If Florida wins this lawsuit, it could spell the end to Alaska cruises this summer

Jun 2, 2021

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.

A Florida win in a lawsuit aimed at speeding the return of cruising in Florida could have the unintended consequence of bringing an end to big-ship cruising in Alaska for the year.

At least, that’s the argument that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) put forward today in a filing with the U.S. District Court handling the case.

The CDC, which is a defendant in the Florida lawsuit, suggested in the filing that a Florida win in the case would force every major cruise line that recently announced plans to restart cruises in Alaska this summer to cancel those plans.

A court ruling in favor of Florida “would … end cruising in Alaska for the season,” federal attorneys representing the CDC wrote.

For more cruise news, reviews and tips, sign up for TPG’s new cruise newsletter.

The attorneys noted that the restart to Alaska cruises that cruise lines have announced in recent weeks is dependent on a recent law signed by President Joe Biden that only is effective if a Conditional Sailing Order issued by the CDC remains in effect.

Issued in October, the Conditional Sailing Order sets rules and guidelines for cruise lines that want to resume sailings in U.S. waters.

Florida’s lawsuit, pushed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, is seeking to have the Conditional Sailing Order deemed unlawful. If that happens, the federal attorneys are arguing that cruising in Alaska this summer cannot proceed.

The law signed by President Biden — the Alaska Tourism Restoration Act — temporarily permits “covered cruise ships” to sail in Alaska this summer, where a “covered cruise ship” is defined as one that “has been issued, operates in accordance with and retains a COVID-19 Conditional Sailing Certificate of the CDC” and operates in accordance with that certificate, the CDC noted in its filing.

In other words, the Alaska Tourism Restoration Act only allows for a cruising restart in Alaska this summer if the ships involved get a Conditional Sailing Certificate from the CDC. If the CDC’s Conditional Sailing Order is deemed unlawful, that won’t be happening.

The judge in the case, Steven Merryday, heard arguments from attorneys for the CDC and Florida on May 12 and ordered them to try to come up with a resolution out of court through mediation.

The CDC has blocked nearly all cruise vessels from sailing in Alaska since the COVID-19 outbreak was declared a pandemic in March of 2020. The only cruise vessels that have been able to operate in Alaska this year are those that carry fewer than 250 passengers and crew. Such vessels are exempt from CDC regulation.

Planning a cruise? Start with these stories:

Featured image courtesy of Royal Caribbean.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 100,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $2,000

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Our best offer ever! Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 100,000 points are worth $1,250 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.