Norwegian Cruise Line kicked off the 2022 Alaskan cruise season with Norwegian Bliss from Port of Seattle.
The ship is the first of any cruise ship to visit Alaska this season as well as the first of five Norwegian Cruise Line vessels to cruise The Last Frontier through October 2022.
Guests on Norwegian Bliss’ April 23, 2022 sailing are the first of the season to discover the epic sites of the destination. The vessel will provide travelers with immersive experiences through Southeast Alaska, visiting natural wonders including the passage through the 25-million-acre World Heritage Site, Glacier Bay National Park. NCL was granted access to this natural wonder due to the company’s environmental commitments focused on air emissions, waste and wildlife protection. Other sites guests may visit include the Mendenhall Glacier, which lies nearly 12 miles outside Juneau, Alaska and the Misty Fiords National Monument near Ketchikan, Alaska, a glacier-carved wilderness featuring snowcapped mountains and waterfalls.
Norwegian Cruise Line has a long history of cruising from Seattle to Alaska, having pioneered the route in 2001. The company is committed to the region working with destination partners in Seattle and Alaska to drive immersive and responsible tourism. In conjunction with Port of Seattle, Norwegian Cruise Line Holding’s invested $30 million to upgrade Pier 66, the site where Norwegian Bliss was christened in 2018. The dual investment expanded the check-in area by 300 percent to more than 150,000 sq. ft. It also expanded two new passenger boarding bridges to provide a more comfortable and efficient embarkation process.
Driving economic support in Alaska, the company partnered with and invested in Ward Cove Dock Group, LLC, transforming land, formerly designated as a superfund cleanup, or contaminated land, by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), into a sustainable, environmentally friendly and entertaining site for the community and cruise visitors.
Through a partnership with the Alaska Native-owned Huna Totem Corporation, the company was able to complete a second cruise pier at Icy Strait Point, as well as expand the destination’s Wilderness Landing. Enhancements featured upgraded retail, and restaurants, as well as shore excursion offerings, including the world’s largest ZipRider zip line, and experiences highlighting the culture of the native Huna Tlingit people.
In 2021, as part of NCL’s Great Cruise Comeback to celebrate the restart of its operations, the line restarted its U.S. voyages from Seattle to Alaska making its first call to Icy Strait Point and also welcoming the opening of the new Wilderness Landing pier and the first of two gondola systems to be completed as part of the joint investment between NCLH and Huna Totem.
“We have nearly three decades of history cruising Alaska, pioneering voyages to The Last Frontier from Seattle more than 22 years ago and christened the largest cruise ship in Seattle in 2018 with the debut of Norwegian Bliss,” said Norwegian Cruise Line president and chief executive officer, Harry Sommer, in a press statement. “We could not be any prouder to return to our ‘second home’ and jumpstart the 2022 Alaska season with one of our most innovative ships and provide unforgettable guest experiences with some of the world’s most bucket list destinations.”
Throughout the 2022 cruise season, NCL will have the youngest fleet sailing Alaska and offer the largest capacity ever with the most sailings offered by the brand in Alaska, including a variety of cruises for guests to choose from with 5-, 7-, 9-, and 10-day itineraries on Norwegian Bliss, Encore, Sun, Spirit, and Jewel.
“The Port of Seattle is excited to welcome cruise back to our region for the first full season since 2019,” said Steve Metruck, Port of Seattle executive director, in a press statement. “As we provide vital support for Seattle’s maritime, tourism, small business, and supplier sectors, we also are leading the industry in environmental excellence.”
In addition, Norwegian Sun will also return to sailing on May 5, 2022, marking the 16th of the 17 ship fleet to return to operation, as she sets sail from Seattle and makes her way through Alaska and British Columbia. She will offer 5-, 7-, 9- and 10-day itineraries this year before setting sail from Hong Kong.
For more information, visit ncl.com.
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