The U.S. Congress has passed a piece of legislation that temporarily suspends the terms of a 19th-century law that will see the restoration of Alaskan cruises – even if Canada continue to ban cruising in its waters.
The legislation suspends the terms of the Passenger Vessel Services Act (PVSA), a cabotage law from 1886 that requires foreign-flagged ships (which virtually all large cruise vessels are) to stop in at least one foreign port if sailing between two U.S. ports. For Alaskan cruises sailing between Washington State and Alaska, this meant a stop in Canadian waters.
But Canada has a covid-related cruise ban in place until February 2022, which effectively kills off the 2021 season that runs from June to September. The new legislation, which only applies to large ships sailing between Washington and Alaska, is expected to be signed promptly by President Biden.
The suspension of the PVSA will end as soon as Canada lifts its ban.