Are Cruise Ships Killing Seattle? It Depends How, Who, and When You Ask

Comments

1

Getty Images "photo evidence" appears to be from a cruise ship company that has never visited Seattle.

if this is so rampant, and so troubling - how hard is it to take an actual photo (with your phone) of one of the "cruise ships [that] have been sailing in and out of Puget Sound, docking at Terminal 66...while pluemes of polluted air spill from their smokestacks for hours at a time.

2

While it is correct that, as of this time, there is no way to stop emissions for ships at sea, or transiting the sound, while dockside ships can be cold ironed, basically plugged in, California requires this, as do many ports in Asia and Europe.

3

Matt Baume - thanks for the article, but correction needed. Steinbrueck, like all Port Commissioners at the time in 2019, voted enthusiastically for a third cruise terminal expansion project at T46: https://youtu.be/9mmpqjNCW3E.

@Merchant Seaman, Pier 66 has no plug in, and even when that is available, cruise ships don't always have the capacity to plug in, or they simply don't, because it's cheaper for them to burn bunker fuel and give people cancer, and enforcement is often lax.

4

Cruise ships are one of my favorite rants, and maybe my most useless one.

You know the story in which money is involved and when the choice comes down to money or survival, don't you?. Yes, there are billions at stake. Jobs. Hotels. Tourists buying TONS of trinkets and t-shirts. Tax revenue! The glamour of sea travel that existed when there was less than two billion people on the planet and when there was really no other option if you needed to travel to Europe, South America, or Asia. The ones amongst the current seven billion who still hold on to that perceived glamour. That TV commercial that shows a huge, behemoth ship pulling into the harbor of small, gracefully medieval Venice (which. by the way, is now banned - cruise ships now have to dock 70 miles away).

And then we got to see for a while, when cruise ships were - what? dry-docked? Whales and fish were returning to where they hadn't been seen in years. The oceans were recovering. People weren't getting sick on incubators of rota- and noroviruses. Human waste and the toxic chemicals that make them less noxious and infectious weren't being dumped into sensitive habitats. And quiet. Places that are supposed to be quiet were quiet again.

Rich folk, like the upper echelons of cruise ship businesses, always think they can buy their way out of everything bad - including the destruction of our only planet. They'll leave the scraps for us to fight over thinking they'll get away from it all by wintering in St. Moritz.

5

@4
Cruise ships are indeed gross and useless.
You couldn’t pay me enough to get on board one of those floating Petri dishes.

But it’s not rich, upper-echelon folks taking cruises. It’s the middle and upper middle class, people making between $60,000 and $200,000.

The actual rich, upper-echelon people have their own yachts, with their own private chefs. They wouldn’t get on a cruise anymore than you or I.

6

Lord, how many Love Boats can fit into one of these modern behemoths - 50?

https://youtu.be/AB7f26dGGzI

7

@5:

So true, Sir T. And I cringle when I see otherwise decent, sensible people boarding for their vacations. But like the oil companies, Big Pharma. and food conglomerates, it's the owners and major stockholders who reap the wealth that is generated.

9

"What about the trucks that carry supplies to docked boats?"

What about all the trucks and cars that delivered The Stranger to all the kiosks, newsstands and bars?

10

Hmmm....false analogy?

I'm trying to equate a pollution machine that delivers news to a newsstand to a really large pollution machine that delivers people to luaus, and offers bowling alleys and go-cart drag strips in the middle of the ocean.

While both can be polluting, but in wildly varying degrees, many would find the latter fun, but not indispensable while many more, I believe, would find the former essential to informed human development.

11

@7 you realize that like most stocks the majority of shareholders of NCLH are institutions? That means mutual funds and pension plans. So again not the Uber rich, just the middle class.
The fundamental misunderstanding of the stock market by Seattle progressives is astounding.
How the hell do you think union retirement plans are funded?

12

@3 - make the cruise lines pay for the electrical service to Pier 66. And fine the crap out of them if they don't do it.

@8 - maybe, on a comment page about cruise ships, you would do better flogging a quack cure for norovirus than herpes?

13

"The technology to do so doesn't exist."
It did, once. https://youtu.be/ZP-XjI_qKrI

14

Steinbrueck claiming he was against turning T46 into an additional cruise terminal is such a flat out, (easily disproved) lie. He literally introduced the motion in the 2019 Commission meeting, where all (except Cho, elected later) voted yes to pursue it, plans eventually paused when cruises were halted in 2020. Thank you to Jordan in the comments above for the video of Steinbrueck doing this--can we please get a correction to the story. What kind of person lies about something that they know they were recording doing, gets called out for it with video evidence after a candidate debate, yet still tells the same lie to a local reporter???

15

Well we do know that the cruise ships bring in a lot of economic business to the city.... around 1 billion in tourist dollars.

Maybe we could use some of the sales tax to help clean up the air or assist the cruise lines in keeping air pollution in check.

Maybe, just maybe, we'd see our downtown come back to life and The Stranger could get some advertising revenue to stay alive.... or hire some bloggers reporters who are more visionary or have a broader perspective on life.

Now wouldn't that be an improvement.

16

@15..."1 billion in tourist dollars?" Source? And please don't say these numbers are from the Port or the Chamber of Commerce? Regardless of supposed economic benefits, let's be visionary as you say and build a world where workers can be paid to build a sustainable future. #GreenNewDeal, #CruiseFreeSalishSea.

17

@ 16 Here type in the following on your search engine:

Cruise ships, economic impact, Seattle.

You'll get about 10 hits and the figures from multiple sources. All in the billion dollar range.

Is there anything else we can do for you?

18

A note to cruise ship operators :
They have this new technology now. It's so new, hardly anybody has heard of it.
It uses non-polluting "wind energy" to power ocean-going ships.
It doesn't come cheap. In fact, most owners of wind energy powered ocean going ships are fabulously wealthy.
But it completely eliminates fossil fuel usage. No air pollution at all, not even a little bit.
As a fringe benefit, it is a proven job creator.

Maybe somebody should try it?

19

Just ban them. Problem solved.

20

@19 ... true. We don't need the billion dollars of revenue this shitty industry provides...anymore than we need Amazon. We kicked and taxed those bastard out of town over to Bellevue along with all those low paying hospitality and service jobs!

Yup. Things are looking better already. No crowds on south lake union, plenty of low cost, vacant retail space, new areas for free range homeless camps. Now isn't that an improvement.

I suspect we'll be seeing lower crime rates as there are no pedestrians to harass, assault or rape... and now with the new proposal to eliminate "stealing if you are hungry" ... theft and robbery complaints will literally disappear.

Yes, Its a good day for Seattle!