Heres When Alaska Cruises From Seattle Will Start Again And Which Lines Will Resume
A cruise ship seen off Alki Beach on Sunday, May 12, 2019 in West Seattle. Several cruise lines plan to resume cruises between Seattle and Alaska as early as July. TNS
Cruises from Seattle to Alaska are set to return this summer after federal lawmakers cleared the way for sailings that have been on hold since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
The move signals the return of a significant slice of downtown Seattles economy, where some waterfront businesses plan staffing around the cruise schedule. But significant questions remain about exact safety protocols the cruise lines will enforce.
Princess Cruises, Holland America Line and Carnival Cruise Line said Thursday they would resume cruising to Alaska for a partial season starting in July for passengers who have proof of vaccination.
Princess Cruises will sail seven-day cruises from July 25 through Sept. 26. Sales will begin on May 21.
Holland America Line will resume seven-day cruises to depart on Saturdays from July 24 through Oct. 2.
Carnival will depart weekly from July 27 to Sept. 14. Most trips will be seven-day cruises, with one eight-day trip that has one additional stop.
Norwegian Cruise Line has also started selling tickets for August sailings from Seattle to Alaska, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.
Proof of vaccination will be required, the companies said Thursday. Decisions about masks, social distancing and precise quarantine procedures are still to come.
Cruise Lines Navigate Complex Rules As Alaska Sailings Resume
Passengers line up as they head toward the terminal where they will check in for their cruise to Alaska aboard the Serenade of the Seas at Terminal 91 in Seattle on July 19.
SEATTLE Its a sight Seattle hasnt seen in a while: lines of vacationers at Pier 91, many dressed in Hawaiian shirts, bucket hats and sunglasses, with suitcases and smiles. The Majestic Princess floats on their left, the Serenade of Seas to the right.
Under sunny skies, the first Alaska cruise of the season and the first since the onset of the pandemic weighed anchor Monday as Royal Caribbeans Serenade of the Seas set off on a seven-night voyage.
The long anticipated return of cruising in Seattle continues this month as six other cruise lines resume sailing, among them Seattle-based Holland America Line and Princess Cruises. Starting Friday, ships will leave Seattle almost daily for the rest of the month. In August, some days will see two departures.
Weve been waiting two years now to go to Alaska, said Peter Dorney, 52, one of the first people in line with his wife, Kathy, 51, waiting to board the Serenade on Monday morning. The Massachusetts couple is celebrating their 25th anniversary this year and Dorney said they have been on more than 20 cruises. Were frequent cruisers.
For a voyage to be considered a vaccinated cruise, the CDC requires that 95% of passengers and also 95% of the crew be fully vaccinated 14 days before boarding.
Alaska Cruise Itinerary From Vancouver
Alaska cruises from Vancouver have many options. The seven-day itineraries sail either a round-trip or one way. One-way cruises to and from Whittier and Seward have the option to add on a land-based itinerary to Denali National Park. Staying in a lodge at Denali increases the chance of seeing the big five. The big five include moose, grizzly bears, grey wolves, caribou, and Dall sheep.
These cruise and land itineraries end or start in either Anchorage or Fairbanks for easy access to an airport. The one-way itineraries, either northbound or southbound, include cruising through College Fjord. Located in Prince William Sound, the fjord contains multiple valley and tidewater glaciers named for famous colleges. Booking a back-to-back gives the cruiser multiple glacier viewings.
Don’t Miss: Is There A Cruise From California To Hawaii
Pier 46 Cruise Terminal
In mid-November 2018, Port Seattle Commission unveiled plans for a USD 348 million project for waterfront upgrades and building a new cruise terminal.
- City’s new seaport levy growth brings in USD 74,2 million per year and helped paying for the new projects. It also funded environmental programs. It is expected to be approved a 3% property tax increase, which means the owner of USD 590,000 property would pay around $70 in 2019, and $79 in 2023.
- Port’s capital improvement plan includes upgraded to Fishermen’s Terminal, new light industrial space in Interbay , modernization of Bell Harbor’s conference center, new cruise terminal .
