The Norwegian Bliss, a Norwegian Cruise Line ship, marked the beginning of Alaska’s annual cruise season by being the first cruise ship to arrive in Sitka early this mid-morning, setting a significant milestone for 2024. Departing from the port of Seattle two days prior, the ship had recently completed a five-day journey from Los Angeles to Vancouver before embarking on its inaugural Alaska adventure for the year. This 7-day roundtrip voyage is set to showcase Alaska’s stunning landscapes, including visits to Sitka, Tracy Arm Fjord, Juneau, Icy Strait Point, and Ketchikan, along with a stop in Victoria, Canada, catering to 4,000 passengers.

This voyage also launches the first of an anticipated 275 sailings from Seattle to Alaska, with projections suggesting around 1.7 million passengers will utilize the Seattle port for their travels from April 6 to October 28. The season will see a variety of ships making the journey from Seattle to Alaska, including the Norwegian Sun, Norwegian Encore, Carnival Spirit, Carnival Luminosa, and several others, highlighting a bustling schedule for cruise enthusiasts.

In parallel, Vancouver is preparing for a record-breaking Alaska cruise season, with expectations to surpass last year’s figures by welcoming approximately 1.27 million passengers. This marks a 2% increase from the previous record, as the Canada Place cruise terminal in Vancouver continues to reinforce its position as a leading departure point for Alaska-bound cruises. Mandy Chan, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s manager of cruise services, anticipates a robust season for the terminal, which is celebrated for its excellence.

Royal Caribbean’s Radiance of the Seas is slated to be the first ship to depart from Vancouver on April 26 for Alaska, promising passengers a 7-day journey with stops in Juneau, Hubbard Glacier, Icy Strait Point, and Ketchikan. Vancouver will also host several ships for the first time, including Explora I, Silver Nova, Celebrity Edge, and Hanseatic Spirit, contributing to a diverse and vibrant season. With 20 cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean, Disney Cruise Line, and Viking Ocean Cruises, operating out of Vancouver, the 2024 season is set to be a landmark year for Alaska-bound cruising.

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