The cruise line’s Serenade of the Seas departed Seattle on the first of a series of 7-night voyages, marking the first return of a cruise ship to Alaskan waters since SEP 2019.
Royal Caribbean returned to cruising from other U.S. homeports at the beginning of JUL,
Normally, cruise tourism represents 60 per cent of Alaska’s visitors and generates up to $3 billion each year.
“We are grateful for the support of our partners, Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, and other government and health authorities. This is a return that is significantly felt by many, including those whose communities rely on cruise tourism,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International.
The Serenade will be visiting cities like Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan and the Icy Strait Point, as well as the jaw-dropping Endicott Arm fjord and Dawes Glacier.
The ship will be joined by Ovation of the Seas departing from Seattle starting 13AUG.With the resumption of cruising by these two ships, Royal Caribbean returns to its pre-pandemic levels of Alaskan sailings.
According to a press release, 97 per cent of the onboard community on the Serenade is fully vaccinated.
“Alaska is one of the most popular destinations among our guests, especially families with young kids – children who are ineligible for the vaccine today,” said Bayley.
Cruising on By Canada
None of the cruise ships returning to Alaska in the coming weeks will be visiting Canada.
Although Canada last week moved up its ban on large cruise ships to 01NOV, that’s not soon enough for ports in B.C. to get any Alaska cruise business – this year.
Industry authorities are hoping that Ottawa’s announcement will give cruise lines the confidence – and the time – to arrange to return to Canadian ports when the 2022 Alaska cruising season begins next spring.