Massive new cruise ship arrives in Seattle

SEATTLE — The new Norwegian Bliss cruise ship pulled into Seattle’s Elliott Bay Wednesday morning.

It arrives following a record cruise season for Seattle, with even more passengers expected this year.

The massive cruise ship is set to begin service to Alaska this weekend, but not before a christening ceremony at its new homeport at Pier 66.

The Port of Seattle says the boat is the first ship built specifically for the Alaska cruise market.

Starting Saturday, it will make seven-day trips to Alaska from Seattle with calls in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Victoria, British Columbia.

With its arrival, the vessel becomes the largest cruise ship to be based at a West Coast port.  It’s also Norwegian Cruise Line's largest ship and is longer than the Space Needle is tall at 1,082 feet with a passenger capacity of 4,004 and a crew of 1,716.

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It features a 1,000-foot, open-air two-level race track for electric go-karts, laser tag, an aqua park with two multistory water slides – one of which hangs over the side of the ship -- multiple restaurants, bars and lounges, theme parties and a variety of other entertainment options.

Norwegian showed off the ship during its maiden voyage to ports around the country such as Miami and Los Angeles after the cruise line took delivery of the ship in Germany in April.

While on its way to the U.S., it became the largest passenger ship to transit the Panama Canal since the completion of the canal’s expansion project in 2016.

The Port of Seattle estimates that each cruise ship brings about $2.7 million to the local economy.