The launch of Royal Caribbean’s brand-new Harmony of the Seas overshadowed another important event this week: the arrival of Explorer of the Seas in Alaska.

Explorer of the Seas is the second Voyager-class ship. Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean

Explorer of the Seas is the second Voyager-class ship. Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean

The largest ship to ever regularly call on ports that include Seattle, Victoria, Juneau and Skagway, Explorer of the Seas is the biggest ship that Royal Caribbean has ever deployed in the region. She’s also the first Voyager Class ship to sail the West Coast of North America since Mariner of the Seas was removed from the Mexican Riviera run from Los Angeles (San Pedro) back in late 2010.

Departing from Seattle, the 3,286-guest ship sails weeklong itineraries to Alaska between now and September that are structured a little differently from your average voyage. Following departure from Seattle, Explorer of the Seas spends one day sailing the Pacific Ocean on the western side of Vancouver Island, followed by a day at sea cruising the scenic Inside Passage that borders the Canadian province of British Columbia and Alaska.

The Streets of Skagway. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Explorer of the Seas will call on Skagway… Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Juneau, Alaska. One of the "big three ports", Juneau is frequently overcrowded with tourists arriving on multiple megaships. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

…and Juneau, Alaska. Photo © 2015 Aaron Saunders

Explorer of the Seas then arrives in Juneau, Alaska, docking there from 12 Noon until 9 p.m. The next day, she arrives in the former Gold Rush town of Skagway, staying in port from 7:00 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. on most itineraries.

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