Royal Caribbean has resumed cruising to Alaska – the first cruise company to do so since September 2019.
Yesterday, Serenade of the Seas kicked off the highly anticipated comeback of the summer season when it departed on the first of a series of 7-night cruises from Seattle.
The sailing marks a celebratory moment for the cruise industry, local workforce, regional suppliers and Alaska’s beloved communities that were significantly impacted by the absence of all cruise tourism, which normally represents more than 60 per cent of the state’s visitors and generates upwards of $3 billion for its economy each year.
Ninety-seven per cent of the entire onboard community on Serenade is fully vaccinated.
“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 and CEO, 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.”
Serenade is the cruise industry’s first ship to return to Alaska and the second in Royal Caribbean’s world-class fleet to welcome back guests in the U.S. after Freedom of the Seas set sail from Miami for a celebratory Fourth of July weekend.
Thirteen Royal Caribbean ships will be sailing around the world by the end of August, including Ovation of the Seas, which is set to sail on 7-night adventures to Skagway, Sitka and Juneau, Alaska and through the famed Inside Passage.
The cruise line recently extended Ovation’s Alaska season into October with four additional sailings. With more to be announced, the largest cruise line’s current lineup of returning ships is available here.