Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), the innovator in global cruise travel, 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 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’s (NCLH), NCL’s parent company, invested $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 percent 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, 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 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.