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Seattle, NCLH usher in upgraded cruise terminal at Pier 66

Toasting the improvements - from left, Port of Seattle Commission president Tom Albro, commissioner Courtney Gregoire, NCLH's Howard Sherman, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, Visit Seattle executive director Tom Norwalk, commissioner Stephanie Bowman, executive secretary Seattle Building & Construction Trades Council Monty Anderson, commissioner John Creighton and Port of Seattle interim ceo Dave Soike Toasting the improvements - from left, Port of Seattle Commission president Tom Albro, commissioner Courtney Gregoire, NCLH's Howard Sherman, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, Visit Seattle executive director Tom Norwalk, commissioner Stephanie Bowman, executive secretary Seattle Building & Construction Trades Council Monty Anderson, commissioner John Creighton and Port of Seattle interim ceo Dave Soike (Photo: Don Wilson/Port of Seattle)

The Port of Seattle and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings showcased the newly renovated Bell Street Cruise Terminal at Pier 66 in a grand celebration Tuesday. The terminal features three times the square footage within the same walls of the prior facility and is custom designed for Norwegian Bliss, which will become the largest cruise ship on the West Coast when it debuts for the 2018 Alaska season.

An estimated $30m in improvements were made to the terminal as part of a joint agreement between NCLH and the port, which shared the cost.

'Together, we have increased usage capacity by more than 300%, created a plush new lounge for suites guests, enlarged the space for all guests awaiting embarkation and much more, allowing for the vacation experience to begin as soon as our guests step foot inside the terminal by providing a seamless, comfortable and stylish ship-to-shore experience,' said NCLH's Howard Sherman, evp on-board revenue and destination development.

The new and expanded VIP lounge and passenger check-in area offers views of the ship and Elliott Bay. Other improvements include a modified elevated passenger boarding bridge and a new gangway that will arrive early next year. That new 140-foot gangway will have floor-to-ceiling transparent walls, providing stunning views.

'We have a long history with Norwegian from when we first started in the Alaska cruise market over 15 years ago, and we are thrilled with their unprecedented investment today,' Port of Seattle commissioner Stephanie Bowman said.

Bermello Ajamil & Partners, which designed the original facility, led the redevelopment.

In August 2015, the Port of Seattle signed a historic, 15-year lease with NCLH, securing berth space for Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises ships in Seattle for the full term of the lease and providing passenger volume guarantees estimated to bring $73m of revenue to the port. NCLH will manage cruise operations at Pier 66 and have priority rights to the berth during the cruise season. The port will operate the facilities outside the cruise season.

The 15-year business commitment is estimated to generate $2.3bn in total revenue for the region, nearly 900 jobs and over $65m in state and local taxes.

Posted 23 May 2017

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Anne Kalosh

US editor of Seatrade Cruise Review and Seatrade Cruise News

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