Alaska Lawmakers Propose Two Paths
While aiming for a similar outcome, Republicans Murkowski and Young are proposing vastly different ways around the PVSA.;
Murkowskis bill, introduced on Sept. 23, would allow cruise ships to permanently sail between Alaska and the Lower 48 without stopping in a foreign port.;
Youngs legislation, introduced this summer, would enable ports or land owned by tribes or Alaska Native corporations to satisfy the PVSAs foreign-stop requirement. The plan, he said, would also create port development opportunities for tribes in Washington state and Oregon as well as the Great Lakes and the Northeast, where this years cruise seasons were also lost due to the Canadian cruise ban.
Under Rep. Don Youngs proposal, Alaska Native-owned Icy Strait Point would satisfy the foreign-port requirement of the PVSA. Photo Credit: Icy Strait Point
She said that under the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, Congress recognized these as distinct entities, similar and comparable to the federally recognized tribes, which do have quasi-sovereignty. This is why a lot of tribes in the Lower 48 have been able to establish casinos and their own tax system on their reservation lands.;
She added that many native corporations would satisfy the stop, such as Sealaska in Juneau, CIRI in Anchorage and Chugach in Valdez.;
Waiver Proposed To Permit Large Ships To Sail To Alaska In 2021
PublishedFeb 25, 2021 5:10 PM by The Maritime Executive
Responding to the outcry from Alaska and the cruise industry, efforts are now underway in the U.S. House of Representatives to find a compromise to permit the 2021 Alaska cruise season to proceed despite Canadas ban on large cruise ships. An Alaska member of the U.S. House introduced an act that would provide a waiver to the U.S. cabotage rules while a committee proposed permitting technical calls in Canada. With a short window for action, the cruise industry however has already begun to cancel Canadian-based cruises for 2021.
Canada announced on February 4 that it was closing its waters in 2021 to cruise ships accommodating more than 100 passengers. The action put in jeopardy most of the Alaska cruise season as the large cruise ships either depart from Vancouver or when they sail from Seattle they are required under the U.S.s Passenger Vessel Services Act to stop at a foreign port of call while transporting American citizens between U.S. ports.;
The COVID-19 pandemic devastated Alaska’s 2020 cruise season; we must not allow the same to happen to 2021’s season, said Congressman Young. Today, I am very proud to introduce the Alaska Tourism Recovery Act to help provide relief and certainty to the communities that depend on a thriving tourism sector.
Vaccine Policies For Major Cruise Lines Returning To Alaska
- May 24, 2021
Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line and Celebrity Cruises are on their way back to Alaska this summer. L
Let’s take a look at their Alaska restart details and COVID-19 vaccine policies:
Carnival Cruise LineCapacity :;2,100Built:;2004First Cruise: July 27, 2021Homeport: Seattle Itinerary:;Seven-day cruises featuring calls in Juneau, Skagway, and Ketchikan, as well as scenic cruising in Tracy Arm Fjord Vaccination required? Yes
Beginning on July 27, Carnival Cruise Line with the Carnival Miracle. Sailing from Seattle, the vessel will visit Juneau,;Skagway, and;Ketchikan as well as the Tracy Arm Fjord. ;
These;Alaska;cruises are available for guests who have received their final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to the beginning of the cruise and have proof of vaccination.
Princess CruisesCapacity :;3,600Built:;2017First Cruise: July 25, 2021Homeport: Seattle Itinerary: Seven-day cruise to Glacier Bay National Park, Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan Vaccination required? Yes
Princess Cruises . Sailing in the United States for the first time, the vessel will welcome passengers back on July 25.
Until September 26, Princess plans ten seven-day cruises visiting Glacier Bay National Park,;Juneau,;Skagway;and;Ketchikan.
Holland America Line is resuming its operations in Alaska with 11 departures from Seattle.
Starting on July 23, on the recently refurbished Celebrity Summit.
