40 per day for RVs and larger vehicles. There are 1000 spaces available and there is a complimentary shuttle transferring drivers to the cruise terminal from the parking garage.

You’ll find full information about Seattle cruise parking in this article on 15 Things to Know on Seattle Cruise Parking.

Getting there:

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.

After baggage drop, security and check-in, 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.

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 great waterfront view and restrooms are available. There are no ATMs in either terminal.

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 3.30pm.

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 $23 per day for cars. There is no capacity for RVs or larger vehicles to park as the garage has a maximum height of 6’6”.

Getting there:

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.

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 parking garage making it very easy to walk across to the garage from the cruise terminal. The same system also makes this the ideal place to drop off cruisers who are checking in.

Terminal 46

Terminal 46 is currently being redeveloped to provide a new cruise terminal as well as managing containers and cargo. It is currently used as a container terminal with 5 cranes, 2 berth and a depth of 50 feet on an 82 acre site.

In 2020-2022 some of the cargo will be moved to Terminal 5 to make way for the new mega cruise ships which will use this terminal.

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.

Check out the full details of the best hotels to stay in Seattle in our fact-packed article.

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.

Find out more about cruise parking near the Seattle cruise terminal in our informative article.

Taxis from the airport to Pier 66 (Bell Street Cruise Terminal) charge a flat rate of $40. Taxis to Pier 91 are at the regular metered rate.

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. Future cruises are likely to also depart from Pier 46 which is current under development.

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

Pier 66 currently serves Oceania Cruises and Norwegian Cruise lines.

The new Terminal 46 will handle cruise ships from 2020.

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 Lines 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)

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