Royal Caribbean Group is planning to return to Alaska this summer with its Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises brands.
Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises’ Alaskan itineraries were announced as the region increasingly looks set to open up to cruises once more.
The plans follow Carnival Corp’s announcement that it too would be resuming Alaskan cruises with three of its cruise lines (Carnival, Princess and Holland America).
The developments follow the U.S. House of Representatives’ unanimous passing of the Alaska Tourism Recovery Act.
The bill allows cruise ships to bypass required stops in Canadian ports, which would otherwise be mandatory to comply with the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 (commonly known as The Jones Act).
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Royal Caribbean International plans to have two ships deployed on Alaskan cruises this summer.
Serenade of the Seas will start cruising in July from Seattle, the week-long itinerary features ports of call inJuneau, Sitka, Ketchikan and Icy Strait Point, Alaska, as well as the Endicott Arm fjord and Dawes Glacier.
Ovation of the Seas will resume Alaskan cruises in August cruising to Glacier National Park, the Inside Passage and calling in Juneau and Skagway.
“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 &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,” he added. “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.”
All crew members and guests 16 years of age or older will be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and everyone 12 or older from August 1. Those underage will receive a test prior to sailing, according to Royal Caribbean.
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Celebrity Cruises will deploy Celebrity Summit on Alaskan cruises from July 23rd, sailing 7-night cruises roundtrip from Seattle. The nine cruises during the season will mark Celebrity Summit’s first time cruising in Alaska.
Ports of call include Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and scenic cruising in Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier.
The ship recently underwent a refit and refurbishment, part of a fleetwide $500-million upgrade program.
After her Alaskan season, Celebrity Summit will reposition to the Caribbean, sailing a 16-night Panama Canal repositioning voyage, and begin a series of four- and five-night itineraries.
“I have always had a special place in my heart for the incredible people, amazing wildlife and the beauty of this great state and once our guests visit, they do, too,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President & CEO of Celebrity Cruises.
“The Alaskan communities have been hurting without the economic support they receive from tourism, and especially, the cruise industry,” she added. “I am grateful to our elected officials across the country for recognizing the need and finding a way to restore them to their livelihoods.”
As with Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises’ sailings will depart with fully vaccinated crew and guests over the age of 16. As of August 1st, 2021, all US guests ages 12 and older must be fully vaccinated.
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