Welcome to Seattle

The Port of Seattle has established a website for cruise travelers with good information including cruise terminal details, cruise lines serving Seattle, and transportation from the port. Note that there are currently 6 cruise lines arriving and departing from Seattle and two cruise terminals, Pier 91 and Pier 66.  Pier 91 is located slightly north of downtown, while Pier 66 is located in the center of the waterfront on Alaskan Way.

http://www.portseattle.org/Cruise/Pag...

Transportation from Airport to Cruise Ships

If you are going to Seattle rather than  direct to the piers, see the traveler page on transportation options from the airport to downtown: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g60... 

There are several options for getting to the cruise piers from the airport:

  • Onsite Service Providers without pre-booking

  • Towncars are a nice option as they are flat rate and won't vary based on traffic delays.  The rate is currently set at $45 to downtown Seattle.  Since cabs meter by time and distance and wait time is charged at $.50 a minute, towncars or flat rate options can sometimes be cheaper, especially since they will pick you up at baggage claim vs hauling your luggage over the skybridge and downstairs in the pkg garage to get in the taxi line.

    The only towncar companoes allowed to wait at the airport are STILA and Shuttle Express. To get a STILA towncar or limo, call #55 from a phone in baggage claim and you will be picked up at the door closest to you in baggage claim.  Towncars have this year added 7 passenger SUV's for the same price.  They charge $50 to the cruise dock.  Fee is based on 4 people with extra passengers at $5 each.  Realistically with luggage you may bring maybe 5 in a SUV but will vary on luggage and size of car. To get a Shuttle Express towncar or limo, go to the ground transportation desk in the parking garage, third floor.

  • Metered taxis are also available at the airport. The only company that is allowed to pick-up passengers that are not pre-booked is Seattle Yellowcab: http://www.yellowtaxi.net/. Typically fare to pier 66 is $50, and about $60 to pier 91 (exact amounts are based on the meter, so will vary by traffic conditions).  

    For cabs you go over the skybridge into the parking garage and find the taxi line or attendant.  Cabs pay a $1.00 airport fee plus $2.50 flag drop plus $2.70 a  mile and $.50 a minute wait time so flat rate options can often work out cheaper.  Going to airport is usually less. Most taxis are sedan cars, but you can wait for a minivan if you have more people or a larger amount of luggage. The cost will be the same.

  • Scheduled shared shuttle service to the piers is offered by Shuttle Express. This costs $22 per person and runs each 30 minutes (or on demand outside of peak hours). To book this service, go across the bridge to the parking garage and down to the third floor. The ground transportation desk and self-service kiosks allow you to book a trip. http://www.shuttleexpress.com/cruises 
  • A new shuttle service offers a similar shuttle to downtown and to the piers.  This is operated by SpeediShuttle.  They have a desk in the parking garage next to Shuttle express and the taxi line.  Here is the link for more information:
  • http://www.speedishuttleseattle.com
  • Both Shuttle express and Speedi shuttle offer exclusive vans which works good for groups of passengers traveling together.  Those normally need to be prearranged and information can be found on their websites.

  • Light rail (train) is the most economical way to travel between the Seatac airport and down town, as less than $3 per person, and they take credit or debit cards in their  ticket machines. As long as you have rolling baggage which you can pull around without difficulty in the airport, you will have no problem ride the lightrail, since it is usually not crowded. Buy tickets to Westlake Station, which is in the heart of downtown and closest to both piers. See http://www.soundtransit.org/. 

    The light rail may be a cheap way into downtown but be aware that it can be a long walk to the terminal.  Its on the far north side of baggage claim near carousels 14 and 15, then upstairs and thru the parking garage to the station.  Maybe a 10-15 minute walk.  Once you get off the train at Westlake Station you can normally find a cab at a close by hotel, and the cost to the piers will be about $10-$15. It is not practical to use a bus to the piers.

    If you're just using light rail (Link) then you can just buy a ticket. If you're staying for a day or so and using buses then buying an Orca card is useful as that will allow you to transfer from Link to Buses or even to the ferries.  You can preload a set amt on your Orca card and then just pay for your bus or train fares using the card.  
  • Be aware that light rail works great for getting downtown but does not go close to the piers but its relatively easy to find a cab once downtown.  It works great if your staying in Seattle first before your cruise.  Most luggage will store under your seat on the train.
  • Other options for transportation to Piers

  • If you're staying at an airport hotel then you have a few options.  There is a shuttle service to both piers from many airport hotels that charges $15 per person.  They also offer a free shuttle to Southcenter Mall which is a nice feature.  You need to schedule this in advance. To get a list of hotels they serve please look at
  • seattleexpress.com

