Port of Seattle Kicks off Its Biggest Cruise Season Ever

  • As Exmar to Take Delivery of Caribbean FLNG in May

The Port of Seattle is ready for 2017 cruise season during which it expects to host one million passengers on 218 vessels.

The forecast will result in 15 more ships than in 2016 when the port welcomed 203 vessels carrying 983,539 cruise ship guests.

The cruise season is scheduled to start on April 29 with the arrival of Holland America Line’s Eurodam and close on October 20 with the visit of Princess Cruises’ Star Princess, according to the port’s data.

Eleven different ships offering Alaska cruise itineraries and a record number of cruise passengers make the port the biggest cruise port on the US West Coast.

Ships will arrive at the port’s two terminals, Bell Street Pier Cruise Terminal at Pier 66 and Smith Cove Cruise Terminal at Pier 91.

This year, the port is opening the renovated Pier 66 cruise facility homeport for Norwegian Cruise Line. In 2015, the Port of Seattle signed a 15-year lease with Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH), a parent company of NCL, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, to serve as a homeport for the company’s cruise ships sailing to Alaska.

In the meantime, Belgium’s LNG and LPG carrier owner and operator Exmar revealed it expects to take delivery of Caribbean FLNG, a floating liquefaction unit, in May.

“Financing of the Caribbean FLNG and final delivery of the unit still remains subject to the approval of the local authorities in the People’s Republic of China, which is expected to be received in the course of May 2017,” the company said.

Last month, Exmar said the delivery of the vessel would take place before the end of April 2017 upon payment of the last installment of USD 200.5 million.

Caribbean FLNG, built at Wison Heavy Industry shipyard in Nantong, China, was supposed to work for Canada-based oil and gas company Pacific Exploration and Production (PEP). However, the agreement between Exmar and PEP was terminated in March 2016.

“Progress has been made on the future employment of the Caribbean FLNG and future communication on this is expected in the coming months,” the company further said.

Additionally, Exmar is following several other FSRU and FLNG projects for which it expects “a positive outcome” in the coming months.

The announcement comes on the back of the company’s financial results for the first quarter of 2017 which show that Exmar delivered a consolidated loss of USD 4.1 million, compared to a profit of USD 9.3 million recorded in the same period last year.

Operating result (EBIT) for the quarter stood at USD 3.4 million, against USD 17.1 million in the three-month period last year.

During the quarter, the EBIT for the LNG and LNG Infrastructure Division was USD 5 million including a USD 0.5 million cost associated with the Vopak transaction, compared to USD 13.3 million recorded in the first quarter of 2016. The EBIT also included a USD 5 million termination fee from PEP related to the Caribbean FLNG.

The EBIT for the offshore division in the first quarter of 2017 was USD -3.2 million, against USD 0 million in the first quarter of 2016.

The offshore division continued to feel the pressure of the lack of investments in the oil and gas sector. However, as disclosed, Exmar Offshore is actively bidding on some floating production storage and offloading (FSPO) assets.

World Maritime News