Princess Cruises and Holland America Line each resumed cruising over the weekend, both sailing to Alaska to kick off their cruise seasons.
On Sunday, Princess Cruises set sail from Seattle on the Majestic Princess, heading for Alaska on a 7-day round trip journey, including stops at Glacier Bay National Park, in Juneau, and in Skagway. To celebrate, guests were greeted by masked and cheering staff wearing "welcome aboard" sashes.
"After 500 days of missing you all, #MajesticPrincess welcomed guests aboard today," the cruise line tweeted. "Our hearts are full on this special day."
On cruises to Alaska, Princess requires all guests to be fully vaccinated at least 14 days before the start of the trip and includes several touchless features on board, including keyless stateroom entry and the ability to make guest service requests through a mobile device.
Courtesy of Princess Cruises
A day earlier, Holland America set sail on the Nieuw Amsterdam, heading out from Seattle to The Last Frontier.
On board, all guests must be fully vaccinated, according to the company, and will not be required to wear masks — which is in line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's guidance for vaccinated passengers.
"We are absolutely thrilled to welcome you back on board and to show you around Alaska," Captain Jeroen Van Donselaar said in a video just before the cruise set off.
Cruising to Alaska from Seattle is possible after President Joe Biden signed the Alaska Tourism Restoration Act, which nullified a century-old law that had required large foreign-flagged ships to first stop in Canada and was necessary after Canada extended its ban on cruise ships until February 2022. Earlier this month, Canada said cruise ships could instead resume sailing on Nov. 1.
Both Princess and Holland America follow Royal Caribbean, which last week became the first major cruise ship to head to Alaska since September 2019. That ship also set sail from Seattle on a 7-night trip to the state.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.