Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Royal Caribbean's Cruise Ship, Serenade of the Seas, brings Juneau's first dose of large cruise ship passengers since 2019.
The ship arrived Friday morning, passengers were greeted by State and Juneau officials.
Senior Vice President of Royal Caribbean International, Mark Tamis, commented on the return of cruise ships after their absence during the pandemic.
"It's been a lot of work by literally thousands of people, tremendous effort both from people within our company and experts that we've worked with to make sure that we could put together a plan of multi-layered protocols that would allow us to deliver still a great vacation, but make sure we also delivered a healthy and safe vacation."
Tamis spoke on the COVID-19 safety protocols put in place.
"One of the most important protocols that we have in place on Serenade Of The Seas sailing out of Seattle is everyone that's eligible to be vaccinated, has to be vaccinated in order to sail." Tamis said. "That's really been a game changer for us coming back into service, and being able to visit and being able to revitalize economies that are so important, like the economy and the tourist economy particularly in Alaska."
Alaska Lieutenant Governor Kevin Meyer greeted passengers disembarking from the ship. He was asked what his thoughts are about the ship's arrival.
"It's just great to have a cruise ship here again, and you know it's long time waiting, and this is just a real encouraging sign. This is the first one, obviously, hopefully have a bunch more."
And was asked about the return of cruise ships to Alaska.
"It's exactly what Alaska needs right now, its a boost to our economy and see the tourists coming back up. It's not only good for Alaska but obviously very good for Juneau and the whole Southeast region," Meyer said. "It's a joyous time and a lot of hard work, hard work by our federal delegation and the cruise ship industry itself as well as the State of Alaska and the local community here."
News of the North spoke with passengers coming off the ship, and asked a pair of passengers about their trip in Alaska.
"We've never been to Alaska, and this has been amazing. The ship is is not completely full. Everybody has been just so great and friendly and it is absolutely beautiful here, not like Indianapolis where we're from, I don't think you could ever get tired of seeing this."
"They say once you come here you want to live here. We may end up having to move here."