Biden Signs Bill Allowing Cruise Ships To Resume Service To Alaska

Biden has inked his name on a bill that allows cruise ships to sail straight from Washington State to Alaska without the need to dock in Canada. That way, he opened the door for cruise lines to resume cruises to Alaska after the stop caused by the pandemic.

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On Monday, the W.H. announced that Biden signed H.R. 1318, aka “Alaska Tourism Restoration Act,” temporarily allowing foreign-flagged cruise ships to sail straight to Alaska. The temporal limit is March 31, 2022, or until U.S.A.’s northern neighbor lifts its restriction forbidding cruise ships from docking in its waters.

Biden’s move wasn’t a surprise, with three Carnival Corporation lines: Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, and Carnival Cruise Line. Also, there is a Norwegian Cruise Line vessel Norwegian Bliss. The carnival corporation lines announced that they were poised to sail to Alaska in July, only Congress has to pass the legislation.
If there’s no bill, large ships sailing to Alaska can’t pass there this summer.

At the White House, Sens. Lisa Murkowski, Dan Sullivan, and Rep. Don Young attended the signing ceremony.

“For over a year and a half, many Alaskan communities who rely solely on tourism have been completely cut off from business due to COVID-19 restrictions,” Murkowski stated. “The Alaska Delegation has worked for months to try to find opportunities to provide a safe path forward for Alaskans—to help salvage what is left of the 2021 tourism season. Together, with the support of so many Alaskans, there is now a light at the end of a long, dark tunnel,”

“This summer will not be the robust cruise ship season we have had in previous years or was forecasted this year before the pandemic hit, but there will be ships, and there will be people, and that is excellent for Alaska,” Sullivan stated.

“Until now, families in Southeast have been kept awake at night from stress, driven by the uncertainty surrounding the upcoming season,” Young said. “With the President’s signature on our bill, Canada’s port closure—which prevented cruise lines from being compliant with the PVSA—will no longer prevent our mom-and-pop businesses from doing what they do best: welcoming tourists, growing our economy, and keeping Alaska the world-class destination that it is,”

Once Congress passes the bill, Holland America Line and Carnival Cruise Line will return to service in the U.S. from July with Alaska sailings departing from Seattle.

However, the vaccinated guests can attend the cruises. Also, they have to obtain a document for their vaccination two weeks before cruise departure.

“Crew vaccinations will be in accordance with C.D.C. guidelines,” Carnival stated. Arnold Donald, C.E.O. of Carnival Corporation, said: “As we continue to work with the C.D.C. on requirements for sailing in the United States, we remain committed to returning to service in a way that serves the best interest of public health.”

Princess Cruises will continue operations in Alaska on July 25, through September 26, with seven-day cruises onboard Majestic princess. Holland America Line will restart its cruise operations to Alaska on July 24, and Carnival Cruise Line will resume its cruise departing from Seattle on July 27.

“We remain optimistic that by working with the C.D.C. and local port and government authorities in the destinations we visit that we will be able to resume safe cruising in the U.S. this summer,” a Norwegian Cruise line spokesman announced. “As such, we have opened for sale voyages on Norwegian Bliss to be scheduled for August until the end of the season.”

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Source: theepochtimes.com

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