The Port of Seattle and Norwegian Cruise Line announced today that the Norwegian Bliss will homeport in Seattle beginning in 2018 when the ship is delivered.

The Port of Seattle also said it will have its biggest cruise year ever in 2017, expecting over one million revenue passengers through its cruise terminals.

“As we cross the one million passenger mark next year, having the largest vessel scheduled on the West Coast for the 2018 cruise season shows real commitment by Norwegian Cruise Line to invest in Seattle,” said Port of Seattle Commission President John Creighton. “Larger cruise vessels like the Norwegian Bliss mean more passengers bringing more revenue and jobs to our region.”

“The Port of Seattle is proud to partner with Norwegian Cruise Line as we work to bring people from around the world to see Alaska,” said Port of Seattle CEO Ted Fick. “Our long relationship together is evident in this historic and unprecedented 15-year lease here at Pier 66.”

“Norwegian was the first line to begin cruising to Alaska from Seattle in 2000 and it’s only fitting that we bring our newest ship, Norwegian Bliss, directly to this incredible location,” said Andy Stuart, President and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line. “Alaska is one of the top destinations for our guests to explore and we are thrilled to be the first cruise line to offer guests the opportunity to experience this coveted destination on a brand new, state-of-the-art cruise ship from Seattle.”

The Bliss will be delivered in spring 2018. After a transatlantic crossing and a Panama Canal transit across the new locks, the ship will sail north along the west coast, reaching Seattle for the start of the summer cruising season.

The Norwegian Bliss will sail weekly seven-day Alaskan cruises from Pier 66 in Seattle. The ship’s itinerary will feature calls in Ketchikan, Juno, Skagway and Victoria, British Columbia, along with scenic glacier cruising.

Norwegian did not comment on further deployment after the Alaska summer season. 

Norwegian has also announced that marine wildlife artist Wyland has been commissioned to design the hull artwork for Norwegian Bliss. Known for his iconic whale murals, marine life paintings and sculptures, Wyland has inspired a generation about the importance of marine life conservation.