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Seattle eyes 2015 cruise increase after 2014 passes expectations

Don Wilson/Port of Seattle
Crown Princess - one of the new vessels expected for 2015, shown here during its Sept. 15 transit call
Port of Seattle cruise terminals handled 179 vessel calls and 823,780 revenue passengers, more than projected, in 2014. The port anticipates 192 calls and 895,055 revenue passengers next year.

Port commissioner John Creighton called the cruise industry a major economic driver for the Puget Sound region. Each call is estimated to bring in $2.2m for the local economy.

For the seventh straight year, Seattle's cruise business exceeded 800,000 passengers. 'We remain committed to growing that number, as well as getting cruise-going visitors to stay here a few extra days,' Creighton said.

Next year, with the addition of Holland America Line's Statendam every other Monday, there will be seven cruise lines with 11 homeporting ships offering seven-, 10- and 14-day Alaska cruises.

Seattle expects several new ships and itineraries.

Carnival Legend will sail Tuesdays and Celebrity Solstice on Fridays from Pier 91.

HAL operates weekly cruises on Westerdam and Amsterdam with Saturday and Sunday departures from Pier 91. Fourteen-day Alaska itineraries on Statendam leave every other Monday from Pier 91.

Crown Princess and Ruby Princess depart Saturdays and Sundays from Pier 91, and Royal Caribbean International's Jewel of the Seas leaves on Fridays.

From Pier 66, Norwegian Jewel and Norwegian Pearl sail Saturdays and Sundays and Oceania Cruises' Regatta offers a variety of itineraries.

Seattle’s cruise business is responsible for nearly 4,000 jobs, $372m in annual business revenue and $16.6 annually in state and local tax revenues, the port said.