Port of Seattle postpones cruise season indefinitely


Alaska’s cruise ship season may have been dealt its final blow this year, as the Port of Seattle announced the cruise season will be delayed until the resolution of the public health emergency. Earlier, the Canadian government had ordered cruise ships to stay away from its ports.

“At a time when Governor Inslee has ordered all Washingtonians to ‘Stay Home, Stay Healthy,’ we must consider public health and safety above all else,” said Port of Seattle Commission President Peter Steinbrueck.  

“The eventual return of our cruise season is something we fully expect as an important contribution to living wage jobs, local small businesses, and our region’s economic recovery.  We also recognize the critical role Seattle cruise plays in supporting the Alaska economy for over 20 years.”

The start of the Seattle-based cruise embarkations will depend on the status of the public health emergency. The CDC has issued a nonessential travel warning and a temporary no sail order for cruise ships, and the State and King County have imposed a number of strict limitations to limit the spread of COVID-19.

For those travelers with plans to cruise during this impacted period, please contact your cruise line regarding your itinerary.


  1. Halting the cruise ship traffic will certainly affect Alaska. It’s not only cruises departing Seattle. Those cruises leaving Seattle may not discharge or embark passengers and are only allowed “ports of call” in Alaska. Under the Jones Act, foreign based ships may only embark or disembark those passengers at one port in the U.S between foreign landings. If they embark (load) passengers in Seattle, those ships are prohibited from disembarking passengers or cargo at another port in the U.S unless they visit and transfer cargo at another foreign port first. All the cruise ships that bring passengers, disembarking and embarking, must leave from a foreign port. Vancouver, B.C. in this case (they are closed to cruise ships now too). Currently there are only three ports in Alaska that discharge and reload passengers on an established schedule. Whittier, Seward and Anchorage. The rest are only “ports of call” that let the passengers and crew visit the Alaskan communities (bring their wallets) and re-board the same ship they arrived on to leave.
    In any case, another hardship on Alaskans that have come to depend on the cruise ship industry for jobs and economical stability, and have had that resource fly away on one or two announcements. Where are those democrats that swore to represent, protect and care for their constituents and our Constitution? If Alaska ever needed it, it’s now. Where oh where can they be? Oh, maybe trying some impeachment scam. That’ll really help Alaska.

  2. So is he going to shut down the small ship independent cuise ships also? This will kill those companies. I hope they have some recourse. I believe that as of now they are the only ones planning on still operating .

    • Dave,
      “He” is not shutting down anything. It’s federal,state, borough and local communities making the decision to shut down. For the health, survival and safety of all. The only thing most Americans have to lose in the long run is the lives of their own, family, friends, acquaintances and people in general. Operating your business at a time like this is important to your bank account. What “account” do you debit those lost lives to, when being shut down and safer was the best option and you choose not to do it? Much better safe than really, really sorry.

  3. Steinbrueck is confused and there is no critical role the cruise ships play in Alaska’s economy. They’re vertically integrated to the point that the vast majority of customers enjoy a highly coreographed itinerary flitting from cruise line owned hotel to cruise line owned restaurant on cruise line owned busses.
    Much like the fishing industry, overflow impact is marginal and worth comparatively little.

Comments are closed.