After all Alaska and Great Lakes cruising was shut down until February, 2022 by Transport Canada's no-sail order, the cruise industry worked hard to find a way to save the 2021 summer cruising season. CLIA, the Cruise Lines International Association, swung into action with publicity and lobbying to educate our elected representatives on the economic impact of the no-sail order.
At issue, was the 1886 Passenger Vessel Services Act (PVSA). The PVSA, requires foreign-flagged ships (like large cruise ships) to stop in at least one foreign port when sailing between two U.S. destinations. This is why Great Lakes cruises alternate between U.S. and Canadian ports. It also requires Alaskan cruises to make a technical stop in Canada on the way to Alaska.
Alaska senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan introduced the The Alaska Tourism Restoration Act. It provides a reprieve from the PVSA requirements, but only for ships traveling between Washington state and Alaksa. Murkowski commented, "Senate passage of my legislation sends a strong signal that we will not stand idly by, withering on the vine, until another country catches up to our level of readiness.... This shows that the health and restoration of our economy cannot be held up by Canada, especially since Alaska has led with vaccinations in the country and our communities are ready to welcome visitors back."
Now, the bill must be passed by the House of Representatives in order to become law. Alaska U.S. Congressman Don Young introduced companion legislation in the House. CLIA congratulated Murkowski and Sullivan "for all their efforts to help save the Alaska cruise season. CLIA and its members hope to return this summer and help support Alaskan communities by bringing people back to work."
Unfortunately, the law does not grant a reprieve for the Great Lake Cruise industry, so the fate of the 2021 season continues to be at risk.
Source: Travel Weekly