Construction works on the new Pier 46 Terminal started on March 13, 2019. The new “Terminal 5” can handle ULCV , supports ~6600 direct jobs and generates USD 2+ billion in annual business activities. From the US$ 340M, the private company SSA Terminals contributed US$ 160M. The 185-acre terminal will be open in 2 phases – one berth in 2021-Q1, and the other in 2023. Terminal 5 can handle simultaneously 2 large boxships . Port Seattle’s North and South harbor container terminals can handle ships with max capacity 14,000 TEUs.
Since 2019, Terminal 46 is no longer used for international container shipping. Cruise terminal’s completion is scheduled for 2020. The new facility will also have shoreside power capabilities.
Cruises Leaving From Seattle
Seattle is a delightful departure point for a cruise it’s home to two cruise ports served by seven major cruise lines and used by over 1 million passengers a year. The city’s setting in the beautiful Pacific Northwest means cruise ships can set a straight, scenic course north for Alaska, down the west coast of the continent, or even on epic voyages across the Pacific. Furthermore, both of the cruise ports are close enough to many of Seattle’s top attractions to make a day exploring the city pre- or post-cruise an easy and worthwhile addition to your vacation.
Read Also: Best Months For Alaska Cruise
First Ncl Cruises From The Us
While the competition is already sailing from Texas and Florida, Norwegian Cruise Line has decided to take its first cruise post-pandemic from Seattle, Washington. Not surprising given the fact that the cruise line has been adamant it will require vaccinations from all guests onboard, while all crew members on board the ships must also be vaccinated.
Norwegian Cruise Line has developed a robust health package on board the ships. However, the vaccination mandate does enable the cruise line to have a nearly normal operating model on board. All cruises onboard will be fully mask-free, there will be no capacity restrictions, and all venues will be open fully without restrictions.
Also Read: Things to Do on a Norwegian Encore Cruise
The cruise line has also declared that all social distancing measures have been done away with, so no more closed seats or spaces. Besides this, Norwegian Cruise Line also operates the restaurants, including buffets, as they would have done before the pandemic.
The first cruise for Norwegian Encore will depart from Seattle on August 7 and call in Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, and Icy Strait Point. Guests will be able to enjoy the ports of call by themselves or by booking a tour there are no restrictions here either.
The Breakaway-plus class ship will be operating in Alaska until the end of October, at which point she will reposition to Miami to start operations in the Caribbean.
Worth Reading: IDEAL Things to Do in Ketchikan, Alaska
What Are Popular Activities In Alaska
The variety of shoreside tours in Alaska is second to none. Whether you take a helicopter tour to a dogsledding camp, learn about indigenous cultures or go salmon fishing like the local bears, excursions in Alaska are an unforgettable experience.
Active types will thrive with plenty of opportunities to hop in a kayak, hike and even ice climb. Passive activities can be just as thrilling, like the White Pass Summit scenic rail of Skagway or a whale-watching boat tour in Juneau. Alaska caters to all ages and activity levels meaning you don’t have to break a sweat to see some truly awesome sights here, and to learn about their history in the process.
Read Also: What Cruise Lines Leave From Mobile Alabama
Relax On Decadent Alaska Cruises From Seattle By Oceania Cruises
Alaskan cruises offered by Oceania Cruises are premium experiences. Aboard one of Oceania Cruises ships, you will be staying in luxurious suites and rooms that are furnished in the neoclassical style.
Besides having some of the finest accommodations, Oceania Cruises Alaska cruises feature lounges, bars, casinos, spa centers, stylish restaurants, and more. Not to mention exciting shore excursions and wildlife viewing.
Oceania Cruises offers both 7 and 10-night cruises from Seattle to Alaska.
The 7-night Alaska cruise includes highlights such as:
Ketchikan. Photo by Holland America.
Most Read Business Stories
Bhupesh Singh, 44, who was boarding the Serenade of the Seas on Monday with his wife, Hansi, and their two unvaccinated children both are under 12 said he felt comfortable with Royal Caribbeans approach, even with the extra precautions hed have to take travelling with kids. He noted that he brought his family to cruise from Seattle, where Royal Caribbean at least requires all adults to be vaccinated. In Florida, where hes from, that isnt the case.
