Norwegian Joy

The Norwegian Joy is out of the drydock in Singapore and heading for the West Coast ahead of her debut into the booming Alaska cruise market.

After a year-and-a-half in the Chinese cruise business, the ship has been Westernized and will sail from Seattle for the summer season.

Norwegian Joy

MJM Marine was appointed as the main outfitting contractor by Norwegian Cruise Line for the refurbishment of Norwegian Joy as the company played the lead role in the design, manufacture, installation and project management of the interior refit of the ship.

While work began in early March in China, the ship’s Pacific crossing will be a working event with no guests, with interior renovations set to conclude later this month as the ship reaches Seattle.

Among new shows for guests will be Footloose along with the aerial acrobatics show, Elements, and the wine-tasting comedy, Wine Lovers: The Musical.

Photos: Singapore Cruise Society

Norwegian Bliss Arrives in Seattle

Norwegian Bliss

The Port of Seattle officially welcomed the Norwegian Bliss on Wednesday.

The arrival of Norwegian Bliss marks a major milestone for the Port of Seattle, according to a statement, which over the last 18 years has transformed into the largest and fastest growing cruise business on the west coast, while earning a reputation for progressive environmental protections.

The Port of Seattle has a special relationship with Norwegian Cruise Line, as they were the first cruise line to homeport in Seattle over eighteen years ago, the port said.

Norwegian Bliss

Together, through a public-private partnership, Bell Street Cruise Terminal at Pier 66 was renovated and expanded to welcome the largest ship to homeport in Seattle and cruise to Alaska – Norwegian Bliss.

“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.”

Norwegian Bliss

 “We are proud of our partnership with the Port of Seattle, where we have cruised out of for nearly two decades,” said Andy Stuart, President and Chief Executive Officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “Tomorrow will mark an exciting evolution of our relationship. For the first time in the company’s history, we will christen our newest and most innovative ship in Seattle, before she begins her inaugural season cruising to Alaska. We look forward to a promising future and continuing to work with the Port of Seattle to further expand cruising opportunities in the Pacific Northwest.”

Norwegian Bliss Photos –

Norwegian Bliss Go-Carting Video –

Norwegian Bliss Laser Tag Course Video –

Holland America Line’s Seattle-centric strategy

Holland America Line has launched a campaign to promote itself as Seattle’s hometown cruise line.

It’s a smart move that dovetails with an increasing emphasis on local as well as national marketing of cruise brands.

HAL won’t be advertising itself that way in Omaha or San Antonio, said President Orlando Ashford. But the greater Seattle area, with 3.6 million residents, is a top metro market with the income to cruise and HAL’s ships conveniently departing all summer from its piers.

Ashford said HAL, which has been located in Seattle for 32 years, wants to raise its profile as a corporate citizen in an area that includes names such as Microsoft, Nordstrom, Starbucks and

Save for perhaps Princess Cruises in Los Angeles, it’s hard to think of another cruise line with such a strong position as a hometown cruise line.

Miami is a bit of an open city, with Carnival Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International all having a longstanding claim.

But Norwegian made a play for New York and Miami with the introduction of its last two ships, the Norwegian Breakaway and Getaway, which were themed to those two cities.

And Carnival is making a big push to be considered the local favorite in the Texas market, where it is the official cruise line of the Dallas Cowboys, and in New Orleans where it recently struck a similar deal with the New Orleans Saints.

Who knows, maybe there’s a deal in the works to make HAL the official cruise line of the Seattle Seahawks, whose blue 12th man banner is ubiquitous in the Seattle-Tacoma area.

It might look good draped on HAL’s new downtown headquarters, which is expected to open at the end of next year.