Norwegian Cruise Line has announced new details on its schedule for Alaska sailings this summer.
The cruise line revealed on Monday that it expects to resume U.S. cruising operations beginning August 7, 2021 with week-long voyages from Seattle to Alaska, pending CDC approval.
The news follows the temporary waiver of the Passenger Vessel Services Act, allowing cruising to Alaska to begin this year without needing to call on a foreign port — which for Alaska cruises, is a stop in Canada. Norwegian — and the other large cruise lines with Alaska plans for this year — will be able to return to the northernmost state upon obtaining the pending Conditional Sailing Certificate from the CDC.
“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,” said Harry Sommer, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line.
“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.”
Norwegian Bliss Itineraries
This summer, the line will operate Alaska cruises aboard its purpose-built ship for the Last Frontier — Norwegian Bliss. The vessel will sail revised itineraries from August 7 to October 16, offering 7 to 13 hours of port time in Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan, and Icy Strait Point. Select sailings will also include scenic sailing in Glacier Bay National Park or the Holkham Bay Glacier Fjord.
Icy Strait Point
Passengers will also benefit from the opening of the second cruise pier in Icy Strait Point, which parent company Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings developed in partnership with the Huna Totem Corporation.
Initially scheduled to open during the 2020 Alaska summer season, the recently expanded Wilderness Landing on Icy Strait Point caters to visitors in search of an authentic Alaskan experience.
Enhancements include upgraded shops and restaurants, the world’s largest ZipRider zip line, excursions such as fishing adventures and whale watching, walking trails, and brown bear viewing platforms.
In 2022, the Mountain Top gondola will open, providing easy, vehicle-free access through the treetops. This will unlock additional areas of exploration and views of icefields, the Fairweather Range, and Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve — the ancestral homeland of the Huna Tlingit people.
“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,” said Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy.
“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.”