Alaskan Cruises are firmly back in place. The U.S. House of Representatives has unanimously passed the Alaska Tourism Recovery Act, allowing cruise lines to bypass the passenger vessel services act. The law will now need to be signed by President Biden; however, this is expected to pass without hindrance.
Immediately after it became known that the house had approved the bill, Carnival Corporation announced it would sail with three vessels to Alaska from Seattle.
Three Vessels, Three Companies
Princess Cruises with Majestic Princess, Holland America Line with Nieuw Amsterdam, and Carnival Cruise Line with Carnival Miracle will sail directly from Seattle to Alaska. The lines have announced that each vessel will sail here until the Alaskan season comes to its traditional end towards the end of September and the start of October.
Mike Dunleavy, the Governor of Alaska, said this:
“The Last Frontier is eager to welcome the return of the cruise industry this summer to restart our economy, cruising has a tremendous impact on the people of our state and our communities, especially in the southeast, and we’re thrilled to finally see a light with the impending return of the cruise ships.”
Not surprisingly, Carnival Corporation has announced the Alaska cruises are available for guests who have received their final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days before the beginning of the cruise. This counts for Princess Cruises, Holland America Cruises, and Carnival Cruise Line.
Although Carnival had previously announced through President Christine Duffy that a vaccination mandate would not make sense for Carnival, because of the short timeline and the uncertainty on guidelines for unvaccinated cruises, Carnival has likely decided to take this route, at least for Carnival Miracle. The press release states:
Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, and Carnival Cruise Line plan to resume guest cruise operations for a partial season in Alaska, each with one ship sailing round-trip. These Alaska cruises are available for guests who have received their final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days before the beginning of the cruise and have proof of vaccination.
Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald said the following:
“We are excited to once again serve our guests from the U.S.. It is great news for cruising, for travelers ready to again explore the world and for all the communities in Alaska that depend on cruising and have suffered great hardships over the past year. As one of America’s natural treasures, Alaska is a land of beauty and wonder, and one of the most popular destinations for our guests. We look forward to our brands restarting this summer from the U.S. while also supporting our longtime partners and the communities in Alaska.”
Princess Cruises announced it would be sailing with Majestic Princess from July 25 until September 26. The ship will be offering round-trip Seattle, seven-day cruises, which will be open for sale on May 21, 2021. The cruises will visit signature ports, glaciers, and attractions in Alaska, including:
- Glacier Bay National Park
Princess Cruises President Jan Swartz said the following:
“We have been working towards this moment to return to service for over a year and starting with our Alaska cruise vacations is incredibly gratifying. We would like to offer our sincerest appreciation to Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, Congressman Don Young, and Governor Mike Dunleavy for their tireless efforts on behalf of the many small businesses that are the backbone of Alaska tourism,”
Also Read: 18 Inspiring Alaska Vacation Ideas
Holland America Line
Holland America Line, for which Alaska is its bread and butter, announced it would sail to Alaska on 7-day voyages with Nieuw Amsterdam.
Nieuw Amsterdam will call at Juneau, Icy Strait Point, Sitka, and Ketchikan, with scenic cruising in some of Alaska’s guest favorites, including Glacier Bay and Stephens Passage. The first voyage is scheduled to depart July 24, with 11 departures that will operate every Saturday through October 2.
Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line, was equally happy to share the news:
“Holland America Line has been cruising to Alaska for nearly 75 years, and we feel deeply committed to trying to help our friends in ‘The Great Land’ get back on their feet in any way we can this summer. We feel like it’s now or never to give ourselves a chance to bring cruising back to Alaska this year.”
Carnival Cruise Line
Carnival Cruise line announced the cruises already last week onboard Carnival Miracle, although these were still subject to the bill’s passing. Now that has passed, the line has already started selling the eight Alaskan cruises.
Sailings will depart from Seattle beginning July 27, with weekly departures through September 14. There are seven 7-day cruises featuring calls in Juneau, Skagway, and Ketchikan and scenic cruising in Tracy Arm Fjord. The September 14 departure is an 8-day cruise with an additional stop in Icy Strait Point.
Carnival has said it will provide guests with advanced, detailed information about protocols in place at the time of departure, as full details continue to be updated in collaboration with medical and scientific experts and government authorities.