Two cruise lines have canceled at least some of their sailings to Alaska in 2021.
Princess Cruises announced Wednesday it was pausing all operations through at least May 14. Holland America will cancel all Alaska cruises through mid-May, and three additional sailings in early June, the pair of Carnival Corporation subsidiaries said in statements on Wednesday.
It’s another blow to Southeast Alaska’s tourism economy, which accounted for around 18% of jobs in the region in 2019. Most visitors arrived on a cruise ship. More than 1.4 million passengers were projected to arrive last year before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
The Centers for Disease Control still warns against sailing on cruise ships. But this season it will give local ports the authority to approve COVID-19 mitigation plans drawn up by individual cruise lines before they unload passengers.
Coastal communities across Alaska continue to work on establishing protocols on how and when they will be ready for cruise ships to return.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include information about Holland America cancellations.