Royal Caribbean has returned to Alaska, becoming the first cruise line to sail in the region since September 2019.
Serenade of the Seas kicked off the comeback of the summer season when she departed on the first of a series of seven-night cruises from Seattle.
The sailing marks a celebratory moment for the cruise industry, local workforce and regional suppliers that have been significantly impacted by the absence of all cruise tourism.
The sector normally represents more than 60 per cent of the visitors to the state and generates upwards of $3 billion for its economy each year.
Ninety-seven percent of the entire onboard community on Serenade is fully vaccinated.
A local favourite, Serenade sets course for classic cities and quaint towns like Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan and Icy Strait Point, Alaska, as well as the jaw-dropping Endicott Arm fjord and Dawes Glacier.
The ship will be joined by Ovation of the Seas in Seattle starting August 13th, rounding out Royal Caribbean’s great Alaska comeback in 2021.
“Cruising in Alaska is finally back, and we are excited to be the first to return.
“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 Michael Bayley, president, Royal Caribbean International.
“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.”