Cruise season starts Saturday at Pier 66, but unplugged for now

(Port of Seattle photo, Norwegian Bliss in 2018)

As commenter CarDriver pointed out below the morning traffic/transportation roundup, Seattle’s cruise season is about to start – you’ll see the first of those giant passenger ships on Elliott Bay by Saturday (April 6), when NCL’s Norwegian Bliss is expected to sail from Pier 66 on the downtown waterfront. The port already offers shore power at its other cruise terminal, in Magnolia, and has been working on it for Pier 66 (see info on the $44 million project here), but it won’t be available at the start of the season. Port of Seattle spokesperson Peter McGraw tells WSB that the shore-power capability at Pier 66 is expected to launch around midseason (which would be midsummer, as cruise season continues until early October). See this year’s ship schedule here.

17 Replies to "Cruise season starts Saturday at Pier 66, but unplugged for now"

  • Seth April 3, 2024 (1:46 pm)

    44M for shore power?   I have a huge extension cord for 15$ I can lend them.  

    • Greg April 3, 2024 (4:27 pm)

      They take a lot of power. I hope your extension cord is at least 12 gage. ;-)

    • CarDriver April 3, 2024 (4:28 pm)

      Seth. The amount of power a cruise ship needs to power the whole vessel is HUGE. I heard it’s practically a whole new dedicated substation. That’s why it’s 44m.

  • CarDriver April 3, 2024 (2:08 pm)

    Cruise season puts a lot of money in the economy.  There are a lot of retired people who work helping arriving and departing passengers. Challenge for the cruise ship haters that will be commenting here: provide alternate income sources for those that would be impacted if there were no cruise ships. Just saying you want them to disappear won’t cut it. 

    • Jay April 3, 2024 (2:57 pm)

      The issue here is them burning massive amounts of bunker fuel and diesel in the city instead of plugging in to shore power to use hydro and nuclear. The air quality near the waterfront is terrible, especially on cool clear mornings where all the smog just sits. It’s something that people outside of cars have to deal with but the average Seattle resident isn’t aware of because of car air filters.

    • BlimpDriver April 3, 2024 (3:33 pm)

      How much money? Seems really vague. I say get rid of the cruise ships, they are a blight on this planet. Tax corporations making record profits and take care of the elderly so they don’t have to work at cruise terminals to make ends meet. 

    • Bbron April 4, 2024 (3:28 am)

      wait, you’re in favor of retired people needing to work to support themselves? I think there’s something fundamentally messed up from the start of what you’re saying…

  • Jay April 3, 2024 (2:38 pm)

    If anyone hasn’t biked to Belltown in a while, the bypass is now open so you don’t have to push through crowds of disembarking tourists to get to work. The uphill lane path still isn’t open, but you can ride through the construction site and ride up the downhill bike lane which has a wide sidewalk next to it. It’s not great, but there is now a lot more room to navigate around waterfront tourists than before.

  • CarDriver April 3, 2024 (4:34 pm)

    WSB/Jay. Have you heard when the whole Alaskan way waterfront project is slated to be completed?

    • Mark Hurburt April 3, 2024 (7:36 pm)

      I haven’t seen any official dates but the promenade part is 90% finished at the south end for a few blocks by Colman dock and the 90% completion will move north and should finish in a couple months for the promenade and plantings up to the aquarium.  The final parts, sculptures, fountains, and kiosks along the promenade probably won’t finish for at least a few months.  The north end (Pier 58, new Aquarium, and Overlook walk) have a lot more work to do.

    • B April 3, 2024 (8:38 pm)

      History is rattling in my head; it’s been more than a decade since Bertha began digging. I thought I’d miss the sweeping views from the viaduct on my morning commute. Remember the tunnel obstruction? We fretted the delay, and then the pandemic hit…followed by concrete strikes. Downtown still hasn’t recovered its office workers (maybe it never will), but more people live there than ever. Now the promenade is nearing completion and it all seems like a major win for city planners…until time tells us differently 😉😆

      • wscommuter April 4, 2024 (8:55 am)

        I have to agree … the waterfront transformation has been phenomenal for opening up that space.  As a biker,  I’m looking forward to the completion of the waterfront bike lanes, but even now, it is so much more pleasant to pedal through there to/from work.  When we drive the waterfront, it is typically pretty functional to get through as well.  With the viaduct gone, the openness with the new amenities being built along the waterfront and Market really have made that area a great space for locals and tourists alike.  I’m generally very pleased with what has happened.

        • reed April 4, 2024 (2:53 pm)

          WScommuter yes it is a vast improvement over what it was, but it is not what I remember being what was sold when we voted for the tunnel option. IIRC, the surface area was supposed to be converted to a giant park without the 4 to 6 lanes of traffic that is has now. 

          • Bbron April 4, 2024 (7:40 pm)

            the 4-6 lanes has me chuckle because I think most of it is 8 lanes wide. hard agree that the waterfront is better, but so far from what was promised. a glaring example of Seattle (and the US’) addiction to cars and inability to change

  • Seashellandsand April 6, 2024 (10:16 am)

    Yes, I saw that on channel 4 news yesterday where the community nearby has strong concerns about the diesel smoke from the ships. The community was speaking up for the ships to use shore power, instead of pollute our breathing air and planet. Diesel ‘soot’ it even drifts down into the water and impact sea life. Very basic thing to use clean energy sources to help save lives and the planet. We currently have the same issue at T-5 terminal five below us here : of multiple container ships emitting diesel and not using shore power.. cough…cough…

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