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Alaska’s new megaship docks in Juneau for first time

  • Author: Adelyn Baxter, KTOO
  • Updated: June 8
  • Published June 7

The Norwegian Bliss docked in Juneau on Tuesday, June 5, 2018. (Photo by Adelyn Baxter/KTOO)

The newest megaship to ply Alaska waters arrived in Juneau for the first time Tuesday.

The 4,000-passenger Norwegian Bliss was specially designed for sailing in Alaska waters and will be making weekly stops in Juneau through the season.

Complete with rooftop water slides, a go-kart track and up to 1,700 crew, the 1,000-foot vessel may be the largest cruise ship ever to call in Juneau.

This was the third Norwegian Cruise Line voyage for passengers Tonya and Anthony Biondo from Las Vegas.

They got going a bit late Tuesday morning. The ship was scheduled to dock for only a little over six hours.

"We shopped. If we had more time we would have gone and seen the glaciers," Tonya Biondo said. "Not enough time."

Brian Holst, executive director of the Juneau Economic Development Council, said he's heard concerns about short port calls from some businesses.

"We encourage them to change the schedule for next year," Holst said. "We have heard that concern and being the largest vessel here in Juneau visiting Alaska it would be better certainly for everyone involved if they could find a way to spend more time in our port."

Holst said ships like the Norwegian Bliss bode extremely well for the future of tourism in Alaska.

More than 1.1 million cruise ship passengers are projected to disembark in Juneau this year.

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