Royal Caribbean scratches megaship from Alaska schedule

Royal Caribbean International’s Ovation of the Seas, another quantum-class cruise ship, in Skagway’s port. (Claire Stremple/KHNS)

One of Royal Caribbean International’s largest ships won’t be deployed to Alaska in 2021. The 4,900-passenger Quantum of the Seas was scheduled to make its maiden voyage to Alaska this year.

But Royal Caribbean announced Thursday that the megaship would remain in the Asia-Pacific where it’s homeported in Singapore.

It’s the latest in a string of early cancellations that are chipping away at Southeast Alaska’s cruise season, a major engine for the region’s visitor economy. Norwegian Cruise Lines and Carnival Corporation subsidiaries Princess Cruises and Holland America Lines have already canceled their early 2021 sailings.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still discourages cruising with its highest risk rating. This season it will allow cruise ships to return if they meet local and federal protocols.

Alaska’s coastal communities are still establishing COVID-19 mitigation plans so they can be ready for cruise ship passengers when they return.

RCI still plans to send three of its megaships to Alaska: the Ovation of the Seas, Radiance of the Seas and Serenade of the Seas.

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