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Port of Seattle Accelerates Shore Power Requirement for Cruise Vessels

First port in the nation to require shore power usage independent of State regulations, starting with the 2027 season
June 11, 2024

The Port of Seattle became the first port in the nation to independently require that 100% of all cruise vessels homeported in Seattle be shore power capable and utilize shore power. The order passed by the Port of Seattle Commission today takes effect in the 2027 cruise season, three years before the Port’s previous goal of 2030.

“Ensuring all homeported cruise ships utilize shore power by incorporating a requirement in our commercial agreements, the Port continues to demonstrate how we can generate economic opportunities while minimizing our impact on communities and the climate,” said Port of Seattle Commissioner Fred Felleman, who sponsored the order. “In passing this order, the Commission turns the Port’s 2030 goal of universal shore power use into a 2027 requirement, which is only possible due to the significant investments made by the cruise industry and the Port on both the ships and shoreside facilities. Marketing such investments should also appeal to the environmental interests of travelers who have chosen to cruise to Alaska.”

"I proudly co-sponsored this order, which highlights our Commission's steadfast focus on advancing shore power — a critical strategy for slashing emissions in the maritime sector. Given our sustained investments in shore power, we must ensure that homeported vessels plug in when they are berthed at our piers," said Port of Seattle Commission President Hamdi Mohamed. "This order is a robust policy that demonstrates our commitment to accountability and oversight of this sustainability strategy."

Plugging into shore power reduces diesel emissions from cruise vessels at berth by 80% on average. During the 2023 season, cruise ships using shore power avoided emitting 2,700 metric tons of greenhouse gases and 0.75 metric tons of diesel particulate matter — the equivalent of nearly 650 passenger cars driving for a year.

The Port is finalizing the electrification of Pier 66 and plans to connect cruise ships to shore power there this summer. This milestone will make shore power available at all three Seattle cruise berths, which will achieve the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy goal to electrify all cruise berths by 2030, six years early. It will make Seattle one of the first cruise ports to offer shore power at all of its multiple berths.

In 2004, the Port of Seattle, through investments by Carnival Corporation, became the first homeport in North America to offer shore power at two cruise berths. Carnival and other cruise operators continue to utilize those infrastructure investments, with 66% of cruise calls equipped to plug in.

The Port also continues to work in partnership with cruise ports in Alaska, Victoria, BC, and Vancouver, BC, and the cruise industry to explore the world’s first cruise-focused Green Corridor from Seattle to Alaska, using innovative decarbonization strategies.

The Port of Seattle has also launched a cruise dashboard to track passenger, environmental, and economic impact metrics. Data from the 2023 season is now available.

About the Port of Seattle

Founded in 1911 by a vote of the people as a special purpose government, the Port of Seattle’s mission is to promote economic opportunities and quality of life in the region by advancing trade, travel, commerce, and job creation in an equitable, accountable, and environmentally responsible manner.

The Port owns and operates Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), Fishermen’s Terminal — home of the North Pacific fishing fleet — and public marinas. The Port also owns two cruise ship terminals, a grain terminal, real estate assets, and marine cargo terminals through its partnership in the Northwest Seaport Alliance.

Port operations help support nearly 200,000 jobs and $7 billion in wages throughout the region. Over the next 13 years, the Port’s Century Agenda seeks to create an additional 100,000 jobs through economic growth while becoming the nation’s leading green and energy-efficient port.


Chris Guizlo | Port of Seattle
(206) 787-3433 |

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