Following a month-long show-stopping tour around the United States including previews in New York, Miami and Los Angeles, Norwegian Cruise Line’s highly-anticipated ship, Norwegian Bliss, was officially christened on May 30 in her summer home of Seattle. Following a preview sailing from May 30 – June 2, Norwegian Bliss, the third ship in the most successful class in the line’s history, will commence 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 her summer home 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 and the Port of Seattle, received the 168,000-gross-ton ship with a capacity of 4,004, double occupancy, early this morning. The enhanced terminal features three times the square footage, increasing the usage capacity by 300 percent, a dedicated lounge for suite guests and more guest-facing elements providing a seamless, comfortable and stylish ship-to-shore experience.
“Norwegian Cruise Line has been cruising out of the Port of Seattle for eighteen 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, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings. “This month, Norwegian celebrates twenty-four 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.”
“The Port of Seattle is thrilled to host the magnificent Norwegian Bliss and her passengers for many Alaska cruise seasons to come,” said Port of Seattle Commission President Courtney Gregoire. “Cruise ships like Norwegian Bliss meet our objectives of increasing economic opportunity in our region while constantly raising the bar on environmental sustainability. We thank Norwegian for their eighteen years of partnership with the Port of Seattle, and look forward to many more to come.”
The christening ceremony took place on board the ship, for another Norwegian first. The meticulously orchestrated event was a testament to the company’s commitment to entertainment. Led by the godfather, Elvis Duran and The Morning Show crew, nearly 2,400 people witnessed the christening ceremony as it was broadcasted throughout the ship, making it an interactive experience for all on board. The main event took place in the 900-seat Bliss Theater with satellite activations in Q – the debuting Texas Smokehouse, the new 20,000-square-foot Observation Lounge offering 180-degree views, the Atrium and other venues throughout.
Frank Del Rio and Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line, welcomed travel partners, investors and industry representatives on board Norwegian Bliss, and spoke to the beauty of the ship, the excitement of her incredible inaugural tour, the industry leading amenities and their gratitude to all those who ensure a memorable guest experience aboard Norwegian Bliss. Special guests included governor of Alaska Bill Walker and local officials from Seattle. Also in attendance was the internationally renowned marine life artist Wyland, whose larger-than-life mural adorns the hull of Norwegian Bliss, and stands as an inspiring reminder of 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 Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. "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.”
After the traditional blessings, honorary Godfather, Elvis Duran, officially christened Norwegian Bliss with the symbolic bottle break across the ship’s hull, wishing a safe voyage to all guests and crew wherever in the world she may travel, and commencing an evening full of show-stopping surprises.
Norwegian Bliss will cruise seven-day voyages to Alaska from Seattle and then in October she will sail select voyages to the Mexican Riviera from Los Angeles. For her fall/winter season, she will sail to the Eastern Caribbean from Miami and in 2019; she will sail from New York City to the Bahamas and Florida, the Southern and Western Caribbean.