• Welcome to the Port of Seattle’s Terminal 46 Cruise Terminal Development at Terminal 46 online engagement site. We’re glad you’re part of the conversation. The Port is committed to listening to our stakeholders and working with them to solicit input regarding the Proposed Action and reasonable alternatives, and to identify concerns regarding the potential environmental effects of the Proposed Action.
  • We’re beginning the environmental review process for the proposed cruise terminal and would like to hear from you. Read on to learn how to give your feedback.
Two cruise ships departing Seattle on a sunny day with the skyline in the background.

Attend an environmental review public meeting in person or give us your comments on this site.

Proposed Cruise Terminal at Terminal 46

What are the Project objectives?

  • The proposed new cruise terminal would add the capacity needed to accommodate the growing demand for Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, and West Coast cruises, which can no longer be met by the three berths at the Port’s two existing terminals (Terminal 91 and Pier 66).
  • The Port adopted the Cruise Business Development Principles, which guide its cruise business and its engagement with Partners and stakeholders in the operation of existing and potential new cruise facilities, including the proposed facility at Terminal 46. The main principles are as follows:
    • Maximize the use of the Port’s deep-water facilities and industrial lands to serve maritime industrial uses.
    • Expand economic, cultural, and community benefits within cruise operations and development.
    • Support financial sustainability of the Port of Seattle.
    • Incorporate leading edge environmental stewardship and sustainability practices and facilities that can exceed existing regulations.
    • Facilitate improved transportation mobility of people and goods in the region.
    • Provide consistent excellence in customer service to strengthen Seattle’s role as the West Coast’s premier cruise port.
Personnel in orange vests using fork-lifts and other vehicles to load items onto a large ship with the waterfront in the background.

Description of Proposal

The Port of Seattle is proposing to develop a new cruise terminal. Analysis of the cruise market and cruise ship deployment supports the need for a fourth berth to meet the demand for Port of Seattle cruise services, which can no longer be met by the three berths at the Port’s two existing terminals (Terminal 91 and Pier 66). Terminal 46 (401 Alaskan Way S, Seattle, WA) is the preferred project location and the new cruise terminal would be part of a flexible marine transportation facility, which will continue to support cargo and other marine operations.

A cruise terminal at Terminal 46 would occupy the northern 29 acres of the overall 86.5-acre terminal facility. The remainder of the site would be maintained as a marine cargo facility and administrative use.

Aerial photo of the Port on a sunny day with a highlighted section showing the proposed area for the new cruise terminal.
Proposed location for Terminal 46 Cruise Terminal Development (Click or tap image to enlarge)

Environmental Review

The State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) is a state law. It requires agencies to evaluate the likely environmental consequences of proposed development actions. SEPA provides direction for the environmental review process, including preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for certain projects.

The Port of Seattle, as lead agency, acknowledges that there is public interest and concern about the potential environmental impacts of implementing the Proposed Action. Based on that level of concern and the potential for impacts that may occur with the implementation of the Proposed Action, the Port of Seattle has determined that a SEPA EIS will be prepared to study impacts regardless of whether such impacts may be significant.

  • An environmental impact statement (EIS) provides an objective analysis of the likely environmental impacts, feasible alternatives, and measures that would avoid or minimize adverse environmental impacts.
  • An “impact” is a change in consequence that results from an activity. Impacts can be positive, negative or both. An EIS describes negative impacts and may identify ways to mitigate them.
  • There are three major milestones in an EIS – Scoping, Draft EIS, and Final EIS.
Flowchart graphic showing the timeline of the SEPA Environmental Impact Statement process by quarter and year, beginning in Q4 2019 and ending in Q2 2020 with the following steps: Issue Determination of Significance & Scoping Notice, Conduct SEPA Scoping, Prepare Draft EIS, Issue Draft EIS, DRAFT EIS Public Comment Period, Prepare Final EIS, Issue Final EIS, NWSA Action. Red star labeled “We are here” indicates that we are in the Conducting SEPA Scoping phase.
EIS Timeline (Click or tap image to enlarge)

What Alternatives Will be Considered?

The Port of Seattle is proposing to develop a new cruise terminal at Terminal 46 as part of a flexible marine transportation facility that will continue to support cargo and other marine operations. The Port will determine alternatives based on an assessment of options that could feasibly achieve the project’s objective. For the Terminal 46 Cruise Terminal Development, we will analyze no-action and action alternatives. Any action alternatives will include the same work elements.

What Will be Analyzed?

The Port has preliminarily identified nine environmental elements for analysis in the EIS. For each environmental element, we will evaluate the probable impacts associated with the proposed action and operations.

The environmental elements we plan to study with examples of the types of analyses are provided below:


The Port of Seattle is proposing to develop a new cruise terminal at Terminal 46 as part of a flexible marine transportation facility, which will continue to support cargo and other marine operations. An EIS is being prepared, which will evaluate potential impacts to Earth, Water Resources, Air Quality/Greenhouse Gas Analysis, Noise, Biological Resources, Aesthetics/Light and Glare, Historic/Cultural Resources, Transportation, and Environmental Justice.

Scoping is the first step in the EIS process. We are seeking public comments as part of the scoping until Wednesday, November 13, 2019. We are inviting stakeholders, including tribes, the community, and other agencies to comment and suggest potential environmental elements and impacts for evaluation. Comments help us determine which potential impacts are insignificant and which impacts and development warrant further analysis.

We look forward to your input. A summary of comments will be posted on this online site in December.

Entries in the comment form below will be included on the SEPA record. Comments may result in corrections, additions, or clarification in the Draft EIS.

Group of people seated and gathered around a table inside of a ship giving their attention to a man that is speaking.

Thank you!

Thank you!

Thank you for visiting the online engagement site and offering comments on the Terminal 46 Cruise Terminal Development.