So What’s That Big Cruise Ship Doing Anchored off of South Bainbridge?

It’s not uncommon to see Cruise Ships ply the waters of Elliott Bay and Puget Sound most of the spring, summer and fall months. Although, there was a distinct absence of these humongous floating hotels during most of 2020 and early 2021. But they’re back, and some may be staying longer than others.

One in particular has caught our eye. the Royal Caribbean cruise ship, Ovation of the Seas moved from Pier 90 at the Port of Seattle‘s Smith Cove terminal several days ago and dropped anchor in the middle of Elliott Bay. It’s floating like a giant mirage, just off the south end of Bainbridge Island, not far from the east side of Blake Island. You might have noticed it while on the Bainbridge-Seattle ferry or if you live or were visiting the south end – Fort Ward, South Beach, Point White Road and so on.

According to West Seattle Blog (, a 24/7 online news site, the ship’s future schedule appears to be in flux; its Australia cruise season for 2021-2022 was recently canceled because travel restrictions Down Under remain tight.

As for its continued stay in the Seattle area, West Seattle recently asked Port of Seattle spokesperson Peter McGraw, what’s up with the ship.

“It will be hanging around in the near future, after our last passenger cruise vessel NCL Encore departs on Saturday (Oct. 30) afternoon,” McGraw said.  “It may be conducting operations around the Sound or even berthed at Pier 66.” (That’s the cruise-ship dock on the downtown waterfront.) It had to leave Pier 91 because the space was needed for other vessels: “When we need our facilities for other tenants, like fishing vessels back from Alaska or other needs outside the cruise season, they have to go elsewhere until there’s an opening, like at 66 later (this) week.”

So, as of Halloween morning, the Ovation of the Seas was still anchored off of Bainbridge Island. It’s in a similar location where we continue to see cargo ships anchored. The latter vessels are usually waiting for room at ports, such as Seattle, Tacoma and Vancouver, B.C., to unload their containers. If you follow the news at all, you know that the international supply chain is being hampered by delays in unloading cargo and, in many cases, a lack of dock workers and truck drivers.

Will these waters become a parking lot for cruise ships, too? Only time will tell.


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