Cruise companies postpone Alaska trips

The Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact the global cruise industry, with news that Holland America and Princess Cruises, both owned by Carnival Corp, would now be pausing their scheduled sailings in Alaska until May.

Princess Cruises has cancelled six Alaska trips that were scheduled through to May 14th, while Holland America has cancelled sailings on three Alaska-bound ships through to the first week of June, plus three others through to mid-May.

Carnival announced last week that it was suspending all sailings until April 30th.

Princess and Holland America said in statements that health rules imposed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), added to uncertainty around future travel restrictions both in the US and globally, had prompted the cancellations.

The CDC lifted its no-sail order last October, substituting a conditional sailing order. Its guidelines comprised a gradual return of passengers.

Operators of any large ships bound for Alaska from the main body of the USA also need to consider Canadian restrictions when they are registered outside the United States. Federal law requires foreign-flagged ships sailing between two US ports to stop at a foreign port. For Alaska-bound cruises under normal circumstances, a Canadian stop would satisfy the requirement. However, as a result of the pandemic Transport Canada has banned all cruise ship traffic through to March, and this ban could be extended.