Seattle Leads With Mandatory Shore Power For Cruises By 2027

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Port of Seattle’s Groundbreaking

The Port of Seattle has become the first port in the United States to mandate that 100% of all cruise vessels homeported in Seattle be shore power capable and utilize shore power. This new requirement, passed by the Port of Seattle Commission, will take effect in the 2027 cruise season, three years ahead of the Port’s previous 2030 goal.

“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 plugin 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.

Shore Power Availability at All Berths

The Port is finalizing the electrification of Pier 66 and plans to connect cruise ships to shore power there this summer. This milestone will provide shore power at all three Seattle cruise berths, achieving the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy goal to electrify all cruise berths by 2030, six years early. This will make Seattle one of the first cruise ports to offer shore power at all 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. Currently, 66% of cruise calls are equipped to plug in, utilizing those initial infrastructure investments. The Port continues to collaborate with cruise ports in Alaska, Victoria, BC, and Vancouver, BC, along with 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.

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Source: Port Of Seattle