Carnival Cruise Line expects more clarity for Alaska cruises

As Alaska cruise season approaches, booked travelers are still awaiting confirmed travel guidelines, and Carnival Cruise Line continues to work out details for Alaska sailings.

The difficulty in planning for the 2022 season in Alaska is due to COVID-19 related restrictions in Canada, and details have yet to be released on testing, vaccination or other protocols the Canadian government will require.

Carnival is working to clarify Alaska itineraries

Many ports of call have begun to ease restrictions and encourage more travel, allowing cruise ships to resume their itineraries with fewer port changes or cancellations. Canada, however, has yet to provide details on health and safety guidelines for visiting cruise ships ahead of the Alaskan season.

In a post on his Facebook page on February 23, Carnival Brand Ambassador John Heald said, “With the changes to protocols announced by the CDC last week, we hope to see more clarity specific to Alaska very soon. The problem at the moment is always to meet the requirements of the Canadian government.

Canada’s cruise ship ban ended in November 2021, meaning cruise ships will be able to visit the country for the upcoming summer season. Without guidelines, however, it is unclear what protocols passengers must follow to visit.

Photo credit: SeregaSibTravel / Shutterstock

Carnival Cruise Line recently updated its health and safety protocols as a line opted for the voluntary CDC program for cruise ships. For embarkations on or after March 1, 2022, fully vaccinated guests on Carnival ships departing from U.S. ports will no longer be required to wear masks, children under 5 will not be counted toward the 95% requirement of vaccinated passengers and guests up-to-date COVID-19 vaccinations will have a longer pre-cruise window to complete the required tests.

What is unknown, however, is whether these guidelines — provided by the CDC — will align with Canada’s guidelines when ports reopen, as Canadian requirements have yet to be announced.

What if the Canadian restrictions don’t match?

If Canada introduces stricter traveler requirements, ports of call may need to be adjusted and Alaska cruise itineraries may change.

“If this cannot be resolved quickly, the industry will seek to have government regulations suspended like what happened last year, and our routes will completely bypass Canada,” Heald said.

At the extreme, the entire cruise season in Alaska could be lost, creating a devastating impact on small Alaskan port communities that rely on tourism revenue during cruise season.

Congressional representatives from Alaska, including U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, as well as Congressman Don Young, have previously introduced legislation to extend the Alaska Tourism Restoration Act (ATRA) , which allowed cruise ships to bypass Canada in 2021.

Cruise ships in Alaska
Photo credit: Nenad Basic / Shutterstock

“Alaska’s economy and our communities should not be at the mercy of decisions made by the Canadian government and I will do whatever is necessary to ensure prosperity for Alaskans. says Murkowski in a February 18 press release.

“The introduction of this legislation provides another tool in our toolbox should the need arise. It also sends a message to the world that Alaska is ready and excited to welcome visitors to our state this coming season.

“We appreciate our Canadian neighbors and recognize that the economies of both countries benefit greatly from tourism. Canada is a sovereign nation, and they are free to govern themselves as they see fit, but so will Alaska and the United States. said young in the same press release.

It’s also possible that Carnival Cruise Line, along with other cruise lines that sail extensively in Alaska, may create different health and safety protocols that would only apply to sailings in Alaska. Booked passengers will no doubt be contacted as soon as possible with the updated requirements so that they can plan their crossings appropriately.

When is Alaska cruise season?

The typical Alaskan cruise season—when the weather is conducive to welcoming visitors and the waterways are open for smooth sailing—runs from May through September. However, avid cruisers often plan Alaskan cruises years in advance, booking their favorite cruise ships, cabin types, and itineraries to explore the final frontier.

For 2022, Carnival Cruise Line has three ships sailing itineraries in Alaska – Carnival spirit from Seattle, Carnival Splendor also from Seattle, and Carnival Miracle from San Francisco.

Carnival spirit and Carnival Splendor offer a variety of shorter 6, 7 and 8 day itineraries, while Carnival MiracleCrossings are longer trips of 10 days. Freedom Carnival was previously planned for Alaskabut was replaced by Carnival spirit and Carnival Splendor due to multiple ship redeployments announced in recent weeks.

Carnival splendor in Alaska

Comments are closed.