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Best For Teens And Adventure
If youve got active kids who have an interest in nature and the environment, an expedition voyage could be exactly what will keep them engaged and off their devices. Anyone else looking to really explore Alaska should also consider an expedition cruise where youll hop aboard skiffs for up-close looks at glaciers, go hiking in Tongass National Forest and kayak the calm waters of the Inside Passage. Look to UnCruise Adventures, Alaskan Dream Cruises, Hurtigruten, Lindblad Expeditions , Ponant or Silverseas expedition ships .
Bill To Allow Cruise Ships To Sail To Alaska Without Stopping In Canada Passes Us Senate
A possible solution to Canada’s cruise ship ban is one step closer.
The United States Senate unanimously passed a bill that;allow foreign flagged cruise ships to sail to Alaska without having to stop in Canada.
The Alaska Tourism Recovery Act passed the Senate in a vote on Thursday, and will now to go to the U.S House of Representatives for a vote.
The bill was introduced by Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan in February 2021 as a way for cruise ships to be able to sail to Alaska in 2021.
The Alaska Tourism Recovery Act is meant to alleviate the Passenger Vessel Services Act restrictions for cruise ships transporting passengers between the State of Washington and the State of Alaska.
Canada has banned cruise ships for at least a year, which means it;prohibits cruise ships from navigating, mooring, anchoring or berthing in Canadian waters until February 28, 2022 or until the Canadian Government lifts the prohibition.;
Senator Murkowski celebrated the victory on Twitter, calling it a “huge victory”.
Huge victory today in my effort to provide an opportunity for economic recovery for Alaskan communities who rely on cruise ship passengers — the Senate just passed my bill w/ , the Alaska Tourism Restoration Act.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski May 13, 2021
The Cruise Lines International Association also celebrated the important step, citing the important economic impact cruise ships have for Alaska.
If you think perhaps this bill may be all for naught, Royal Caribbean does not think so.
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Alaska Cruises From Seattle
Alaska cruises from Seattle sail roundtrip Inside Passage routes. They are popular for their ease of travel, especially for travelers connecting to Seattle from elsewhere in the continental U.S.
Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, and Royal Caribbean all offer roundtrip Alaska cruises that sail from Seattle. The specific itineraries vary, but generally cruises on this route spend two days at sea traveling between Seattle and Alaska, and one full day sailing through places like the Endicott Arm, Tracy Arm, or Glacier Bay National Park. Ports of call vary, but often include Skagway, , and Ketchikan. These cruises wrap up with a final port call in the British Columbian capital of Victoria before returning to Seattle.
If you’d like to see more of Alaska, check out Alaska cruises from Vancouver. These voyages include one-way glacier route cruises to Whittier or Seward that pair perfectly with pre-cruise or post-cruise Alaska land packages.
And while you’re at it, visit our Cruise Finder. You can use this easy tool to search for specific cruises based on the routes you’re interested in, sailing dates, and even cruise line. Through the finder you can also quickly request a quote for the compelling cruises you find.
Alaska Cruise Travel Faqs
Do I need a visa to travel to Alaska?Is tipping customary in Alaska?What is the internet access like in Alaska?Can I use my cell phone while in Alaska?Do I need a power adapter/ converter?Can I drink the water in Alaska?What is the most common way of paying for things in Alaska?Should I purchase travel insurance for my trip?Once You’re Booked
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First Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship To Sail To Alaska In Two Years Departs Today
Another milestone in the cruise industry’s recovery has been reached today, with the official restart of cruises to Alaska.
Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas is scheduled to depart Seattle on July 19.
After more than a year with cruising on pause, Serenade will sail from Pier 91 in Seattle; a change from its previously scheduled homeport in Vancouver.;
The significance of this first sailing is as large for the cruise industry as it is for the people of Alaska.
Just like cruises to the Caribbean, cruises to Alaska have been shutdown since 2020.;
Without cruise tourists to Alaska since late 2019, the economic impact has been massive.
