Thanks to the hard work of Alaska’s congressional delegation, governor and legislators, the 49th state will welcome large cruise ships back this summer, a huge relief to the state’s hamstrung, but rebounding tourism industry.
Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Alaska Tourism Restoration Act, following the unanimous approval by the U.S. Senate. The new legislation serves as a temporary waiver of the Passenger Vessel Services Act and will allow large cruise ships to take passengers between the states of Washington and Alaska.
“We look forward to seeing President Biden sign this legislation and are deeply grateful to the entire U.S. Congress, but especially to our advocates, Alaska’s Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan and Congressman Don Young,” said ATIA President and CEO Sarah Leonard. “This legislation is literally a lifeline for so many of Alaska’s small businesses that were struggling, and it means jobs for more Alaskans this summer.”
Cruise lines, such as Carnival, Celebrity Cruises, Disney, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean and others, bring more than half of Alaska’s annual visitors in a typical year. Several of these lines could begin offering cruises in mid-July, following the Center for Disease Control’s Framework for Conditional Sailing Order. Alaska’s cruise season runs through September.
“We know so many travelers associate cruising with an Alaska vacation. We welcome cruisers and independent travelers alike,” Leonard said. “Alaska has so much to offer visitors seeking wide-open spaces, outdoor adventures and cultural stories — experiences that many travelers are looking for this summer.”
US House passes bill allowing large cruise ships to bypass Canada into Alaska, Alaska’s News Source, May 20, 2021
Legislation raises hopes for Alaskan cruises this summer, Frontiersman, May 20, 2021
Cruise line resumes ticket sales for Alaska after Congress moves to salvage season, Anchorage Daily News, May 20, 2021
Princess Cruises Plans to Resume Cruising in United States With Alaska Sailings Departing Seattle in July 2021, Princess Cruise Lines Press Release, May 20, 2021
US House passes bill allowing large cruise ships to visit Alaska this summer; Biden expected to sign, Anchorage Daily News, May 20, 2021
Holland America Line Announces Plans to Restart Cruising to Alaska from Seattle in July 2021, PR Newswire, May 20, 2021