Alaska Tourism Restoration Act Paves the Way for Summer Travel
Dreaming of your bucket list cruise to the Last Frontier? The small businesses and people of Alaska certainly got positive news this week.
The Alaska Tourism Restoration Act
On Thursday, the U.S. Senate passed the Alaska Tourism Restoration Act unanimously. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) sponsered the legislation. This gives quite a bit of hope for large cruise ships this summer and for Alaskan tourism.
Previously, the ships faced major limitations from the Passenger Vessel Services Act (PVSA), which requires foreign-registered ships to stop at a foregin port between embarkments at two U.S. ports.
With Canada banning cruises into Canadian ports through February 2022, the PVSA posed a major challenge to Alaskan cruises. These sailings often start in Seattle, WA and stop for a day in a Canadian port before traveling to Alaskan ports of call.
Expected to pass the House of Representatives and to be signed by President Joe Biden, this act allows cruise ships to stop at U.S. ports in succession. Disney Cruise Line ships certainly benefit from this legislation as DCL ships are registered in the Bahamas.
Protocol for Traveling to Alaska
Cruisers wanting to visit Alaska will need to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination to visit. According to the CDC, cruise ships must also prove that 95% of passengers and 98% of crew members are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to sail.
“Senate passage of my legislation sends a strong signal that we will not stand idly by, withering on the vine, until another country catches up to our level of readiness,” said Senator Murkowski said Wednesday on the Senate floor, according to a Forbes article.
Murkowski added that she hopes this bill reinvigorates the small business of Alaska that depend on the tourism industry.
“Alaska has led with vaccinations in the country and our communities are ready to welcome visitors back,” Murkowski added.
Updates on Disney Cruise Line Sailings
Currently, Disney Cruise Line will return to Alaska beginning May 2022. These incredibly popular sailings on the Disney Wonder perfectly blend the natural wonders of Alaska with Disney hospitality, magical experiences and character sightings, and of course, some of the best dining experiences on the seas.
As for other DCL sailings, ships return to ports of call in England this summer for Magic at Sea Staycation sailings. All other sailings were cancelled yesterday through July 2021. Exciting news this week though! The brand-new Disney Wish begins booking Monday for Castaway Club members with sailings beginning Summer 2022.
Feature Image Credit: Disney