The Carnival Corp-owned cruise lines Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and Holland America Line have launched summer cruise itineraries for Alaska ahead of an expected resumption of US cruises in July.
The move by Carnival, Princess and Holland America comes after the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed the Alaska Tourism Recovery Act that allows cruise ships to bypass required stops in Canadian ports.
The law will provide a loophole within the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 (commonly known as The Jones Act), which requires goods and passengers shipped directly between U.S. ports to be transported on ships that are built, owned, and operated by United States citizens or permanent residents.
Cruise lines are incorporated overseas, their ships are built in Europe, they’re flagged in foreign flag states and employ a majority of their crews from Europe and Asia.
Cruise lines therefore usually stop in at least one foreign port in Canada when sailing to Alaska, but with Canadian travel restrictions still in place, this is not possible.
With the Alaska Tourism Recovery Act expected to become law imminently, Carnival, Princess and Holland America are preparing to launch service in July with one ship sailing round-trip from Seattle.
“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,” said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation.
“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,” he added.
“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.”
Carnival cited recent guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and close collaboration with Alaskan officials for the restart.
“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,” he said.
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. Crew vaccinations will be in accordance with CDC guidelines.
Princess Cruises will resume cruises to Alaska on July 25th through September 26th, with 7-day cruises aboard Majestic Princess.
Holland America Line will resume its cruises to Alaska on July 2th through October 2nd, with 7-day itineraries aboard Nieuw Amsterdam, calling 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 has already opened Alaska sailings departing from Seattle beginning July 27th, with weekly departures through September 14th aboard Carnival Miracle, which will be the cruise line’s first ship to debut the new livery after Mardi Gras.
There are seven 7-day cruises featuring calls in Juneau, Skagway, and Ketchikan, as well as scenic cruising in Tracy Arm Fjord. The September 14 departure is an 8-day cruise with an additional stop in Icy Strait Point.