Norwegian Cruise Line has announced a return to operations from the U.S. this summer with sailings to Alaska out of Seattle, Washington. This news follows Carnival and Royal Caribbean that will also make a return to the region.
Cruises are finally moving forward thanks to a temporary waiver of the Passenger Vessel Services Act that allows cruise ships to visit Alaska with approval from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC.
Norwegian Bliss to Resume Cruises to Alaska
The cruise industry is moving forward now that the U.S. government has cleared the way for cruise ships to be able to sail to Alaska once again. Norwegian Bliss will be the first vessel in the fleet to restart sailings in the U.S. on August 7, 2021.
The Breakaway-plus class cruise ship will sail week-long sailings out of Seattle, Washington to Alaska. The revised itineraries will continue through October 16, 20021, including calls to Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan, and Icy Strait Point. On select sailings, guests will also have to chance to enjoy the views of Glacier Bay National Park or the Holkham Bay Glacier Fjord.
Harry Sommer, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line, said:
“Seattle has always been our second home, and we are beyond excited to return to this incredible homeport and to once again bring our guests to Alaska.”
“Twenty-one years ago, we were the first to offer itineraries to Alaska from Seattle, and we continue to celebrate a strong relationship with our partners in this spectacular destination. We have been waiting for a very long time to announce a resumption of cruising from the U.S. We are so proud to be sailing for the first time in over a year from our special homeport of Seattle to the breathtaking state of Alaska.”
The news gets even better from Norwegian Cruise Line with guests being able to take advantage of a new cruise pier in Icy Strait Point, developed by parent company Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and Huna Totem Corporation.
There will be upgraded outlets for retail and dining along with shore excursion offerings and even the world’s largest ZipRider zip line. nature really will be a focus with bear spotting platforms and a connect to the wilderness with walking trails and more. The area will be developed even further in 2022.
Alaska is Back!
Multiple cruise lines have now announced plans on returning to Alaska including Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line and Celebrity Cruises. However, they will need to get a Conditional Sailing Certificate from the CDC which is now possible thanks to the agency finally opening up and working on a summer restart with the cruise lines.
Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy, said:
“Alaskans are ready to welcome visitors from across the globe to Alaska, where they can personally experience the scenic and cultural wonders that can only be found here.”
“I am grateful for the teamwork and thoughtful planning that many people from Norwegian Cruise Line, Alaska’s local governments, our congressional delegation, tourism industry, and the state’s public health team put into preparing for a cruise ship season that promises to be both safe and rewarding for everyone.”
Alaska joined the Florida lawsuit against the CDC in April due to the impact the cruise suspension was having on the state. Over $3 billion has already been lost due to the canceled cruise season in 2020 but now at least there will be less of an impact for 2021 as some of the season will be saved.
Norwegian Bliss Cruise Ship: Overview and Things to Do
Norwegian Bliss is over 168,000 gross tons with a guest capacity of over 4,000. When the ship begins sailings, guests will need to be fully vaccinated as part of NCL’s SailSAFE health and safety program. The cruise line will also continue to develop measures to make sure guests and crew remain safe once the U.S. cruises resume.