You'll be seeing a lot of cruise ships in Seattle this summer. It's expected to be a record season for the industry here and in Alaska.
The growing business is attracting some new vessels to our corner of the globe, such as the Seabourn Sojourn. The ultra-luxury cruise line visited Seattle, Wednesday, for the first time in 15 years.
Seattle-based Seabourn caters to travelers willing to pay a premium for trips to Antarctica, the Mediterranean, and the Panama Canal. Rooms on the Alaska trip start at about $5,000 per person for an 11-day tour.
“We believe there's actually a very strong potential customer base here in Seattle,” said Brian Badura, Seabourn spokesman. “There are a lot of very good well-paying jobs, a lot of people who are highly educated, and that's typically the type of guest that we would host on-board.”
Alaska and Seattle are expecting a record cruise season for passenger traffic. More than a million people will pass through the Port of Seattle in 2017. That's more than four times as many passengers as there were 15 years ago.
“The cruise industry itself is growing and continues to grow, projected forecasts are actually very good, especially for the ultra-luxury segment, which is where we are,” Badura said.
We won't see the Sojourn in Seattle any more this summer because she'll spend the next few months sailing between Vancouver BC and Seward Alaska. But there will be plenty more ships visiting Elliot Bay. The Port of Seattle forecasts 218 ship calls for 2017, just a smidge fewer than the record of 223, set in 2010.
The Sojourn is now on its way to Alaska. The Port of Seattle estimates cruise ships will bring more than $500 million in economic benefits to the Seattle region this year.
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