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Alaska Senators asked White House to get CDC to moving on cruise ship restart plans

In:
27Mar2021

A Congressional delegation from Alaska has once again sent a letter on behalf of the cruise industry in order to get cruise ships sailing again.

U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, and Congressman Don Young, all R-Alaska, sent a letter with colleagues to the White House COVID Response Coordinator, urging the Biden administration to be more transparent and timely in their efforts to develop guidance for the resumption of operations for the cruise ship industry.

In the letter, the Senators and Representative also pressed the White House for answers to a number of clarifying questions on current U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.

In the letter, the CDC's inaction is squarely at the heart of the concern.

  • When will the CDC provide more details related to the phases of its Framework for Conditional Sailing?
  • What criteria does the CDC use to determine the next phase of reopening? What is the timeline?
  • What more does the cruise industry need to do to assure the CDC it is ready for the safe resumption of operations?
  • Does the CDC understand the economic impact its lack of communication and transparency has on the cruise industry and associated businesses and local communities? What is the Administration’s plan to create more open lines of communication between government and the private sector?
  • Who is the official that has responsibility for the decisions about when and how the cruise industry can restart under the restrictions put in place by the CDC?
  • What is the process, either within the CDC, or within the Administration to make and implement these decisions, and what other agencies are involved in the decision
    making process?
  • When the Conditional Sailing Order was issued last October, there were no vaccines and the disease was on an upward trajectory. Today, we are in completely different
    public health environment. What is the CDC planning to do to address this very different set of circumstances?

The Alaska delegation has been vocal in recent weeks trying to get cruise ships sailing again, so that the 2021 Alaska cruise season can be salvaged.

The letter urged swift action, "The cruise industry has faced unique challenges amid this pandemic, and is one of the only industries that is completely precluded from resuming normal operations. This has created a dramatic negative ripple effect on the Florida and Alaskan families, businesses, ports and communities that rely on the cruise industry"

"If the CDC does not quickly commit to start communicating timely and effective guidance, as well as hold frequent and productive meetings with cruise industry stakeholders, it will have harmful impacts on another peak season for the cruise industry."

Alaska is especially vulnerable to another season of no cruise ships because of how much their economy relies on ships.

The entire cruise season was abandoned last year, and this year looks to be equally dire.

"The future of the cruise industry and thousands of good paying jobs at our states’ ports and supporting businesses are now at stake," they wrote in the letter.

Alaska's representatives to Congress have done the most to get cruises started again.

In February, they asked Canada to re-evaluate their ban on cruise ships. Then in March, they introduced a new bill to allow cruise ships to sail without having to stop in Canada.

Senator Murkowski grilled CDC Director Rochelle Walensky last week after the Director failed to provide any kind of timeline for cruises to restart and was unsure how that would even proceed.

Senator Murkowski says Alaska is one of the most vaccinated states in the country, with 18.9% of its population full vaccinated, and  28% having at least their first shot.

Royal Caribbean Group CEO gives updates on Europe and Alaska 2021 cruise chances

In:
Category: 
24Mar2021

Will that Royal Caribbean cruise to Europe or Alaska actually sail this year?

That question is among one of the most asked concerns out there, and Royal Caribbean Group Chairman and CEO Richard provided his outlook for these regions.

So far, Royal Caribbean has cancelled May cruises in Europe and Alaska, but the rest of the cruise season remains intact.

During a webinar with travel agents, Mr. Fain said there is still going to be a Europe season, but it won't be the same.

"A lot depends on some of the regulatory hurdles that we're dealing with today, " Fain explained. "there'll be a European season, I believe. I certainly hope that it will be a large one. And I hope that this momentum carries us forward and allows us to make the kinds of decisions that we need to make now."

"It takes months to activate a ship. We not only need permission to be doing things, we need their permission sufficiently in advance to enable us to prepare for it. So late permission is equivalent to a denial."

"I do think you're going to see a good European season this summer."

What about Alaska? Mr. Fain's proverbial crystal ball was less clear.

Canada banned cruise ships for an entire year, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) still has a ban of cruise ships in the United States.

Meanwhile, Royal Caribbean's Alaska cruises are not cancelled yet.