The reduced capacity on board the Serenade of the Seas was also encouraging for Singh. Royal Caribbean declined to say exactly how many passengers it will have on board, but said it would be much lower than full capacity, which is typically almost 2,500 people. Holland America and Princess Cruises said they will be starting their Alaskan cruises at approximately 60% capacity, moving up gradually over the course of the season.
Some cruise lines will also be using technology to trace passengers location. Royal Caribbean will be using tracelets, or wristbands that passengers must wear in order to be tracked on board. Princess Cruises will be using medallions, portable devices used for various functions on board the ship, which will keep a log of who passengers come in contact with.
You May Like: What Cruise Lines Depart From New York City
Cruises Sailing From Seattle To Anchorage
The two options for sailing to Anchorage are sailing round trip from Seattle to Anchorage and back, or sailing one way only.Cruise lines that sail from Seattle, Washington to Anchorage, Alaska include:
- Princess Cruises – The Seattle Inside Passage Cruise voyages to Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Victoria, Tracy Arm, and the Sawyer Glaciers. The trip lasts seven days.
- Celebrity Cruises – For seven days you can sail to Alaska along the Inside Passage and take advantage of shore excursions to Ketchikan, British Columbia, and Sitka.
- Holland America Cruise Line – There are three cruises to choose from with this company. The seven-day Alaskan Explorer Cruises take you round trip from Seattle with a Friday departure. Enjoy Glacier Bay National Park, Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan, and Victoria, British Columbia. Or you can sail on a Saturday and during your seven day trip, view Hubbard Glacier, Yakutat Bay, Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan, and Victoria, British Columbia. If a Sunday departure suits your schedule, Alaskan Explorer Cruises can take you round trip from Seattle for a seven day adventure where you will visit Glacier Bay National Park or Hubbard Glacier, Yakutat Bay, Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan, and Victoria, British Columbia.
- Norwegian Cruise Line – Relatively new to the cruise scene, this impressive line has two ships that travel to Alaska. The Glacier Cruises last seven days and include excursions to Skagway and Prince Rupert.
Pacific Coast Cruises From Seattle
Cruises up the coast from Seattle to British Columbia, Canada, or down to Oregon, California, start at two to five days in duration. These mini-cruises offered by Holland America, Royal Caribbean and Princess visit Vancouver and Victoria, two intriguing coastal cities in British Columbia, Canada. Royal Caribbean has a four-night round trip that calls at Victoria and Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. Southbound voyages are mostly seven-day cruises to Astoria, Oregon, San Francisco, California and often Victoria, BC, as well. Princess’ California Coast Cruise also calls at Monterey, California.
Read Also: How Much Does An Alaskan Cruise Cost
Cruises From Seattle To Alaska
There are many cruises from Seattle to Alaska. It is by far the most popular destination for cruises from this port. See the details below.
This video provides interesting tips for enjoying an Alaskan cruise. It’s only a few minutes long.
Alaska cruise itineraries might include scenic viewing of Tracy Arm Fjord or Glacier Bay. Ports of call may include Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, and Sitka. Wildlife attractions of Alaska include whales, bears, moose, and eagles.
You can see more cruises to Alaska out of San Francisco.
Enjoy Food & Excursions On This 7
This 936-foot long cruise ship is packed with everything you need to have a good time while embarking on the adventure of a lifetime. You can enjoy regional cooking, spa and salon amenities, wine tastings, and a host of onboard activities. Some of the activities include a blues club, performance stage, a casino, and a kids activity hall.
Dining options that are included in ticket costs are Pinnacle Grill, Lido Market, and The Dining Room. There are also other dining options onboard including a cafe, sushi restaurant, and a pizzeria.
This week-long cruise follows the following itinerary:
- Day 1: Seattle & Puget Sound
- Day 2: Cruising
Grand Lounge. Photo courtesy of Oceana Cruises.
Don’t Miss: Where Do Cruise Ships Dock In Turks And Caicos
Where Do Alaska Cruises Depart From
Roundtrip Alaska sailings typically depart from Seattle or Vancouver, but also California cities like San Francisco. These sailings typically follow an Inside Passage itinerary.
