It’s been a long time in the making, and it even took an intervention from the US Government to make it work, but today is the day that large cruise ships make their return to Alaska. Serenade of the Seas will be sailing from Seattle today on a 7-night Alaska cruise.
A cruise ship ban from the Canadian Government was feared to be spoiling the fun for guests eager to take a cruise to Alaska, but an intervention by State officials and approval from Washington means ships can bypass laws in place since the late 19th century.
Serenade of the Seas Departing Today
Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas will set sail today from Seattle on what can rightfully be called another highlight in the resumption of cruising this year. The vessel was initially scheduled to set sail from Vancouver in Canada; however, the cruise ban in Canada prevented this, prompting Royal Caribbean to change the homeport to Seattle.
Although the Passenger Vessel Services Act could have prevented cruises to Alaska this season, intervention from the US government ensures locals get the chance to welcome cruise ship guests back to the beautiful north.
Serenade of the Seas boasts a gross tonnage of 90,090 with a capacity for 2,490 passengers and 891 crew members. The vessel will not be full, as cruise ships are still sailing with lower capacities at this time.
Although the vessel has been through a test sailing, which she completed early in July, the cruise line has a vaccination mandate for all passengers over the age of 16, who should have had their last shot at least 14 days before sailing.
Guests younger than 16 do not need to be vaccinated for cruises in July; however, they will need to go through COVID testing and be bound to stricter guidelines on board and ashore. For cruises in August, the mandate will also include teenagers aged 12 and up.
Serenade’s 7-night Alaskan Cruises
The seven-night itineraries from Seattle will see Serenade of the Seas call in ports like Ketchikan. Juneau, Sitka, Icy Strait Point, and visits to Dawes Glacier and Endicott Arm fjord. Royal Caribbean is offering two different voyages with slight itinerary changes.
Also Read: IDEAL Things to Do in Sitka, Alaska
The first itinerary will see the vessel call in Endicott Arm & Dawes Glacier, Juneau, Sitka, and Ketchikan, before returning to Seattle. The second itinerary will call in Sitka, Icy Strait Point, Endicott Arm & Dawes Glacier, Juneau, and Ketchikan, before sailing back to Serenade’s homeport.
Most locals will be happy to see ships return to Alaskan shores. The financial benefit of the ships has been well documented. In April of this year, Governor Mike Dunleavy reported in the Impacts to Alaska from 2020/2021 Cruise Ship Season Cancellation report the economic impact the lack of cruise tourism would have on the region. According to the report, the state would lose out on more than $3 billion in income each year the cruise ships stay away.
Number of Ships In Seattle Steadily Growing
Serenade of the Seas is the first but not the only ship to start cruising in Alaska in the upcoming weeks and months. Some of the other vessels sailing to Alaska are:
- Celebrity Millenium July 23
- Holland America’s Nieuw Amsterdam July 24
- Princess Cruises’ Majestic Princess July 25
- Silverseas’ Silver Muse will sail on July 29
- Norwegian Encore arrived in Seattle a few weeks ago and will begin sailing on August 7.
- Ovation of the Seas on August 13.
- Carnival Miracle starting August 15
All-in-all, the Alaskan cruise season has not been lost, although the season might not be from May as many would have hoped, with a full 2-3 months of ships sailing to Alaska, at least a part of the season has been saved.