"We've been very pleased and appreciative of the support we've gotten from members of Congress, from others who have spoken on not on our behalf, but on behalf of the small businesses in Alaska that depend on tourism for their livelihood."

"I can tell you that we and others are working on it. I don't think I feel confident enough to make a prediction as to whether we and they will be successful."

Latest on working with the CDC

Alaska, and to a lesser degree Europe, are tied very much to what happens with the CDC and their Conditional Sail Order.

Echoing CLIA's statement earlier today, Mr. Fain took a different tone in discussing what is or is not happening with the CDC.

In reference to the Conditional Sail Order, he said, "it calls for four-phases, but four-and-a-half months into that, we are still in phase one and we still don’t know what will be required for phase two."

"That is pretty unworkable, for us and the CDC."

"We think that that the science has moved ahead of the Conditional Sail Order. It was a very good process way back when. Back in October of last year we thought it was a positive, and it's now out of date."

Royal Caribbean updates on test cruises, June cancellations, & Alaska 2021

In:
18Mar2021

Wondering what is the latest on where things stand with test cruises, June sailings, or Alaska cruises this year?

Many travel agents wanted to get the latest on these topics as well, and these questions were brought up during a webinar with Royal Caribbean on Wednesday.

Royal Caribbean's senior vice president of sales and trade support & service, Vicki Freed (and her team), provided the latest updates on where things stand.

Test cruises

First, the question was asked if the U.S. Center for Disease Control had provided technical guidance to the cruise lines for test cruises to start.

"Conversations are happening every week, multiple times during the week," Ms. Freed said in response to the question.

"We don't have the actual dates yet for the sample cruises... but we're getting closer."

Read moreEverything you need to know about Royal Caribbean test cruises

The question comes almost a month after Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley told investors that he was expecting to get technical instructions on what each ship needs to do in order to prepare itself for test cruises.

"We're literally expecting the technical specifications any day soon," Mr. Bayley told investors.

Will Royal Caribbean cancel June cruises?

Norwegian Cruise Line cancelled its June 2021 cruises this week, and that has prompted many to speculate if Royal Caribbean will follow suit.

Royal Caribbean Director of Revenue Strategy, Brittany Briggs, indicated nothing has changed yet, "It's a question that we get often when other cruise lines do make announcements and the best we can say is that, trust us, that we're continually evaluating the current environment.

"We're trying to do all that we can as well from our side. But currently we're only canceled through May of this year, which we've gone out with an announcement on."

Any update on Alaska cruises?

Another hot topic surrounds the fate of Alaska cruises for this year, which Royal Caribbean has placed on hold until further notice.

The entire Alaska cruise season this year is in jeopardy due to Canada's one-year ban of ships (along with the CDC's general ban of ships around the United States).

Ms. Briggs also answered this question, and told travel agents there is no change in the Alaska cruises yet.

"Currently that environment hasn't changed, we're continuously having those conversations and we are hopeful."

Earlier this month, a new bill was introduced to to alleviate the Passenger Vessel Services Act (PVSA) restrictions for cruise ships transporting passengers between the State of Washington and the State of Alaska.

Senators introduce new bill to allow cruise ships to sail to Alaska without stopping in Canada

In:
Category: 
06Mar2021

Could the 2021 Alaska cruise season be salvaged after all?

Two U.S. Senators, Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) introduced a bill to Congress to allow foreign flagged cruise ships to sail to Alaska without having to stop in Canada.

The Alaska Tourism Recovery Act is meant to alleviate the Passenger Vessel Services Act (PVSA) restrictions for cruise ships transporting passengers between the State of Washington and the State of Alaska.

Canada has banned cruise ships for at least a year, which means when cruise ships can restart sailings, they would be unable to legally offer cruises to Alaska due to U.S. laws.

Canada’s ban prohibits cruise ships from navigating, mooring, anchoring or berthing in Canadian waters until February 28, 2022 or until the Canadian Government lifts the prohibition. 

Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley took to social media to voice his support of the bill, "If passed, this would represent a step in the right direction for the Alaskan communities that depend on the tourism industry."

"If you support the bill, please reach out to your representatives to make your voice heard!"

Congress has been busy working to find a way for cruise ships to sail to Alaska in 2021 ever since Canada's cruise ship ban was announced.

The entire congressional delegation from Alaska sent a joint statement in February criticizing the decision to ban ships.

