"Back to Alaska" With Two Ships, Says Royal Caribbean International

Royal Caribbean International says it's marking its first step forward on a U.S. comeback with a return to Alaska in summer 2021. It plans to begin seven-night cruises roundtrip from Seattle, WA with two ships. 

Serenade of the Seas will return to "The Great Land," on July 19. Its week-long itinerary will include Juneau, SitkaKetchikan and Icy Strait Point, as well as Endicott Arm fjord and Dawes GlacierSerenade of the Seas was previously slated to sail from Vancouver, B.C., but Canada's current cruise ship ban in Canadian waters made that impossible. 

Ovation of the Seas will begin sailing Alaska voyages on August 13. The itinerary will visit such spots as Glacier National Park, the Inside Passage, Juneau and Skagway

The 2021 Alaska cruises for both ships are now open for booking. The line said in a press release: "After more than a year with cruising on pause and the significant impact its had on the beloved Alaskan communities, travelers can now chart a course for the culture-rich destinations they have looked forward to discovering while helping revive the local economies." 

“Any traveler who visits Alaska immediately understands how special it is, given its natural beauty, the welcoming locals, and the culture carefully preserved over centuries,” said Michael Bayley, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “The past year has been a challenging time for us all, and the Alaskan communities heavily reliant on cruise tourism have felt it deeply."

In addressing the Alaska Tourism Restoration Act's passage through the U.S. Congress, Bayley said this: "To see the communities, industry and government successfully pass a solution that will help bring these communities back to life shows the great progress and clear paths we can make together. We are confident this is just the first part of our return to cruising from the U.S.”

Both ships have many razzle-dazzle amenities and features. Serenade of the Seas has ocean-facing glass elevators and floor-to-ceiling windows, advantageous for taking in Alaska's scenic views. Ovation of the Seas offers onboard experiences including the North Star glass observation capsule and the RipCord by iFly skydiving simulator.

All crew members and all passengers 16 years of age or older must be fully vaccinated to sail on these Alaska cruises, the line said. Starting August 1, everyone 12 and older taking the Alaska sailings must be vaccinated to board. Underage guests will be required to take a COVID-19 test prior to sailing.

These measures are part of the cruise line’s "Royal Promise" commitment to the health and safety of guests, crew members and communities visited. Measures are being evaluated and updated as public health circumstances evolve. The line said that it will continue to work closely with local health officials on specific measures outlined for the region.

The restart in Alaska has resulted in cancellation of some Hawaii/Transpacific sailings. Royal Caribbean says guests and travel partners impacted by the affected sailings will be contacted directly with options. For more information, visit www.royalcaribbean.com.

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