Norwegian Cruise Line Celebrates Great Cruise Comeback
Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), the innovator in global cruise travel with a 54-year history of breaking boundaries, completed its milestone-making voyage in the U.S. with Norwegian Encore’s return to Seattle on Aug. 14, 2021 after a celebratory week of calls to the Alaska ports of Icy Strait Point, Juneau and Ketchikan for the very first time.
After suspending sailings 17 months ago, Norwegian Encore made her debut on the West Coast and showcased NCL’s commitment to Alaska by unveiling new guest experiences at Icy Strait Point and Ketchikan, Alaska. During the sailing attended by more than 2500 guests as well as members of the SailSAFE™ Global Health and Wellness Council members, NCL also received a commendation from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation for its joint sustainability efforts with the new Ward Cove development in Ketchikan.
“It has been incredibly rewarding to sail gain and to see our robust health and safety measures in action,” said Harry Sommer, Norwegian Cruise Line president and chief executive officer. “The past week was filled with firsts: Not only was it Norwegian Encore’s Alaskan debut and our first sailing out of the U.S. in 17 months, but we also officially opened two new docks, developed with our local partners in Icy Strait Point and Ward Cove in Ketchikan.”
On Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021, a double ribbon cutting ceremony took place at Icy Strait Point to officially open the new Wilderness Landing pier and the first of two gondola systems to be completed as part of a joint investment between Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NCLH) and the Huna Totem Corporation. The new Wilderness Landing provides additional forest and beach areas for visitors to explore the natural wonders of the destination. With the opening of the new high-speed Transporter Gondola, guests have easy access to Icy Strait Point’s first pier, AdventureLanding, where the Historic Salmon Cannery dating back to 1912 and other local attractions are located. Once completed later this summer, the Mountain Top Gondola will take guests to the top of Hoonah Mountain at 1,600-feet of elevation, where miles of new hiking trails and scenic vistas await.
In addition, on Thursday, Aug. 12, the Company and Norwegian Encore made history yet again, docking for the first time at The Mill at Ward Cove in Ketchikan. The Mill at Ward Cove is a development by Ward Cove Dock Group,LLC in partnership with NCLH to build a two-berth cruise ship dock and corresponding Welcome Center and Passenger Transit Facility. The Mill at Ward Cove is the first step in creating a world-class tourism destination in Southern Southeast Alaska that promotes the heritage and adventurous spirit of the region through an immersive experience.
Norwegian Cruise Line restarted its cruise operations on July 25, 2021, following a more than 500-day suspension, with Norwegian Jade launching seven-day itineraries to the Greek Isles. On Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021, Norwegian Gem became the first ship in the fleet to resume operations from Miami and set sail from the new Norwegian Cruise Line Terminal at PortMiami. Through October, the ship will offer a selection of week-long voyages to the Caribbean and four-day cruises to the Bahamas.
The fleetwide redeployment will continue in partnership with local governments and are guided by the robust protocols of the Company’s SailSAFETM health and safety program, which at its cornerstone includes that all crew and guests must be fully vaccinated to embark for voyages through Oct. 31, 2021. Working with the leading experts of the SailSAFE Global Health and Wellness Council, the robust protocols will be regularly evaluated and modified as needed, making science-based decisions to protect guests, crew, and the destinations it visits. As protocols evolve and additional information becomes available, updates will be published at www.ncl.com/sail-safe.
For more information about the Company’saward-winning 17-ship fleet and worldwide itineraries, or to book a cruise, please contact a travel professional, call 888-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784) or
Norwegian Encore is welcomed by Cape FoxDancers during her first call to the new Ward Cove
About Norwegian Cruise Line
As the innovator in global cruise travel, Norwegian Cruise Line has been breaking the boundaries of traditional cruising for 54 years. Most notably, the cruise line revolutionized the industry by offering gueststhe freedom and flexibility to design their ideal vacation on their preferred schedule with no assigned dining and entertainment times and no formal dress codes. Today, its fleet of 17 contemporary ships sail to over 300 of the world’s most desirable destinations, including Great Stirrup Cay, the company’s private island in the Bahamas and its resort destination Harvest Caye in Belize. Norwegian Cruise Line not only provides superior guest service from land to sea, but also offers a wide variety of award-winning entertainment and dining options as well as a range of accommodations across the fleet, including solo- traveler staterooms, mini-suites, spa-suites and The Haven by Norwegian®, the company’s ship-within-a- ship concept. For additional information or to book a cruise, contact a travel professional, call 888-NCL- CRUISE (625-2784) or visit www.ncl.com.
Photo credit: Chris Pearce