A few weeks later, members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee sent a bipartisan letter to the Canadian Ambassador to the United States that sought to find a solution to the problem.

Senator Murkowski sees a need to allow cruise ships to visit Alaska in 2021 in order to provide much needed relief to Alaska's local economy.

"We have seen double-digit employment declines in Southeast and a more than 30 percent drop in revenue statewide. Missing another cruise season would only compound the economic fallout that has been devastating for so many families,"  Senator Murkowski said in a statement.

"By providing this technical fix to the PVSA for Alaska-bound cruise ships from the State of Washington, we are taking significant steps towards safely resuming cruise ship activity and economic certainty at a time when Alaskans need it most."

The problem with not being able to visit Canada

Foreign flagged cruise ships (which are all of Royal Caribbean's ships) are required to make a stop in a foreign port when sailing roundtrip from the United States.

The law is part of the Passenger Vessel Service Act (PVSA) of 1886, and if left in place, cruises to Alaska from Seattle, Washington would not be able to legally sail.

The justification for both the PVSA is to protect the U.S. Merchant Marine (the licensed (officers) and documented (trades) personnel on the ships) and to protect U.S. shipyards that both build and repair the ships.

By Canada denying entry into their waters, that leaves no foreign ports for cruise ships to sail to within the vicinity of Alaska or New England.

Thus far, Royal Caribbean has not canceled its 2021 Alaska or New England cruises (except for Quantum of the Seas, which is staying in Singapore).

Instead, the cruise line is placing these sailings on hold while it hopes legal action, such as this bill, will provide a means for ships to sail this year.

In the meantime, guests booked on 2021 Alaska cruises have the option to leave their bookings as-is, or cancel them.

Royal Caribbean pushes back final payment date for 2021 Alaska and New England cruises

In:
17Feb2021

While Royal Caribbean tries to salvage the 2021 Alaska and New England cruise season, guests will have more time to make final payment.

In an effort to keep guests from canceling their cruise to Alaska or New England due to Canada's ban on cruise ships, the cruise line announced on Wednesday the final payment date will be reduced from 90 to 45 days.

Royal Caribbean's Senior Vice President, Sales, Trade Support and Service, Vicki Freed, told travel agents that the cruise line is working to figure out a way to legally sail cruises while skipping Canada, but in the meantime the final payment date will be reduced for these cruises.

"I know this was not news any of us wanted to hear, and we truly hope that your clients will stick with us as we work through this evolving situation."

"Therefore, we've made the decision to push the final payment due date for Alaska sailings and Canada sailings to forty five days before sailing so that we have more time to hopefully work through all of the challenges of getting back into service."

Specifically, the 45 day final payment date applies only for those sail dates that approach and reach the final payment date that will get it pushed to forty five days for final payment.

In addition to pushing back the final payment date, Royal Caribbean has offered guests options for changing their sailing or getting a refund:

  • Leave their bookings as they are, and wait to see what happens. All final payment dates have been extended to just 45 days prior to embarkation day.
  • Request a 100% refund of the amount they've paid, to the original form of payment, to be processed by June 30, 2021.
  • Choose a 125% future cruise credit (for sailings booked by April 30, 2022, and departing through September 30, 2022). Credits will be issued by April 16, 2021.
  • Select a modified Lift & Shift, allowing the reservation to be moved to the same date next year (plus or minus one week) on the same ship with the same itinerary.

Canada recently announced a year-long ban on cruise ships from its waters and ports until February 2022, which means Royal Caribbean cruise ships sailing from the United States are unable to offer cruises to Alaska or New England due to American cabotage laws.

Without access to Canadian ports, Royal Caribbean and other major cruise lines cannot sail without violating U.S. maritime law.

Last week, Royal Caribbean said it was still working through some ways it can still offer these cruises and has not cancelled any sailings.

Read moreWhy hasn't Royal Caribbean cancelled Alaska 2021 cruises yet?

"At this time, we have decided not to cancel any sailings scheduled to visit Canada," the line said in a letter sent to travel advisors on Friday.

"It's our hope that your clients will maintain their existing reservations with us as we work with the government and CLIA on potential alternatives."

Royal Caribbean has not specifically said what those alternatives are, but there are a few different options they are exploring.

Read moreCongress members call Canada's ban of cruise ships "unacceptable"

Reducing the final payment date to 45 days is an option the cruise line has not exercised at all during the cruise shutdown. Instead, they have relied on the flexible cancellation terms under the Cruise with Confidence program to allow guests the choice of canceling after final payment for a future cruise credit.

With the 2021 sailings to Alaska and New England, many guests are leery of making a final payment for a cruise that seems very unlikely to occur.

Royal Caribbean Will Not Yet Cancel Alaska Sailings Following Canada Cruise Ban

In:
Category: 
12Feb2021

Although it removed bookable Canada-related cruises from its website following news of the country's one-year cruise ban extension earlier this month, Royal Caribbean International says it will not cancel its Alaska or Canada and New England sailings just yet.

"At this time, we have decided not to cancel any sailings scheduled to visit Canada," the line said in a letter sent to travel advisors on Friday.

"This includes cruises embarking/debarking from Canada ports, as well as those itineraries touching on Canadian ports of call. It's our hope that your clients will maintain their existing reservations with us as we work with the government and CLIA on potential alternatives."

Royal Caribbean has not specifically said what those alternatives are, but they could include calling on Canada for technical stops only, where no passengers actually go ashore, or asking the U.S. Government to waive archaic foreign-port requirements under the Passenger Vessel Services Act, at least temporarily.

Passengers currently booked on Alaska sailings have several options:

  • Leave their bookings as they are, and wait to see what happens. All final payment dates have been extended to just 45 days prior to embarkation day.
  • Request a 100% refund of the amount they've paid, to the original form of payment, to be processed by June 30, 2021.
  • Choose a 125% future cruise credit (for sailings booked by April 30, 2022, and departing through September 30, 2022). Credits will be issued by April 16, 2021.
  • Select a modified Lift & Shift, allowing the reservation to be moved to the same date next year (plus or minus one week) on the same ship with the same itinerary.

As another part of its ongoing efforts to help travel agents, the line has vowed to protect travel advisor commissions on all of the above options for fares that were paid in full, with the exception of the modified Lift & Shift. For that selection, commissions will be based on the final price paid for each shifted booking.

What happened with Canada?

Canada announced it banned cruise ships for a year, which makes operating cruises from the United States to New England or Alaska nearly impossible.

Due to U.S. laws, cruise ships that are foreign flagged (which is pretty much every cruise ship on major cruise lines) must stop in a foreign port if they sail from the United States. By Canada denying entry into their waters, that leaves no foreign ports for cruise ships to sail to within the vicinity of Alaska or New England.

Is there any hope for these cruises to happen?

There are a few  "Hail Mary" options for cruise lines to sort through, and evidently there is enough chance that Royal Caribbean has not thrown in the towel yet.

First, Canada can rescind the ban at any time if the global health situation improves. Certainly a lot can change by late summer.

Second, cruise lines could see if U.S. law makers would be willing to give cruise ships a temporary waiver to allow the cruises to legally occur without a stop in Canada.

So far, a delegation from Alaska has proposed such a waiver.

Do any of these have a chance? No one knows, but the odds are not good.

Why hasn't Royal Caribbean cancelled Alaska 2021 cruises yet?

In:
Category: 
10Feb2021

It has been almost a week since Canada banned cruise ships for one year, so why hasn't Royal Caribbean cancelled those sailings yet?

Many cruise fans have been asking this question, and the answer appears cruise lines are still exploring alternative options to allow these cruises to go.

Royal Caribbean's Senior Vice President, Sales, Trade Support and Service, Vicki Freed, addressed this concern with travel agents during an online webinar.

She said she had a conversation with Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Michael Bayley about the topic, and he indicated they are looking for other ways to get around the ban.

"We don't have information and we don't have answers yet. But we're looking at maybe there's an opportunity for an exemption, maybe there's not."

"We are committed to sharing our plan with you once we've evaluated all options for the impacted itineraries to Alaska and also those departing from the northeast. So more details to come."

The exemption that Ms. Freed referred to is the idea that the Passenger Vessel Service Act (PVSA) of 1886 could be temporarily waived for cruise ships in 2021.

Sometimes erroneously called the Jones Act, the PVSA requires foreign flagged cruise ships to make a stop in a foreign country when operating closed-loop cruises from the United States.

