Norwegian Cruise Line, following a month-long tour around the U.S., including previews in New York, Miami and Los Angeles, as well as a cruise through the Panama Canal, on May 30 officially christened its newest ship, Norwegian Bliss, in her summer home of Seattle.
Following a preview sailing from May 30-June 2, the ship will begin her inaugural summer season with cruises to Alaska, including calls in Ketchikan, Skagway, Juneau and Victoria, British Colombia beginning June 2. She will join Norwegian Jewel and Norwegian Pearl as the youngest fleet ever to cruise to Alaska.
Norwegian Bliss was welcomed to Seattle with a sky-high water-canon salute by the Seattle Fire Department, as she cruised into Port of Seattle. The recently renovated and expanded Bell Street Cruise Terminal at Pier 66, a public-private investment between Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) and the Port of Seattle, will serve as the homeport for the 168,000-gross-ton ship with a capacity of 4,004 guests double occupancy.
"Norwegian Cruise Line has been cruising out of the Port of Seattle for 18 years, and the public-private investment that made the enhancement of Bell Street Cruise Terminal at Pier 66 possible demonstrates the commitment we have to the city of Seattle," said Frank Del Rio, NCLH’s president and CEO. "This month, Norwegian celebrates 24 years of cruising to Alaska, and with Norwegian Bliss joining our Alaska fleet we will have the largest capacity in our history, offering guests more options to experience the majesty of that destination."
Norwegian Bliss’s christening ceremony took place on board the ship led by the godfather, radio personality Elvis Duran and his crew from The Morning Show. Nearly 2,400 people witnessed the christening ceremony as it was broadcast throughout the ship. The main event took place in the 900-seat Bliss Theater with satellite venues in Q-Texas Smokehouse, the new 20,000-square-foot Observation Lounge, the Atrium and other places throughout the ship.
Del Rio and Andy Stuart, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line, welcomed travel partners, investors and industry representatives on board the ship. Special guests included Alaska Gov. Bill Walker and local officials from Seattle. Also in attendance was marine life artist Wyland, whose mural adorns the hull of Norwegian Bliss, echoing the splendor of Alaska and the importance of preserving the world's oceans.
"As the largest ship to ever be christened in Seattle, Norwegian Bliss' ceremony was our most exciting one yet," said Stuart. "We thank the Emerald City for a very warm welcome and their partnership, and we are looking forward to continuing and strengthening our relationship with the Port of Seattle for years to come."
Norwegian Bliss is specifically designed to deliver an Alaska cruising experience, including a 3,500-square-foot Observation Lounge offering 180-degree views. Guests also can experience the largest competitive race track at sea, a first for any North America-based cruise ship. The two-level electric go cart track sits at the top of Deck 19, offering guests the chance to race at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour. Other attractions include an open-air laser tag course and an Aqua Park, with two multi-story waterslides, one of which extends over the edge of the ship and loops down to the deck below.
Dining options includes the new Texas Smokehouse-Q, the cruise line's first full-service Starbucks at sea, and Coco's, a chocolate and sweet treats shop. At The District Brew House, guests can enjoy a variety of craft cocktails and beers, including local Seattle favorites from Red Hook Brewery.
Norwegian Bliss features new programming including the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical “Jersey Boys” and “Havana,” an original musical production. Guests can also hear their favorite Beatles songs at the Cavern Club, which features a cover band. The ship’s accommodations include luxury suites in The Haven by Norwegian, studio staterooms for solo travelers with virtual ocean views, and plenty of connecting staterooms for large groups and families.
Norwegian Bliss will sail on seven-day voyages to Alaska from Seattle and then in October will begin voyages to the Mexican Riviera from Los Angeles. For her fall and winter season, she will sail on Eastern Caribbean itineraries from Miami. In 2019, she will cruise from New York City to the Bahamas and Florida, the Southern and Western Caribbean.
For more information, call +973 17 216 411 or click on Norwegian Cruise Line.