The cruise industry in the U.S. is still at a standstill, although there’s hope that they could begin again sometime this summer. Well, cruises that go to the Caribbean, Mexico, etc., could start again. However, cruises to Alaska would still be dead in the water.
Canada has banned cruise ships from making port in their country into 2022 (here are all the details around that). And since stopping in a non-U.S country is a requirement for ships going to Alaska (it’s part of the Passenger Vessel Services Act (PVSA) – we explain more about it in this post (9th paragraph down), it appeared that cruises to Alaska were sunk until Canada said it was OK for ships to stop there.
Unless there was a workaround. And that’s what the government is currently working on.
The Alaska Tourism Restoration Act (ATRA) is a Bill that would temporarily allow cruises to resume sailings to Alaska from U.S. ports, without stopping in Canada. The Bill would stop the requirement of having to port on non-U.S.soil, so Canada could be removed from the equation totally (albeit temporarily – this is only a stopgap measure until Canada opens its ports to cruise ships again).
The U.S. Senate passed the Bill on May 13th, so it’s now on its way to the House of Representatives. If it passes there, then it goes on to be signed by President Biden (but you already knew that if you grew up with Schoolhouse Rock. I’m just a Bill, yes I’m only a Bill…and I’m sitting here on Capitol Hill…)
If the Bill passes, cruises to Alaska could potentially begin in July, at roughly the same time cruises out of other states may begin.
Keep your fingers crossed!
Feature Photo: Princess Cruises
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary