“This month, Canada’s surprise decision to close their ports shocked Alaska’s communities, and has caused significant uncertainty for our small business owners and the broader tourism economy.
Managing the pandemic requires tough choices, and that has never been in question. But if cruises can safely proceed, and I believe they can, then we ought to be doing everything possible to alleviate the stress and anxiety of families whose livelihoods depend on tourists coming to Alaska to experience our great state,” said Congressman Don Young. “The COVID-19 pandemic devastated Alaska’s 2020 cruise season; we must not allow the same to happen to 2021’s season. 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. Under current law, the PVSA requires cruise ships to make a foreign stop in between domestic port stops. Canada’s decision to close its waters effectively cancels the 2021 cruise season and cripples the industry in Alaska and the pacific northwest. My bill is simple: the Alaska Tourism Recovery Act provides a temporary fix by designating roundtrip cruises as foreign voyages, creating a workaround for the PVSA. Now it is incumbent upon the Biden Administration and the CDC to work quickly and collaboratively to implement a plan to safely resume cruising.
“We have made significant progress in the fight against COVID-19. Vaccinations continue to ramp up, and daily cases are on the decline. By the time the 2021 cruise season typically starts, I am confident that we will be in a strong position to allow cruises to resume with proper safeguards in place.
“Tourism is a critical part of our state’s economy. Communities from Juneau and Ketchikan to Skagway, Cordova, Whittier, and countless others are already suffering from the recession caused by the pandemic. All Alaskans are asking for is the opportunity to open their doors and make an honest living this summer, and we must give them a fighting chance. I will continue working with my colleagues in Congress and the Administration to help ensure that Alaska remains a safe vacation option so that our resilient small businesses can get back to work and provide for their families.”
You might also like to read Cruiseguru’s review of cruising Alaska on the Cunard Queen Elizabeth