Biden signs cruise ship bill, a team win for Alaska delegation and for Southeast AK - Must Read Alaska
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Saturday, October 16, 2021
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Biden signs cruise ship bill, a team win for Alaska delegation and for Southeast AK

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At a private signing ceremony in the Oval Office at noon Eastern Time, President Joe Biden signed the bill that allows cruise ships to return to Southeast Alaska without stopping in Canada, which has banned cruise ships for the second year due to concerns about Covid-19.

The Alaska Tourism Recovery Act raced through Congress with the help of Alaska’s delegation and governor. Congressman Don Young, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, and Sen. Dan Sullivan played important roles in overcoming hurdles that many said were unsurmountable.

Biden’s signature was not unexpected, and cruise companies had already started publishing their schedules for Southeast Alaska.

Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, and Carnival Cruise Line are planning to operate one ship per line for a short season in Alaska that will begin the third week of July. 

The cruises will be available for those guests with a final dose of an approved Covid-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to the sailing. Crews will be vaccinated, and the goal is to have a 95 percent vaccination rate onboard. 

From July 25 through Sept. 26, Princess Cruises will operate the Majestic Princess on seven-day itineraries visiting signature ports, glaciers and attractions including Glacier By National Park, Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan.

Holland America Line will have seven-day sailings onboard Nieuw Amsterdam – with port calls in Juneau, Icy Strait Point, Sitka, and Ketchikan, with Glacier Bay included. The first departure is scheduled for July 24, and the ship will have 10 departures from Seattle through Oct. 2.

Carnival Cruise Line will have departures from Seattle starting July 27, through Sept. 14. The Carnival Miracle7-day cruises will stop in Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan, and include Tracy Arm. 

Norwegian Cruise Lines is selling four Seattle-based sailings on the Norwegian Blisss, starting Saturday, Aug. 7 and with the final sailing on Sept. 4.

Read: Tour operators in Southeast wringing hands over whether they can make an 8-week season work

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • I would love to cruise and have more antibodies than the vaccinated but these companies want me to still get a vaccine? When are they going to realize that natural immunity is 100 per cent better than the unnatural one supplied by an experimental vaccine.

  • I don’t do cruise ships, I guess I would be that 5% on that ship.
    What, more controlling, on what and where you go.
    Stop this Madness
    Time to boycott the cruise industry too.

  • There was a picture of all 3 AK republican federals at the signing, and I say that they are turncoats. What matters is shunning all democrats for the sake of the country. Those that get jobs out of all of this or sustain their businesses in SE AK and beyond are obviously going to sing to the libs communist’s manifesto…

  • Alternate headline: “Federal government removes obstacles to free enterprise that it put in place itself”

    As we celebrate the “big win” we shouldn’t forget that the government is the actual cause of the problem.
    That’s usually the case.

  • Norwegian won’t let you on the ship if you haven’t been vaccinated. Better go get yours on etsy!

  • Wow the stuffed shirts that caused all this are now back slapping for untangling the pile of wire? Maaaaaaan where would we be with out politicians? What a joke.

  • Give Old Joe a free cruise and hope the ship takes a wrong turn and sails to North Korea.

  • Bob (above):
    You are correct! Natural immunization from having had coronavirus is exponentially safer than getting immunized from a laboratory-produced vaccine that has not yet been approved by the FDA. There is ongoing debate as to whom is better protected……..the vaccinated or the survivors of coronavirus. The answers are probably several years away, but most doctors will agree that notwithstanding comorbidity factors, the human body knows better how to defend than a synthetic drug that only mimics the disease in order to produce antibodies. And, what else is contained in the vaccination that has yet to be fully understood after injection?
    .
    If you have been tested positive for the coronavirus, keep a copy of that test for your records. It may well serve as a vaccination passport for a future need.

  • I like PJ Olson’s comment. Congress pats itself on the back for temporarily right a fascist wrong they implemented decades earlier. Like a guy boasting about not giving his wife her usual beating last night.

  • The only thing Biden remembers at the signing….. was he thought it was a raffle for a cruise to Alaska. (Give Don Young credit for pulling the wool over the eyes of a guy 10 years younger, and about 70 points lower on the IQ chart) .

  • See, Biden’s not the horrible monster you all make him out to be.

  • Dan Sullivan, Don Young, and Lisa Murkowski are all secret Communists. Why is it impossible for a red state like Alaska to elect a true Conservative Patriot?

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