The Essential Guide to Seattle Port Cruise Terminal Transfers: Transportation Tips, Nearby Hotel Recommendations, and Must-See Attractions

Written By Dobrina Zhekova | Updated on April 20, 2024

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As the Pacific Northwest's main transportation hub, Seattle is home to two cruise port terminals (with a third one in the making) that service over ten cruise lines sailing to destinations like Alaska, Hawaii, and Canada, as well as other Pacific coastal states like Oregon and California.

Located along the city's bustling waterfront with Seattle's famous skyline and the Great Wheel in the background, Bell Street Pier at Pier 66 and Smith Cove at Pier 91 welcome over one million guests each year, making Porgt of Seattle one of the top ten busiest cruise ports in the country.

So, if you are embarking on a cruise out of here, you may find it overwhelming to navigate the city and plan all the logistics of your trip, like finding a hotel near Seattle's cruise ports, convenient parking lots, and getting to your cruise ship on time before your departure.

That's why we put together a handy guide that breaks down everything you need to know about traveling from Seattle's cruise port terminals.

Overview of Seattle's Cruise Port Terminals

Bell Street Cruise Terminal at Pier 66

This is a sprawling 11-acre complex at the heart of downtown Seattle and steps away from some of its most beloved landmarks like Pike Place Market, Seattle Aquarium, and the Great Wheel. If you have booked a cruise with Norwegian and Oceania, your ship is most certainly leaving from Pier 66.

The terminal has same-day luggage storage ($5/bag), but some cruise lines allow early drop-off on embarkment day. If you need help carrying your luggage, porter valets can assist you.

The waiting hall at the terminal has about 250 seats for passengers and a separate lounge area for suite guests. Restrooms are available before and after the security areas and the disembarkation hall.

While there are no food halls in this terminal, its prime downtown location puts you within walking distance of many restaurants, bars, and shops.

Location: 2225 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98121

Smith Cove Cruise Terminal at Pier 91

Port of Seattle's central — and newer (it opened in 2009) — port terminal sits at the north end of the city's waterfront, a few miles from downtown. Many of the largest cruise lines like Carnival, Celebrity, Holland America, Royal Caribbean, and Princess dock their ships here.

The two-story terminal building boasts about 500 seats and services such as same-day luggage storage ($5/bag), porter valet, a rental car kiosk, restroom facilities, a snack bar, and a pick-up and drop-off lot.

If you need wheelchair assistance at any of the two terminals, contact your cruise line.

Location: 2001 West Garfield Street, Seattle, WA 98119

How Do I Get from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to My Cruise Port Terminal?

Both Pier 66 and Pier 99 are exceptionally well connected with the rest of the city, as well as its main transportation hubs, such as Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) and Amtrak's King Street Station.

Passengers can choose from a variety of options to get to their terminal, such as rideshare services like Uber and Lift, private or rented vehicles, limousine services, shuttles, and taxis. Once you've checked your cruise ship's departure point, start planning your airport transfer.

Below is a breakdown of the most convenient ways to get to each cruise port terminal.


Rideshare services have become very popular among travelers, and SEA airport has a designated pick-up area for them, located on the third floor of the airport's parking garage in rows parking rows G through J (don't worry, there are signs to guide you in the right direction).

Smith Cove Cruise Terminal at Pier 91 is about 19 miles from the airport, or 30-35 minutes. Bell Street Cruise Terminal at Pier 66 is about 15 miles or 25 minutes from Seattle's International Airport.

However, the price of your transfer will largely depend on the time of day, demand, and how heavy traffic is during that time (as a general rule, though, it will probably be at least $50).

That's why ridesharing apps are not a very reliable — or cost-effective — option, especially if your flight arrives the same day as your cruise departure.


The taxi pick-up area is also located on the third floor of the parking garage and is easy to get to if you follow the signs from luggage at the arrivals terminal. Seattle Yellow Cab is the only company legally allowed to pick up passengers from the airport.

The company also recently started offering curbside drop-off and pick-up from baggage claim, but you need to make a reservation via the app or call the company at 206-622-6500.

