Princess Cruises has made several changes, both to the cruise line’s health and safety requirements for cruisetours and an impact due to staff shortages. Besides the COVID test that guests need to present before the cruise, they will also need to provide a test before the cruisetour.
However, guests that booked a cruisetour that included a stay in the Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge will be disappointed to learn that the Lodge will be closed from June 17 onwards.
After two years where cruise tourism did not come to Alaska, Princess Cruises has difficulty finding enough staff to work in the Copper River Lodge.
Princess Tightens Cruisetour Requirements
In a message to guests, Princess Cruises has announced heightened measures for guests on the Southbound, land first, cruisetours. This means those guests who have opted to go on the land tour before they embark on the cruise ship will have to produce a negative test result before the start of their cruisetour.
In the message, the cruise line states that “guests two years of age and older must now produce a medically observed negative viral COVID-19 test result at the start of their pre-cruise land tour.“
The test must be taken two days before the tour if guests opt for an antigen test and three days before the tour if guests opt for a PCR test.
As is the case with testing before cruising, the medically observed at-home tests such as Optum are accepted. Guests will still need to take a test before they embark on the cruise portion of their package. This test will be provided to guests on a complimentary basis.
This comes on top of the requirements that guests have when they complete their cruisetour and return to the United States. If flying from Vancouver back to the US, they must show a negative test result or documentation of recovery before boarding their flights.
If guests have booked motorcoach transportation from Princess Cruises from Vancouver to Seattle, they are not required to have a negative test to reenter the US. No changes have been made to the Northbound cruisetours, on which the guests take a cruise before the land tour.
In the meantime, while guests are now having to possibly re-arrange any testing arrangements they had made, they will perhaps need to re-arrange their entire cruise.
More Changes To Cruisetours
It’s not just the cruise lines that are having trouble finding enough staff for their ships; the problem also seems to have affected land-based tourism options. Princess Cruises has now been forced to cancel a significant portion of the cruisetours this summer.
From June 17, Princess Cruises will be closing down its famous Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge due to staffing issues. The lodge, which sits about 3 hour drive north of Anchorage, is an important launch point for visits to the largest national park in the United States, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve
In an announcement from Negin Kamali, a spokeswoman with Princess Cruises, the company states that guests will be compensated by the cruise line, as well as looking for alternative employment for affected employees:
“Guests with affected land tours will have the option of accepting an alternative itinerary, rebooking for 2023, or canceling their cruise tour. Princess Cruises is also working to provide employment opportunities for the displaced teammates from Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge.”
Guests will need to be quick to rebook their cruisetours to other options. Princess Cruises normally offers cruisetours to five different lodges. Copper River Princess Wilderness Lodge is closed from those five, and Denali Lodge is no longer accepting reservations for the 2022 season.
According to the cruise line’s website, the other three, Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge, Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge, and Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge, all have very limited availability.
Princess Cruises is not the only cruise line forced to change Alaska itineraries; earlier this week, Holland America Line did the same.