Radio personality Elvis Duran (left) with Andy Stuart of Norwegian Cruise Line // © 2018 Norwegian Cruise Line
Feature image (above): Norwegian Bliss has been custom designed for Alaska cruising. // © 2018 Norwegian Cruise Line
The West Coast will be in the spotlight next May, when 4,000-passenger Norwegian Bliss — designed with specific features and amenities for Alaska — will be the first Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) ship to be christened in Seattle.
“We are glad to offer this outstanding new vessel to the West Coast,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief operating officer for NCL. “We have been somewhat Eastern-centric, since our big ships could not go through the Panama Canal, but the new lock system makes it possible. Now, Bliss will be inaugurated in Seattle on May 30, designed as the perfect ship for Alaska.”
Elvis Duran, a radio legend with a 30-year career and more than 10 million U.S. listeners per month, will be the godfather of Bliss. His award-winning “Elvis Duran and the Morning Show” is syndicated nationally on nearly 80 U.S. radio stations and digitally on iHeartRadio.
“Elvis Duran epitomizes the high energy and liveliness the ship represents, and we’re very excited to have him join the family as godfather to Bliss,” said Stuart at a recent press event in New York. “NCL’s mission is, first and foremost, to provide guests with a one-of-a-kind, unforgettable vacation and continue to develop and offer them the latest innovative experiences. As one of the most beloved radio hosts in history, Duran’s commitment to entertainment and bringing laughter and joy to his listeners each day is why we believe he is the perfect fit to represent Bliss.”
Duran responded in kind.
“This incredible ship and all the innovative activities onboard — from the racetrack to Broadway shows — perfectly reflect the energy and excitement of our morning show,” he said. “We are looking forward to bringing our loyal listeners along for this once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
Bliss, which is NCL’s 16th ship, will sail weeklong Alaska cruises out of Seattle during its inaugural summer season before moving to Miami in November to offer Eastern Caribbean cruises. The company recently announced that Bliss will return to Alaska in 2019.
"NCL was the first cruise line to begin cruising to Alaska from Seattle in 2000, and it's only fitting that we bring our newest ship, Bliss, directly to this incredible location," Stuart said. "Alaska is one of the top destinations for our guests to explore, and we are thrilled to be the first cruise line to offer our guests the opportunity to experience this coveted destination onboard a brand-new, state-of-the-art cruise ship custom designed for Alaska."
In addition, NCL’s parent company, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., has signed an agreement with the Port of Seattle to collectively invest $30 million to upgrade the Pier 66 facilities. In what Ted Fick, the port’s CEO, described as a “historic and unprecedented” 15-year lease, Pier 66 will see its guest check-in space increased by 300 percent; a new VIP lounge with expansive views of Elliott Bay; and two new elevated passenger boarding bridges to make the walk onboard easier and more comfortable.
With Saturday departures, Bliss’ ports of call will include Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway in Alaska, along with Victoria, British Columbia, and scenic glacier cruising.