Ships from NCLH's three-brand fleet will homeport in Seattle for 15 years (Image: Don Wilson)
The Port of Seattle in the US has signed its largest-ever homeporting contract with Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH), the parent company of Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.
As part of the agreement, NCLH will have priority rights to homeport its ships at Pier 66 at the Bell Street Cruise Terminal for 15 years, during which time it will manage all of the terminal’s cruise operations. This is expected to significantly boost passenger volumes and generate US$73 million of revenue to the port.
“Alaska is a favourite cruise destination for guests on all three of our brands and Seattle, with its incredible culinary offerings, luxurious accommodations and outstanding attractions, makes for an ideal homeport,” said Frank Del Rio, CEO at Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “With primary use of the world-class facilities at Pier 66, we can further customise our guests’ pre- and post-cruise experience and better align it with the superior service levels offered by our three award-winning brands.”
NCLH will also invest around US$30 million to make tenant improvements to the Bell Street Cruise Terminal and significantly expand the portion of the P66 facilities used for processing cruise passengers. The port will also invest in the project and aims to establish a Project Labor Agreement between the tenant’s general contractor and the building trades.
In total, the deal is expected to generate more than US$2 billion in total business revenue for the region, nearly 900 jobs and more than US$65 million in state and local taxes.
“This is a historic deal for the Port of Seattle,” said Ted Fick, Port of Seattle CEO. “A 15-year lease for a cruise terminal is unprecedented on the West Coast. Norwegian Cruise Line is showing real vision by investing in the economic growth of this region.”
Seattle’s cruise industry generates around US$440 million in annual revenue, while each homeport vessel call generates US$2.5 million. The industry is also responsible for more than 3,600 jobs.