Cruises also regularly depart from either Seward or Whittier, both Alaska ports accessible a short drive from Anchorage. These one-way sailings usually follow the Gulf of Alaska, also known as a cross-gulf cruise. These cruises might call on some Inside Passage stops, but also ports farther north.
Most cruisetours will begin or end in Anchorage, where the primary and central airport is.
Alaska Cruise Itinerary From Seattle
All seven-day Alaska cruises from Seattle sail round-trip. They can cruise as far as Hubbard Glacier, although most cruise lines sail to Tracy Arm, Endicott Arm, and a select few to Glacier Bay National Park. Sailing round-trip means a Seattle departure has no option to add a land-based itinerary. Traditionally, all sailings from Seattle were seven days, but Norwegian and Oceania have recently added nine to eleven days options, although still round-trip.
Since Seattle is further south than Vancouver, it takes a half-day longer to get to its first stop in Alaska. If your first scheduled stop is Juneau, the capital, it will take 1-1/2 days to reach the Alaskan city. So, instead of arriving at 9 am, vessels dock at noon or 1 pm instead.
While this may not seem like a big deal, I have been to Juneau four times, and its a port that offers the most shore excursions. Must-visit Mendenhall Glacier requires a shuttle to access it, and the last return bus leaves at 5:30 pm. Other attractions like Roberts Tramway also close early. So, when arriving in Juneau later in the day, options for Alaska cruise excursions may be limited.
The first day and a half are sea days out of Seattle, and the last day generally ports in Victoria on Vancouver Island. Cruises usually include one fjord or group of glaciers. However, sometimes mega-ships may not include any glacier sightings since their size limits their itinerary options.
You May Like: Parking At Norwegian Cruise Lines In Nyc
Cruises To Alaska From Vancouver Canada
If your Alaska cruise begins or ends in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, think about how you arrive and depart from Canada. Unlike me, nearly everyone else flies into Vancouver. If, like I do, you take Amtrak from Seattle, you will still need to show your passport book to the immigration police at the Canadian border.
Top Cruises Departing From Seattle
Flanked by the Pacific Ocean and the Cascade Mountains, the Pacific Northwest is a destination unto itself. As the largest city in the area, Seattle offers the quintessential Pacific Northwest experience, complete with world-class restaurants and shopping as well as natural beauty and seemingly endless opportunities for adventure.
Seattle is also the embarkation point for Alaska cruises onboard Norwegian Bliss and Norwegian Joy, which are part of the youngest fleet cruising to Alaska. Whatever draws you to Alaska wildlife, whale watching, or wilderness Norwegian Cruise Line has a cruise of that. Here are the top cruises departing from Seattle.
Also Check: Best Time To Cruise The Mediterranean
Advantages Of Ocean Cruises From Seattle To Anchorage
Although it is popular to fly into Vancouver, Canada, and embark on a ship headed for Alaska, many also enjoy departing from Seattle. The advantages for American citizens include:
- Domestic flights are often cheaper
- Customs and the long lines at Customs can be avoided in the beginning of the trip
- There are more flights into Seattle
- There is more flexibility with flight times
Cruise Ship Terminal Directions And Parking
- From Interstate 5 Southbound – use Mercer Street Exit from I-5 . Continue on westbound onto Elliott Ave. Follow the signs to Pier 91.
- From Interstate 5 Southbound – exit on Union St , continue to 4th Ave. Turn right on 4th Ave. Turn left onto Wall St. Turn right on Western Ave. Follow the signs to Pier 91.
- From Interstate 5 Northbound – use Mercer Street Exit from I-5 , continue westbound onto Elliott Ave. Follow the signs to Pier 91.
- There is a 1700-cars secure parking garage located across the street including 25 handicap lots 783-
- There is a 1000-cars secure parking garage and free of charge shuttle service to the terminal.
Cruise parking prices are:
- At Seattle Cruise Park , parking costs USD 157 USD or USD 2000 .
- HomeTowne Studios costs USD 5/day, Quality Inn Seatac Airport Parking costs USD 4,50/day.
Port Seattle, along with its 2 cruise terminals also has cargo terminals and drydock facilities for marine vessel refurbishments and repairs.
- UN-LOCODE – USSEA
- two dedicated cruise terminals
Recommended Reading: Alaskan Cruise Cost Per Person