She’s here – and she’s a real beauty.
The Norwegian Bliss is Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest flagship vessel, and the first large cruise ship specifically built for the Alaska market.
The Bliss arrived in Ketchikan June 4 and was officially welcomed to the state June 12 with a traditional plaque exchange.
“What a blissful day for Juneau as we welcome this beautiful ship,” said Juneau Mayor Ken Koelsch. “We look forward to hosting her passengers and crew this season, to the positive financial impact they bring and the memories they will take home from Juneau.”
With an overall length of 1,094 feet, the 4,004-passenger vessel carries a crew of 1,716 – making it the largest cruise ship ever to serve Alaska waters.
“Bliss is a phenomenal ship,” said John Binkley, president, Cruise Lines International Association Alaska (CLIA Alaska). “Her capacity and onboard amenities are second to none in Alaska waters and represent the future of cruising in Alaska.”
This summer, Norwegian Bliss will make 17 week-long voyages between Seattle and Skagway before sailing south to service the Mexican Riviera in October. Each of its Alaska journeys will begin and end in Seattle, with stops in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Victoria, B.C., along the way.
“This month, we celebrate 24 years of cruising to Alaska, and I couldn’t be more proud,” said Andy Stuart, Norwegian Cruise Line’s president and chief executive officer. “Alaska is an incredibly rich and diverse destination, one that is truly majestic, and we are very excited to provide our guests the opportunity to explore everything it offers on Norwegian Bliss, our newest and most exciting ship to date.”
In addition to breathtaking views of Sawyer Glacier and Alaska’s Inside Passage, passengers aboard Norwegian Bliss can enjoy a suite of amenities, including a two-story waterpark, laser-tag arena, 900-seat theater, 20,000-square-foot observation lounge and a two-deck go-kart track.
The Bliss is one of the 10 largest cruise ships in the world and is another sign of the significance that Alaska has for travelers from around the globe.
An estimated 1,165,500 cruise passengers will visit Alaska this season aboard 34 CLIA Alaska ships that will make 519 voyages.
“The visitor industry is thriving in Alaska and benefits us all,” said Binkley. “In Juneau alone, visitors contribute $238 million to the economy each year, support 2,800 jobs and pay $27.7 million in taxes and fees.”
About Norwegian Bliss
Launched: April 21, 2018
Capacity: 4,004 double occupancy
Tonnage: 167,800 GT; 11,700 DWT
Speed: 23.2 knots (43 km/h) (cruising)