Seattle’s cruise season kicks off with record-breaking number of passengers expected to set sail

SEATTLE — Saturday kicks off the long-awaited summer cruise season in Seattle.

“We’re going to Alaska!” said one happy traveler.

“We had this booked about three years ago, and now we’re doing it,” said another traveler.

KIRO 7 was there as thousands of passengers lined up early to board the first cruise of the season from Seattle to Alaska.

Those with the Port of Seattle say not only is this an exciting season for travelers, but it’s also record-breaking.

“This is the number one trip for many travelers in the United States is to take a cruise from Seattle to Alaska. And there’s a lot of excitement about that,” says Steve Metruck, Port of Seattle executive director.

He believes those record-breaking numbers will translate into an economic boost for the city.

“It means so much not just the ships are sailing from here, but visitors to Seattle and the region,” says Metruck. “Over 900 million dollars in economic activity for Seattle and the region and the state.”

But not everyone is on board, saying the benefits don’t outweigh the environmental cost.

“It’s actually destroying the environment for the fishes,” said one activist dressed in a dolphin costume.

The group ‘Seattle Cruise Control’ organized a protest Saturday in Seattle, demanding that the port reevaluate the toll a thriving cruise season takes on the Puget Sound.

“One of the things that we’re asking for is for the Port of Seattle to put a cap on the number of sailings for the 2024 cruise season and then keep reducing that number of sailings every year until we get to zero emissions by 2040,” said Stacy Oaks who helped organize the protest.