Cruise lines begin removing Alaska from their 2021 schedules
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
They were there, and now they’re gone.
But in recent days, they’ve begun making the trips unbookable at their websites — or removing them from the websites completely.
For more cruise news, reviews and tips, sign up for TPG’s new cruise newsletter
Alaska sailings scheduled for 2021 have become unbookable since last week at the websites of five of the six big-ship lines that operate in the state — Princess Cruises, Holland America, Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruise Line and Celebrity Cruises.
The exception is Norwegian Cruise Line, which continues to show 2021 Alaska sailings as bookable on its website.
Scheduled to remain in effect through Feb. 28, 2022, the new Canada cruise ban will more or less end the Alaska cruise season before it begins, as most cruise ships must make a stop in Canada during Alaska cruises for regulatory reasons.
Most cruise ships are flagged outside of the United States, and by law such vessels cannot cruise in American waters without stopping at least once per voyage at a foreign port. On a practical level, that means the Alaska cruises offered by most lines must include a stop in Canada.
Unless Congress passes a waiver to the 135-year-old law, the Passenger Vessel Services Act, and President Joe Biden signs it, or Canada’s new cruise ban is rescinded, there will be no cruising in Alaska this year for most ships.
Every line that’s stopped taking bookings for 2021 Alaska cruises on its website has handled the situation a little differently. At the websites of Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Holland America, 2021 sailings to Alaska have disappeared completely. A search for Alaska cruises only turns up sailings scheduled for 2022.
At the Princess website, a search for 2021 Alaska cruises still turns up the voyages the line had planned for the year, with all of the normal details about scheduled port calls, shore excursions and the onboard experience. But each of the sailings now has a notice saying it is “currently not available.”
A search for 2021 cruises to Alaska at the Carnival website simply turns up a full-screen message that says “Oh Snap! There aren’t any cruises with the details you searched for.”
The one outlier among the big-ship lines, Norwegian, is continuing to take bookings as it studies the implications of the Canada ban and its options, the line has said.
“We are currently exploring several initiatives that may allow such cruises to continue, especially for the important Alaska season,” the line said last week in a statement. “Given the fluidity of the current environment, we will also continue to work with the Canadian government to amend their current suspension.”
Norwegian’s two smaller sister lines, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises, also continue to show Alaska sailings for 2021 as bookable on their websites.
Carnival Corp., the parent company of Carnival Cruise Line, Princess and Holland America, also said in a statement last week that it was assessing whether there was any way to preserve part of the upcoming Alaska season. But the fact that its lines have halted sales of Alaska trips can be seen as a sign that it isn’t confident it will find such a solution.
“We are disappointed to learn about Canada’s decision to extend the interim order that prohibits cruise ships from sailing in its waters,” the Carnival Corp. statement said. “This extension, if not amended as pandemic conditions improve, or through action by U.S. authorities, would require our brands to cancel our Alaska (West Coast) and Canada [and] New England (East Coast) cruise vacation seasons this year.”
Canada’s cruise ban doesn’t threaten all Alaska cruises. Several small cruise lines that operate U.S.-flagged ships in Alaskan waters including UnCruise Adventures, American Cruise Lines and Alaskan Dream Cruises aren’t affected by the ban. Under U.S. law, U.S.-flagged vessels are the only ones allowed to operate Alaska cruises without stopping in a Canadian port.
But such lines account for less than 2% of the vacationers who visit Alaska by cruise ship in a typical year.
Planning a cruise? Start with these stories:
- The 5 most desirable cabin locations on any cruise ship
- The 8 worst cabin locations on any cruise ship
- A quick guide to the most popular cruise lines
- 21 tips and tricks that will make your cruise go smoothly
- 15 ways cruisers waste money
- 12 best cruises for people who never want to grow up
- What to pack for your first cruise
Featured image courtesy of Princess Cruises.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn a $200 statement credit after your first Delta purchase within the first three months. Offer ends 7/28/21.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $200 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
- Limited Time Offer: Plus, get a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable 15.74%-24.74%. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
- Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees