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Alaska 2021 - Maybe NOT a total loss? (topic edit as of 2021-05-21)


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It really looks like the entire 2021 cruise season for Alaska is in serious danger of getting totally wiped out. My wife and I were set to cruise in June of 2020... which turned into May of 21.... which looks like will flip to 2022. This Canadian TA on YouTube has an interesting take on the situation:
 

 

I think Provincial and national gov officials in Canada have implied over the last couple of months that they don't see normal leisure travel until a vaccine is widely available to ordinary people. That may not happen for Canadian residents until September....  

Edited by AshleyDillo
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This morning on CBC, Joseph Jean-Pierre Marc Garneau, the Canadian equivalent of the U.S. Transportation Secretary, said in an interview that he will extend the ban on cruise ships (500+ passengers) at all Canadian ports through at least August 1. The existing ban runs through February 28.

Due to the need for cruise ships to stop in Canada on their way to/from Alaska, this effectively kills most of the 2021 Alaska Cruise Season, leaving only August and September only if it's not extended again.

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41 minutes ago, princevaliantus said:

This morning on CBC, Joseph Jean-Pierre Marc Garneau, the Canadian equivalent of the U.S. Transportation Secretary, said in an interview that he will extend the ban on cruise ships (500+ passengers) at all Canadian ports through at least August 1. The existing ban runs through February 28.

Due to the need for cruise ships to stop in Canada on their way to/from Alaska, this effectively kills most of the 2021 Alaska Cruise Season, leaving only August and September only if it's not extended again.

If he does what he says,  then the only way to save the season is for the US to suspend the PVSA. I suppose it is possible, but highly unlikely. ?

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1 hour ago, steverk said:

If he does what he says,  then the only way to save the season is for the US to suspend the PVSA. I suppose it is possible, but highly unlikely. ?

They would also need to reform immigration law so foreign crew could work in the USA without a work VISA.  The current C-1/D VISAs are specific to ship crew and do not allow "working" in the USA.  A ship that never visits another country only dipping in and out of international water briefly is not considered to have left the country causing C-1/D VISA holders to overstay their VISA.  This is the same immigration law that prevents gambling cruises to nowhere from the USA.  

Waiving the PVSA and waiving immigration law is even less likely.  Tourism is not the primary economic driver in Alaska (oil and gas) so it's hard to imagine Congress doing this just for South East Alaska while the entire country is suffering from the impact of the pandemic.  

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We have a reservation on the July 2nd Ovation sailing, looks like we'll need to change that...

Newbie question???  Why do ships have to stop in Canada on their way to/from Alaska, is it a supplies issue?  Just wondering as they do transoceanic cruises that are longer...

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8 minutes ago, CruiseFamily said:

We have a reservation on the July 2nd Ovation sailing, looks like we'll need to change that...

Newbie question???  Why do ships have to stop in Canada on their way to/from Alaska, is it a supplies issue?  Just wondering as they do transoceanic cruises that are longer...

@twangsteris far more knowledgeable about this than me....but it is a requirement of the Passenger Vessel Services Act (PVSA) that @twangsterdiscussed above.  It's very complicated and convoluted but it basically says that a passenger vessel must visit a "distant foreign port".  It is the reason that foreign airlines cannot transport passengers within the US.  For instance, British Airways cannot carry passengers between Miami and San Francisco.  So in order for Royal Caribbean to do an Alaska itinerary, it must visit a port in Canada or it is in violation of PVSA. It's waaay more complicated than that, but that is the part of the Act that applies here.

Regarding transoceanic cruises.  The reason why (for instance) Royal cannot cruise directly from Honolulu to Seattle is b/c of the PVSA.  They MUST come to the US port via a distant foreign port.  So those TransPacific cruises that come from Australia by way of Honolulu must stop in Canada (or Mexico, if they so chose) before terminating in Seattle.

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The PVSA applies to vessels that perform "coastwise" trade between US ports.  A transocean voyage that embarks or debarks in another country isn't "coastwise" between US ports since the voyage is to or from another country.

Seattle round trip to Alaska is "coastwise" since Seattle and all ports in Alaska are US ports.  The port of call stop in Canada is one way to be legal with respect to the PVSA.   There are other ways to satisfy the PVSA when a cruise isn't round trip but that's another story.

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1 hour ago, teddy said:

Guess we’d better think about booking the week we want in 2022.   
 

Seems like there could be a lot of lifting and shifting from ‘21 to ‘22 happening shortly. 

I'm planning on my June Celebrity Solstice cruise to be canceled,  but I'll hang in there just in case.

Gotta stay optimistic! Sooner or later it'll work out 

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I kinda think that they'll just write off Alaska for this year.  This is all just assumption but if they're planning a phased restart of ships, with shorter itineraries, mostly to private islands, then I'd just ignore Alaska for the time being rather than create extra work.  They're going to have a ton on their plate just getting things ramped up, this is an easy way to simplify it some and put the "blame" for canceling the season on someone else.

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3 hours ago, joshgates said:

I kinda think that they'll just write off Alaska for this year.  This is all just assumption but if they're planning a phased restart of ships, with shorter itineraries, mostly to private islands, then I'd just ignore Alaska for the time being rather than create extra work.  They're going to have a ton on their plate just getting things ramped up, this is an easy way to simplify it some and put the "blame" for canceling the season on someone else.