Alaska Governor;Mike Dunleavy has incurred a $3.3 billion loss in tourist dollars over that timeframe.
For Royal Caribbean, this is another ship back in service and another ship that has received approval from the;U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Preventions to sail again.
Each of Royal Caribbean’s cruise ships must perform a test cruise, where various health protocols and social distancing rules are tested out to demonstrate the ship can be operated safely.
Serenade of the Seas conducted her 4-night test cruise back on July 7 with 300 fully vaccinated passengers onboard.
The week-long itinerary features a lineup of ports of call, including Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan and Icy Strait Point, Alaska, as well as Endicott Arm fjord and Dawes Glacier.
After August 1, that requirement drops to 12 years old.
Best For Families With Younger Kids
Carnival, Disney Cruise Line, Norwegian, Princess and Royal Caribbean all have extensive kids clubs aboard their ships. Disney kicks that up a notch with meet-and-greets with its beloved characters on board. You can hang with Dr. Seuss characters when sailing with Carnival and there are DreamWorks personas aboard Royal Caribbean ships.
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Alaskan Cruises Are Back And Demand Is High
Ships are once again cruising the Last Frontier.
Norwegian Cruise Line
Despite being home to major cities with all the modern conveniences one can imagine, in many respects Alaska remains the last frontier boasting massive tracts of wild open spaces, ancient forests, soaring mountains and salmon-filled rivers that create exceptionally rugged, untamed beauty.
Passengers see Alaska up close and personal.
Norwegian Cruise Line
Filled with icy fjords that tower over the Pacific Ocean while snowy peaks stretch towards the horizon, Alaska feels boundless on board Norwegian Jewel and Norwegian Sun, yet also incredibly intimate as you watch eagles nesting along coastal forests. Cruises like Norwegian let you explore all sides of Alaska the way locals see it, up close and personal. Head deeper into the frozen wilderness on and experience the thrill of a 30 ton whale gliding under your catamaran.
Expect to see animals galore while touring Alaska.
State of Alaska Jocelyn Pride
Sea lions are a common sight for tourists.
Viking ships have all the amenities one can imagine.
Embark on an adventure through the Alaskan wilderness.
Savor the majestic beauty of Alaska on a Celebrity Cruise.
Kayaking is a popular Alaskan tourist activity.
State of Alaska Reinhard Pantke
Experience a variety of off-shore activities.
State of Alaska Jocelyn Pride
If You Want A Big Nice Ship
If youve taken many cruises, then you know that the cruise ship you sail can make or break your trip. After all, even if you hit several ports, you are still on the ship for the vast majority of your cruise. Thats one reason why many cruisers prefer to sail on the newest ships. These ships are not only larger offering more space around the ship but also offer the latest in amenities.
If you want to sail upon the latest and greatest ships, then youll want to look at either Royal Caribbean or Norwegian Cruise Lines.
Royal Caribbean offers cruises aboard the Ovation of the Seas, one of the largest cruise ships in the world. Launched in 2016, the ship measures more than 1,140 long and can carry more than 4,000 passengers. On board, youll find many of Royal Caribbeans most famous innovations including the Bionic Bar , the North Star , the Flowrider, and more than a dozen places to eat.
Meanwhile, Norwegian offers sailings aboard the Norwegian Bliss, built in 2018. It holds 4,000 passengers as well, and measures more than 1,000. While the paint is barely dry on the ship, you might have seen the headlines. The Bliss offers a go-kart race track at sea one of the most unique innovations for kids and adults alike. There are also more than 15 places to grab a bite to eat, including a Jimmy Buffetts Margaritaville at Sea.
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Cruise Lines Plan A Us Summer Comeback In Alaska
Three Carnival-owned cruise lines on Thursday said they are planning to resume sailing in Alaska this summer with fully vaccinated passengers, a prospect that would have seemed like an incredible long shot just months ago.