Those departing from Pier 66 are in luck since the $40 downtown flat rate includes the terminal area. However, those departing from Pier 91 should expect to pay more.

Public Transportation

There is no direct way from Smith Cove Cruise Terminal at Pier 91 to the airport via public transportation. However, passengers from Pier 66 could reach downtown via Seattle's Light Rail. It runs every day of the week after 6 am, and trains depart every six to 15 minutes from the airport. The closest station to Pier 66 would be Westlake Station. From there, you will have to walk for about ten minutes to reach the terminal.

Getting to Port of Seattle on the city's light rail system is one of the cheapest ways to get to Pier 66 — a one-way ticket will cost you no more than $5.

However, the ride will last you about an hour, so be mindful if you are short on time or have to lug a lot of luggage with you.


Seattle Shuttle is a convenient way to get from the airport to both terminals if your flight arrives in the morning. The company offers four daily departure times (9 am, 10 am, 11 am, and 12 pm) to both terminals, and the trip takes about 45 minutes each way.

One-way tickets cost $27 for adults and $22 for children aged five or less. However, on your way back to the airport, the company operates on-demand shuttles from 7 am until 11 am.

You can read more information about the transfers here.

Private Town Car and Limousine service

The most comfortable, reliable, and convenient way to get from the airport to your cruise terminal is to book private transportation with a luxury vehicle such as an SUV or a limousine with a company like ours, at Starline.

The benefits are many — you will not waste time waiting in line to get picked up or in traffic as our drivers are highly knowledgeable about Seatle's traffic patterns during rush hour and on busy days, and will get you where you need to be quickly and safely. And speaking of safety, if you are traveling with children, we will install car or booster seats for your little ones, so you have peace of mind.

Our fleet is well-maintained and provides a large selection of modern vehicles to accommodate any preferences, number of passengers, and amount of luggage.

Cruise Transfer Rates: Seattle SeaTac Airport to/from Port of Seattle

Vehicle Type Pier 66 Pier 91
Town Car or Chrysler 300 service up to 3 passengers $75-85 $80-95
Luxury SUV service up to 5 passengers $115-125 $120-135
Van service up to 11 passengers $295 $295

These rates do not include 20% gratuity, applicable airport fees, port fees, tolls and waiting time.

Car Rental

If you plan to explore the Seattle area for a few days before or after your cruise, renting a car makes sense. You will find representatives of most major car rental companies at SEA airport. While rates will vary on the type of vehicle, you should be able to find deals for as low as $30 a day. However, keep in mind that if you end up renting a car, you should also factor in the cost of long-term parking, gas, and insurance.

Parking at Port of Seattle

Seattle's cruise terminals have convenient on-site parking with thousands of spaces. The Bell Street at Pier 66 lot is located across from the terminal and offers 1,500 covered parking spots.

The facilities are connected via a sky bridge, and the height clearance is 6'6. You can reserve your spot online here — we recommend this to secure your space and save $1 off the $30 per day rate.

The Smith Cove Pier 91 parking lot has fewer spots—1,100; however, you can also park an RV or an overheight vehicle here. Since the parking lot is not adjacent to the terminal, there is a free shuttle service, so allow for extra time if you plan to arrive closer to your cruise departure time.

Rates for this parking lot are $29 per day and $60 for vehicles up to 40 feet, and $65 for vehicles 40 feet and up. You can also pre-pay your spot online (and save $1 per day) here.

Hotels Near Seattle Port Cruise Terminal

It's a good idea to arrive at least a day before your cruise departure date in case of any flight delays, cancelations, or other issues with your trip to the city. This means that you will likely be staying at one of Seattle's many hotels.

The city's hospitality scene is thriving, and choosing the best option for your preferences and budget is not always easy.

So here, we selected some of the best and most convenient hotels in the vicinity of Port of Seattle for any budget.

Hotels Near Bell Street Pier 66

Seattle Marriott Waterfront (Distance from Pier 66: 0.1 miles)

Enjoy top-notch services and panoramic views of Seattle's waterfront and Elliott Bay from this downtown Marriott property, renovated in 2022.

