Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas returned to North America earlier this month, after nearly a decade sailing exclusively in Asia.
On May 4, the Royal Caribbean International vessel welcomed guests in Seattle, kicking off a summer season in Alaska.
Offering a seven-night cruise program, the ship’s regular itineraries feature visits to popular destinations in the region, such as Juneau, Skagway, Sitka, Icy Strait Point and Victoria.
The program marks the first time the Quantum sails from a U.S. port since May 2, 2015. At the time, the 2014-built vessel embarked on a “global odyssey” to China – where it spent most of the following years.
The 53-night journey departed the port of New York and ended in Shanghai, after crossing the Atlantic Ocean, cruising in the Mediterranean, the Arabian Gulf and the Indian Ocean.
Most recently, the 158,000-ton vessel became the first to resume service for Royal Caribbean after the COVID-19 pandemic, offering a series of short cruises to nowhere departing from Singapore.
After its North American summer season, the Quantum is set to debut in Australia.
Starting in November, it will be based in Brisbane for cruises to Tasmania, Queensland, the South Pacific, New Zealand and more.
As the lead ship of the Quantum-Class, the Quantum of the Seas was described by Royal Caribbean as “a dramatic leap forward” for the cruise industry.
When it debuted in November 2014, it introduced several “firsts at sea” such as a skydiving experience; a large indoor sports and entertainment complex with bumper cars, roller skating and more; and the cruise line’s largest and most advanced staterooms ever.
The new, larger cabins enabled innovation in design, Royal Caribbean said at the time, adding storage and comfort, and also the industry’s first virtual balconies, which made possible for every stateroom onboard to have a sea view.
The ship also introduced the North Star, a jewel-shaped, glass capsule that transports guests more than 300 feet above the ocean and over the sides of the ship to deliver awe-inspiring 360-degree views.
Before departing to Asia in 2015, the vessel spent its inaugural season sailing out of the New York Harbor, offering seven- to 12-night itineraries to the Caribbean and Bahamas from its Cape Liberty homeport.