Skagway asks small cruise ships not to come…for now

Skagway’s Broadway Street on a summer day. (Photo by Emily Files/KHNS)
Skagway’s Broadway Street on a summer day. (Photo by Emily Files/KHNS)

American Cruise Lines plans to sail their small boat cruises through Southeast Alaska at the end of July. Skagway’s assembly wants to see a more robust COVID-19 mitigation plan before the company docks in town—even if that means waiting until 2021.

Assembly member Dustin Stone moved to continue working with the cruise line to create acceptable protocols for docking, but to ask the company to leave Skagway off its current itinerary.

Assembly member Steve Burnham supported the motion and said Skagway should not participate in a “trial run” that could jeopardize health, safety and next year’s season.

“We don’t run this tourist town to fail,” he said. “So the foot forward we need to take is the good one. And the ships need to be able to count on us to be here for them and see them off in the best way.”

Assembly member Dave Brena agreed the assembly should not rush safety protocols for such a small influx of passengers.

“The big ships are not even sailing. And the risk in my opinion far outweighs the reward. Many of the tour companies and retail businesses cannot gear up to serve small ships coming in,” he said.

The motion passed in a 5 to 1 vote.

KHNS - Haines

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