Aside from being within steps of Pier 66, Seattle Marriott Waterfront also offers its guests well-appointed rooms with flat-screen TVs, coffeemakers, and floor-to-ceiling windows (some rooms even have private balconies).

Another reason to book a room here? The property's indoor-outdoor heated swimming pool is an amenity you won't find in many city hotels.

For more details and booking information:

The Edgewater Hotel (Distance from Pier 66: 0.3 miles)

This historic four-star property is Seattle's only over-water hotel, making for a unique experience (and even more unique sunset views).

The decor is inspired by classic Pacific Northwestern aesthetics—think plenty of rustic stone and wood accents, cozy fireplaces, and more of those spectacular waterfront views.

The hotel's award-winning Six Seven restaurant is the perfect spot to taste seasonal flavors and some of Washington's best wines.

For more details and booking information:

Four Seasons Seattle (Distance from Pier 66: 0.6 miles)

Luxury travelers will appreciate the comfort and amenities of one of Seattle's top hotels, all within a few blocks from Bell Street Pier 66 and many of the city's most beloved landmarks. The spacious rooms feature sophisticated residential-style interiors, lounge areas, work desks, marble bathrooms, and beautiful views over Puget Sound.

The hotel's signature restaurant, Goldfinch Tavern, helmed by local chef Ethan Stowell, showcases classic Pacific Northwestern ingredients in an elegant dining room enveloped in city and water vistas. The hotel is also home to Seattle's only outdoor infinity edge pool that is worth taking a dip in during your stay (don't worry, it's heated).

For more details and booking information:

Kimpton Palladian Hotel (Distance from Pier 66: 0.4 miles)

You'll find this Seattle institution in a 1910 landmark building a ten-minute walk from Pier 66. Character is something this 97-key boutique-style property, which has been voted one of the best in the city by Conde Nast Traveler magazine, definitely doesn't lack.

From the dimly-lit lobby and its rustic fireplace to the cool design accents in each of its rooms (which, by the way, come with yoga mats in case you need to practice your yoga poses) like leather chairs and soaking bathtubs, Kimpton Palladian has a strong visual narrative, inspired by its neighborhood, Belltown.

For more details and booking information:

Hotels Near Smith Cove Pier 91

MarQueen Hotel (Distance from Pier 91: 1.9 miles)

This Prohibition-era hotel will take you back to the 1920s the moment you step inside its lobby with a central staircase, grand check-in desk, and impressive chandelier.

With residential-style guestrooms and thoughtful amenities like TVs, kitchenettes, and comfortable king and Queen-sized beds, MarQueen will please history enthusiasts and those who favor unique and memorable stays.

Also nice — the property has its own speakeasy but is also located in the bustling Uptown neighborhood, home to many restaurants and bars.

On the day of your cruise, a quick ten-minute drive will take you from the hotel to your pier.

For more details and booking information:

The Maxwell Hotel (Distance from Pier 91: 2.2 miles)

This artful retreat in the historic Queen Anne district pays homage to Seattle's cultural scene (the property is within walking distance from the Opera and the Pacific Northwest Ballet).

The family-friendly facilities include a swimming pool, afternoon cookies and coffee, and a bistro serving a selection of delicious pizzas and local brews.

The spacious rooms feature eclectic decor, workstations, TVs, and walk-in showers in the bathrooms.

For more details and booking information:

Mediterranean Inn (Distance from Pier 91: 2 miles)

Just because this hotel is affordable doesn't mean its guests should expect less from it—quite the contrary. The Mediterranean Inn is a mere five-minute walk from Seattle's Space Needle and about the same time from the city's waterfront, so it's perfect for those planning to explore the city before or after their cruise. Guests rave about the staff's friendliness and impeccable service.

Rooms have king beds, sitting areas, and city views, but the hotel's most stand-out amenity is its rooftop terrace with unobstructed vistas of the city's skyline and Mount Rainier in the distance.

