Big cruise ships will be returning to Alaska for an abbreviated season in 2021, now that President Joe Biden has signed the Alaska Tourism Restoration Act. The new law, championed by Alaska’s congressional delegation, provides a temporary waiver of the Passenger Vessel Services Act, which mandates that foreign-flag ships sailing between U.S. ports stop at a foreign port in-between. To comply, big ships have to call in Canada during their Alaska cruises, but the Canadian government has banned such visits until next year. The new law temporarily waives the foreign port requirement.
Several big-ship cruise lines have announced they will sail to Alaska this summer pending approval by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Carnival Cruise Line, and Celebrity Cruises will restart Alaska cruising in July with one ship each. Royal Caribbean International will begin with one ship in July followed by a second in August, when they will be joined by a ship from Norwegian Cruise Line.
All of these cruises will sail roundtrip from Seattle. More information about COVID-19 and visiting Alaska can be found on travelalaska.com, the official tourism website for the state of Alaska. Sailing dates and itineraries can be found on individual cruise line websites.