Carnival Spirit begins weekly sailings to Alaska from the port of Seattle

Carnival Cruise Lines will launch its first-ever cruises from Seattle today (May 11) when the 2,124-passenger Carnival Spirit departs on a seven-day voyage to Alaska – the first of 17 cruises that will bring some 40,000 passengers to the city this season.

Carnival’s new Seattle-based Alaska program will run through Aug. 31, 2010, with week-long Glacier Bay cruises departing every Tuesday from the port’s newest cruise terminal, Smith Cove Cruise Terminal at Pier 91. Ports of call include popular Alaskan destinations of Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan, as well as Victoria and cruising Tracy Arm Fjord.

“Carnival’s passengers will pump nearly $2 million per ship visit into our economy,” said Port Commission President Bill Bryant. “17 Carnival calls here expected this year mean jobs and local tax revenue. We are pleased to welcome Carnival to their new home at the Port of Seattle.”

A wide range of shore excursions – from helicopter flightseeing and rainforest canopy tours to hiking, canoeing, kayaking expeditions and even alpine snorkeling – are available, providing guests myriad opportunities to experience and explore The Last Frontier.

And the Carnival Spirit is an ideal ship for Alaska, with 80 percent of staterooms featuring an ocean view or balcony – perfect for viewing the passing scenery — along with indoor and outdoor promenades, and a 14,500-square-foot health and wellness center.

Guests also enjoy specially prepared “Just For Alaska” menu items featuring local fish, game and other ingredients, as well as full-service multi-course meals in the main dining room as well as casual options such as a 24-hour pizzeria. Carnival Spirit also features a classic American-style steakhouse with prime U.S.D.A. dry-aged steaks and other gourmet cuisine.

Carnival Spirit also offers a two-deck-high promenade lined with lounges, bars and nightspots, including a 1,200-seat theater showcasing lavish production shows, as well as full casino gambling, a wedding chapel, conference center and bow-to-stern wireless access. Four swimming pools – one of them heated – as well as Carnival’s signature Twister Waterslide, are featured, as well.

Kids sailing on Carnival Spirit can enjoy three different children’s programs – Camp Carnival for ages 2-11, Circle “C” for ages 12 to 14, and Club O2 for 15- to 17-year-olds – with facilities and counselors dedicated to each group. Many activities in these programs feature fun, educational activities with an Alaska theme.

Reservations are currently being accepted for Carnival’s 2010 Alaska cruises from Seattle. For  reservations, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit carnival.com. You can also find good rates through www.cruisecompete.com.

About Cynthia Boal Janssens

Cynthia Boal Janssens is the editor and chief blogger for AllThingsCruise.com. She is a former national president of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW). She has sailed on over 40 cruises all over the world.

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