In addition to cruise line's efforts to get a waiver, two U.S. Senators and one Congressman announced they are "exploring all potential avenues, including changing existing laws."

Moreover, Canada did leave open the possibility of rescinding the ban if the global health crisis improves before the ban is set to expire.

Royal Caribbean could be holding off canceling Alaska cruises because of optimism related to the distribution of vaccines in the United States and Canada. By summer, the situation could be vastly different than today, which could open the door for a limited cruise season.

In the meantime, Royal Caribbean has already pulled down the 2021 Alaska and New England sailings from their website.

While the 2021 cruises are not yet cancelled, you can no longer book the sailings either via the cruise line website.

There are still a few months before Royal Caribbean's cruise season in Alaska would begin, and the fallout of Canada's ban is starting to get attention.  So there is still a lot of runway left for cruise lines to determine if there are any options left for them to salvage the Alaska cruise season in 2021.

What should you do if you have a 2021 cruise booked?

At this point, if you have a 2021 cruise to Alaska or New England booked, my advice is to hold onto it.

It is far more lucrative to have Royal Caribbean cancel the cruise than for you to cancel it on your own. By waiting for Royal Caribbean to cancel, you will get the option for a full cash refund, 125% onboard credit, or even Lift and Shift.

If you cancel on your own, you are subject to the standard refund policies.  For those with non-refundable cruise deposits, this means a penalty for canceling the cruise.

Congress members call Canada's ban of cruise ships "unacceptable"

In:
Category: 
09Feb2021

Canada's decision to ban all cruise ships for a year is not sitting well with the state of Alaska.

Following Canada's Ministry of Transport decision to ban cruise ships from its waters until February 2022, lawmakers are looking for ways to salvage a critical piece of Alaska' tourism industry.

Without access to Canadian ports, cruise ships cannot legally sail to Alaska due to U.S. maritime law. 

In a joint statement, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Sen. Dan Sullivan, and Congressman Don Young, called the Canadian cruise ship ban, "unacceptable" and said they are looking for answers as to why the ban had to be so long.


Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan

The joint statement criticizes Canada's decision without first discussing the matter with the Alaska delegation, "Canada’s announcement to ban all cruise sailings carrying 100 people or more traveling through Canadian waters, without so much as a courtesy conversation with the Alaska Delegation, is not only unexpected—it is unacceptable—and was certainly not a decision made with any consideration for Alaskans or our economy."

"We expect more from our Canadian allies."

Since the ban was announced, the Senators and Congressman have reached out to American and Canadian authorities to get a better sense of why the ban had to be so long.

"We are exploring all potential avenues, including changing existing laws, to ensure the cruise industry in Alaska resumes operations as soon as it is safe. We will fight to find a path forward."

On Twitter, Senator Sullivan said he was "stunned" by Canada's ban.

"I was stunned by Canada's decision to ban cruise vessel crossings in Canadian waters for another full year—a decision made without consultation or notice of Alaskans. This is unacceptable, and not in keeping with the cooperative relationship we’ve had with our Canadian neighbors."

Why can't cruises sail without Canada?

Canada's ban will prevent Alaska sailings out of Seattle via Canada because of maritime law.

Most countries, including the United States, have cabotage laws designed to protect the U.S. maritime industry.  

The Passenger Vessel Service Act (PVSA) of 1886 requires foreign flagged cruise ships to call on a foreign port if sailing a closed-loop cruise form the United States.

This means, cruise ships cannot sail from Seattle and only visit Alaska ports.  It must make a stop outside the country, and Canada is the only place between Seattle and Alaska for that.

The justification for both the PVSA is to protect the U.S. Merchant Marine (the licensed (officers) and documented (trades) personnel on the ships) and to protect U.S. shipyards that both build and repair the ships .

Royal Caribbean removes 2021 Alaska and Canada cruises from website

In:
Category: 
05Feb2021

Less than 24 hours after Canada announced it banned cruise ships for a year, Royal Caribbean's website no longer shows cruises to Alaska or Canada available to book.

Canada announced it was extending its ban on cruise ships for an entire year, through February 2022.

While Royal Caribbean has not officially informed guests that sailings that visit Canada in 2021 are cancelled, all potentially affected sailings have been removed from being able to be booked on the cruise line site.

