AAPA Seaports Advisory

Cruise: Boston, Seattle

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Viking Ocean Cruises Makes Maiden U.S. Call on Port of Boston

Viking Oceans Cruises’ brand new luxury liner Viking Star
Photo/Viking Ocean Cruises

Viking Ocean Cruises made its first ever call at a U.S. port with the October 11 docking of its Viking Star at Cruiseport Boston.

Viking Star began her voyage in Montreal, sailed down the St. Lawrence River to Québec City and Saguenay and on to Prince Edward Island, Halifax and then to Boston for an overnight stop before heading to New York City.

"As Cruiseport Boston continues this exciting period of growth, we are thrilled to welcome Viking Ocean Cruises and to offer their passengers the opportunity to explore Boston and the Commonwealth," said Port Director Lisa Wieland of the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport).

Viking Ocean Cruises is one of 21cruise lines making Cruiseport Boston calls during the 2016 cruise season.   Nine ships are calling Boston for the first time this year, among them Disney Magic and Anthem of the Seas as well as Viking Star.

"We have always had a vision to reinvent ocean cruising – to bring destinations back to the forefront of the itinerary and to build ships that are designed to help our guests better explore their destinations," said Torstein Hagen, founder and chair of Viking Cruises. "We launched our ocean cruises in Europe last year, and just as the Viking explorers before us, we are now pursuing new discoveries across the Atlantic."

In 2017, Boston will be visited by Viking Star’s two sister ships Viking Sea, launched in April 2016, and Viking Sky, which is due to be launched in early 2017. Both ships will also be overnighting in Boston. Ships in this class are 745feet/227 meters long, 94.5 feet/28.8 meters wide, and can accommodate up to 930 guests and 465 crew members.

During its opening season in 1986, Cruiseport Boston welcomed 13 cruise ships and 11,723 passengers. This year, Massport is expecting 114 cruise ship calls and more than 320,000 passengers.  

An economic impact study published by the Cruise Line Industry Association – CLIA – found that that in 2014 Boston’s cruise ship industry accounted for direct spending amounting to $438 million, 6,825 jobs, and wages totaling almost $447 million.

Seattle Expecting Record Season in 2017, to Homeport Norwegian Cruise Line's Largest Vessel

Seattle will be homeport to Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest and largest ship, Norwegian Bliss, beginning in 2018.
The cruise line’s October 13 announcement came as the port was predicting a record cruise season in 2017 with more than 1.0 million revenue passengers expected to pass through its two cruise terminals.

"Norwegian was the first line to begin cruising to Alaska from Seattle in 2000 and it’s only fitting that we bring our newest ship, Norwegian Bliss, directly to this incredible location," said Andy Stuart, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line. "Alaska is one of the top destinations for our guests to explore and we are thrilled to be the first cruise line to offer guests the opportunity to experience this coveted destination on a brand new, state-of-the-art cruise ship from Seattle."

Artist rendering of the Norwegian Bliss
Source/Port of Seattle

Currently under construction at the Meyer Werft ship building facility in Papenburg, Germany, the 163,000-gross- ton Norwegian Bliss will be 1,069 feet/326 meters long and capable of carrying  up to 4,000 passengers. Following delivery in the spring of 2018, it is scheduled to sail west across the Atlantic, through the expanded Panama Canal, and arrive in Seattle in time for the summer cruising season.

Norwegian Bliss will sail weekly seven-day Alaskan Adventure cruises from Seattle’s Pier 66 on itineraries that feature calls in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Victoria (BC) as well as glacier cruising.

Last year, the Port of Seattle signed a 15-year lease with Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCHL), the parent company of Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. The deal secures NCLH ships in Seattle for the full term of the lease and provides passenger volume guarantees estimated to bring revenues to the port totaling $73 million.

In addition, NCLH will make tenant improvements to the Bell Street Cruise Terminal estimated at $30 million. Under the new lease, NCLH will manage the cruise operations at P66 and will have priority rights to the cruise vessel berth during the cruise season. The port will operate the facilities outside the cruise season.

The port and NCLH are sharing the capital investment needed to complete the terminal improvements. The port estimates the 15-year business commitment will generate $2.3 billion in total business revenue for the region, nearly 900 jobs, and more than $65 million in state and local taxes.

The agreement also establishes a Project Labor Agreement between the tenant’s general contractor and the building trades.

According to the port, Seattle’s cruise business is responsible for over 3,700 jobs, $459 million in annual business revenue, and $17.6 million annually in state and local tax revenues.  Each homeport vessel call generates $2.6 million for the local economy.


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