The ship is the first of any cruise ship to visit Alaska this season and the first of five Norwegian Cruise Line vessels to cruise The Last Frontier through October 2022.
Guests on Norwegian Bliss’ 23 April 2022 sailing are the first of the season to discover the epic sites of the destination. The vessel will provide travellers 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 once-in-a-lifetime sites guests may visit include the majestic 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 deeply 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 (NCLH), NCL’s parent company, invested US$30 million to upgrade Pier 66, the renowned site where Norwegian Bliss was christened in 2018. The dual investment expanded the check-in area by 300% to more than 150,000 square feet. 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 and 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 Brand restarted its U.S. voyages from Seattle to Alaska, making its first call to Icy Strait Point and also officially 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. “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 five, seven, nine, 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. “As we provide vital support for Seattle’s maritime, tourism, small business, and supplier sectors, we also are leading the industry in environmental excellence.”
Cruise in Seattle provides nearly US$900 million in economic benefits supporting 5,500 jobs, and is an important component of the Port of Seattle’s strategy to expand economic opportunity.
Rounding out this momentous industry and Brand kickoff and as part of NCL’s Great Cruise Comeback for Alaskan cruises, Norwegian Sun will also return to sail on 5 May 2022, marking the 16th of our 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 five, seven, nine and ten-day itineraries this year before setting sail from Hong Kong.
For more information about the Company’s award-winning 17-ship fleet and worldwide itineraries, or to book a cruise, contact a travel professional, call NCL Hong Kong at +852 800 901 951 or visit www.ncl.com.
(Your Stories: NCL)