Re: “Seattle cruise season again a victim of COVID-19 after Canada extends ban through early 2022” [Feb. 4, Business]:
This hiatus offers a unique opportunity for Northwest ports to reduce dependency on cruises and find other sources of income.
Seattle’s cruise sector has a staggeringly large carbon footprint. The Port of Seattle estimates between 80% to 90% of cruise passengers arrive through Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Seattle Cruise Control, a coalition of residents opposed to the Port of Seattle’s proposed Terminal 46 cruise-ship project, estimated that in 2019, greenhouse gas emissions for the six-month cruise season and its associated flights totaled between 1.6 and 2.1 million tons — equal to about one-third of the emissions of the entire city of Seattle for the whole year.
The cruise industry and Port of Seattle consistently overstate economic benefits while ignoring cruises’ negative impacts on communities from here to Alaska, such as trash overflowing landfills, overcrowding that keeps locals from enjoying popular attractions, noise that impedes orcas’ search for food and the high costs of infrastructure upgrades for small towns like Skagway.
Let’s use this pandemic pause to consider the pernicious aspects of cruising and to re-evaluate our ties with this nonessential luxury business.
Peggy J. Printz, Seattle