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Cruise procrastination continues in Australia while Carnival, Princess, and Holland America set to cruise in Alaska in July

May 28, 2021 Cruise News No Comments
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Our friends at Cruise Industry News have revealed that Carnival Corporation has announced that three of its brands, Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, and Holland America Line, are expected to return to service in the United States starting in July with Alaska sailings departing directly from Seattle.

Each company will launch service in July with one ship sailing round-trip from Seattle and requiring guests to be fully vaccinated, with Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation saying, “We are excited to once again serve our guests from the U.S., and we express our deep gratitude to all national, state and local officials who have worked collaboratively with us, the CDC and our entire industry to make this possible”, adding, “It is great news for cruising, for travelers ready to again explore the world and for all the communities in Alaska that depend on cruising and have suffered great hardships over the past year.”

The Australian cruise and tourism sector at large should by now be announcing similar progress, but sadly no similar news can be announced about even domestic cruising in Australia.

What is interesting and actually concerning is that every request I have made to Cruise Lines International, governments, and the sector for updates, receives the same reiteration that they are working seeking a pathway to resume cruising.

My questions are how long does that take, what is that pathway and what form it might take, and what is being discussed, with l all of this is being kept a closely guarded secret by CLIA, which maybe should be renamed CIA, and also by the various governments.

I really do not understand how these parties believe that they can maintain such secrecy in relation to matters that are in the public domain and should be being openly discussed.  I was told by one government department that they were liaising with the industry and to them apparently that mean CLIA, but that is clearly not the case as CLIA does not represent the industry at large, but only its members and no more.

This secrecy is a mystery to me and it is about time all involved revealed what is going on.

In the meantime back in the US where great openly discussed, positive progress is being made, Arnold Donald said, “As one of America’s natural treasures, Alaska is a land of beauty and wonder, and one of the most popular destinations for our guests”, and “We look forward to our brands restarting this summer from the U.S. while also supporting our longtime partners and the communities in Alaska”, adding, “Our highest responsibility and top priority are always compliance, environmental protection, and the health, safety, and well-being of our guests, the people in the communities we touch and serve, and our shipboard and shoreside personnel” and “As we continue to work with the CDC on requirements for sailing in the U.S., we remain committed to returning to service in a way that serves the best interest of public health and provides our guests with a great cruise vacation at an exceptional value.”

The report says that plans for these itineraries to fulfil obligations under the Passenger Vessel Services Act (PVSA) are expected to be approved, with Princess Cruises, Holland America Line and Carnival Cruise Line each continuing the return-to-cruising preparation already underway, according to a press release.

Carnival cited recent guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and close collaboration with Alaskan officials for the restart, with these Alaska cruises only available to guests who have received their final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to the beginning of the cruise and have proof of vaccination, with crew vaccinations will be in accordance with CDC guidelines.

Princess Cruises will resume operations in Alaska starting July 25 through September 26, with seven-day cruises onboard Majestic Princess, with Holland America Line resuming its cruise operations to Alaska with seven-day itineraries aboard Nieuw Amsterdam, calling at Juneau, Icy Strait Point, Sitka and Ketchikan, with scenic cruising in Alaska’s iconic locales, including Glacier Bay and Stephens Passage, with the first cruise for the brand scheduled to depart July 24, with 10 Saturday departures that will operate through October 2.

Carnival Cruise Line has already opened Alaska sailings departing from Seattle beginning July 27, with weekly departures through September 14 aboard Carnival Miracle. There are seven 7-day cruises featuring calls in Juneau, Skagway, and Ketchikan, as well as scenic cruising in Tracy Arm Fjord. The September 14 departure is an 8-day cruise with an additional stop in Icy Strait Point. 

Oh to hear similar news here in Australia!

An edited report from Cruise Industry News and opinion by John Alwyn-Jones, Cruise Editor.

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