One of the cruise industry’s biggest gateways to Alaska begins another busy season that is projected to have 289 sailings and carry 1.4 million revenue passengers. One of Norwegian Cruise Line’s Breakaway-plus class ships is the first to kick-start the season, which runs through October 2023.
Cruise Ships Return to Port of Seattle’s Pier 66
It is a spring awakening for Seattle, Washington’s iconic Pier 66, as the first of 289 cruise ships begins the port’s 2023 season. On Saturday, April 15, the Norwegian Bliss arrived at the Port of Seattle to begin another six months of adventures across North America’s Pacific Northwest.
Port of Seattle officials are anticipating the 2023 cruise season to contribute significantly to over $900 million in economic activity, supporting 5,500 jobs, as well as producing $14.5 million in taxes. Divided out, each ship that calls Seattle its homeport is expected to add $4 million to the economy every time it resupplies.
“This six-month cruise season delivers a critical economic boost for all of King County,” said Port of Seattle Executive Director Steve Metruck. “The demand for the Seattle to Alaska cruise itinerary made it possible for our port to expand investments in workforce development and clean energy infrastructure.”
289 roundtrip Alaskan cruises are expected to set sail from the Port of Seattle before the season ends October 30, carrying a total of 700,000 travelers or 1.4 million “revenue passengers.”
Norwegian Bliss Sails First 2023 Alaskan Cruise from Seattle
This year, Norwegian Cruise Line has the honor of operating the inaugural voyage of Seattle’s 2023 Alaskan cruise season.
Custom-built for the job and with the capacity to hold just over 4,000 passengers, the 168,028-ton Norwegian Bliss embarks on a 7-night roundtrip voyage later in the day on April 15.
“Seattle has always felt like our second home since we launched the industry’s first roundtrip cruises to Alaska over 20 years ago,” said President of Norwegian Cruise Line David Herrera.
“We are committed to contributing to the local economy and promoting sustainable tourism and will continue to work together with the Port of Seattle and the local government to ensure we can continue to welcome our guests to this beautiful city and deliver the best Alaska cruise experience,” Herrera added.
The first voyage includes visits to Juneau, Ketchikan, Skagway, and Glacier Bay. Passengers will also be able to take in the beauty of the Pacific Northwest and experience a day in Victoria, British Columbia. The ship will return to Seattle on April 22.
According to the Port of Seattle’s cruise schedule, Holland America Line’s Eurodam will become the second ship to join the season, with departures starting on April 29. Carnival Spirit, which has already departed on her reposition voyage from Miami, will begin the deployment from Seattle on May 2.
Port of Seattle: The Preferred Gateway to Alaska for Many
Accessing Alaska’s Maritime region from Seattle is preferred by many American cruisers living in the Lower 48 compared to other options departing from British Columbia, Canada, and Seward, Alaska, specifically in matters of travel logistics.
“As a pivotal homeport for the Alaska cruise industry, Seattle has the valuable opportunity to welcome nearly 700,000 individual travelers before and after their cruise,” said Tammy Blount-Canavan, President and CEO of Visit Seattle.
“During their time here, passengers are able to sample our outstanding dining options, beautiful hotels, unique shops, and authentic Seattle experiences,” Blount-Canavan added.
Anchorage is another 3-4 hour flight northwest of Seattle and requires would-be passengers to take the world-famous train to the ship in Seward.
Meanwhile, any Americans sailing out of Vancouver must deal with the headaches and extra costs that come with international travel to a city a short drive away from The Emerald City.