When searching for Alaska sailings, no dates in 2021 are available to search, and New England/Canada cruises are also missing from the available cruises to book.

If cruise ships cannot visit Canada, Royal Caribbean cannot legally operate sailings that do not visit a "nearby foreign port" during the sailing, due to the Passenger Vessel Services Act of 1886.

Canada made the sweeping ban on Thursday that prohibits any cruise vessel carrying more than 100 or more people from operating in Canadian waters.

Cruises to Alaska or New England that sail from the United States are required to make at least one stop in a foreign port in order to satisfy U.S. law.

Without the possibility of visiting Canada, the Alaska and New England cruise season is effectively cancelled.

There are only two possible ways these cruises could be salvaged:

First, Canada could lift the cruise ship ban if the health situation improves. Canada added in its announcement that if the global health crisis sufficiently improve to allow the resumption of these activities, the Minister of Transport has the ability to rescind the Interim Orders. 

Second, the U.S. could provide a temporary waiver of the Passenger Vessel Services Act.  The chances of that happening seem low based on recent comments by the new U.S. Transportation Secretary.

During confirmation hearings, Pete Buttigieg told the Senate committee that he supports the Jones Act, which is the part of the law that applies to cargo vessels.

"[The Jones Act] is so important to a maritime industry that creates hundreds of thousands of jobs, as well as a shipbuilding industry here in the U.S.," Buttigieg said in response to questioning from Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), the Senate Commerce Committee’s ranking member.

Canada bans cruise ships for one year

In:
Category: 
04Feb2021

The 2021 Alaska cruise season looks to be in serious trouble with a new ban just announced.

Canada's Minister of Transport announced on Thursday it has banned all cruise vessels from Canadian waters until February 28, 2022.

Citing the need to keep "Canadians and transportation workers safe and healthy", the government announced two interim orders that prohibit pleasure craft in Canadian Arctic waters and cruise vessels in all Canadian waters until February 28, 2022. 

Specifically, cruise vessels carrying 100 or more people are not allowed in Canadian waters.

According to Canada's government, cruise ships, "pose a risk to our health care systems."

"As Canadians continue to do their part to reduce the spread of COVID-19, our government continues to work hard to ensure Canada’s transportation system remains safe. Temporary prohibitions to cruise vessels and pleasure craft are essential to continue to protect the most vulnerable among our communities and avoid overwhelming our health care systems. This is the right and responsible thing to do."

Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra added that if the global health crisis sufficiently improves to allow the resumption of these activities, the Minister of Transport has the ability to rescind the Interim Orders. 

Prior to this extension, Canada's ban on cruise ships was set to expire on February 28, 2021.

Not only does the ban affect Alaska cruises, but New England cruises in the fall visit Canadian ports as well during the popular leaf peeping season.

Just like Alaska cruises, New England cruises rely on a stop in Canada to make the visit legal under U.S. law.

In case you are wondering, the penalties for violating the ban include $5,000 per day for individuals and $25,000 per day for groups or corporations. 

Canada banning cruise ships means cruise lines cannot legally offer cruises to Alaska because of cabotage laws that require a foreign port to be visited during the sailing.

Royal Caribbean has three cruise ships schedule to sail to Alaska in 2021.  Quantum of the Seas already had her entire 2021 cruise season in Alaska cancelled in favor of keeping the ship sailing from Singapore.

Cruises sailing from the United States must adhere to the Passenger Vessel Service Act of 1886 (sometimes referred to as the Jones Act).

Even if the United States allows cruise ships to sail again, they would not be able to sail to Alaska without Canadian waters and ports open to satisfy U.S. cabotage laws.

There is some talk of a temporary amendment to the PVSA to allow cruise ships to depart without a foreign port stop, although there has been no progress made beyond proposals. 

The Greatert Victoria Harbour Authority issued a statement in support of the Canadian government's decision to extend the cruise ship ban.

"Cruise will resume when it is safe to do so, when border restrictions are removed, and when people may safely enjoy non-essential travel."

The port authority did concede the decision will, "create a devastating impact on the dozens of local, small businesses that are involved with cruise in Victoria," due to a combination of no cruise ships in 2020 and now another year without them.

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