Plus most of the ships are on the other side of the world and have more chance of starting earlier there. Quantum already operating in Singapore and there is hope for Australia later this year.

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10 hours ago, markinct said:

Selfish feelings aside, I really worry about the towns that get a good injection of cash from the cruise industry, and the excursion operators. How are they going to make it after 2 empty years? 

Like all tourist towns they will suffer but they are not unique in this respect looking across America.  There are places like Myrtle Beach for example which has only the tourist industry as it's economy.  It too has been devastated by the pandemic and while some virus deniers still go there business is way off.  There are tourist hotspots in Tennessee that are suffering.  Hawaii's tourist economy is devastated.  Ski destinations in Colorado are suffering terribly with business way off.

The majority of workers in the SouthEast Alaska tourism industry come from the South for the summer tourist season and then head home to whatever state they came from when the tourist season is over.  From bus drivers to boat captains they follow the tourists to other winter destinations.  My excursion boat captain spends winters in Hawaii taking tourists around there looking for whales for example. 

There are local businesses that are more mom and pa type shops and they are suffering like restaurant and bar owners across America are.  That's the thing - so many businesses across every state have been impacted it's hard to look at SE Alaska and not see the same that is occurring in so many other states that rely on tourism.  Florida for example - a much larger tourism economy has been ravaged by the pandemic since so few tourist are flocking to Florida compared to other years.  

If SE Alaska was the only tourist area impacted by the pandemic it would be one thing to feel like Congress needs to re-write laws to help them but on the other hand it isn't that SE Alaska is alone in this.  So many areas of the country have been impacted and Congress would respond that is what stimulus funding is for.

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Don't plan on any cruises that stop/start or have to port anywhere in Canada for 2021......we are a mess up here with cases and lack of vaccines/and or vaccination plans so when we are lagging behind the US for vaccinations per captia.....nothing is happening here in 2021 cruise wise!

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27 minutes ago, monctonguy said:

Don't plan on any cruises that stop/start or have to port anywhere in Canada for 2021......we are a mess up here with cases and lack of vaccines/and or vaccination plans so when we are lagging behind the US for vaccinations per captia.....nothing is happening here in 2021 cruise wise!

Come to Florida.  We are vaccinating Canadians over 65.

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1 hour ago, twangster said:

Come to Florida.  We are vaccinating Canadians over 65.

I just had an idea.  Perhaps Royal could offer vaccinations to people 30 days or more before a cruise.  I think people should get them done locally or in Florida or Seattle.  For the first vaccination it wouldn't matter where it was done.   The second one could be in Florida or Seattle prior to the cruise.  That would give Royal a degree of control assuming the CDC allows cruising again ... no vaccination ... no cruise.

As far as stopping in a distant foreign port ... why can't Canadians be allowed to originate a cruise from the US or Victoria, Canada.  It may require two stops in Victoria to pick up and drop off the Canadians.  Other nationalities could be required to stay onboard.  To my knowledge Canadians are allowed to fly out of Canada and return.  They might need to quarantine upon returning but still.  I bet Canada must accept their own citizens regardless of the mode of transportation.

Something needs to get worked out ... my Alaska cruise is August 30th.

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13 minutes ago, Dad2Cue said:

As far as stopping in a distant foreign port ... why can't Canadians be allowed to originate a cruise from the US or Victoria, Canada.  It may require two stops in Victoria to pick up and drop off the Canadians.  Other nationalities could be required to stay on board.  To my knowledge Canadians are allowed to fly out of Canada and return.  They might need to quarantine upon returning but still.  I bet Canada must accept their own citizens regardless of the mode of transportation.

Something needs to get worked out ... my Alaska cruise is August 30th.

Canada has closed it ports to vessels with greater than 250 capacity.  The first problem you'll encounter is getting a ship into a Canadian port to pick up Canadians.  

 

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31 minutes ago, twangster said:

Canada has closed it ports to vessels with greater than 250 capacity.  The first problem you'll encounter is getting a ship into a Canadian port to pick up Canadians.  

 

Even it everyone onboard is vaccinated and only Canadians are allowed on or off the ship? 

I bet the control at a cruise terminal possibly could far exceed that which happens in airports.  It isn't just being on the plane,  it is tens of thousands of people arriving and departing at airports.  Canada's government needs to address this and so does the CDC. If we are required to wait until herd immunity is achieved through vaccination or otherwise... I think that will take a very long time and quite possibly, never in my remaining lifetime.

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10 minutes ago, Dad2Cue said:

Even it everyone onboard is vaccinated and only Canadians are allowed on or off the ship? 

The port closure doesn't care about nationality.  

Canada is still advising against cruise ship travel:

https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/latest-travel-health-advice.html#cruise

They'll continue to advise against cruise ship travel until the risk has been significantly reduced.  

Even if someone enterprising company found a way around the current rules, the Government would quickly act to close any loophole that folks found to bypass their intent.  

 

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Listen..here in Atlantic Canada..I cant even go visit family in the neighboring province..not even if I want to quarantine for 14 days.....we are banned.....not a chance Canada is opening to cruise ships in 2021....we MAY see the border open for land crossings at some point with conditions I am assuming..but thats all I am hoping for this year and even that is a stretch it appears at this point.

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  • AshleyDillo changed the title to Alaska 2021 - Maybe NOT a total loss? (topic edit as of 2021-05-21)

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