  • App based options such as Uber or Lyft also serve Seatac Airport area.. These two companies along with Wingz can now pick up at Seatac.  The pick up zone is across the skybridge from baggage claim next to the cab line.   Only Uber Select, or Uber SUV can directly pick up from Seatac airport.  Baggage claim
  •  in addition to the other options available. To use these services, you use your smart phone to arrange a ride. You can download the Uber app by clicking here or the Lyft app by clicking here. The approximate fare for a ride to the cruise terminals is approximately $30-43 for Pier 91 and approximately $25-39 for Pier 66. During high demand, the price may be higher and Uber/Lyft are also subject to additional costs due to traffic like traditional taxi cabs. However, you can confirm the fare estimate in the app for either destination (or any other) prior to requesting the ride. Both Uber and Lyft are cashless. You pay automatically using a credit card entered in the app. For Uber, tipping is not required. For Lyft, you will be given the option to tip the driver after the ride is over. 

  • Prebooked flat rate cabs have been around for several years. These are regulated by the city and state but they don't meter by time making them more economical in many situations.  The current rate is $29 from airport to downtown.  You can find a quote online at  www.flatrateforhire.com,   This is the largest of the 'flat rate cabs and they operate under Eastside for Hire or Flat rate for hire..  They must be prebooked because they are not allowed to pick up ad hoc fares in Seattle. You can call on arrival at the airport and arrange a pick-up from the arrivals drive. They rate by zip code so knowing the zip code for your hotel and arrival is helpful, but confirm your rate before accepting a ride.
  • You can always choose other cabs or towncar service but they for the most part have to wait off site and you need to call once you have your baggage and are waiting outside of baggage claim.


From the Cruise Ships to the Airport

Arriving back in Seattle, your options mostly the same as above, except in reverse. Taxis will be available to meet the ship. Be aware that the city of Seattle has implemented a flat rate TO Seatac from downtown or Pier 66. of $40.  This is from any cab.  This does not apply to the more popular Pier 91 since that is outside of the downtown Hotel zone.  You must prearrange a town car or other transportation ahead of time. Legally any towncar or flat rate type cab must be prearranged.   Normally Seattle Express and Shuttle Express have buses waiting at the pier.  Almost any option will be cheaper than the cruise transfer as they charge $25 per person and almost any option will be about the same or less for quicker service.

Hotel information and where to stay

The following link has great info on hotel packages and transportation. Some hotels provide parking during the cruise.  You don't really need a package as cab fare is not expensive to get to either cruise pier.  Please read the following for a list of offers from local hotels for Park and Cruise or Fly and Cruise packages: http://www.visitseattle.org/Tourism-D...

Seattle is fairly compact and with most attractions close to downtown.  If you look at the insider page called Where to Stay In Seattle (see link at the end of this article) any of the hotels listed in the downtown core are still the #1 place to stay as you have easy access to attractions.  If you're just coming into the airport late and leaving the next day on your cruise, you could stay near the airport. There is a large shopping center: Westfield Mall with lots of shopping and dining options and nearby attractions: Indoor skydiving, bowling and an amusement park. There are shuttles from the airport to the cruises by Grayline's Cruise Express as noted above, for Holland America and Princess, but not usually from hotels into the cruise terminals.  Some hotels have arrangements with vans, etc. and can probably recommend someone reliable.  It's 17 miles into downtown from Sea-Tac airport.

Many hotels near the aiport offer free airport shuttle (there are a lot of hotels by the airport area that offer free transportation from airport, they even have a phone in the courtesy van pickup area in the airport for these hotels) and get back to airport the next day using the free shuttle then ride the SoundTransit lightrail then take a cab from down town. 

There are many hotels near the airport that offer pre and post cruise packages as well as transportation to the cruise terminals. Here is a link for the list of hotel packages: http://www.seattlesouthside.com/packa...

If  your cruise is from Terminal 91 then staying closer to the Space Needle area or South Lake Union area is a slightly better location relative to the cruise terminal at Pier 91, but only a slight difference.  Cab fare should be in the $10-13 range if the hotel does not offer a shuttle. Again, an Uber or Lyft will also provide this same link at a slightly lower or comprable fare.

Shuttle Express offers transfers from selected downtown hotels to the cruise piers at $12 pp.  While this could cost more logistically with luggage its perhaps simpler especially with larger groups.  Here is the link for a list of hotels: http://www.shuttleexpress.com/cruises