Princess Cruises Extends Pause of Cruise Vacations From Seattle to Alaska through June 27, 2021
Posted & Edited By MARY KAUFFMAN
March 22, 2021
The pause in operation affects seven-day Alaska Inside Passage cruises on Emerald Princess and Majestic Princess with ports of call including Ketchikan, Sitka, Skagway and Juneau.
U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) on March 3rd, introduced the Alaska Tourism Recovery Act to alleviate the Passenger Vessel Services Act (PVSA) restrictions for cruise ships transporting passengers between the State of Washington and the State of Alaska. This legislation will allow cruise ships to sail to Alaska without requiring that they stop in Canada, as U.S. law normally would require.
Canada’s Interim Order No. 5 Respecting Passenger Vessel Restrictions Due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) prohibits cruise ships from navigating, mooring, anchoring or berthing in Canadian waters until February 28, 2022 or until the Canadian Government lifts the prohibition. U.S. Congressman Don Young (R-AK) also recently introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.
Cruise Industry News reported last week that Hannah Ray, press secretary for U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, said there is not currently a vote scheduled in the U.S. Senate for the Alaska Tourism Recovery Act.
According to Cruise Industry News, the Act is seen a “first step” in operating cruises in Alaska and was not part of the COVID-19 relief package which many in the cruise industry thought it would be tagged onto. The Act will thus need to be part of a larger bill, or be voted on, which could be months off.
For guests booked on a cancelled Princess voyage, Princess will offer to move guests to the equivalent cruise in 2022. The rebooking process will have the added benefit of protecting the guests' 2021 fare on their 2022 voyage. Alternatively, guests can choose a future cruise credit (FCC) equivalent to 100% of the cruise fare paid plus an additional non-refundable bonus FCC equal to 10% of the cruise fare paid (minimum $25 USD) or a full refund to the original form of payment.
Requests must be received through this online form by April 15, 2021 or guests will automatically receive the FCC option. FCCs can be used on any cruises booked by and sailing by December 31, 2022.
Princess will transfer the commission earned by travel agents from the cancelled 2021 cruise to the new booking in 2022 for bookings that were paid in full. This convenience is in recognition of the critical role they play in the cruise line's business and success.
The most current information and instructions for booked guests affected by these cancellations, and more information on FCCs and refunds, can be found online at Information on Impacted & Cancelled Cruises.
Edited By Mary Kauffman, SitNews
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