Port of Seattle issues RFQ for new cruise facility

Currently a cargo berth, Terminal 46 is targeted for the new cruise facility (click to enlarge) Currently a cargo berth, Terminal 46 is targeted for the new cruise facility (click to enlarge) MAP: Port of Seattle

The Port of Seattle is seeking a partner to develop and operate a new single berth cruise facility at Terminal 46 by issuing a request for qualifications.

'Our principles ensure that this new cruise terminal will expand local economic benefit, and with the addition of our third shore power berth will make Seattle the national leader in promoting clean, electric shore power for our Alaska-bound cruises,' Port of Seattle Commission president Stephanie Bowman said.

Ready for 2022 cruise season

The cruise terminal RFQ is the first step in a partnership selection process that will support the completion of a new facility for the 2022 cruise season, though project delivery may change when a partner is chosen and design finalized.

Early estimates are that a cruise terminal could be constructed for around $200m. A public-private-partnership approach to build the terminal will have the port contributing half that cost. 

RFQ responses due April 18

Responses to the RFQ are due April 18. In late spring, the port plans to release a request for proposals to the RFQ shortlist. In early fall, the port will launch an environmental review and permitting process. The Port Commission is expected to approve a final agreement in fall/winter.

The opportunity to explore using 29 acres at the north end of Terminal 46 for a new cruise terminal and single berth has come forward now as the Northwest Seaport Alliance works to realize its strategic plan of realigning international maritime cargo operations at Terminal 5 near West Seattle and Terminal 18 on Harbor Island. The cruise terminal project is contingent on the successful authorization of a new lease at Terminal 5, which is scheduled for review at the Northwest Seaport Alliance’s March 19 meeting.

Funding plan

A public-private-partnership will have the port funding around $100m of the estimated $200m cruise project. 

The Port of Seattle Commission approved a funding plan for this project in its 2019-2023 budget blueprint last November. The five-year plan included some of the most significant and forward-looking maritime investments the port has made in a generation, each one strategically designed to build up the industries where Seattle’s competitive advantages intersect with global growth trends.

Community outreach meetings, open houses and tours will begin this spring and continue through project construction.

1m passenger moves annually

In 2019, Seattle’s cruise industry will serve more than 1m revenue passengers for the third year in a row.

Posted 14 March 2019

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Anne Kalosh

Editor, Seatrade Cruise News & Senior Associate Editor Seatrade Cruise Review