May 20, 2021 (Anchorage, AK) – Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy today issued a statement on the passage of a bill in the U.S. Congress to allow cruise ships to sail to Alaska, bypassing Canadian ports. The congressional action exempts large Alaska-bound cruise ships from the U.S. Passenger Vessel Services Act through February 2022.
“Following a year of obstacles, Alaskan families, small businesses, and tourism communities are eager to welcome visitors by cruise ship this summer,” said Governor Dunleavy. “Thanks to the tireless work of our state team, local leaders, businesses, and our Congressional Delegation, the industry can resume sailings, halting a $3 billion hit to Alaska’s economy. Alaska’s well-coordinated COVID-19 response and vaccination efforts ensure this tourism season will be safe for both Alaskans and visitors alike.”
In April, the State of Alaska released a report to the White House on the economic impact of the cruise industry. Later, Governor Dunleavy announced a tourism marketing and aid package to promote Alaska as a COVID-safe travel destination.