Calling Seattle home, Norwegian Bliss to be designed for Alaska cruising

A rendering of the Norwegian Bliss against a Seattle backdrop.
A rendering of the Norwegian Bliss against a Seattle backdrop.

The next Norwegian Cruise Line ship to be delivered for the North American market will sail from Seattle and be themed to Alaska.

At a ceremony in Seattle with port officials, Norwegian president Andy Stuart said Norwegian Bliss will become the first ship in the fleet to be christened in Seattle when it arrives in June 2018.

Stuart said the third Breakaway Plus vessel will be “custom-built with features and amenities for the ultimate Alaska cruise experience.”

The 4,000-passenger ship will be the largest for any line in the Alaska market.

Plans call for weekly Saturday sailings on an itinerary with stops in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Victoria, B.C., “along with scenic glacier cruising,” Norwegian said.

Norwegian has been sailing from Seattle since 2000, usually with one or two ships each summer. In 2017, it will have the 2,376-passenger Norwegian Jewel and the 2,394-passenger Norwegian Pearl there.

At the ceremony, Stuart also announced an agreement with the Port of Seattle to redevelop the port’s Pier 66.

The 15-year lease calls for Norwegian’s parent company, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, and the Seattle port to jointly invest $30 million in a bevy of improvements to the pier, also known as the Bell Street Cruise Terminal.

The funds will expand guest check-in space by more than 300% to 150,000 square feet. There will be a new VIP lounge with expansive views of Elliot Bay. Two new elevated passenger boarding bridges will be installed to speed embarkation.

Norwegian said that nature artist Wyland has been commissioned to paint the hull art for Norwegian Bliss. Wyland is known for his whale murals, marine life paintings and sculptures. His design will be unveiled later this month.


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