For more details and booking information:

Homewood Suites by Hilton Seattle Downtown (Distance from Pier 91: 2 miles)

This is a wonderful option for families as the newly renovated guestrooms and suites feature sleeper sofas, full kitchens, and ample space for lounging.

Views of Puget Sound and proximity to the city's most popular attractions, like the Olympic Sculpture Park, the Space Needle, and Pike Place Market, await travelers here.

This hotel is also an excellent—and budget-friendly—option for those departing from Pier 66, as it is less than a mile from it.

For more details and booking information:

Best Things to Do Near the Port of Seattle

Have some time to spare before your cruise departs from Seattle? Well, you're in luck because the city is chockfull of great activities, world-class landmarks, museums, and cultural experiences, all within a couple of miles from both cruise port terminals.

If you're in the city for the first time and plan to do some serious sightseeing, consider purchasing Seattle's City Pass, which will save you almost 50 percent off the admission tickets for The Space Needle, the Seattle Aquarium, Woodland Park Zoo, and many others.

Smith Cove Pier 91

  • Smith Cove Park and Elliott Bay Park/Centennial Park: While popular with joggers, Smith Cove Park, located just west of Pier 91, is also a wonderful way to enjoy the view of the pier, boats, and the bay. Bring lunch to enjoy on the picnic tables or the benches facing the water. Elliott Bay Park, now Centennial Park, is a much larger waterfront space that boasts 11 acres of gardens, walking and biking paths, and spectacular views.
  • Discovery Park: If you need a place to relax and unwind, head to Discover Park, which comprises 534 acres and is Seattle's largest city park on Puget Sound. What makes it special is its ruggedness, as it features lush forests, meadows, and wild beaches.
  • Magnolia Neighborhood: If you get tired from the hustle and bustle of downtown Seattle, head to Magnolia. It is one of the Emerald City's most beautiful neighborhoods and offers a decidedly more suburban and relaxing vibe with beautiful views over Puget Sound (the neighborhood sits on a hill), tons of kid-friendly entertainment, and a more laid-back lifestyle just three miles west of downtown Seattle.

Bell Street Pier 66

  • Pike Place Market: Seattle's most famous market is always worth visiting, especially if you're a foodie. This nine-acre facility has been around since 1907 and houses over 200 independently owned food stalls, shops, and other small businesses selling artisanal products, fresh produce, and food.
  • Seattle Great Wheel: This 174-foot Ferris Wheel, the largest on the West Coast, stands on Pier 57 and is one of the city's most recognizable landmarks. In addition, it allows you to view Seattle from a different perspective. The 42 gondolas accommodate up to eight people and are closed and air-conditioned. Book the glass-bottom gondola for a truly exhilarating and adrenalin-inducing experience.
  • Olympic Sculpture Park: This former industrial site is now one of Seattle's most visited parks, boasting monumental public art pieces along its beautiful waterfront. The facilities are open 365 days a year and are free of charge (parking, however, is paid).
  • Seattle Aquarium: Even if you're not traveling with little ones, we suggest a visit to this extraordinary facility that, for decades, has been educating the public on marine conservation in fun and interactive ways. The crown jewel is the 400,000-gallon aquarium that offers a 360-degree view into the habitat buzzing with marine life.
  • Woodinville: If you've already seen Seattle's landmarks, then consider exploring a different area. With over 130 wineries and tasting rooms and top-notch restaurants, situated just 30 miles northeast of downtown Seattle, Woodinville is a popular day trip from the city. We offer wine tour services priced by the hour, and can even help you plan an itinerary. Call or contact us for a quote on your private layover tour in Seattle.

Ready to start your trip off with a comfortable limousine cruise transfer from SeaTac to your hotel, Pier 66, or Pier 91?

For all of Starline’s SeaTac to Cruise Pier services get a quick quote online or call us at (206) 261-1191 to speak with a reservation agent who will assist you with any questions about transportation during your trip.

“My wife and I took a cruise from Terminal 91 and Starline brought us to the terminal in a beautiful town car. The driver helped us with our bags and made sure we boarded before leaving. When we docked he was waiting for us. An excellent limo service.”
–Miguel R. (Google Review)

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