Seattle gets cruise line boost
SEATTLE - The Norwegian Sky arrived here, loaded up, then headed north, ushering Seattle into the lucrative Alaska cruise market.
The new, 2,000-passenger Norwegian Sky left the Bell Street Pier about 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Another hotel-sized liner, the 2,200-passenger Vision of the Seas, will arrive May 15.
The hotel-size ships are the first of their kind to home port in Seattle and will lead an increase in luxury cruise sailings from six visits last year to 35 this summer.
Seattle will be the only U.S. home port regularly serving the Alaska luxury market, nudging into the lucrative and growing business dominated by Vancouver, British Columbia.
An estimated 120,000 passengers will pass through the Bell Street terminal this year. Last year, there were 6,115. The two ships alone are expected to bring 570 new jobs, $25 million in business revenue and $2.8 million in state and local taxes.