After Canada’s cruise ban was extended to February 2022, it seemed nearly impossible for larger cruise lines to sail to Alaska this year. A new law in the US should now change this and save the 2021 season after all.
We already reported a rather complicated situation: Alaska is an American state, and therefore it does not belong to Canada. But a US law from 1886 – called the “Passenger Ship Service Act” – states that not all cruise ships flying a foreign flag may sail in American waters without anchoring in a foreign port at least once per voyage.
All major U.S. cruise lines all fly under a foreign flag and thus always have a stopover in Canada on their Alaska cruises. Mostly it takes place in Vancouver. Without that option, shipping companies had no choice but to cancel the entire Alaska season in 2021.
But now, after the US Senate, the US House of Representatives has also unanimously passed a new law allowing cruise ships to sail directly from Washington state to Alaska without stopping in Canada until February 28, 2022.
The so-called “Alaska Tourism Restoration Act” was introduced by two Republican representatives from Alaska and must now be signed by US President Joe Biden, which should be just a matter of form. After that, the only thing missing is CDC approval, which is also required.
Three Carnival Corporation brands – Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, and Carnival Cruise Line – have already announced that they will resume Alaska cruises with one ship each in July, providing at least part of the season. The starting and ending point of the seven-day routes will be the Port of Seattle.
Princess Cruises with Majestic Princess will sail to Alaska from July 25 to September 26, 2021, Holland America Line will sail on MS Nieuw Amsterdam from July 24 to October 2, 2021 and the Carnival Cruise Line from July 27 to September 14 Carnival Miracle.
Additionally, Royal Caribbean will also be represented in Alaska this summer: The Serenade of the Seas will begin July 19, 2021 and the Ovation of the Seas on August 13, 2021. In addition, the Norwegian Cruise Line is again making reservations for these. Starting in August 2021, cruises are planned on Norwegian Bliss. Cruise lines plan to post details soon.