Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings today announced its much anticipated expected return to cruising in the U.S. this summer with Alaska cruises on the Norwegian Bliss sailing from Seattle beginning August 7, 2021.
The restart of cruising in the U.S. is contingent on obtaining a Conditional Sailing Certificate from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which the company said it expects to be granted in the coming days.
Voyages will operate with all guests and crew required to be fully vaccinated, along with the implementation of the company’s SailSAFETM health and safety program.
“We are thrilled to reach the next milestone in our Great Cruise Comeback with the expected resumption of cruising in the U.S. starting in Alaska, one of our guests’ most popular destinations. This is a moment we have all been waiting for and it would not have been possible without the strong support of the Alaska congressional delegation who worked tirelessly to pass legislation that temporarily waives certain requirements of the Passenger Vessel Services Act,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings.
“Cruise travel is vital to Alaska’s extensive tourism economy and we collaboratively worked alongside local, state and national authorities to find a path forward to resume cruise operations and provide much needed relief to the families, communities and small businesses who rely on cruise tourism for their livelihoods. We look forward to re-starting the broad cruise ecosystem which supports thousands of American jobs and welcoming our guests back onboard to create memories of a lifetime,” added Del Rio.
“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.”
The Bliss will sail revised itineraries from Aug. 7, 2021 through Oct. 16, 2021, offering seven to 13 hours of port time in Skagway, Juneau, Ketchikan and Icy Strait Point, Alaska. On select sailings, guests will also have the chance to take in the serene views of Glacier Bay National Park or the Holkham Bay Glacier Fjord.