The announcement from Carnival Corp. comes as the cruise industry attempts a restart in the United States after shutting down in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020.
The Alaska plans still need approval from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but the company is betting that will happen. Carnival is also working to lock in plans to sail ships from Miami and Galveston, Tex., in July.
We are optimistic that we will be able to conclude our ongoing discussions with the CDC, said Roger Frizzell, chief communications officer for Carnival.
The three lines Princess Cruises, Holland America Line and Carnival Cruise Line said their first Alaska cruises from Seattle will be in late July and will stretch into September or October. Stops will include popular destinations such as Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan. All passengers must be at least two weeks past their final dose of an approved coronavirus vaccine, and safety protocols will be provided later. Crew vaccinations, according to the company, will be in accordance with CDC guidelines.
The Best Alaska Itineraries
My first visit to Alaska started in Anchorage, where we took the Alaska Railroad to Whittier to board Regent Seven Seas Mariner to explore Prince William Sound, Kodiak and the remote Dutch Harbor before heading to Russias Kamchatka Peninsula and the northern islands of Japan.
What I saw in Alaska took my breath away, and weve returned several times since. While that particular cruise was aboard a pricey luxury line, there are ships in all price ranges sailing a variety of itineraries, so dont let budget stop you from visiting.
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Port Of Call: Ketchikan
Norwegian guests will find a new arrival port about seven miles outside of the town of Ketchikan. The new facility, The Mill at Ward Cove Welcome Center, offers ticketed shuttle buses into town, while many adventure excursions embark at this facility providing quicker access to Tongass National Forest and other wilderness areas.
When planning your own day trip, be sure to allot extra time for the shuttle ride into and out of town. Particularly with social distancing requirements on land, the bus system can add quite a bit of time to your day in Ketchikan. ;
The welcome center is a wonderful place to explore in its own rite, either before or after an excursion. The space is a former pulp mill renovated into a modern facility with Wi-Fi, restrooms designed out of train cars, and a host of artisanal shops and quick bites. Theres also a bit of history and culture to explore here and, on the inaugural visit by Norwegian Encore, the local tribe shared a blessing and cultural performance celebrating the new facility.
In downtown Ketchikan, there is plenty to do for free including strolling the historic Creek Street district. Here the boardwalk and shops are built over water and guests can explore countless boutiques, local history and a salmon ladder and river. For a more scenic stroll, the Rainbird Hiking Trail offers some elevation challenges rewarded by a scenic overlook of the town.
Derek Schneider preparing crab at Tracys King Crab Shack in Ketchikan, Alaska
Canada Will Meet With Alaska Senators To Discuss Cruise Ships Skipping Canada
The United States Congress passed a new bill that will make it possible for cruise ships to sail to Alaska without stopping in Canada, and that has Canadian officials concerned.
On Thursday, the House of Representative passed the;Alaska Tourism Restoration Act, which provides a waiver for cruise ships in 2021 to not have to stop in Canada in order to offer cruises to Alaska.
Canada banned cruise ship travel until February 2022 due to the global health crisis, and until now, cruise ships would not have been able to sail to Alaska since U.S. cabotage law requires a stop in a foreign port.
After the bill passed,;premier of British Columbia;John Horgan said he has plans to meet with Alaska’s delegation to talk about the issue.
Premier Horgan told Victoria News the meeting would take place “in the coming weeks”, “We share a common desire with the people of Alaska to see a safe return to the cruise ship industry.”
“The tourism sector is eager to welcome visitors back when its safe to do so.”
Two ports in British Columbia heavily rely on tourism from cruise ships. Vancouver is a traditional homeport for many cruise ships, and Victoria is a stop-over port.
B.C. Liberal MLA Mike de Jong is concerned this workaround for 2021 could become permanent.
“You always worry about a temporary measure becoming permanent,”;Robertson said.
“This is not the co-operative spirit that has defined the Alaska-Canadian relationship for decades. Quite frankly, weve been disappointed by it.”
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