Seattle’s cruising season is set to resume today (19 July) when Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s Serenade of the Seas sets sail with a seven-day Alaska itinerary
It is expected to be followed by Ovation of the Seas as the shortened 2021 cruise season for Seattle resumes. Both ships have already docked in Seattle and are the first cruise ships to arrive in 18 months.
Starting 19 July, Seattle’s homeport cruise business operations will see 84 round trip voyages to Alaska before the end of October 2021, with sailings every day except for Wednesdays.
Last week Serenade of the Seas cast off from the Port of Seattle for a short trip up to Ketchikan, Alaska and back as part of a test sailing to satisfy requirements from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Ovation of the Seas has received permission from the CDC to sail a simulated voyage between Seattle to Alaska from 30 July to 4 August. Ovation is one of six ships within the operator’s fleet to receive permission.
The Port of Seattle said cruise ships continue to arrive in Seattle harbour, loading supplies, ensuring staff are vaccinated and implementing heightened health and safety precautions at arrival, on board and at disembarkation.
The Port’s International Tourism Development Manager Patti Denny remarked, “The Port of Seattle is delighted to be welcoming passengers to and through Seattle once again as part of an Alaska cruise. Passenger, crew and port staff safety is of paramount importance for bringing back cruising to and from the city and the huge strides to address this over the past 18 months by the port authorities and our partners have been tremendous. We look forward to the safe return of passengers from the UK, Ireland and Europe in 2022 and continuing our work with the travel trade to promote Washington state cruise and stay itineraries once border restrictions allow.”
Cruising rakes in US$900M as part of Seattle’s giant tourism industry which has taken a beating with the onset of the pandemic. In February, Canada extended its cruise shipping ban until 28 February 2022, a decision that affected both Seattle and Alaska given the volume of traffic between the US and its northern neighbour.
However, as Riviera Maritime Media reported last week, North American cruise shipping is resuming business and the Port of Seattle said it expects to welcome passenger ships from Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Carnival Cruises and Silverseas by the end of July.
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