If you've been putting off that cruise to Alaska — always saying "next summer" — this might be the right time, as you'll have plenty of opportunities to make the journey in 2018.
The ports of Seattle and Vancouver, B..C., are each expecting a record number of cruise passengers to pass through the region this summer.
According to a story by ctvnews.ca, the Port of Vancouver is expecting approximately 895,000 passengers aboard 241 vessels to arrive between April and October, an increase of seven percent over 2017. The port serves 14 cruise lines and estimates that each arrival pumps about $3 million into the Vancouver economy.
While the Port of Seattle said it expects a slight drop in the number of cruise ships in 2018 — 212, down from 218 last summer — the port is expecting to see a record number of passengers, with 1.1 million expected — up 2.7 percent from 1,071,594 in 2017.
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Last year was the first time Seattle, which has the highest number of passengers of any U.S. port on the West Coast, had more than a million cruise passengers.
The port estimates that it brings in $501 million in revenue, $18.9 million in annual state and local taxes and creates 4,029 jobs, according to a port fact sheet.
Seattle and Vancouver are both scheduled to have visits from Norwegian Cruise Line's new Norwegian Bliss, currently under construction at Germany's Meyer Werft shipyard. The new giant is expected to hold 4,004 passengers, measure 1,082 feet and what's being billed as "the largest (go-kart) race track at sea."
The Norwegian Bliss is scheduled to arrive at the Bell Street Cruise Terminal in Seattle on May 30 and in Vancouver Sept. 30.