Three Carnival Lines Plan to Resume Alaska Cruises in July
said it is planning to resume Alaska cruises in July, in what would be among the first sailings out of the U.S. since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The company said Thursday that its Princess Cruises, Holland America Line and Carnival Cruise Line plan to return to service with Alaska itineraries out of Seattle this summer.
The company said each brand is planning to have one ship sailing round-trip this season. The cruises are available to guests who have had their final dose of an approved Covid-19 vaccine at least 14 days before the cruise begins and proof of vaccination.
“Crew vaccinations will be in accordance with CDC guidelines,” Carnival said.
The announcement comes after the U.S. House of Representatives Thursday passed a bill that would let cruise ships sail directly from Washington state to Alaska, temporarily waiving a part of maritime law prohibiting foreign-flagged vessels from transporting passengers between two U.S. ports. Foreign-flagged vessels, such as cruise ships, had been required to stop at a foreign port—Canada, in this case—under U.S. law. Canada currently bans large cruise ships from sailing on its waters until the end of February 2022.
Ultimately, cruise ships’ ability to sail depends on obtaining the green light from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Last month, the CDC said cruise operators could restart sailings out of the U.S. by mid-July.
The CDC also said at the time that cruise ships can proceed to passenger sailings, without test cruises, if they attest that 98% of crew members and 95% of passengers are fully vaccinated.
In October 2020, the CDC put in place a conditional-sail order that required cruise operators to conduct test cruises and apply for a certificate at least 60 days before offering passenger cruises. Last month, the CDC said it would review and respond to applications for simulated voyages within five days.
The cruise industry and its stakeholders had been critical of the CDC’s approach to cruises, particularly after the agency lifted broader travel restrictions. The industry accused the CDC of treating it differently than other hospitality sectors, and the state of Florida has sued the agency.
On Thursday, a Carnival spokesman said the company is optimistic that it will be able to conclude its ongoing discussions with the CDC.
Princess Cruises will resume operations in Alaska starting July 25 with seven-day cruises onboard Majestic Princess, the company said.
Holland America Line will resume cruises to Alaska beginning July 24, with seven-day itineraries aboard Nieuw Amsterdam.
Carnival Cruise Line has already offered Alaska sailings from Seattle starting July 27, with weekly departures through Sept. 14 aboard Carnival Miracle, the company said.
Write to Dave Sebastian at email@example.com
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