With little public data about COVID-19 cases on ships, some community members in Haines worry that the ships could also bring a surge in coronavirus cases.
More large ships are coming to the Alaska market, and Sitka now has a place to put them.
While Hoonah welcomes the return of cruise ships, residents and visitors remain cautious during a recent rise in coronavirus cases in Alaska.
Juneau residents have mixed feelings about the ship’s arrival amid an uptick an COVID-19 cases, but for the most part, the feeling at the dock and inside downtown businesses on Friday was one of hope.
Passenger projections are fuzzy because cruise lines only got the regulatory green light in June.
Serenade of the Seas’ arrival coincided with a major coronavirus outbreak in Sitka, but that didn’t seem to affect the number of passengers visiting town — there simply weren’t that many of them.
Royal Caribbean says nearly everyone aboard the Serenade of the Seas — 97% of passengers and crew — is vaccinated.
The federally mandated test voyage marks the symbolic start of the Alaska cruise season.
When the Serenade of the Seas ties up on Friday, it’ll be the first ship to visit Ketchikan since Oct. 5, 2019 — 21 months ago.