Three new ships – Norwegian Joy, Royal Princess and Ovation of the Seas – will join Alaska’s first neo-panamax ship, the Norwegian Bliss, in Great Land waters next year.
A total of 10 new ships will call on the state in 2019, beginning April 27 with the arrival of the Ruby Princess in Ketchikan and ending Oct. 5, when the Norwegian Jewel departs Southeast. With one exception, next year’s ships are either new to the trade or larger than the ships they replace. Overall, cruise visitation is expected to increase 16 percent.
New to the state are Cunard, Viking, Azamara and Hurtigruten.
Cunard is sending its 2,547-passenger Queen Elizabeth, a luxury liner that will make one call in Kodiak and Anchorage during its repositioning cruise from Japan before sailing 10-night cruises through the Inside Passage. Cunard has not been in Alaska in two decades.
The new 930-passenger Viking Orion will sail 11-night journeys between Seward and Vancouver, B.C., on an itinerary that includes a stop in Valdez. The Orion will call eight times, while Holland America’s 1,258-passenger Maasdam will stop three times as part of its 21-day “Ultimate Alaska and Pacific Northwest Adventurer” cruise.
The Azamara Quest, a 686-passenger boutique, luxury liner, will offer eight-day trips between Seward and Vancouver.
On the wild side, the 102-passenger National Geographic Orion has a 22-day “Across the Bering Sea” adventure and a 13-day “Bering Sea Wilderness” trek. The world’s first hybrid ship, Hurtigruten’s Roald Amundsen, departs Greenland Aug. 20 for a 24-day trip through the Northwest Passage to Nome, where passengers will fly into Anchorage and then south to Vancouver. On Sept. 10, the ship departs Nome for an 18-day voyage that stops in St. Matthew, St. Paul, Dutch Harbor, Unga, Kodiak and Hubbard Glacier before heading south to Vancouver.
In other changes, the 3,883-passenger Norwegian Joy replaces the 2,394-passenger Norwegian Pearl; the 3,600-passenger Royal Princess replaces the 3,114-passenger Emerald Princess; the 4,180-passenger Ovation of the Seas replaces the 4,029-passenger Explorer of the Seas; the 2,850-passenger Celebrity Eclipse replaces the 2,170-passenger Infinity; the 1,258-passenger Maasdam replaces the 1,432-passenger Zaandam; and the 596-passenger Silver Muse replaces the 382-passenger Silver Shadow.
In the small-ship category, American Cruise Lines returns the 170-passenger Constellation, offering 11- and 15-day Inside Passage and round-trip Juneau Itineraries. Alaska Cruises’ Northern Dream yacht sails around Southeast Alaska while U.S.A. River Cruises’ Pacific Provider dishes up the best of Prince William Sound.