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One of the world's largest cruise ships will visit BC every week this summer

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Kenneth Chan Jun 03, 2018 11:11 am 24,461

With a length of 1,094 ft, a gross tonnage of 168,028 tons, 20 passenger decks, and a capacity for 4,000 passengers and 2,100 crew, the new Norwegian Bliss is the ninth largest cruise ship in the world and the largest ever to visit a British Columbia port.

Although the Norwegian Cruise Line vessel will be serving the Alaska itineraries all summer long, it will not be making regular visits to Vancouver, apart from one scheduled call in the fall.

It is the Vancouver cruise ship industry’s latest loss, as cruise ships of this size cannot fit under the Lions Gate Bridge’s low 200-ft clearance except during specific low tide periods, which is not ideal for efficient cruise schedules. Even its single visit on September 30 is a tall task: The vessel must arrive at 3:30 am during low tide and wait for about 24 hours in port in order to be able to leave during the next low tide cycle.

Instead, the homeport of the Norwegian Bliss is Seattle, and it will visit Victoria every Friday until October as one of the stops along its weekly journeys to Alaska.

The vessel had its christening event in Seattle on Thursday to celebrate its inaugural journey, before arriving in Victoria on Friday.

Built at a cost of US$1 billion in Germany, some of Norwegian Bliss’ passenger amenities even rival Royal Caribbean’s renowned offerings.

It has a 1,000-ft-long, two-deck, Ferrari-themed electric go-kart race track on an outdoor deck, a large outdoor laser tag course, a massive water park with multi-storey, 360-ft-long, see-through slides that hover over the side the ship, and a new concept communal space – an oceanfront boardwalk lined with shops, restaurants, and bars.

Race car Track on Top Deck…#awesome #unbelievable #norwegianbliss

A post shared by bts1018 (@bts1018) on

Formula 1 on #norwegianbliss. What a rush! #iwon #fun #travellife #ecscottawa

A post shared by Alain Guertin (@alguertin) on

Now you see me, now you don’t! 🌀

A post shared by Cruise Critic (@cruisecritic) on

Norwegian Bliss looking beautiful in Seattle #norwegianbliss

A post shared by Dave Monk (@shipmonk) on

Sun’s down, drinks all around! #NorwegianBLISS takes NYC.

A post shared by IAmTheREALJesseDanet (@dabestondaplanet) on

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Kenneth Chan
National Features Editor at Daily Hive, the evolution of Vancity Buzz. He covers local architecture, urban issues, politics, business, retail, economic development, transportation and infrastructure, and the travel industry. Kenneth is also a Co-Founder of New Year's Eve Vancouver. Connect with him at kenneth[at]dailyhive.com

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