Thursday afternoon, Carnival Corporation announced its cruise lines plan on beginning Alaska cruises in JUL with cruises departing from Seattle.
In a statement, the company said that Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and Carnival Cruise Line all plan to “resume guest cruise operations for a partial season in Alaska, each with one ship sailing round-trip.”
Until now, Alaskan cruises were brought to an effective halt by both the Passenger Vessel Services Act (PVSA) and the CDC’s Conditional Sail Order.
Thursday, U.S. Congress unanimously passed the Alaska Tourism Recovery Act, following its unanimous adoption by the Senate. It will allow cruise ships to temporarily bypass Canadian ports as required by the PVSA until the Canadian government permits sailing in Canadian waters next year.
In addition, the CDC has in recent weeks issued guidance that enables cruise lines to resume sailing with vaccinated guests without onerous test cruises, and has relaxed masking and shore excursion restrictions.
“We are excited to once again serve our guests from the U.S., and we express our deep gratitude to all national, state and local officials who have worked collaboratively with us, the CDC and our entire industry to make this possible. 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,” said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation.
“As we continue to work with the CDC on requirements for sailing in the U.S., we remain committed to returning to service in a way that serves the best interest of public health and provides our guests with a great cruise vacation at an exceptional value.”
Cruises on the three lines 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. Crew vaccinations will be in accordance with CDC guidelines.
Plans for the itineraries on all three cruise lines to fulfill obligations under the Passenger Vessel Services Act (PVSA) are expected to be approved. The company says Princess Cruises, Holland America Line and Carnival Cruise Line are each continuing the return-to-cruising preparation already underway.
From 25JUL to 26SEP, Princess Cruises is now expected to sail in Alaska with seven-day cruises onboard Majestic Princess, a MedallionClass ship. Its cruises will visit signature ports, glaciers and attractions in Alaska including Glacier Bay National Park, Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan.
“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,” said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises in a press release issued by the cruise line. “In addition, we would like to thank our long-standing partners at the CDC, and in both Alaska and the Port of Seattle who helped make this happen.”
HOLLAND AMERICA LINE
Holland America Line will resume its cruise operations to Alaska on 24JUL with 10 Saturday departures that will operate through 02OCT.
“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,” said Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line in a separate press release. “Given the recent positive collaboration from the CDC, as well as optimism about a resolution with the PVSA, we feel like it’s now or never to give ourselves a chance to bring cruising back to Alaska this year.
“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.”
The seven-day itineraries aboard Nieuw Amsterdam will call at Juneau, Icy Strait Point, Sitka and Ketchikan, with scenic cruising in Alaska’s iconic locales, including Glacier Bay and Stephens Passage.
CARNIVAL CRUISE LINE
Carnival Cruise Line has already opened Alaska sailings departing from Seattle beginning 27JUL, with weekly departures through 14SEP aboard Carnival Miracle.
There are seven 7-day cruises featuring calls in Juneau, Skagway, and Ketchikan, as well as scenic cruising in Tracy Arm Fjord. The 14SEP departure is an 8-day cruise with an additional stop in Icy Strait Point.
Carnival Cruise Line is also working to finalize its plans to operate Carnival Horizon from Miami, and Carnival Vista and Carnival Breeze from Galveston in July. Itineraries along with specific details about protocols are expected to be finalized and announced next week.
Additional details on the Alaska sailings will be announced in the coming weeks by each respective brand and available on their websites.